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Linkin Park crosses "New Divide" for "Transformers"

Hard at work on its fourth album, rock band Linkin Park has kept busy on a number of other fronts as well, among them its first movie soundtrack.

In addition to the group’s contributions to the new “Transformers” film, some of its members have solo projects in the works. As for the new Linkin Park album, it likely will come out in 2010, according to co-frontman Mike Shinoda.

“It’s moving,” said Shinoda. “I feel like we’ve been writing a lot. I’d say we’ve got about half the music done, though I shouldn’t say halfway, because who knows how long the next batch of songs will take.”

Shinoda said he expects the album to reflect “an interesting transition” from the sound of 2007’s ” Minutes to Midnight” in part as a result of the band members’ side projects. Singer Chester Bennington ‘s upcoming solo album, “Dead By Sunrise ” — due out this fall — “is much more of a rock album,” Shinoda said, adding that it could take the band in new directions.

At the same time, Shinoda’s rap side project Fort Minor is likely to influence the group’s new material. He acknowledged that rap, which did not play a major role on “Minutes to Midnight,” might be more prominent this time out.

“I think I have some of the Fort Minor energy in me that wants to come out, so you’ll probably hear more rapping on it,” he said. “I don’t know if it’ll be a little or a lot, but I know I’ve been sitting down writing a lot of verses, so there’s a better chance of those making it on the record.”

In spite of all of these influences, the new album, according to Shinoda, will be distinguished from Linkin Park’s previous releases in terms of its genre.

“It’s not going to be ‘Hybrid Theory’,” Shinoda said of the work in progress. “It’s not going to be ‘Minutes to Midnight.’ And if we do it right, it’ll have a cutting-edge sound that defines itself as an individual record separate from anything else that’s out there.”

For now, however, Linkin Park has given its fans “New Divide,” the theme song for “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. As confirmed fans of the toy and cartoon franchise, the group “created a song that we felt fit the spirit of the movie and the characters and also obviously stayed true to the spirit of the band,” according to Shinoda.

Film composer Hans Zimmer adapted “New Divide” into instrumental segments for the film score and Linkin Park worked with Zimmer and Steve Jablonsky on other pieces for the movie.

For Shinoda, the experience was somewhat of a challenge, but still rewarding.

“It was incredible… I’ve never tried to write music to visuals. It’s a type of working that’s new to us, and it’s really fun.”

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