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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

When Bands Change - The Rebirth of Linkin Park, The Stinginess of Fans

I've been a fan of Linkin Park for a long time and for most of that time I've defended them from real music lovers around-- Whether they're indie snobs that get hard from listening to some silly nightmare of insomniac curing shit like The White Stipes or Beck, or real "hard" music loving fans that still claim the likes of Metallica are the greatest musicians in the world despite the fact they went to war with their fans and refusing to release a lick of decent material in twenty-five years. Or they just like thrash metal and they're long gone...

Very few times, however, have I had to defend them from their own fans. This isn't even designated at a grand majority, but rather a bunch of ear-candy loving pussies who refuse to grow past the age of nine. Who gave them computer access? Can retarded people use a computer this well?

To clarify what's happening, Linkin Park's new single for their September 14th-bound A Thousand Suns was released yesterday. Titled "The Catalyst" I was initially unsure of the song myself based on very few clips. But once I heard all 5 minutes and 43 seconds of this monster I was astounded. Linkin Park had finally moved away from the typical mainstream sound and structure they had proved to easily reproduce with Minutes to Midnight (2007). Meanwhile the sounds of Hybrid Theory (2000) and Meteora (2003) were nowhere in sight.

Ah, but those naive fans thinking that Linkin Park would return to their nu-metal, rap-rocking roots were of course left more disappointed than ever. Trolling and spamming the Linkin Park website like clockwork with their inability to spell and clear irreverence for punctuation. Here's some of my favorites gathered from and their facebook. Guaranteed to make you laugh:

"what happened 2 old LP paper cut all the good stuff in the end everything u guys messed up =( OLD LP FTWWWW since u guys switched music theres hardly anymore good rock"

"WTF?? Linkin park have you sold out to the Techno "FAN BOYS" or what?
I love you old stuff and that's why i was a fan of yours but if you don't pump out some good sounds where going to leave you."

"Sadly i will say that 1-2 songs on MTM was OK..... but still not the LP we love and know. And what's with all this GOD crap?? are you guys some christian rock/techno band now?"

"Omg so far from the meteora's album.. You're no more that a pop gay band :(.."

"not as good,as l.p used to be,please change your style again and come back to you earlier music ok.."

"Im not even lieing these guys song suck ass now..greenday much better"

"wats wrong wid all u dickheads who liked the song????? i mean are u guys fuckin kiddin me!! oh ok!! lemme guess everyone who liked it must defintaley be backstreet boys fans!! now i get it!! its assholes like urll who encourage LP do do this shit!! wanna listen somethin new go and listen to that bitch lady gaga u fuckin dorks!! bloddy nerds and geeks!!! dumbassess!! its not about HT and meteora, LP are a numetal alternative hard roc band, they already belonged to a category which cudnt be defined then y this!! its coz of ppl like urll who like this sorta crap!! LP this is for "u guys are loosin phase" better do somethin about it and look at the response u get!! and chester please stick to the human nature defined by u.. if its workin well stick to it and stay wid it!! just as a reminder to all HT WAS THE BEST SELLIN ALBUM OF 2001 AND METEORA IS THE ONLY MODERN ROCK ALBUM THAT HAS 5 OR MORE SINLGES WHO HIT THE NUMBER 1 SPOT IN THE CHARTS!!! so the message is straight, stick to the basics wen it works out well for u!!! and anyone who replies to this comment is eitehr frustrated or is so shamelessly a backstreet boys fan and is so desparately dependent on pop and techo music!!"

"its amazing that 95% of people that like this shitty song here are girls... But may i ask if its because the song is actually decent or you like mikes voice casue "he is cuuute"? Crap song, not LP, this is pop."

"Tell us something Mike... All "A Thousand Suns" sounds like "The Catalyst ???? Because, the Catalyst is your WORST SONG !!!!"

"The Catalyst SUCKS !!!! What the fuck is wrong with you Linkin Park?, my remix of "The Catalyst" is BETTER !!!"

"we want the old linkin park back!!!!!!"

"The Catalyst perfect FAIL!!!! Give us the old and hardcore LP!!!!!!!"

"I AM DISAPPOINTED :( wtf/ :(" (With a Meteora icon.)

"well i can wait for the next new album,and i pray to GOD,and i hope that album it's similar to HT or METEORA or LP is just fucking me they are dead until that cd will came out ...4 years for nothing"

All right, maybe I gave you too much of an example of what asininity looks like. The stupidity is so bad I have to keep it from leaking off my computer screen and attacking me like a virus. But there's just so many stupid people out there-- It was hard to choose. My favorite is the last one. The one I ended this example of idiocy and juvenile behavior on. Even with the band telling the world they want to change their sound over and over, even when we're two albums away from the nu-metal sound and even though nu-metal died six years ago and has remained dead with only a few terrible bands, like Korn and Limp Bizkit, holding on to its decomposing sound, there are fans still crossing their fingers Linkin Park will return to that old mess. I'll at least give them points for holding on to such hope for so long.

Now don't get me wrong. I'm a fan of Hybrid Theory and Meteora as well, but that era is dated, dead and, quite frankly, has nothing new to offer. I remember when Meteora was scolded like Minutes to Midnight when it first came out. Can all these fans who only like Linkin Park's old sound believe that Meteora was hated with a passion on the boards when it first arrived? Guess what the number one complaint was? Ding, ding! It sounded too similar to Hybrid Theory. (Doesn't help that, looking, back on it, Meteora is Linkin Park's weakest album lyrically. How easy is it to rhyme heal with feel and real? I hope it didn't take them all night to come up with that.)

Now I'm aware the majority I'm fighting here are a bunch of snot-nosed, fat, spoiled, ITouch toting middle schoolers who "feel so numb" because Amy Missperfect, sitting two rows down in english class, doesn't like them back. Boo-Hoo. But I've seen for myself that the fan base has intelligence. is home to the older, wiser and more mature conversationalists. Most of them like the new stuff Linkin Park dishes out and the few people that don't are at least constructive about it. is similar, even if some of the more immature fans tend to bleed in to that haven. I'm not talking about, or too them, but I will give them a nice, big thank you for being grown-ups. (And using a passable percentage of decent grammar.)

But to the younger, stubborn and immature: The "old" Linkin Park is not coming back. Quite frankly, I'm happy about that. They've grown up and decided to do new things and that's what being a musician is all about. Linkin Park values music enough to push themselves and try new things. They don't want to stay in the old because it was "successful" or because "fans loved it." If they do that then they are selling out. Then they're in it for the money, not because they love music. They end up looking as bad as Limp Bizket. But a musician's art is music and to tell an artist to only paint one thing for his whole career is cruel and damning.

And so be it. Yesterday I heard Linkin Park take a risk, step out of the mainstream and leap even further away from the nu-metal comfort zone to create something with true layering and musicianship. Mike quipped in a UStream that the song is hardly pop just because it uses synthesizer. He's right. There's a lot of great electronic music and industrial sounds out there. (Depeche Mode, Nine Inch Nails) They're not "pop," so to speak, and neither is this. This is a well constructed, odd, but rewarding experience in an electronic rock sub-genre and quite frankly there's not a whole lot out there that sounds like it. (That's a good thing kiddies. Try to see the light.) Not to mention the astounding lyrics. They're few, but they're some of the best the band has put out. Beats the lyrical angst off of Meteora's "Somewhere I Belong". So to some degree I'm happy you youngster brats don't like the new Linkin Park. It's nice to enjoy a song from this band that jr. high students, or those with the same maturity level, can't understand the beauty of.

Even still, it's sad there are fans that want to break the band down in to a mediocre thought-process and keep them in a box to replicate a single sound over and over. I can't think of a more selfish, greedy reason to dislike new material. If you're constructive about it fine, but I've seen very little evidence to such a contrary.

Well done Linkin Park. Keep pushing forward. There are enough bands that drive backwards. They normally end up wrecking.