Linkin Park Biography

Linkin Park Biography

Linkin Park (sometimes typeset as LIИKIИ PARK to fit their most well-known logo) is a metal/rapcore band from Los Angeles, California.

Biography

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 Theory album.

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 early 2000.

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.


Linkin Park Video
 

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 alone.

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 released.

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 Records.

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 unknown.

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 interactive booklets.

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 these schools.





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