On December 12th of 2006, The Linkin Park Association was able to score one of the greatest honors a Linkin Park fan site could ever achieve: The amazing opportunity to sit down for a phone interview with one of Linkin Park's very own band members, bassist David "Phoenix" Farrell!
In what could quite possibly be one of the first interviews ever granted to a Linkin Park fan site, Dave managed to provide our website and the fans with exciting new information regarding the new album, upcoming tours, LPTV, as well as answers to some of the more nagging questions that have been bugging fans over the last few months. This is certainly one of the more informative interviews Dave has done concerning the new album and is definitely something that should not be missed by Phoenix lovers and die-hard Linkin Park fans alike!
Special thanks go out to Phoenix, and Linkin Park management for taking the time make this dream a reality!*
*We are currently looking into the possibility of posting the entire interview in mp3 format, although we must first wait for confirmation from the powers that be to do so. For now, please enjoy the LPA shout outs, featured at the bottom of this page!*
LPManagement: Good morning Derek
Derek: Good morning!
LPManagement: How are ya?
Derek: Pretty good!
LPManagement: Okay we're just grabbing Dave..
LPManagement: Hi Dave?
LPManagement: Hi you're with Derek from lpassociation..
Derek: Hey Dave how are ya! *laugh*
Phi: Pretty good, how you doin' Derek?
Derek: I'm doin pretty good. Now just to make sure, do you prefer to be called Dave or Phoenix?
Phi: You can call me whatever you want.
Derek: Alright I'll call you Dave.
Phi: Sure, fair enough!
Derek: So Dave where are you calling from right now?
Phi: I am in Southern California.
Derek: Southern California hmm..so are you at the studio right now or?
Phi: No, actually I'm at home.
Derek: Oh, okay. Hmm, well what I'll go ahead and do is go ahead and start with the interview...
Derek: My first question is Dave, recently the band has stated in interviews that out of the 100 plus ideas that were made for the album, 17 of them have actually been whittled down into actual songs. Based on this do you know where this puts you in the recording process as of now, are you doing mixing right now or...?
Phi: We're not mixing yet, we're actually...Chester and Mike, maybe even as we speak are working on their vocals, and finalizing their vocals, so that's [where we're at], we're hoping they'll be done in about a week, at which point we'll be getting into the mixing phase.
Derek: And since you're gonna to be doing the mixing in about a week, do you have a general idea as to when a release date would be by chance?
Phi: Yeah we're looking at Spring of '07.
Derek: Spring of 07'? Okay. Now Chester recently stated in Blender magazine that the album title is (*laughing*) "T Blank and T Blank". Now would you be able to give us anymore hints or maybe even give us a back story to how the title came about? I do remember Mike saying he was in favor of a title based on the book "A Million Little Pieces" does this still apply?
Phi: Umm, that's a good question, I don't think it does, because some of us (myself included) were never on board per say with that album title? So it's pretty much up in the air at this point. Chester and Mike might tell you something differently but if you ask me, I'm going to tell you that that's NOT gonna be the album title.
I mean that's..*he starts laughing*
Derek: *Laughing* Yeah cause I know he was looking for something out of a chapter of that book but he said he probably was not going to do it due to the controversy so...
Phi: I think at times that's why there's so much conflicting information about us, because if you ask any of the six guys something, they'll tell you a completely different answer based on what they like or they think. There's no universal "Linkin Park Platform" (*laughing*) that all six of us agree on.
Derek: And Phoenix, over the past few months we've been hearing a lot of tour dates overseas. Like for example you're gonna to be doing that date for Shanghai, and you're going to be doing that date in The Bamboozle Festival in East Rutherford..now, what plans does the band have for a tour in the states? Will we possibly be seeing another year of Projekt Revolution or maybe even another small venue LPU tour?
Phi: At this point I think we're still finalizing ideas as far as to what, and where and how we're going to be starting our touring, but there will definitely be a Projekt Revolution..it'll be probably this coming summer or i guess 'Summer 2007', did you ask about Europe dates?
Derek:Europe dates, yeah, what are you doing in charge of that, because I do know that you promoted Meteora overseas at first.
Phi: Yeah, I don't know where we're going to start or how that's all going to work, but we're going to definitely be doing Europe dates. At this point the first priority is finishing and then mixing the album, and then once that's kinda in this next phase, then we can start sure-ing up dates, you know, definitively. At this point as it stands its all just a grey...fuzzy...mountain of a schedule. But it includes, Europe, the states, it includes a lot of press in Europe, it includes a Projekt Revolution in the states, a big US tour, as well as some Southeast Asia, and Australia to Japan, and all kinds of good stuff!
Derek: Now here's an interesting one for ya, I do know that with the changes you've been making, you've been trying to basically, stray away from the whole 'rap-rock metal sound' and you've been trying to, you know, REALLY make a sound that can impress people, and every once a while a band will actually make that one 'epic' song that will prove their staying power as musicians. . In the opinion of many, U2 did it with "One", Green Day did it with "Good Riddance", and Nine Inch Nails even did it with "Hurt". In your opinion, have you written that song on a previous album or this one? Or are you still striving to write that perfect song?
Phi: I think you'll always be striving to write that 'perfect song'. I think anytime I sit down and work on something that's kinda the starting goal? I mean otherwise I guess you couldn't be saying you're sitting down with the idea that "I'm trying NOT to write the perfect song?" (*laugh*). Cause I haven't even said that I think that Hybrid Theory, is an album that for us will always hold a special place in our hearts, as far as being you know, that first album, and the beginnings of everything we were doing...and Meteora was an extension on that, and us starting to really branch out and try different ways of approaching songwriting, different sounds, incorporating different keys for us and things like that. And that really opened the door for us to write the album we're working on now, as far as being comfortable saying "you know what, let's sit down and make music, and lets pick the favorite stuff that we're writing out of everything that comes out of it", regardless of whether it sounds like quote unquote 'Linkin Park', and that's just what happens with it. And that's really what we're doing with this album. It still has our sound I believe, but at the same time the feel of it is different, there's a lot of things going on differently, and [there are] lyrical themes, and moods, and feels on this album that are very new and exciting for us.
Derek: And speaking of that, in your opinion how do you feel the band has improved since you guys first got together? I mean specifically, have you noticed anything different since meeting up for this recording cycle?
Phi: I think the biggest difference for us, is..I don't know if 'confidence' was the right word, but just after you've become more comfortable in your songwriting process, after you've become more confident in the studio process, and you know, working with different engineers, different producers etc, I think that it allows the creative side of what you're doing to be more 'prominent'? And that for us, that experience that we've gathered just in the last ten years, has really allowed us to feel comfortable in these situations because they're not new anymore. As weird as it sounds to say, we've really felt at home working on the album with, and being produced by Rick Rubin...whereas ask me that five years ago, I'd still probably be extremely nervous and uncomfortable and you know..
Derek: Oh absolutely. Now, I do remember you speaking about Meteora and it being an extension of Hybrid Theory in a way..now on the Meteora Special Edition DVD, you had talked about avoiding the "sophomore slump", now that you've had the time to really reflect on an album, do you feel Meteora was a stronger release than Hybrid Theory? And if not, what have you learned and will apply to this record?
Phi: That's a tough question. Because those two albums, I feel like they ARE different and that they came at different stages and different points. To kinda use a bad 'cliche' or 'analogy' it's kinda like asking which of your children you love more, (*laughing*) you love them both equally I guess, but you like different things about each one, and you know they're both, I dunno they're both "ours"? And I think we've always been proud about both of those albums, and then coming off of those two they really allowed us I think to learn, and to grow and to know how to go about doing the third album we've done, which is a departure from our writing style of the first two...and I think method wise, on this third album, we've really challenged ourselves to do things differently than the way we've done them in the past. I think it's produced an album that is a little more broad in its emotional range, and its a little more organic in how it came together.
Derek: Now you guys have always been really good at giving us fans extra goodies between records--for example you've done Live in Texas, Frat Party, you know special LPU CDs. Have you got anything else coming up? And also, can we expect a follow-up to Frat Party anytime soon?
Phi: (*sounds of cell phone dying*) I think in some ways that the follow up to that will be more through LPTV, on the internet, that kind of stuff - can you hear me?
Derek: Yeah I can hear you..I'm just listening (*laughs*)
Phi: Yeah I'm sorry I just re-plugged in something...and I didn't know if I had lost you! But that is more of the direction as far as video content and that sort of thing.
Derek: Now I do notice that, you know, just helping you promote the LPU, I do notice that you have a new feature called LPUTV, now how different is that going to be from LPTV? Is there going to be more exclusive videos of in the studio or something along those lines?
Phi: I think they probably wont be different per say, but it's a little more kind of catching you up, the idea of it is that it's catching you up from i guess the beginning of the Meteora cycle, all the way to what we've been doing 'right now', and so if you follow it, through all of the episodes all the way up leading up to the next album, you'll be in some respects 'up to speed' with everything thats gone on in the last two years. And it's a little less, I think LPTV is a little bit more episode driven, this [LPUTV] is a little bit more 'larger picture' driven.
Derek: Rick Rubin has had a reputation of having artists he's produced record a cover on their album. If you could choose one song for Linkin Park to cover on their CD, what would it be and why?
Phi: *Long pause and sounds of heavy thought*
Derek: You can choose a couple if that'd make it easier, (*laughing*)
Phi: (*Laughs*) I've been pushing for us to do, not necessarily [now] but at some point, a cover of The Cars, their song "Drive". Because I've always really liked that song a lot, and I think we could do a pretty cool and different interpretation of it. But I don't think that some of the other guys really like that idea, and I don't know if it's ever going to happen. And I don't have the 'vocal prowess' to do it justice without some help..
Phi: Yeah I know....
Phi: In cover songs I think it's funny because every cover song we've ever approached to try to do (there's only been a couple live), but it runs into that same problem to some extent within the band, where there will always be like three guys who think it's a great idea, than three guys who don't really wanna do it. And that's what will always make it tough for us I think..
Derek: Cause I do know that you guys have said, and I think you even have said it once, that you really prefer to have your own music on a CD, but do you guys think you'll ever include a cover song on a CD or would that probably be best for the LPU or something like that?
Phi: I don't think that we'd ever include a cover song, our idea has always been, also I mean we've talked about it a lot, where if we're asked you know, as far as if we're going to have any guests on the CD and that kind of thing, we've never done and we've never had any guest performers on an actual album, the albums have always been just Linkin Park, and the guest performances or whatever you wanna call it, would always be on you know whether it's the mash-up project, or whether its reanimation or whether its an LPU CD etc. And I think the same mentality would probably fit for doing an actual cover song as well. I think the album for us is always, we want that to be, you know, from the first song to the last song we want them to fit together, and we want that just to be kind of our own project, and our own complete vision of something, and not have a disjointed, individual song, or feel to it like what might happen if you have or introduce or have a, you know, cover song or something like that.
Derek: Given that the band has always been involved in charity, could you tell us about some organizations that are of much importance to you? My website actually has a new [forum] design based on Project (RED), so I was thinking maybe you could say some charities that you are interested in.
Phi: Sure! Yeah, obviously Project (RED) has definitely done some great stuff, in addition to that I also have a special place in my heart for Music For Relief, and obviously the work that we've been able to do with that. Music for Relief was something that we started with the tsunami-I think the tsunami was about, two to three years ago?
Derek: (*I respond confused and unsure of exactly what year it happened*)
Phi: Err, I think it was two? I know it was definitely around this time of year-but yeah [definitely] Music For Relief, and in addition to that we've also been working with an organization called "Friends and Helpers" and they started out doing care package stuff and different caring for battered women, and then it kind of grew into also hurricane relief, and that kind of stuff, down in New Orleans. I mean we just...I wanna say just recently, but now it's probably like four months ago/five months ago...were able to go down to New Orleans and just see where they're at, and do a small part of trying to help areas like the 9th Ward, that were really hit hard and schools that are kind of struggling to kind of get their feet back on the ground after that. And we've gone down there to kind of help try to reel some schools into getting school supplies for kids going back to school for the first time....
And that was awesome. But...definitely, we wanna create an organization as well that usually offers to chip out.
Derek: One last question and this is basically out of curiousity. We've heard, from certain unnamed sources within Machine Shop, that the band has possibly visited The Linkin Park Association on occasion. Would this happen to be true? And if so, how long have you been lurking around, and you have visited recentely, what do you guys think of the latest design?
Phi: I haven't seen [the latest design] and okay this is an 8 part question, so I'll try my best to answer all of them for you.
Derek: (*laughter*) Sorry about that.
Phi: I have definitely visited the LPA, at times I think you've had a website there that is better informed than I am! And [I go] to check for any possible upcoming things that I might need to know about that management hasn't informed me of...it's sometimes a very good thing for me to look on the internet! (*I start laughing in the background*). No but more seriously, I think that for us we've always been able to use the internet as a tool to help us one communicate, but two also to know where our fans are at with our music, what they're saying about it, you know, and what they're excited about, and everything from "what band would they like to see us on tour with?" to "what artists would they like to see us do a collaboration with?" to how they think the tours are going, etc etc...and I think everyone with the exception of Chester has visited LPA, I don't know for him to for sure to say too.
Derek: Yeah I heard he has an internet phobia!
Phi: He's not..see that's common misconception. He doesn't have an internet phobia, he has a computer phobia! But yeah he's getting better about it, he's about 8 years behind on the computer scale but he's catching up!
Derek: You should take him and force him to go on the LPA!
Phi: Hahaha, I might.
Derek: Well I'm looking here Dave and I'm not really showing that I have anymore questions for you. Before I let you go I would really like to thank you for taking the time to have this interview. You know, on behalf of the whole LPAssociation staff and the members, you know, we're just very very thankful that you've taken the time to have this interview with us.
Phi: Yeah! I'm glad you wanted to do it.
Derek: And...this might be asking a little much, but is there anyway you could possibly do a promo for my website, so that its something to feature when the members first log in, or something? You know..I dont know what you would say but..
Phi: Like, right now?
"What's up this is Phoenix from Linkin Park! Welcome to the LPA!" (Right click and save target as)
"I have definitely visited the LPA..." (Right click and save target as)
INTERVIEW MAY NOT BE REPRODUCED ANYWHERE WITHOUT EXPRESSED WRITTEN CREDIT TO LPA.