Singer Chester Bennington says he feels his multiplatinum, Grammy Award-winning band, Linkin Park, which performs Tuesday night at Jones Beach, has created its most straightforward rock record ever with "The Hunting Party," but he also is pleased when told it is one of the group's most sonically diverse.
"I think a lot of [curent rock] bands are unrelatable to a mass audience, and when they are relatable in terms of a hooky melody, the lyrics are typically bad," he said. "There are a few bands out there doing cool, interesting things, but there's just not that many, and I feel we're in a unique position to fill that void a little bit."
"The Hunting Party" also is probably the band's most intense release. "We wanted to bring that anger, but there's nothing more unbelievable than a successful 30-year-old rock star complaining about nobody understanding him," admits Bennington. "When we started writing lyrical content for this record, we wanted to talk about things that we could relate to. What are the things that are worth fighting for in this world? When you ask that question in particular, it raises up all these things that you love and all these things that make you angry. What is it that you fight for? You fight for your family, you fight for the safety of your community, you fight for human rights, you fight for fair treatment of women . . . all of these different things that really get you going."
Putting their money where their mouths are, so to speak, one dollar per ticket sold on the current Carnivores Tour will benefit Music for Relief, a disaster relief and environmental restoration organization the band founded in 2005.
Bennington may take his lyrics seriously, but he also knows how to lighten up. He loves the recent wave of satirical music videos that have mocked bands like Disturbed, Kiss, and yes, Linkin Park.
"I think they're hilarious," he says. "A lot of them are meant to be funny, and I make music for a living, so how seriously can I really take myself and what I do? Even if it's done in a mean sense, it doesn't matter because that means somebody who hates my guts spent hours or even weeks building something. To think that someone would obsess about something that they don't like to the point where they spend all their time talking about it or relating to it in some way is really funny."
WHAT Carnivores Tour, with Linkin Park, AFI and Thirty Seconds to Mars
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WHEN | WHERE 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Nikon at Jones Beach Theater