Chester Bennington and Linkin Park Co-Headline 2012 Honda Civic Tour with Incubus. - Interview

The 2012 Honda Civic Tour showcases two big named bands in Incubus and Linkin Park. The veteran bands will be joined by Mutemath, who just released their third album, “Odd Soul.” Past Honda Civic Tours have featured the likes of Black Eyed Peas and Paramore and this year’s event promises to be just as spectacular. Chester Bennington, the opinionated front man of Linkin Park, shared his thoughts with 2012 Honda Civic Tour.

I think the most special thing about this tour is the fact that you have two headlining bands singing together on one bill, which typically can be kind of hard to do, specifically, because usually when you’re in a position to headline a tour of this kind, there’s only room for one headlining band. So, the fact that Incubus gets to come out and perform a full headlining set and Soul Production and Linkin Park get to come out and perform our full headlining set with personal production and everything is kind of special.

Past Honda Civic Tours have been committed to green energy, and this year’s festival is no different, partnering with Power The World (, which raises awareness about people who have no access to energy.

The things that are very important to us at this point are really making sure that our tours are as environmentally friendly as possible and also giving back to our local community as well as the world community that has been so good to us.

Bennington continued on about the specifics regarding Linkin Park and a “green” environment.

If we can counterbalance some things or offset some things that we’re doing just naturally through the way that we do things on a daily basis and if we can make that more efficient and less wasteful, then we can provide families with renewable energy sources so they don’t have to burn garbage; they don’t have to burn dung. Those things actually go a really long way in terms of helping with the recovery process of a natural disaster. So, for example, if a community is deforesting the areas around their villages, and let’s say a hurricane hits, OK, now all of a sudden not only did the wind destroy the homes that so many people are living in, but it’s also now creating flooding and mudslides and all of that kind of stuff. Those things become very difficult and very costly and time-consuming in terms of the recovery project. So if we can encourage people to use the solar-powered light bulbs, for example, that we’re giving out, via Power the World, instead of chopping down trees, when that hurricane does hit, it’s amazing how roots will hold the soil together.

Linkin Park debuted in 1996 and the band has sold more than 50 million records worldwide. With the ever changing music industry, Bennington said this about the secret to longevity and how to stay motivated.

(Photo by James Minchin)

I kind of wonder, you know people ask me questions like, you see the Rolling Stones or guys who have been doing this for 50 years, do you see yourself doing this at their age? And in my mind I know that however long I live until the day I die I’m probably going to feel mentally immature. And physically old (laughs). But my brain’s not going to be calculating, ‘Oh, I’m 70 years old.’ It’s like, ‘What do you mean I’m almost done? Aagh! I just got started.’ And so I think that it will become a bit more difficult for me to perform a few songs on a roster that I did so easily through my twenties and thirties. You know? When I’m 70 I don’t know if I’ll be screaming ‘Victimized’ at anybody. Hopefully that will be the case, but I doubt it. That’s one of the things that’s so interesting about our business. None of us are guaranteed that anyone can come to one of our shows or care about the last record we put out. I personally, throughout my own career, every record that we go into, I look at like this is our very first album and this is the best representation of what we are. And either people are going to love it or they’re going to hate it. Or not care. And so you know, that’s what happens. We take the creative gamble and we write music that we feel passionate about and that we feel is important.

The band’s new album, “Living Things” features 12 tracks that will satisfy any fan of Linkin Park. Bennington mentioned the song, “Victimized,” which appears on the new effort. In terms of songwriting, the singer/songwriter said this about the process.

Well, each song is so different. One of us could be inspired by the sound of a popping engine of a car that goes by. Everyone’s like, ‘Oh, that’s awesome,’ and you try to create that sound in the studio. And all of a sudden that creates a beat, and the next thing you know Mike (Shinoda) is rapping over it, and the melody pops in my head. Creativity in the studio is such a weird substance. It’s a weird sticky thing that grows when it feels like it. And so it’s very cool when it happens. And this is one of those songs that Mike came in with this kick ass beat and I loved it. It was so cool. And we looked at each other and we knew exactly what the song needed. And so I think I started yelling something like ‘Fuck’ or something over it, and we were sort of laughing about how funny it would be if that was like the chorus, and then I think it was Mike or maybe Brad (Delson), but someone in the band was like, ‘Just pick like one word; that could be like one really good word,’ and I think someone threw out ‘victimized’ and I was like, ‘That’s great.’ And I just ran in the studio and just kind of screamed ‘victimized’ over it. And then kind of the most obvious line to come after screaming victimized was ‘never again.’ And then that was it. It was pretty much that simple. I mean that song kind of was done at that point in terms of what I needed to contribute to the song. And I think the verses are some of Mike’s best. I think the rapping on this record for Mike is the best that he’s ever done. I mean, there’s a swagger to his whole vibe and a confidence that I don’t think I’ve seen from him before. So I think that also adds to the heaviness of the song, too, the vibe that Mike is sending out.

Check out the Honda Civic Tour at the following dates:

(* Incubus will not be on the following dates.)

8/11 Bristow, VA @ Jiffy Lube Live*
8/12 Uncasville, CT @ Mohegan Sun Arena*
8/14 Boston, MA @ Comcast Center
8/15 Wantaugh, NY @ Nikon Jones Beach
8/17 Camden, NJ @ Susquehanna Bank Center
8/19 Atlanta, GA @ Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
8/21 Detroit, MI @ The Palace of Auburn Hills
8/22 Cincinnati, OH @ Riverbend Music Center
8/24 Chicago, IL @ First Midwest Bank Ampitheatre
8/25 Indianapolis, IN @ Klipsch Music Center
8/27 Dallas, TX @ Gexa Energy Pavilion
8/28 Houston, TX @ Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
8/30 Denver, CO @ Comfort Dental Amphitheatre
9/5 Tacoma, WA @ Tacoma Dome
9/7 Mountain View, CA @ Shoreline Amphitheatre
9/8 Carson, CA @ Home Depot Center
9/10 San Diego, CA @ Cricket Wireless Amphitheatre


Jason Tanamor is the Editor of Zoiks! Online. He is also the author of the novels, "Hello Lesbian!" and "Anonymous." Email Jason at
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