Kate's Notes

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Linkin Park

Linkin Park

Linkin Park (born 1995) not only broke down barriers, with their blend of old-school hip-hop, traditional classic rock, and spooling electronic vibes, this alternative metal quintet crushed them. Their southern Californian musical roots were also an underlying basis, for drummer Rob Bourdon, guitarist Brad Delson, and MC/vocalist Mike Shinoda formed a tight friendship while still in high school. Shortly after graduation, art student and DJ Joseph Hahn hooked up with bassist Dave "Phoenix" Farrell and Shinoda. After sometime of struggling for representation, the two-time Grammy Award winning “nu metal” band from Los Angeles, California, often credited with being the most successful exponent of the nu metal genre, went onto produce their debut album Hybrid Thoery, which was released in 2000.

It took a little while for audiences to truly recognize the innovation and talent Linkin Park had to offer, but they did with enthusiasm, when in January of 2002 (2 years after its initial release), Linkin Park's first album reached #1 on the Billboard Top 200 chart. Since then they had created a string of successful records, delving into all sorts of cutting-edge mediums, such as their computer graphics based and anime videos, their elaborate tours, and even their collaborations with Jay-Z, which thrust the concept of the “mashup” into the ears of music fans, and moguls alike.

With their next album Minutes to Midnight will be released on May 8, 2007, the world better be ready for what’s coming next.

Early Life

The lineage of Linkin Park all started in 1995 when rapper and MC Mike Shinoda and guitarist Brad Delson graduated from Agoura High School in the Los Angeles suburb of Agoura Hills, California. Upon graduation, they formed a side band with their friend, drummer Rob Bourdon, under the moniker Xero. Previously, Delson and Bourdon were both in previous bands.

The three members of Xero played novice 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. D elson and Farrell were roommates and often practiced and played together. Previously, Farrell played in a band called Tasty Snax, or The Snax with Mark Fiore, who later became Linkin Park's cinematographer.

While at the Art Center College of Design, Shinoda met Joseph Hahn. Farrell and Hahn later joined Xero. The five men were later joined by lead vocalist Mark Wakefield (who had attended high school with Delson and Shinoda) 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 the band was never signed. Shortly thereafter, Wakefield left the band and became a manager for Taproot.

When 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 joining another band, after being the vocalist for Grey Daze from 1993 to 1997.

Shinoda and Delson sent Bennington a tape containing instrumentation for a song; Bennington then recorded vocals for it and called Shinoda, playing the song for him over the phone. This was the start of things to come as the band 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 mold 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 the band signed. Unfortunately, the name was already taken by a 70s and 80s band from Australia so they changed their name to Hybrid Theory and the band's line-up solidified — almost. Farrell temporarily left the band 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 Hybrid Theory EP were pressed. Several copies were sent to various record labels, including Warner Bros. Records. The rest of the copies were given to early members of the band'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.

The band was subsequently signed to Warner Bros. Records in 1999 thanks to Blue. However, they were forced to change their name again due to a trademark issue with a British electronic group called Hybrid. After they went through several rounds of brain storming new names (Clear, Probing Lagers, Ten P.M. Stocker), Bennington eventually suggested the use of the name "Lincoln Park" because he would drive by it in Santa Monica, California (now known as Christine Reed Park). They changed it to Linkin park, because the domain name LincolnPark.com was already taken.

Hybrid Theory: Early 2000s

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 the 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. Their debut album has sold 24 million copies world wide as of October 2006, and its first single was "One Step Closer.” The album eventually peaked on the Billboard 200 Chart at #2 in January of 2002, and the single “One Step Closer,” reached #5 on the Billboard Modern Rock Chart.

The band 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 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 the band's second single, "Crawling," was released and won the band a Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance in 2002. The band embarked on its first ever national festival tour, the Ozzfest, with other acts such as Black Sabbath, Marilyn Manson, Slipknot, and Zack Wylde's Black Label Society.

In mid-2001, the band released its third single, "In the End." The song would prove to be the band'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 the band playing atop a gigantic statue in the rain. The video contained almost all computer graphics, which was much more than most music videos at the time. The single, “In the End” reached #1 of the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks in 2001.

On November 21, 2001, the band released its first DVD titled Frat Party at the Pankake Festival. The DVD featured all of the band's videos up to this point in their career and featured a documentary of the band 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 1999 garage-like performance of a demo of "Esaul" later redone and renamed "A Place For My Head".

In early 2002, the band 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, the band 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.

Reanimation: 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" (featured on the second CD issued to 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, and many more. 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.

Meteora: Late 2002 - 2003

The band headed back to the studio in mid-2002 to record their follow-up to Hybrid Theory. 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 #1 on The Billboard 200 in April 2003 after selling 810,000 copies in its first week. It has sold nearly 11 million copies worldwide, and more than half of that in the United States alone.

Following the release of the album, the band 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, the band joined Metallica on their Summer Sanitarium Tour 2003. The band also headlined on the 2003 Reading Festival in the United Kingdom with co-headliner Blink-182, playing a highly energetic set to some 65,000 fans.

Shortly after the Sanitarium tour came to a close, the band released "Numb" as a single. They shot a video for the single in Prague, Czech Republic while simultaneously shooting a video for the song "From the Inside."

Live In Texas: 2003

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 Summer Sanitarium tour in Dallas and Houston, Texas. The DVD featured seventeen songs and the CD featured a selection of twelve of those.

At the end of 2003, the band performed at its third KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas concert. They headlined night one 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.

Meteora World Tour and Collision Course: 2004

At the beginning of 2004, the band set off on its Meteora World Tour with P.O.D., Hoobastank and Story of the Year. The band claimed that this was the final leg of the world-wide tour that the band had been on since Meteora was released.

During the tour, the band's video for "From the Inside" was released internationally, after they finished their stint on the road, the band began work on their most ambitious music video to date for their single "Breaking the Habit”; it featured Japanese-style animation by the same studio that created the animated scenes in Kill Bill; the video was directed by Kazuto Nakazawa and Hahn.

Linkin Park then set off on its third Projekt Revolution tour. The tour featured two stages, and a substantial lineup including, Korn, Snoop Dogg, The Used and Less Than Jake, and many others; Projekt Revolution was the biggest-selling tour of 2004.

At the end of 2004, Linkin Park announced a collaboration with Jay-Z; the EP called Collision Course, was released on November 30, and featured "mashups" (a musical genre of songs that consist entirely of parts of other songs) of seven Linkin Park songs and six Jay-Z songs. The first single, "Numb/Encore," peaked at #20 on the Billboard Charts and remained in the charts for six months, going on to win a Grammy. The album itself debuted at #1 on the Billboard Charts.

Music for Relief, Fort Minor: 2005

The year 2005 marked a rather quiet year for Linkin Park. The band established Music for Relief, an organization dedicated to helping those affected by the 2004 Indian tsunami. The band 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. In May, the band demanded to be released from its contract with Warner Bros. on the grounds of "a lack of confidence." The band 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, the band announced that they had finally reached a settlement with Warner Bros. Records.

Solo Ventures and Minutes to Midnight: 2005 – Present

In July, Shinoda announced a hip-hop side project called Fort Minor. Shinoda explained the project as a way for him to return to his hip-hop roots. 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.

In December of 2005, Shinoda was confirmed as the co-producer for the next Linkin Park album. On February 8, 2006, the band 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 many others.

During the Grammy Award Ceremony 2006, Linkin Park joined with Jay-Z and Paul McCartney, where they performed the song "Numb/Encore/Yesterday." The band went on to win a Grammy award for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration.

Linkin Park spent the majority of 2006 writing and recording their third album, and in various interview described the musical direction of the album. Lead singer Bennington stated "we're straying away from a lot of the predictable sounds we've had in the past, but there's no question in your mind when you hear it that it's Linkin Park... We've always said we write the music we write so that we can spread our wings as far as we want and try new things and go anywhere. I think we're really going to prove that with this new record." Regarding album co-producer Rick Rubin, Shinoda stated, "Rick is one of those guys where you can go through any door you want to go through. We're trying everything, just messing around with it until it sounds good.”

It was announced that their next album, entitled Minutes to Midnight will be released on May 8, 2007.

Fan Club (LPU)

Linkin Park has a very devoted and diligent fan base; they were given a name to their cause when in November of 2001, a friend of the band, Jessica Bardas, suggested the concept of fan club. The club called the” Linkin Park Underground (LPU),” gives members a package every year 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 November of 2002, 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,” which is thought to have been cut from the Hybrid Theory EP. Also included is a fifty-second instrumental track entitled "A.06.” It was originally a demo for their future studio album, Meteora.

In November of 2003, the third edition of the LPU was sent out. 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 the band should have placed rare songs on the CD (as with year two) instead of the live tracks.

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."

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 the band's performance during Live 8 plus several songs with Jay-Z.

Linkin Park Underground volume 6, Limited Edition Fan Club CD included a Linkin Park performed live in August 2006 at Summer Sonic, hosted by Metallica in Japan. A new song, tentatively codenamed "QWERTY" and also referred in various websites as “Behind Your Lies,” leaked on numerous websites after being played at the concert. "QWERTY" (live and studio version), “Reading My Eyes” (live) and other exclusive live and studio tracks were released on the fan club CD.


Post a Comment

<< Home