Linkin Park Biography
(sometimes typeset as LIИKIИ PARK to fit their most
well-known logo) is a metal/rapcore band from Los Angeles, California.
Linkin Park is often considered the most famous and most commercially successful
exponents of the nu metal genre, mainly due to their debut album Hybrid Theory
(2000), which has sold 20 million copies worldwide to date.
In 1996, MC Mike Shinoda and guitarist Brad Delson graduated from Agoura High
School in the Los Angeles suburb of Agoura Hills, California. Upon graduation,
the two men formed a band with their friend, drummer Rob Bourdon, under the
moniker "SuperXero". Previously, Delson and Bourdon were in a band together for
about a year called Relative Degree.
The three members of SuperXero played archaic forms of their music together
while at college. Delson attended the University of California, Los Angeles.
Shinoda went to the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. While
at UCLA, Delson met bassist Dave Farrell. Delson and Farrell were roommates and
often practiced and played together. Previously, Farrell used to play in a band
called Tasty Snax with Mark Fiore, who later changed their name to "The Snax".
Fiore later became Linkin Park's cinematographer. While at the Art Center
College of Design, Shinoda met Joe Hahn.
Farrell and Hahn later joined SuperXero, and the name was shortened to "Xero".
The five men were later joined by lead vocalist Mark Wakefield and, together,
they recorded their first, self-titled demo tape. The tape was sent out to
various record labels but it was never considered and Linkin Park was never
signed. Shortly thereafter, Wakefield left Linkin Park.
After Wakefield left, Shinoda began auditioning for a new vocalist and at the
same time Delson began interning for a Warner Brothers Records A&R
representative named Jeff Blue as part of his communications degree. Blue
alerted Delson and Shinoda to Chester Bennington, a young vocalist from Phoenix
(Arizona) who was looking to join another band, after being the vocalist for
Grey Daze from 1994 to 1997.
Shinoda and Delson sent Bennington a tape containing an instrumental song and he
recorded vocals for it. He then called Shinoda and played the song over the
phone. This was the start of great things to come as Linkin Park was instantly
impressed by the vocal abilities of Bennington and it did not take long to
realize the advantages of his voice and his ability to mould it to be both soft
and thought-provoking as well as hard and attention grabbing.
Once Bennington had joined the group, they attempted to have Linkin Park signed.
Unfortunately, the name was already taken by a 70s and 80s band from Australia
so they changed their moniker to Hybrid Theory and Linkin Park's line-up
solidified — almost. Farrell temporarily left Linkin Park due to previous
commitments with The Snax/Tasty Snax and, as such, wasn't able to record bass
for their first, self-titled EP. Instead, Delson and a bassist named Kyle
Christner played bass. Released in mid-1999, only one thousand copies of the EP
were pressed. Several copies were sent to various record labels, including
Warner Brothers Records. The rest of the copies were given to early members of
Linkin Park's newly formed street team. Farrell was temporarily replaced by
Scott Koziol. Scott appears in the video for "One Step Closer" from the Hybrid
Linkin Park was subsequently signed to Warner Brothers in 1999 thanks to Blue.
However, they were forced to change their name again due to another copyright
issue with a British electronic group called Hybrid. There were several
suggestions for Linkin Park's new name, including Clear, Probing Lagers, Ten
P.M. Stocker (an inside joke for Linkin Park since they were always recording
and practicing material late at night) and Platinum Lotus Foundation.
Bennington eventually suggested the use of Lincoln Park because he would drive
by Lincoln Park in Santa Monica, California (now known as Christine Reed Park),
on his way to the recording studio every day when Linkin Park was recording
demos for its debut album. Bennington thought that it would be a good name for
Linkin Park because there are Lincoln Parks all over the country. He figured
that Linkin Park would be recognized as a local band no matter where they went.
He also liked it because the name had no meaning, allowing the music to describe
itself. However, since the domain name "lincolnpark.com" was already taken and
Linkin Park couldn't afford to purchase it, they changed the spelling from
"Lincoln" to "Linkin" so they could purchase the domain name "linkinpark.com".
On October 24, 2000, Linkin Park's debut album, Hybrid Theory, was released
in the United States. The only track cut from the album was the remake of "High
Voltage", a hip hop song that appeared on Hybrid Theory EP. Several songs from
the EP were re-recorded as demos for Hybrid Theory, but it is unknown whether
the tracks will ever appear as official B-sides or not. The record's first
single was "One Step Closer".
Linkin Park performed in its first nationally-recognized concert on December 17,
2000 as a part of KROQ Radio's Almost Acoustic Christmas concert special.
Shinoda wrote a brand-new song entitled "My December" for the occasion. The song
was released as a B-side on the single for One Step Closer and on several
versions of Hybrid Theory released internationally. It was later featured on a
Christmas album released by KROQ DJs Kevin and Bean.
In early 2001, Farrell joined Linkin Park once again and Linkin Park's second
single, "Crawling", was released and won Linkin Park a Grammy Award for "Best
Hard Rock Performance" in 2002. Linkin Park embarked on its first ever national
festival tour, the Ozzfest, with other acts such as Black Sabbath, Marilyn
Manson, Slipknot, and Zakk Wylde's Black Label Society.
In mid-2001, Linkin Park released its third single, "In the End". The song would
prove to be Linkin Park's biggest hit and was one of the most-spun songs of
2001. The video for the song was directed by Nathan "Karma" Cox and Hahn, and
featured Linkin Park playing atop a massive statue in the rain. The video had a
massive amount of CGI compared to most music videos at the time.
On November 20, 2001, Linkin Park released its first DVD humorously titled Frat
Party at the Pankake Festival. The DVD featured all of Linkin Park's videos up
to this point in their career and featured a documentary of Linkin Park touring
in support of Hybrid Theory. There are also a lot of hidden Easter eggs allowing
viewers to access hidden videos on the DVD, including a studio performance of a
demo of "A Place for My Head" from 1999.
In November, a friend of Linkin Park, Jessica Bardas, suggested forming a fan
club. Linkin Park thought that it was a good idea, and the Linkin Park
Underground (LPU) was born. Members of the fan club receive a package every year
(assuming that they renew their membership) containing a T-shirt, a CD and
several odds and ends, including guitar picks, stickers and posters. The first
CD featured was a re-issue of Hybrid Theory EP, with new artwork.
In early 2002, Linkin Park put together its first headlining tour called Projekt
Revolution. The first leg of the tour featured Adema, Cypress Hill, the Apex
Theory, and DJ Z-Trip. During the course of the tour, Shinoda and Hahn
collaborated with the X-ecutioners on the song "It's Goin' Down". Shortly after
the tour ended, Linkin Park headed back to the studio for the first time since
After being sent several remixes of Linkin Park songs, Shinoda decided to
release a remix album. Initially, Shinoda only wanted to remix a couple of songs
and release an EP. However, thanks to encouragement from his bandmates (Delson
and Hahn especially), Shinoda decided to take the project a step further.
Reanimation album cover (2002)The project, which would take on the name
Reanimation, featured one remix for each song from Hybrid Theory, as well as
remixes of the songs "My December" and "High Voltage". Each song was remixed by
a different artist and there were rumors that there were over fifty remixes that
Shinoda received during the course of the project. Shinoda went through and
listened to each remix, hand-picking the best ones. Only two of the remixes that
didn't make the album were ever released, those being the Crystal Method's remix
of "Points of Authority" (featuring on the CD of the second installment of the
LPU) and Marilyn Manson's remix of "By Myself". The only other confirmed remix
was of "My December" by Team Sleep. The remix was turned away because it made
the song even darker; Shinoda went with the version on the CD because it made
the song seem more up-beat and happier.
Artists featured on the album include Chali 2na of Jurassic 5, Stephen Richards
of Taproot, Kelli Ali of Sneaker Pimps, Aaron Lewis of Staind, the Humble
Brothers, Jonathan Davis of Korn, Aceyalone, Pharaohe Monch, The X-Ecutioners,
Black Thought and Jay Gordon of Orgy.
The project was released on July 30, 2002, and its first and only single was "Pts.of.Athrty"
("Points of Authority") remixed by Jay Gordon.
In November, the second edition of the LPU launched as "Underground 2.0" and the
second package was revealed. The new fan club-only EP features the Crystal
Method's remix of "Points of Authority" and a song called "Dedicated". Also
included is fifty-second instrumental track entitled "A.06".
Linkin Park headed back to the studio in mid-2002 to record their follow-up to
Hybrid Theory. The name of the album was kept a secret until December, where it
was revealed to be named after Meteora, a series of monasteries high atop rock
formations in Greece, which they learned about from looking at pictures in a
travel magazine. "It's this really spiritual, mythical place," Delson said,
"Just looking at those pictures was inspirational to us in terms of how epic it
felt. I think some of the guys hadn't even seen the pictures when they heard the
name Meteora, and they just really responded to the energy of the name. We think
that suitably matches the spirit we tried to create with the record." The
album's first single, "Somewhere I Belong", was released in February of 2003 to
critical acclaim. On March 25, 2003, Meteora was released and debuted at number
one on Billboard's music chart after selling 810,000 copies in its first week.
It has sold nearly 11 million copies worldwide, more than 5 million in the US
Following the release of the album, Linkin Park embarked on its second Projekt
Revolution tour with blindside, Mudvayne and Xzibit. "Faint" was released as a
single toward the end of the tour. Following the second Projekt Revolution,
Linkin Park joined Metallica on their Summer Sanitarium Tour 2003 with Limp
Bizkit, Deftones and, once again, Mudvayne.
Shortly after the Sanitarium tour came to a close, Linkin Park released "Numb"
as a single. They shot a video for the single in Prague, Czech Republic.
Simultaneously, Linkin Park shot a video for the song "From the Inside". Oddly
enough, the video for "From the Inside" was shot before the video for "Numb".
Bennington became ill before the video for "Numb" could be completed, so the
remainder was filmed in a church in Los Angeles.
On November 18, 2003, Linkin Park released a brand-new DVD/CD live set entitled
Live in Texas. The footage was shot while on the Sanitarium tour in Dallas and
Houston, Texas. The DVD combined two live shows together; the video and audio
from both shows was edited together. Because of this, Linkin Park had to wear
the same clothing for both shows on consecutive days. The DVD featured seventeen
songs and the CD featured a selection of twelve of those.
In November, the third edition of the LPU launched. The package's CD contained
the five tracks that were cut from the Live in Texas DVD for its CD. This did
not sit well with many fan club members, who claimed that Linkin Park should
have placed rare songs on the CD (as with year two) instead of the live tracks.
At the end of 2003, Linkin Park performed at its third KROQ Almost Acoustic
Christmas concert. They headlined night two and played a seventeen-song set. At
the end of Linkin Park's set, they played "One Step Closer" and were joined on
stage by P.O.D.'s frontman, Sonny Sandoval.
At the beginning of 2004, Linkin Park set off on its "Meteora World Tour" with
P.O.D., Hoobastank and Story of the Year. Linkin Park claimed that this was the
final leg of the world-wide tour that Linkin Park had been on since Meteora was
During the tour, Linkin Park's video for "From the Inside" was released
internationally. Following the "Meteora World Tour", Linkin Park began work on
their most ambitious music video to date. The video, which was to be based
around the song "Breaking the Habit", featured Japanese-style animation by the
same studio that created the animated scenes in Kill Bill, Production I.G., and
was directed by Kazuto Nakazawa and Hahn. The video featured Bennington's soul
travelling through an old apartment building visiting various people struggling
with various habits that they were trying to break. Some of the habits included
were drug and s--ual abuse. Prior to the release of "Breaking the Habit" as a
single, "Lying From You" was released to radios to serve as a radio-only single.
Linkin Park then set off on its third Projekt Revolution tour. It would prove to
be Linkin Park's most ambitious tour as it included two stages and what Linkin
Park called the Revolution Village. The tour was very similar to the Ozzfest and
the Vans Warped Tour. The main stage featured Linkin Park, Korn, Snoop Dogg, the
Used and Less Than Jake while the second stage featured Ghostface, Funeral for a
Friend, M.O.P., downset., No Warning, instruction and Autopilot Off. DJ Z-Trip
also travelled with the tour, serving as the between-sets entertainment. During
the hip-hop sets, Ivan the Urban Action Figure danced on stage. The Revolution
Village featured lots of entertainment, including video game kiosks, miniature
skate parks, batting cages, remixing stages and more. Projekt Revolution 2004
was the biggest-selling tour of the year.
At the end of 2004, Linkin Park announced a collaboration with Jay-Z at the
request of MTV. The resulting EP, Collision Course, was released on November 30.
It featured mashups of seven Linkin Park songs and six Jay-Z songs. The EP's
first single, "Numb/Encore", peaked at number twenty on the billboard charts and
remained in the charts for six months, going on to win a Grammy. The album
itself debuted at number one on the charts.
The fourth edition of the LPU launched in November. The CD that shipped with the
package featured two new songs; one was a roughly two-minute long instrumental
piece called "Sold My Soul to Yo Mama" by Mr. Hahn, and the other a song called
"Standing in the Middle", a collaboration with Motion Man. "Standing in the
Middle" was originally recorded in 2001 as a "practice" song for Reanimation.
Motion Man was eventually featured on Kutmasta Kurt's reinterpretation of "In
the End", "Enth E ND".
The year 2005 marked a rather quiet year for Linkin Park. Linkin Park
established Music for Relief, an organization dedicated to helping those
affected by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake. It has since expanded to become a
program dedicated to helping those affected by a number of natural disasters,
including Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Linkin Park played two shows in 2005, one
in California for Music for Relief, and one during the Live 8 series of concerts
at the Philadelphia, PA venue. Chester Bennington also played in ReAct Now:
Music & Relief, which was a four and a half concert played on television on
almost all broadcasting channels, in which a number of artists played. Chester
Bennington performed a song which he wrote himself called "Let Down," a slow and
sad song. Jay-Z joined them to perform most of the Collision Course EP.
In May, Linkin Park demanded to be released from its contract with Warner
Brothers on the grounds of "a lack of confidence". Linkin Park was recently in
negotiations with the label over a new record contract. Linkin Park had four
albums left outstanding on its 2000 record contract. In December 2005 Linkin
Park announced that they had finally reached a settlement with Warner Brothers
In July, Shinoda announced a hip-hop side project, Fort Minor. Shinoda explained
the project as a way for him to return to his hip-hop roots. He enlisted the
help of his best and closest friends in the business, including Styles of Beyond
(who are now signed to Linkin Park's label Machine Shop Recordings), Black
Thought of The Roots and Common (some of whom also helped produce the
Reanimation album). Linkin Park's debut album, The Rising Tied was released on
November 22, 2005.
Shortly after Shinoda's announcement of Fort Minor, Bennington was also revealed
to be working on a solo project of his own. The project features Amir Derakh and
Ryan Shuck of Orgy both playing guitar (as well as producing). Little is known
about Bennington's side project other than its name, Snow White Tan. One of Snow
White Tan's songs, "Morning After", is a remake of a song that Bennington wrote
before he joined Linkin Park. Bennington is also involved with Julien-K, a side
project of Derakh and Shuck. It is unknown as to how exactly Bennington is
involved. Bennington also has a cover band called Bucket of Weenies. The release
date for Snow White Tan's debut album is currently unknown.
Linkin Park's fifth installment of the LPU fan club launched on November 21,
2005. The CD shipped with the fifth fan club package featured live tracks from
Linkin Park's performance during Live 8 plus several songs with Jay-Z.
In November, it was revealed by Farrell that Linkin Park had recorded a new song
for the Machine Shop Mixtape series. The song has still yet to be publicly
heard. Mike Shinoda was confirmed as the co-producer for the next Linkin Park
album in December 2005. Shinoda produced the Hybrid Theory EP. On February 8,
2006, Linkin Park announced the producer for their third studio album would be
Rick Rubin, who has worked with such bands as The Beastie Boys, Red Hot Chili
Peppers, System Of A Down and countless others.
During the Grammy Award Ceremony 2006 Linkin Park performed with Jay-Z and Paul
McCartney collaborating on the song "Yesterday". During the Grammy awards,
Rolling Stone had an interview with Chester Bennington, he stated that the new
album will be different from their previous albums, which fused hard rock and
rap. "It's dark and spooky, poppy and very melodic," says Bennington. "Not a
hard, heavy rock record. What it is, is f---ing insane!" Linkin Park has already
come up with fifty new tracks and are in the recording phase of the album. A
report in the New York Post said that Linkin Park is likely to leave their
current agent, "The Firm".
On June 9, 2006, a trailer for a series of new "LPTV" episodes leaked via
YouTube and was brought to public attention by a member at the Linkin Park
Underground message boards. There will be 10 episodes and they will feature
footage from their Meteora World Tour and their work on the new album in the
studio, all of which will be found on Linkin Park's official site soon. A
reported update from Mike says Linkin Park is currently narrowing down the songs
from 100 to about 15, which will result in the album, whose title is currently
The official website recently was closed down for remodeling. However, fans were
treated to being able to watch "Making of..." videos, the whole Live in Texas
concert and all the music videos (excluding all of the rare Reanimation videos
except for Pts.Of.Athrty) that Linkin Park has produced to date, as well as use
the message boards and read news about recent events concerning Linkin Park.
Linkin Park performed live in August 2006 at Summer Sonic, hosted by Metallica
in Japan. A new song, tentatively codenamed QWERTY, leaked on numerous websites
after being played at the concert. The song was significantly different from
their previous work.
On August 29, 2006, the entire catalog of Linkin Park, including their
collaborative work, was finally added to the iTunes music store. The albums
contain extra bonus tracks not found in the physical version as well as
Mike Shinoda said recently in an interview with KROQ that Linkin Park expects
their new album to be released towards the beginning of 2007. This was
reconfirmed in an interview with MTV.com.
Chester Bennington, one vocalist in Linkin Park, made a cameo appearance for the
movie Crank, which was released September 1, 2006. Chester has been codenamed
the stoner pharmacist for the movie. He only says one line in the movie.
Linkin Park, as well as Fort Minor, will be heading to Louisiana on September
10th, 11th, and 12th, to hand out school supplies to 17 different schools
affected by Hurricane Katrina. It is not known if they will perform at any of
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