In a new exclusive video for Rolling Stone, Linkin Park rapper and multi-instrumentalist Mike Shinoda explains how he drew inspiration from an article about Japanese culture when he was working on the hard rockers’ upcoming album, The Hunting Party. “It was talking about how people there were concerned that the new generation of kids were becoming herbivores – they were passive and they weren’t going out and getting a job or getting a girlfriend,” he says. “They were worried what was going to happen to their culture if there weren’t any more carnivores. I thought, ‘What’s going on in rock music is kind of the same thing.'”
Shinoda says that revelation led him on a quest to find visceral, aggressive music again. He said the article also informed the name of the group’s current Carnivores tour and even the title The Hunting Party.
Vocalist Chester Bennington, adds he enjoyed making heavier music again for the record – maybe a little too much. “We can write a thousand ‘Iridescents’ and, as great as they are, it’s going to be boring,” he said. “With this album it was more like the opposite. We needed to maybe consider toning a song or two down a bit, because it’s fucking crazy the whole time.”
In a previous video for Rolling Stone, Shinoda explained why the group returned to a heavier sound. He and Bennington also discussed how they came to work with a variety of guests, including System of a Down guitarist-vocalist Daron Malakian, Helmet frontman Page Hamilton, Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello and rapper Rakim, the latter of whom appeared on the group’s single “Guilty All the Same.” Shindoa called that latter pairing “a perfect match for the song.”
Earlier in 2014, Shinoda told Rolling Stone that he was worried at first about the group taking a more aggressive direction on the album. “I was thinking, ‘Oh, shit. Rock radio’s not gonna play this, are they?” he said. So he spoke to his manager, who told him he was probably right. “We can’t rely on a home run at radio,” Shinoda said. “But I’m always up for a challenge. Besides, I believe in the music.”