Meteora earned the band multiple awards and honors. The band won MTV's awards for Best Rock Video ("Somewhere I Belong") and the Viewer's Choice Award ("Breaking the Habit"). Linkin Park also received significant recognition during the 2004 Radio Music Awards, winning the Artist of the Year and Song of the Year ("Numb") awards. Although Meteora was not nearly as successful as Hybrid Theory, it was the third best selling album in America during 2003. The band spent the first few months of 2004 touring around the world, first with the third Projekt Revolution tour, and later several European concerts.
Side projects (2004–2006)
Bennington appears on the band's behalf at MTV Asia Aid
Following Meteora's success, the band postponed working on a new studio album for the next few years. Instead, Linkin Park continued to tour and work on many side projects. Bennington appeared on DJ Lethal's "State of the Art" and other work with Dead by Sunrise, while Shinoda did work with Depeche Mode. In 2004, the band began to work with Jay-Z to produce another remix album, entitled Collision Course. The album, which featured intermixed lyrics and background tracks from both artists' previous albums, debuted in November 2004. Shinoda also formed a new band, Fort Minor, as a side project. With the aid of Jay-Z, Fort Minor released its debut album, The Rising Tied, to critical acclaim. At the same time, the band's relationship with Warner Bros. Records was deteriorating rapidly on account of several trust and financial issues. After months of feuding, the band finally negotiated a deal in December 2005.
Linkin Park also participated in numerous charitable events. Linkin Park helped raise money to benefit victims of Hurricane Charley in 2004 and later hurricane Katrina in 2005. The band donated $75,000 to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation in March 2004. They also helped relief efforts for the 2004 tsunami victims by staging several charity concerts and setting up an additional fund called "Music for Relief". Most notably, however, the band participated at Live 8, a series of charitable benefit concerts set up to raise global awareness. Alongside Jay-Z, the band performed on Live 8's stage in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to a global audience. The band would later be reunited with Jay-Z at the Grammy Award Ceremony 2006, during which they performed "Numb/Encore", en route to winning a Grammy for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration. They would later go on to play at the 2006 Summer Sonic music festival, which was hosted by Metallica, in Japan.
Minutes to Midnight (2006–2008)
Linkin Park in Prague, 2007
Linkin Park returned to the recording studios in 2006 to work on new material. To produce the album, the band chose producer Rick Rubin. Despite initially stating the album would debut sometime in 2006, the album was delayed until 2007. The band had recorded thirty to fifty songs in August 2006, when Shinoda stated the album was halfway completed. Bennington later added that the new album would stray away from its previous nu metal sound. Warner Bros. Records officially announced that the band's third studio album, entitled Minutes to Midnight, would be released on May 15, 2007 in the United States. After spending fourteen months working on the album, the band members opted to further refine their album by removing five of the original seventeen tracks. The album's title, a reference to the Doomsday Clock, foreshadowed the band's new lyrical themes. Minutes to Midnight sold over 600,000 copies in its first week, making it one of the most successful debut week albums in recent years. The album also took the top spot on the Billboard Charts.
The album's first single, "What I've Done" was released on April 2, and premiered on MTV and Fuse within the same week. The single was acclaimed by listeners, becoming the top-ranked song on the Billboard's Modern Rock Tracks and Mainstream Rock Tracks charts. The song is also used in soundtrack for the 2007 action film, Transformers. Later in the year, the band won the "Favorite Alternative Artist" in the American Music Awards. The band also saw success with singles such as "Bleed It Out", "Shadow of the Day", "Given Up", and "Leave Out All the Rest", which were released throughout 2007 and early 2008. The band also collaborated with Busta Rhymes on his single "We Made It", which was released on April 29.
Linkin Park's touring and live shows have, among other things, included a performance at Live Earth Japan on July 7, 2007. and headlining Download Festival in Donington Park, England and Edgefest in Downsview Park, Toronto, Canada. The band completed touring on its fourth Projekt Revolution tour before taking up an Arena tour around the United Kingdom, visiting Nottingham, Sheffield and Manchester, before finishing on a double night at the O2 arena in London. Bennington stated that Linkin Park plans to release a follow-up album to Minutes to Midnight. However, he stated the band will first embark on a United States tour to gather inspiration for the album. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Bennington said that the band had already begun writing new material for the album, and Shinoda too stated that the album could well be released in late 2009. Mike Shinoda also announced a live CD/DVD entitled "Road to Revolution: Live at Milton Keynes", which is a live video recording from the Projekt Revolution gig at the Milton Keynes Bowl the 29th June 2008, which was officially released on the 24th November, 2008.
Future direction (2008 onward)
In October 2008 Shinoda revealed on his blog that he, Phoenix and Hahn had begun working on two song ideas at Hahn's home, with studio recording to begin in earnest soon. In 2008, Bennington announced that Linkin Park's fourth studio release will be a concept album. The band has not released many specific details about the album. In an interview with MTV in November 2008, Bennington stated, "It sounds a little daunting to me, so, I think my confidence level will drop, but when it was presented to us by this friend of ours, we liked the idea. It was an inspiring idea, and it was something we could relate a lot of the things we like to write about to". He also added that the band planned to begin recording in December for a six-week session. The album was expected in mid 2009, but in late March, Mike Shinoda wrote on his blog saying "We're hoping to have Chester's Dead By Sunrise album out this fall, and the new LP album out early next year."
In December 2008, Digidesign gave the band the opportunity to preview the new Pro Tools 8 software. The experiment resulted in an instrumental song performed by Shinoda and Bourdon. The song, entitled "Lockjaw", was made available to the band's fan club as a free download.
In April 2009, Mike Shinoda revealed on his blog that Linkin Park will be working on the score for Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen with successful film composer Hans Zimmer. On May 7th, it was further confirmed that the song recorded for the film is titled "New Divide," and was released as a single on May 18th. A clip from the song can be heard 14 seconds into the new trailer.
In May, 2009, Linkin Park announced that they are working on their fourth album which will be released in 2010, saying that it would be "genre-busting.".
Both Hybrid Theory and Meteora combined the nu metal and rap rock sound with influences and elements from hip-hop, alternative rock, and electronica, utilizing programming and synthesizers. William Ruhlmann from Allmusic regarded it as "a Johnny-come-lately to an already overdone musical style," whereas Rolling Stone called "Breaking the Habit" "risky, beautiful art".
In Minutes to Midnight the band experimented with their established sound and drew influences from a wider and more varied range of genres and styles, a process Los Angeles Times compares to a stage in U2's work. In it, only two of the songs feature rapping, and the majority of the album can be considered alternative rock, rather than nu metal or rap rock. It also is their first studio album to feature guitar solos.
In concert the band has covered songs by artists as varied as The Cure, Deftones, Guns N' Roses, and Nine Inch Nails.
Linkin Park's use of two separate vocalists has become a large part of their music. Chester Bennington is most known for using screaming vocals common in various forms of metal and hardcore, while also using more melodic singing, and was placed 46th in Hit Paraders list of "Heavy Metal's All-Time Top 100 Vocalists".