Linkin Park have launched a mysterious countdown on their website, alongside some old-school throwbacks.
- READ MORE: “We wanted to make something different”: the impact of Linkin Park’s ‘Hybrid Theory’, 20 years on
Linkin Park’s official website now invites fans to “download a free copy of LiNkiNgPaRk-nUmB.exe” by way of an online pop-up inspired by the Internet aesthetic of the early 2000s. If you decline, more pop-ups appear.
Once you agree to download the file, you’ll be taken to a screen showing a countdown, which is due to hit zero at 8pm GMT on Wednesday February 1.
The website also displays a message that says “DETECTED_MEMORY_CORRUPTION_LiNkiNgPaRk-nUmB.exe,” once again referencing Linkin Park’s 2003 hit ‘Numb’, which was lifted from second album ‘Meteora’. It also nods to a Simpsons meme that went viral in the late 2010s, poking fun at the now-defunct torrenting platform Limewire (which in the early 2000s, was notorious for being riddled with viruses disguised as MP3 downloads).
Both the official Linkin Park Twitter account and vocalist Mike Shinoda have directed fans towards the website.
— MikEsHinoDa.exe (@mikeshinoda) January 27, 2023
Some fans are speculating Linkin Park could be gearing up to release an expanded version of ‘Meteora’ in honour of the album’s 20th anniversary. Back in 2020, the band reissued debut album ‘Hybrid Theory’ across multiple formats. The anniversary edition of that record featured unreleased tracks.
Last May, Linkin Park unveiled a new, deluxe edition of their 2007 album ‘Minutes To Midnight’.
The band have been on hiatus since the 2017 death of frontman Chester Bennington, but last year said they planned to communicate with their fans “a little more regularly” moving forward.
It comes after Shinoda told fans that the band’s surving members were still in regular contact. “The only Linkin Park news I have for you is that… Yeah, we talk every few weeks – I talk to the guys, or some of the guys,” Shinoda said on a Twitch stream last Spring. “And there’s no tours, there’s no music, there’s no albums in the pipeline. Okay, so let me just tell you that. So just keep in your minds that that is not happening.”
“I’m just gonna say that much for now,” he continued. “I say that because anytime the band says anything or does anything, everyone tries to start up the hype train, and we’re, like, ‘No, no, no, no. Don’t start up the hype train.’ You’re gonna disappoint yourself. Don’t do that.”
Back in 2019, Shinoda shot down reports that Linkin Park were actively looking for a new frontman.
Last year, Machine Gun Kelly paid tribute to late Linkin Park frontman and “great human being” Chester Bennington during his concert at OVO Arena Wembley in London. “The last time I saw him was here in Europe, so I encourage you, because life is short, to go live this life,” he said. “I know it’s hard, man. I know this shit is fucking hard. But nights like tonight make life worth it.”