Formation of Linkin Park:
The genesis of Linkin Park occurred among 3 Los Angeles high school friends, vocalist Mike Shinoda, guitarist Brad Delson, and drummer Rob Bourdon. The trio recruited DJ Joe Hahn, bassist Dave "Phoenix" Farrell, and vocalist Mark Wakefield to form the group Xero. However, tensions surfaced when the group failed to secure a record deal. Wakefield left in frustration. Forced to recruit another vocalist, the band settled on Chester Bennington, formerly of the group Grey Daze. Bennington suggested a name change and the band became Linkin Park.
Members of Linkin Park:
- Chester Bennington - Vocals
- Mike Shinoda - MC / Vocals
- Joe Hahn - DJ
- Brad Delson - Guitars
- Rob Bourdon - Drums
- Dave "Phoenix" Farrell - Bass
Warner Bros. Records vice-president Jeff Blue was instrumental in suggesting that Chester Bennington consider becoming a vocalist for Xero before the band's name change. After the group again faced multiple rejections in seeking a record contract, Blue stepped in again and ultimately helped the band get signed to Warner Bros. The first album Hybrid Theory, a title that was briefly the band's name, was released in October, 2000. Warner Bros.' gamble paid off when the album sold almost 5 million copies in its first year of release and earned 3 Grammy Award nominations.
After extensive touring in support of Hybrid Theory and the release of a remix album titled Reanimation, Linkin Park headed back to the studio in mid-2002 to record a follow up. Titled Meteora, the band's second studio album was released in March, 2003. It debuted at #1 on the album chart and has sold over 5 million copies in the US. The band again set out on a heavy touring schedule including their package tours known as Projekt Revolution that included other alternative acts such as Korn, Less Than Jake, and Mudvayne.
The Sound of Linkin Park:
Linkin Park are most frequently attached to the rock genre known as nu metal. Bands considered nu metal include a blend of traditional heavy metal or hard rock with electronic music as well as 90's alternative rock and grunge. Linkin Park often adds elements of hip hop to the mix.
Linkin Park's Top Hit Singles:
- 2001 - In the End - #2 Pop
- 2003 - Somewhere I Belong - #32 Pop
- 2004 - Breaking the Habit - #20 Pop
- 2004 - Numb - #11 Pop
- 2004 - Numb/Encore - #20 Pop
In late 2004 Linkin Park released the mash-up album Collision Course with rapper Jay-Z. The album featured remixed mash-ups of 7 Linkin Park songs with 6 Jay-Z recordings. The project yielded another top 20 hit single, the blend of Linkin Park's "Numb" with Jay-Z's "Encore." The song won a Grammy Award for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration.
Fort Minor and Other Side Projects:
In 2005 the band took a break from most of their appearances and work together. However, they did embark on charitable projects including the tsunami relief effort Music for Relief and an appearance at Live 8.
In late 2005 Mike Shinoda announced his side project Fort Minor. The album Rising Tied included the major hit single "Where'd You Go." Chester Bennington also announced a side project called Snow White Tan. Reportedly, he delayed the project's first album release to concentrate on the next Linkin Park recording.
Minutes to Midnight and the Return of Linkin Park:
In early 2006 Linkin Park headed back to the studio with Rick Rubin as primary producer. After approximately a year of work on the album, Warner Bros. announced that Minutes to Midnight would be released May 15, 2007. The album title is a reference to the Doomsday Clock. Reportedly, the band began with approximately 150 rough songs and will eventually whittle the album down to less than 17. The project's first single "What I've Done" was released digitally in early April, 2007.