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 Josh Gee on June 6, 2012 at 4:04pm

i still try to embrace those moments, i remember when meteora released, i was a senior in high school with no license or vehicle, i had to beg my friend to take me to circuit city, we jammed the cd the whole way home, and then a couple more times when i got home haha

Comment by Yoshiko on June 6, 2012 at 3:48pm

Thank you Mike for posting this.

I used to go to Sister Ray in Soho in London at lunch time every Monday to check new releases. Sometimes even to Rough Trade in Covent Garden.  I loved it.  Ah… good old days.  It is true, that kind of excitement or magic has gone.  Anyway,  I will be waiting for my pre-ordered package on 26th, instead of hanging out in record shops, which is a bit sad.  But I know that LP never disappoints me. That’s for sure.  :)

Comment by Yohan on June 6, 2012 at 3:11pm

If I pre-ordered album then when will I be able to celebrate LIVING THINGS release?
It will be a great day :)

Comment by Colton Williams on June 6, 2012 at 12:49pm

I am most defiantly waiting til June 26, I am going to ignore all the leaks and actually wait til the release to make it feel more special! Thank you mike for posting this! Challenge Accepted!!!

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