Linkin Park‘s A Thousand Suns was released in September of last year, but the band is already working on a follow-up. "We’re in the studio and we’re well on our way to making our next record," frontman Chester Bennington tells Rolling Stone. "I can tell you that we have a lot of good music, a lot of quality songs." The album is once again being produced by Rick Rubin.
In fact, the band is so far along that Bennington says he’d be "shocked" if it doesn’t come out next year – even though until now, the band had released three studio albums in 10 years. But they’ve been shifting their focus to writing new songs, even while on the road. "Mike [Shinoda] and I are out there with our studios – technology, thank God, has gotten to the point when what used to be three refrigerator-sized racks of equipment and a full board the size of a king bed can now fit in my backpack – and we’re working on new music as we’re driving in the car to a venue or in our hotel room, and when we come home, everybody works in their homes," he says. "So we’ve kind of got this groove down to the point we’re kind of having our cake and eating it too."
The band’s new goal: A new album every 18 months. "That would be fucking awesome," Bennington says. Of course, a big part of achieving this new faster pace of releasing music is shorter touring cycles. "Touring for two years is excruciating," he says. "When we would tour for two years even the most resilient person in the band, at the end of that, was fucking miserable."
The band is still very active live though, and one show they’re particularly excited about is coming up August 31 at a secret location in Los Angeles, where they will share the stage with the B’z, Japan’s biggest band. The gig is a fundraiser for their Music for Relief charity, and proceeds will go towards victims of the natural disasters in Japan. For the last few years, Bennington says, the band has been donating a dollar from every ticket they sell to the charity, and fans also donate via Music Relief kiosks at their shows. For the L.A. concert, Linkin Park are inviting the fans who have raised the most money for Music for Relief.