Thursday, September 30, 2010

Haters & Believers: A Thousand Suns Release

"Hey guys. I’ve been getting some questions about my thoughts about the album release, so I thought that I’d try to answer them here.

To start, a quick review: about a year and a half ago, we made a conscious decision to take our music in a new direction. We predicted the album’s release would be incendiary; the new direction would be welcomed by some, and fervently resisted by others. Looking back, I wanted to address both factions.

Let’s get the simple part out of the way. To the fans who like the new album: thanks for your support. There are some of you that have been with us for a long time, and are thrilled about the new sound. There are others who weren’t sure of the new album at first, but have given it a chance, and are now reaping its rewards. And there are others who have never been fans of Linkin Park, but are interested in the band for the first time with A Thousand Suns. We’re happy to have all of you on board, and we appreciate your support.

A friend of mine told me a story from his childhood: when he was a little kid, his dad, who never had any facial hair, left for a trip and came home with a beard. His son took one look at him and ran away, demanding, “what happened to my real dad?”
So let’s talk about “haters.”

Not surprisingly, the sound of the new album (and the absence of heavy guitars and Chester’s screaming vocals) seemed to upset some folks. As I write this, the most popular iTunes (US) review of A Thousand Suns is by Janxrod, who gives the album one star and asks “What happened to the real Linkin Park?”

A knee-jerk reaction might be to assume that people who dislike ATS simply love heavy metal and hate alternative / electronic music. I don’t need to tell you that the internet is a sad breeding ground for filthy-mouthed negativity. But, in their defense, many of the “one-star reviewers” are not brainless cynics who talk shit because they’re bored. They’re real fans who were expecting to walk into a movie theatre to see “A Clockwork Orange,” and they got “2001: A Space Odyssey.” I don’t like the idea that all these folks are all lumped together as “haters.”

I’m a curious guy, so I did some research about Janxrod. Although 8/10 of his favorite albums include heavier stuff like Disturbed, Shinedown, and Dethklok…he also likes Daft Punk. He’s not opposed to electronic music. So what bothers Janxrod so much about A Thousand Suns?

One reason is that, according to his page, “They write songs about how pissed off they are at their old fans, telling them to go f*** themselves. That’s not mature, that’s just disrespectful.”

Know what? I agree. That’s a bad message. The problem is: it’s not really our message.

The other guys and I have said many things in the past, not all of it thoughtful or respectful (sorry, we’re human too). But under it all, here’s where we’re really at: If you don’t like this album right now, that’s your choice and it’s truly OK with us. But we stand behind the work we put into it, and we think it’ll be a rewarding listen if you decide to give it a chance. Our door is open.

Lastly, I need to address a comment I occasionally see (and have seen every time we put an album out)–that the band has “sold out.” As far as I know, “selling out” means compromising the integrity of your band/music in exchange for money or popularity. Since inception, A Thousand Suns was designed to go against the grain, built with an understanding that it would likely polarize and challenge the fan base at first. This is the opposite of a “sell out” album; don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Do the math: if money and popularity was the goal, we would have made Hybrid Theory again.

Furthermore, outside our studio walls, the climate for music is different. According to Nielsen SoundScan, of the 97,751 albums released in 2009, only 12 of them sold more than one million units last year. People everywhere buy it by the song, not by the album. To stand behind what many people call a “concept album”–asking the fan to listen to the whole thing rather than a couple songs–is unquestionably a big a request. Some people want to color that request as a “marketing tactic,” that we are asking people to buy the whole thing instead of a couple songs. If that was the case, we’d be the worst marketers ever. Clearly, a collection of 12 “hit singles” is a better reason to buy a whole album than a concept record. The singles sell an album. A concept album requires a leap of faith. The whole argument is wholly illogical.

So why did we make such a big change? “What happened to the real Linkin Park?” We’re still here. We look and sound different, but the intention behind the music is the same as it has been since day one: in the studio, we are constantly in search of new sounds that excite and inspire us. And hearing that our album debuted at #1 in 15 countries gave us all a massive feeling of gratitude, but if being in this band has taught me anything in the past decade, it’s that you can’t base your happiness on things that are out of your control.

The truth is, we’re believers that good, honest art will triumph at the end of the day. Real success isn’t about sales, numbers, and chart position. It’s about a connection with a dedicated fan base and a chance to introduce people to a sound that we can call our own.

See you on tour, where we’ll be playing songs from “Hybrid Theory” through “A Thousand Suns.” Fans of every era are welcome."

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

"Waiting For The End" new Linkin Park single

Linkin Park's second single from A Thousand Suns will be "Waiting For The End", and will be released October 5th on iTunes, and October 29th as a physical single. It will also feature the "Does It Offend You, Yeah?" remix of "The Catalyst".

I think that this song is pretty good, not great. I would personally love to see "Burning In The Skies" as a single some day. It's one of my favorite songs on A Thousand Suns. It will be interesting to see how the music video will look like. I really loved the video for "The Catalyst".

The single cover for "Waiting For The End" is very cool, I love all the art from A Thousand Suns. When I looked through the booklet and saw the art and the photos, I thought that many of the pictures would make a great cover, both for singles and the album.

You can see the single cover of "Waiting For The End" below.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sony at Tokyo Game Show 2010

This article comes directly from the VG247 site. There were a few great announcements, and I think the ICO and Shadow Of The Colossus collection remastered in HD was the best.

Sony used its Tokyo Game Show press conference today to put dates on both The Last Guardian and the Japanese version of Gran Turismo 5.

Sony kicked off its show with some sales figures, saying that PS3 has now sold 38 million hardware units and 310 million games, before making brief presentations on PSP and Move.

A barrage of Move games was shown, including Start the Party, The Shoot, Sports Champions, Tumble, TV Superstars, The Fight, Heroes on the Move, High Velocity Bowling, Echochrome II, Tiger Woods, Resident Evil 5, Virtua Tennis 4, Time Crisis, Killzone 3, LittleBigPlanet 2 and Ape Escape.

In total, 13 companies are making 35 games for Move, the firm said. Move is to release on October 21 with the marketing slogan “Let’s Play, Move”.

Moving on to 3D, Everybody’s Golf was shown, as was a 3D version of FFXIV. There was no new date on the PS3 SKU other than March next year.

The E3 MGS: Rising trailer was also shown in 3D, as was footage of Disaster 4: Summer Memories and Polyphony’s GT5.

The GT5 stuff focused mainly on the showroom images we saw at gamescom, with a splash of in-game racing mixed with replay video. It was very short.

Sony then announced that Firmware 3.5 would hit PS3 with 3D Blu-ray support on September 21.

Moving onto hardware, Sony said a 320Gb PS3 would release in Japan on October 21.

A special Monster Hunter-themed PSP is to release alongside the third game on December 1. It’s got a bespoke XMB and built-in speakers that look like the Isle Mark from the game.

Square Enix then took to the stage to show some games. The company showed a trailer for PSP sequel The 3rd Birthday, but refused to allow it to be seen on the conference’s live video stream. Good stuff.

The horror ships on December 22 in Japan.

An International Edition of Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep was then shown to the crowd, but not the stream; it’s called Birth by Sleep Final Mix and it’s out in January.

Dissidia 2 was shown, the trailer including FFXIII’s Lightning and FFIV’s Kain. Again, no one saw this unless they were in the audience. Square gave the game an official name of Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy.

Level 5 then took to the stage and showed a very Japanese-looking anime title for PSP, before moving on to Ni No Kuni on PS3, a Studio Ghibill collaborative RPG project with Level 5. The chances of you ever playing this if you’re not Japanese are pretty slim.

It’s a cartoon RPG with real-time battles. A small dog thing was seen battling a funny elephant. It’s out next year. Watch the demo on Kotaku.

Capcom’s Keiji Inafune came on to talk about two games. The Asura’s Wrath trailer we saw in the publisher’s conference yesterday was shown – but, again, blocked on the stream.

The second title was Ninja Theory’s DMC. Again, it was the same trailer we saw yesterday. Again, it was blocked for all those outside the audience.

Inafune said there was no “taboo” in working on DMC; Capcom and Ninja Theory will do whatever’s needed to make it work.

Konami came out next with Castlevania: Lords of Shadow. The game was described as a “rebirth” for the series. New footage showed acting, climbing, a love interest, snow scenes, a chap with horns and bosses. Tons of new characters were seen, as was a giant gollum boss at the end. Good stuff.

It’s out on December 16 in Japan. A Collector’s Edition was shown, but it looks as though this is a Japan-only thing.

Get all the screens here. Here’s the trailer:

Sega’s Toshihiro Nagoshi came out on stage with two dolly birds to talk about Yakuza: Of the End. A trailer was shown with a hostage woman tied to a chair and Tokyo chock full of zombies, as previously reported.

The cast of the last game was shown working together in undead-killing action, with one dude having a mini-gun built into his arm. Looked like co-op might be on the cards: the four characters, all tooled up, were shown standing side-by-side at the end of the video.

Then, finally, ICO and Shadow of the Colossus were shown on PS3. There was no date other than “coming soon” after a short trailer.

Get all the shots here. Here’s the trailer:

Once the footage ended, Ueda stepped up to the microphone. New Last Guardian footage was shown, with the cat dragon thing scratching around and the little dude climbing up his leg to reach higher platforms. In one part, cat dragon picked up the little dude in his mouth and lifted him up. In another, the little dude was throwing barrels into its mouth.

Get all the screens here. Here’s the trailer:

The game was confirmed for a “holiday 2011″ ship.

Namco followed Ueda, showing Gundam Musou 3 and Ace Combat Assault Horizon, the former to release in December. Ace Combat didn’t get a date.

From Software was next, showing something called Project Dark. The stream was completely blocked for this: we didn’t even see the guy speaking.

It’s aimed at Demon’s Souls fans, and, according to reports, was very much “dark fantasy”. It’s out next year in Japan and it’s a PS3 exclusive.

GT5 was next with yet another trailer, this one showing the Top Gear test track, Rome, rallying and more.

The date is November 3 for Japan.

Kazunori came out to talk. He showed the game’s My Home section, including details on how to access messages, logs, mail, photo album, gifts a friends list and more. You’ll be able to access the game’s My Home section from the internet.

Another video was shown, including night racing in the wet and dry. The night stuff looked incredible, to be honest.

He then showed X1 Prototype, a car that isn’t concerned with racing regulations. it was black. It was fast. It wasn’t on the screen for very long. It’s in the game, obviously.

And on it went. Koei Tecmo came out next, showing off a video compilation of the last ten years’ worth of Dynasty Warriors games before announcing Dynasty Warriors 6 as a PS3 exclusive. More info will be released next month.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Duke Nukem Forever coming 2011 on PlayStation 3

I can't believe it's finally happening! Duke Nukem Forever is being released in 2011! And the best part is that it's coming to PlayStation 3, it has always been a PC game, so I'm very happy! When the game was "canceled" last year I was very sad, and when the rumors started that it might still be released, but by another developer, I thought that this is the only chance for it to be released on PS3. 

I will buy Duke Nukem Forever on the release day, even if it will get bad reviews (I don't think it will), and play the single and multiplayer campaign and feel nostalgia. I think the multiplayer will be bad ass! This is awesome news! I'm really looking forward to this game. I have since 1997.

Below is an atricle from Joystiq.

Duke Nukem Forever coming '2011' on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 & PC, courtesy of Gearbox

It's finally, really, actually ... maybe going to happen at this point. The rumors are true: Gearbox Software and 2K Games have taken on the Herculean task of completing and releasing 3D Realms' unfinished Duke Nukem Forever. The project was officially unveiled today at PAX during a livestreamed  presentation at the 2K Games booth and announced for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC. "It's coming out in 2011," Gearbox president Randy Pitchford said during the presentation. (Of course, we're skeptical about any release date associated with this particular title.)

Gearbox began finishing Duke Nukem Forever in late 2009, according to The Wall Street Journal. "Clearly the game hadn't been finished at 3D Realms but a lot of content had been created," Pitchford told WSJ.

"We're in the polishing phase now. This is a game where we can not make a promise we can not fulfill," Pitchford added. "We need to get past the shock and awe, and then we can go to all the retailers and first parties and work out a launch plan."

Duke Nukem Forever is a sequel to Duke Nukem 3D and will feature both a single-player campaign and multiplayer. "Aliens come and say they're going to be our friends, and Duke knows this isn't going to work out," Pitchford revealed of the plot. "Duke once again is in the pivotal spot and it's up to him to save the world."

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

MTV calls A Thousand Suns “Linkin Park’s ‘Kid A’”

Mike posted an article from MTV were they talk about Linkin Park's new album A Thousand Suns. They had great things to say about the album, and I agree to what they are saying because I know it's true.

Read the post below, it comes straight from Mike's blog.

“According to legend, in August of 2000, a group of clearly terrified Capitol Records executives were outfitted with headphones, loaded into a series of unmarked vans and driven down the Pacific Coast Highway, where they listened to Radiohead’s Kid A for the first time. It was an inspired — not to mention particularly apt — premiere for the album, and though the whole thing is rather apocryphal, it certainly made for nice copy at the time.

I only mention that because in August of 2010, a clearly relaxed Warner Bros. publicist sat me down in her office and allowed me one of the first listens to Linkin Park’s A Thousand Suns. There were no headphones or unmarked vans or winding, windswept vistas — budgetary cuts, one can only assume — just an iced coffee and a notepad, which was sort of a shame, because if ever there was an album that deserves the Radiohead treatment, it’s this one. Since, as you’ll probably discover in the coming weeks, A Thousand Suns is most definitely Linkin Park’s Kid A…completely different from the band’s previous efforts that it will almost certainly stand as the line of demarcation between everything that came before and everything that will come after…”

A big thank you to James Montgomery for the flattering (and ballsy) piece.  Read the whole article here.