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Pittsburgh Tribune Review PR08 Article

Friday, February 11, 2005

Projekt Revolution Looks to Stir Things Up Musically

July 2008
The past few years have seen an increase in the number of destination-tours, from Coachella in California to Bonarroo in Tennessee to the Newport Folk Festival in Rhode Island.

But with gas prices soaring and the cost of travel becoming prohibitive, Projekt Revolution, which stops Friday at the Post-Gazette Pavilion, is looking to be one of the more attractive musical alternatives of the summer.

Now in its fifth year, Projekt Revolution is "obviously not an Ozzfest," Linkin Park's Mike Shinoda said during a conference call in April to promote the tour. "It's not a Warped Tour. Some of the bands on this bill have played those tours, but I think that really what Projekt Revolution ... when we started this tour, our idea was to showcase groups that were doing something revolutionary, something original, something different -- either now or they're known for that over time. And obviously, that's something we've always tried to do."

That meshes with Linkin Park's goal to present a range of artists, from rock to alternative to rap. Previous tours have featured Snoop Dogg and Korn, and this year, that same variety is present. Notably, the addition of hip-hop star Busta Rhymes adds another element to a show that features one of the godfathers of the grunge scene, Chris Cornell.

Cornell said festivals are the perfect vehicle for him at this point in his career.

"For me, it's kind of ideal, because being a solo artist after all this time and having two bands, three bands, really, that I released records with as well as a lot of solo material, it's a lot of diversity," he said. "And I noticed in the last year, playing festivals worked really well for me because I can mix it up and do some of the heavier rock that I've written, as well as turn around and do songs where I'm just singing and playing acoustic guitar."

That kind of musical freedom is, in part, what prompted The Bravery to sign on to Projekt Revolution.
"You're not seeing the same exact kind of band over and over and over again," said The Bravery's Sam Endicott, "but, instead, you're seeing a wide range of style. ... And so I think it's really good for that reason."

Cornell said this tour reminds him a bit of the early days of Lollapalooza, when he was in Soundgarden. The band joined that festival in 1992, with Pearl Jam, Ministry, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Ice Cube, and Cornell thought it "was going to be about me, and I want the world of rock to check me out."
His ego was quickly thwarted. Night after night during his set, Ice Cube would call out members of other bands to join him onstage. Night after night, Cornell would stand by the stage expectantly, waiting to be selected. When he finally was beckoned by Ice Cube, it was, "Soundgarden guy, come up on the stage."
Cornell said he never forgot that moment, that, "In fact, I'm way down on the list and I'm going to have to suck it up and learn about the craft, and learn about just enjoying playing music and just getting involved in it on that end."

Shinoda hopes there are moments like that, where the unexpected happens every night. In April, he wasn't even sure what the Linkin Park set list would look like, although he did allow that singer Chester Bennington was collaborating with the Street Drum Corps, a highly percussive band from Los Angeles that has been described as "punk-rock Stomp."

"Overall, if you like the music of the bands on the bill, then that's where we'll start," Shinoda said. "And after that, we'll try to build on that, make something more exciting than just coming to see the bands play."

thanks to lptimes.com