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Linkin Park is quick to aid Haiti

January 21, 2010 |  1:40 pm

LINKIN_PARK_HAITI The L.A. band enlists the support of Slash, Peter Gabriel and others for a benefit album, available at its Music for Relief website.

Los Angeles-based hard rock act Linkin Park hadn't planned to resurrect a 3-year-old unfinished song, but in the days after the devastating Jan. 12 earthquake in Haiti, the band went scouring through its vaults, eventually finding and completing the track "Not Alone" at 3 a.m. last Sunday.

The song, which was released online late Tuesday, is now the leadoff cut on the band's "Download for Haiti" digital-only benefit compilation. Artists including the All-American Rejects, guitarist Slash, Enrique Iglesias, the Dave Matthews Band and rapper Lupe Fiasco contributed to the album, available for free on the website Music for Relief, Linkin Park's disaster-relief charity.

Fans are encouraged to donate after downloading the album.

Linkin Park bassist Dave "Phoenix" Farrell said the band wanted to give people a way to help the cause -- all the proceeds from the compilation will be given to disaster relief efforts -- without having to open their wallets.

"Even if you can't donate a dollar, or you aren't willing to up front, you can still be a part of the effort by helping to get the word out," Farrell said.

"Maybe that means that if one person, for whatever reason, doesn't have the ability to donate themselves, they may be able to reach a community that can. I didn't want the project to stop at a certain point because of a cost barrier."

The band launched the nonprofit Music for Relief after returning from a 2005 tour of Southeast Asia and glimpsing firsthand the relief efforts in the wake of the region's 2004 tsunami. In the years following, Music for Relief has donated money to environmental agencies as well.

With its Haiti efforts, Music for Relief will be raising funds for the United Nations Foundation, Habitat for Humanity and the Dave Matthews Band's Bama Works Fund's Haitian relief effort.

The act hasn't ruled out a benefit concert, either, though at the moment such an event is unlikely.

"I want to be involved well past the six-month window that this is in the news," Farrell said.

He said the band used its own contacts, as well as those of its management, to reach out to a broad range of artists. Responses, he said, were immediate; Peter Gabriel got back to the band within an hour with his track.

"It's tough to get in contact with all these people," Farrell said. "That's usually something that's very difficult. But for this project, it came together really well."

It's possible, Farrell said, that a second volume could be released at some point, because responses are still coming back to the band. Lupe Fiasco, for instance, was a late Tuesday night addition.

"My desire for Music for Relief is for it to be an organization that lives and resides in the music community," Farrell said. "It is not a Linkin Park thing. It's informed and it grows with different artists and fans that get involved with it. It's an entity that is bigger than Linkin Park."

--Todd Martens

NOT ALONE: The band, which includes Chester Bennington, left, and Mike Shinoda, has given fans a way to donate to Haiti relief efforts. Credit: Christina Cotter / Los Angeles Times