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The Star Ledger PR08 Article

Friday, February 11, 2005

Music festival spotlights 'revolutionary' bands

July 2008
Grunge-rock band Soundgarden was featured on the second Lollapalooza tour in 1992, along with everyone from the Red Hot Chili Peppers to Pearl Jam, Ministry and Ice Cube.

"We started playing on each other's songs and it just became, like, the most fun tour that I could see having," says former Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell.

Cornell likens that musically eclectic tour to this year's Projekt Revolution tour, where he co-stars with acts like rock/hip-hop hybrid Linkin Park, manic rapper Busta Rhymes, punk-metal band Atreyu and the electronica-influenced rock band The Bravery. The tour comes to Camden on Saturday and Holmdel on Wednesday.

Linkin Park rapper Mike Shinoda thinks the comparison is apt, too.

"That was probably one of those tours that this tour is in part inspired by because, at least for me, that was one of my favorite concerts," he says.

Linkin Park has organized and headlined Projekt Revolution tours in five of the last seven years. The original idea, Shinoda says, was "to showcase groups that were doing something revolutionary, something original, something different."

On a more basic level, the mix reflects "the kind of music that our band listens to," Shinoda says. "That's why we reach out to these bands in the first place."

Though Projekt Revolution has generally not shown much interest in artists who have been active for more than 20 years, an exception was made for Cornell, whose stint in the extremely influential Soundgarden was followed by one in another successful group, Audioslave (also featuring three members of Rage Against the Machine). His last album, "Carry On" (2007), was a solo effort.

"He's got one of the most original voices in rock, an original style, and has done many different things that I think a lot of young kids look up to and say, 'That's really cool, that's really different, and I want to do something like that some day,'" Shinoda says. "That's really the spirit of the tour. Even if you're the first band on the bill, we hope that some day fans can look back and say, 'Oh, I remember the first time I saw so and so. This is a band that I knew was going to be doing something great and different in the future.'"

Cornell says that opening for Linkin Park on an Australian mini-tour last year helped convince him to sign up for Projekt Revolution.

"It wasn't my audience and I had to go out and earn the respect of these people every night," he says. "It was a great, refreshing feeling. It wasn't preaching to the choir. So the idea of putting the two together, where it's a festival and also I'm getting to tour with Linkin Park ... was just something that really appealed to me. "

The traveling festival has two stages. Linkin Park, Cornell, Busta Rhymes, The Bravery and Ashes Divide are on the main stage at night, while the smaller Revolution Stage presents Atreyu, 10 Years, Hawthorne Heights and Armor for Sleep in the afternoon. Street Drum Corps, a percussion ensemble that Shinoda describes as a punk-rock Blue Man Group, will perform on both stages.

"Last year we had Madina Lake open the show, and I've never seen so many people show up so early for a show," Shinoda says. "The Revolution Stage area was packed as soon as the doors opened. It was like a flood of people came in from the very beginning.

"I think that that's going to happen again this year with Armor for Sleep opening up. At the same time it makes it a little trickier for the people who play later, because now all the fans (are) tired and we have to work extra hard to get them into the set and keep them excited."

thanks to lptimes.com