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Linkin Park, Thirty Second to Mars sink teeth into Carnivores Tour

Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

Posted: Friday, August 29, 2014

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Linkin Park's teaming with Thirty Seconds to Mars for this summer's Carnivores Tour is an inspired modern rock pairing.

And it's hardly an accident.

According to singer Chester Bennington, forces have been pushing Linkin Park and 30STM -- formed and fronted by Academy Award-winning actor Jared Leto -- together for quite some time. "We've been very close to our fan base for a very long time, asking them questions and seeing who they wanted us to tour with," explains Bennington, 38. "We decided to poll our fans to see who they'd like us to tour with, and five or six times in a row I think Thirty Seconds to mars has either been the most popular band they wanted to see us tour with or No. 2. I've never seen them out of the top three.

"So it's been a long time that our fans wanted to see us tour together."

Bennington adds that the two bands share a "professional" relationship, though he's been friends with Leto "for a few years now...Not only has Thirty Seconds to Mars grown tremendously over the last several years into not only a great studio band writing great songs, but they're amazing live. And so, y'know, I think for us at this point our fans are really excited to see us play with Thirty Seconds to Mars."

The admiration is mutual according to 30STM's Tomo Milicevic, who was raised in Troy and graduated from Troy Athens High School. "It's a good vibe," says Milicevic, 34. "We toured with Linkin Park several years ago in Europe, which was good for our band. Those guys, they run such a great touring ship. Everything runs so smoothly. If you're going t spend six weeks with people in America, touring, you might as well spend it with good people to be around."

The Carnivores tour title has created some minor issues, however.

"Yeah, me and Jared are both vegans," Milicevic reports with a laugh, "and I'm pretty sure Davey Hovok from (opening act) AFI is beyond vegan; he's on the borderline extreme of activist vegan. We were out to dinner the other night with Mike (Shinoda of Linkin Park), and he was joking that he didn't realize there were 23 people on the tour who are full vegan.

"It's become a bit of a joke, but (Shinoda) has been explaining to everybody it's get nothing to do with that. But he know he set himself up." Shinoda has, in fact, described the tour name as "a metaphor that is meant to convey an appetite for something visceral and substantive. I feel that's exactly the hunger this tour will feed."

The Carnivores outing catches Linkin Park and 30STM at different stages of the campaigns for their respective latest albums. For 30STM it's the last North American run in support of its third album, 2013's "Love, Lust, Faith and Dreams," which debuted at No. 6 on the Billboard 200 and has launched the hits "Up in the Air" and "City of Angels." The group will finish out the year playing in South America and South Africa, with plans to start working on a follow-up in 2015.

For Linkin Park, meanwhile, is on its first road trek for its sixth studio album, "The Hunting Party," which was the sextet's first album not to debut at No. 1 since its 2000 debut "Hybrid Theory." But Shinoda says that's not something he or his bandmates are freaking out about.

"Although it didn't debut at No. 1 in the States, it debuted at No. 1 in...67 countries, so I don't feel like that's anything near a failure," explains Shinoda, 37, who co-produced the album. "But some friends of mine in the U.S. said, 'Hey, I heard. Sorry about that, you guys didn't get to No. ! on the charts'...

"I feel like the Billboard chart is for one thing; it's for first-week albums sales, and this is not really a first-week album sales kind of album. It's a statement album. It's a live album, an album that's meant to be taken to the stage, which is what we're doing now."

The Carnivores Tour with Linkin Park, Thirty Seconds to Mars and AFI

6:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 30

DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road east of I-75, Independence Township

Tickets are $40.50-$100.50 pavilion, $25 lawn

Call 248-377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com

Web Site: www.palacenet.com

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