Imagine opening your birthday presents by yourself, alone. Imagine having no one to look in the eye, sharing the excitement of each new thing.

Now imagine opening those presents, surrounded by the people you love. There’s something better about sharing an exciting moment with other people.

Growing up, when one of my favorite bands released a new album, it was an event.  I used to leave school at lunchtime with my friends to drive to the store and buy it.  We would rip open the packages and put one in, and listen to it together, eating lunch in the car.  We would shout over the music, rewind our favorite parts, play songs over.  It recently occurred to me how sad it is that so much of that experience has been lost.  Albums leak, release dates are spread out over the course of weeks, and often, people hear an album alone, on pathetic computer speakers.  True, they tweet, text, and chat about it, but the magic isn’t as magical.

Our new album LIVING THINGS comes out in the US on June 26. It hits the shelves in a number of other countries on June 22. And it’s no secret that the album will likely leak a week or two prior. We want to issue a challenge to our fans: make the LIVING THINGS release date a special event for yourself.

When the album leaks, ignore it.

You’ll only have to wait a few days. Then, at midnight of the release date in your country, listen to the album from front to back. If you can, listen to it with friends.  Have a party.  Drive somewhere.  Enjoy yourself. If you decide to download the album leak rather than purchase the album, fine. This challenge still applies to you.  This is not about downloading, it’s about deciding to have more fun.

However you get the album, document the day. Take photos of you buying the album and putting the CD in your car, downloading it and listening to it on your iPod, streaming it and playing it on your stereo. Tweet your photos to us @linkinpark with the hashtag #LIVINGTHINGSRELEASEDAY. We’ll retweet our favorites.

We want LIVING THINGS release day to be as special for you as it will be for us. Challenge yourself to hold out, and we’ll all share in the excitement together.  For the record, I’ll be celebrating on the 26th, so if you want to celebrate with me, come find me on Twitter.

@m_shinoda

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Comment by Barbara Brown on June 6, 2012 at 11:48pm

Wonderful idea!! I accept this challenge and can't wait to get my LIVING THINGS CD on  June 26! I don't care for leaks because they take away from the experience and I will truly be celebrating this release with you Mike Shinoda along with friends and fans all over. Thanks so much for making this a spectacular event!

Comment by Ruben Garcia on June 6, 2012 at 9:17pm
I think it's great that Mike took the time to remind of of this great experience. Thanks Mike :)
Comment by Michael on June 6, 2012 at 8:20pm

This is fantastic. I was already trying to get some friends together on the 26th for the album release, but now that I know the idea is Mike Shinoda approved I'm doing it for sure. Only problem is I have an exam that day and the day after so I don't know about the whole midnight thing.

Comment by Hailey on June 6, 2012 at 7:44pm

Challenge accepted.

Comment by Wulan B'dellianAdith on June 6, 2012 at 7:38pm

I don't do leaks,cuz i won't ruin any surprises,so yeah i definitely take the challenge :D,thanks for posting it Mike!!!

Comment by Ana A. on June 6, 2012 at 7:08pm

There should be listening parties for fans then. :) http://www.linkinpark.com/forum/topics/living-things-release-day-ch...

Comment by Tiago on June 6, 2012 at 5:17pm

This is exactly what I'm used to do. When ATS came out I've ignored the leaked versions, and also I've ignored my country's realease date, just to get the album in the exact day that the band announced, and IT TOTALLY WORTH IT!!!

Comment by Alia on June 6, 2012 at 4:27pm

Challenge accepted. Cousins count as friends right... :D

Comment by Matheus Andrade on June 6, 2012 at 4:15pm

This day will be unforgettable!!

I'm checking everyday if the Linkin Park posted something!!But The Challenge was accepted!!This will be very difficult,but there is one way to do this!!I won't use the computer until 26th!!!Here in Brazil,I will ignore all the things until 26th!!!!

LINKIN PARK{LIVING THINGS}

Comment by Carlo Adrian Bengco on June 6, 2012 at 4:05pm

Challenge accepted!!! I'll ignore any leaks. I'll make the Living Things release day as special and magical as you imagined the way it would be. Hey! That would be a great idea. Whenever the album will be released here in the Philippines, I'll still be celebrating on the 26th. Thanks, Mike! I swear that day will be special

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