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Music: Revolution returns 

Linkin Park bringing new friends for festival

Last year, Linkin Park brought along a handful of acts – including My Chemical Romance, HIM and Taking Back Sunday – for their Projekt Revolution Tour. Now in its fifth year, Chris Cornell, The Bravery, Ashes Divide, Atreyu, 10 Years, Hawthorne Heights, Armor for Sleep and Street Drum Corps will be tagging along for the ride.

"I think, originally, we were inspired by the great festivals that happened in Europe and the ones that we've played overseas," Linkin Park's Mike Shinoda says during a conference call. "I think that there is definitely a certain niche that we feel this tour fills."

On a tour such as this one, a fan can only hope for collaborations, but most of the time, they'll at least be treated to new material. Last year, Linkin Park performed "Qwerty," a song which has not yet been released. The band is still touring to support their 2007 release, Minutes to Midnight.

Chris Cornell, who released his second solo album, Carry On, last year, is no stranger to the idea of a large traveling festival. Cornell, the former frontman for Soundgarden and Audioslave, played at Lollapalooza three different times. He's currently working on new material and hopes to break out some of it on the tour. His last tour, which stopped in Charlotte last year, featured solo material as well as songs from both of his previous bands.

"As far as the Linkin Park set goes, we've been trying to build in as much wiggle room for improvisation and kind of screwing around with existing songs," Shinoda says.

He also hints at the involvement of the Street Drum Corps into more of the band's sets. "Chester [Bennington of Linkin Park] has been talking to those guys about actually how and when to play," Shinoda says. "I'm not sure if we'll sprinkle them throughout the show or maybe they might play with us a little bit."

While the Projekt Revolution Tour in the past has had a hip-hop act on the bill such as Snoop Dogg, this year, Shinoda was hard-pressed to find anyone who was available. It should also be noted, though, that Cornell is currently working on his third solo album, with Timbaland producing.

"Lupe Fiasco, Gnarls Barkley and Kanye -- these folks are out on the road doing their own things," Shinoda says. "I think if there had been a place for those guys on this tour, maybe that would have worked out. Hopefully, we'll be able to do a show with some of those guys at a later time, but that's not going to be this year."

As far as those who are participating, Shinoda sees it as an opportunity for music fans to check out bands they might not ordinarily see live. "The good news is that fans love the lineup and want to come out early, and I think that's going to happen again this year," he says. "At the same time, it makes it a little trickier for the people who play later because now all the fans have been there since 11 [a.m.], they're tired, and we have to work extra hard to get them into the set and keep them excited, which we're happy to do."

Aside from the music, some proceeds from this tour will go to Music for Relief. "Essentially with these tours, we've been trying to make them a little more green," Shinoda says. "We've also been trying to donate money from the tours to different organizations that we think are helping out."

Projekt Revolution will be at Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre on July 30.

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