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Linkin Park’s Brad Delson Talks ‘The Hunting Party,’ RockWalk Induction + More

Linkin Park Brad Delson
Charles Epting Rock Photography

Linkin Park are in the midst of massive promotion for their latest album, ‘The Hunting Party,’ and the band’s guitarist Brad Delson took a few minutes out of his busy schedule for a chat with ‘Loudwire Nights’ host Full Metal Jackie. Delson discussed the direction of ‘The Hunting Party’ album, recently revisiting the ‘Hybrid Theory’ album in concert and the band’s recent induction into the Guitar Center RockWalk in Hollywood. Check out the chat below:

The new album ‘The Hunting Party’ is out in stores now. Mike [Shinoda] described ‘The Hunting Party’ as a loud rock record. Creatively from your perspective of being a guitar player, what was most exciting to you about making this type of album?

Doing a really aggressive record, instrument driven, certainly technical that was still progressive. Every time we go into the studio, we really want to push the boundaries sonically. For us, even though we kind of went back and reconnected with that love of playing we had when we were teenagers, it’s also a manifestation of our experience making songs and wanting to craft something that’s progressive and we haven’t done before.

Brad, in what ways did making a heavier album take you back to your formative years as a musician when you were beginning to learn how to play guitar?

When I started around 12 or 13 I was obsessed with it. I took it everywhere I went. I played, 4-6 hours a day for 10 years. Over the course of making records and growing older I found it inspirational to play with other instruments and work on other aspects of the record making process over the years. On this record I really, as you said, just connected with that love of playing every day. It wound up being a real fun record to make from that perspective. I really fell in love again with playing guitar every day and I hope you can hear how much fun we had making the record when you listen to it.

You guys recently closed the second night of Download by playing ‘Hybrid Theory’ in its entirety. What’s the significance of doing that now right at the point when a new album is being released?

It feels germane in a way because when we made ‘Hybrid Theory,’ we were making something that we weren’t hearing. That’s what drove us to ultimately to write those songs. We had that same fascination and inspiration making ‘The Hunting Party.’ We felt like there was a conflation of elements and sounds and a songwriting perspective that we weren’t hearing. That’s what drove us to make these songs.

The Guitar Center RockWalk in Hollywood includes some iconic honorees such as Jimmy Page, Aerosmith, Van Halen and Queen. Now, Linkin Park is there too. Does that make your music seem different to you now that it’s included in the company of such beloved timeless artists?

There are so many legendary artists that are honored at the RockWalk in Hollywood. To be counted among them was certainly surreal, it’s a privilege. I think all the guys were genuinely overwhelmed with emotion at such an incredible recognition and it also speaks to the fact that we’ve been at this for a while. We got our start in Hollywood. That was the first Guitar Center that we went to when we got our first publishing deal, and we had money to go buy real instruments. We spent countless hours in that store when we were just getting out of school trying to build up our arsenal of gear. So, to be honored among all the greats that they honor, it’s certainly special and we’re very appreciative of the recognition and acknowledgment.

Brad, you’re active on the business side of the music industry too. How does the satisfaction you get behind the scenes compare to the adrenaline rush of being on stage?

Well, there are a lot of aspects of being in a band and certainly the artistry comes first. We also pride ourselves in our performance, so thank you for acknowledging that. We try to be really hands on, whether we’re designing visuals for our booklet or designing merch, anything that says Linkin Park, we take pride in that. We’ve always been really involved in every aspect of the band. I think that the fans feel that pride and the love we put into everything. I think that’s part of why we have a strong connection with so many people around the world.

Our thanks to Linkin Park’s Brad Delson for the interview. ‘The Hunting Party’ album is currently available at both Amazon and iTunes. You can listen to ‘Loudwire Nights’ with host Full Metal Jackie Monday through Friday at 7PM through Midnight on more than 20 stations across America. To find out where you can hear ‘Loudwire Nights,’ click here.

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