Members: Chester Bennington, Mike Shinoda, Joe Hahn, Brad Delson, Rob Bourdon, Dave Farrell
Linkin Park began in the surroundings of Mike Shinoda's bedroom studio, where he and friend Brad Delson recorded the band's first material in 1996. The two had attended Agoura High School together in Los Angeles-suburb Agoura Hills, where they met the band's drummer, Rob Bourdon. Shinoda met up with DJ Joseph Hahn while studying illustration at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. Meanwhile, attending UCLA, Delson shared an apartment with bassist Dave Farrell, who left the band after college and returned a year later. At this point, along with vocalist Mark Wakefield, they named themselves Xero (after revising the former name Super Xero) and recorded several demo tracks,including "Fuse", "Reading My Eyes","Stick and Move" and "Rhinestone" (Forgotten's first demo). They were never signed and the project floundered.
Shinoda advertised for a vocalist after Wakefield left to later become manager for Taproot. The law firm Miniet, Phelps and Phelps told the band that another one of their clients, Chester Bennington, would be good for the job. Bennington had recently left Grey Daze after crediting issues regarding songs he had written. Bennington recorded a demo and played it over the phone to Xero. The band was blown away and told Bennington to fly over.
At first they called themselves 'Hybrid Theory' after the addition of Bennington (the idea being that they were a hybrid of hard rock and rap), but due to a trademark issue with a band called Hybrid they were forced to change their name. Some discarded ideas were Clear, Probing Lagers, Ten PM Stocker and Platinum Lotus Foundation. Eventually, they settled on Lincoln Park, suggested by Bennington because after band practice he would have to drive past Lincoln Park in Santa Monica to get home. However the domain "lincolnpark.com" had already been taken, and to buy it from the owners cost more than the band could afford, so they changed the spelling to Linkin Park.
Working with an independent label, the band recorded the album Hybrid Theory EP, which featured "Carousel", "Technique", "Step Up", "And One", "High Voltage", "Part of Me", and a secret untitled instrumental track.
After being signed to Warner Brothers in 1999 their first album, Hybrid Theory, was released in 2000. It was the top-selling album in the United States and New Zealand in 2001, with the hit singles "One Step Closer", "Crawling", "Papercut", "In The End" and "Points of Authority". The album was notable for its absence of profanity, in contrast to many other nu metal bands' songs.
Linkin Park were part of the Ozzfest in 2001, touring along side Marilyn Manson, Slipknot, Crazy Town, Papa Roach, and Disturbed. Linkin Park also created their own tour - Projekt: Revolution, and on it have toured with artists such as Cypress Hill, Adema, DJ Z-Trip, Xzibit, Mudvayne, and Blindside.
In 2002, they released a remix album of their Hybrid Theory album, entitled Reanimation, featuring many underground rappers (some of Mike Shinoda's friends in the hip hop business), with an artistic direction mainly dictated by Shinoda and Hahn. Every song from Hybrid Theory was remixed plus "My December", and "High Voltage". There were some B-Side remixes, only Points of Authority (Crystal Method Remix) and Buy Myself (Marilyn Manson Remix) were officially released, but there are some that are confirmed real but not released, like a My December remix by Team Sleep. It also had an intermission (entitled "NTR\Mssion) by Mike Shinoda, plus a few skits; Chali 2na, Riff Raff and Stef Carpenter calling Mike Shinoda's answering machine.
In 2003 their new studio album was released, entitled Meteora, which debuted at #1 in the US and UK, and #2 in Australia. It contained the singles, "Somewhere I Belong", "Faint", "Numb", "From The Inside", "Lying From You", and "Breaking The Habit". Later in the year, they joined forces with Metallica and fellow nu-metal bands Limp Bizkit, Deftones and Mudvayne for the Summer Sanitarium Tour 2003. From this tour, Linkin Park released a new CD/DVD set called Live in Texas. This set contains tracks from their three previous records, and was filmed on location at their Summer Sanitarium performances in Dallas and Houston, Texas .
In 2004, Linkin Park created the Meteora World Tour. This tour included Linkin Park, P.O.D., Kenesis, Hoobastank, and Story of the Year.
In 2004, Linkin Park was touring with Snoop Dogg, The Used, Ko?n, and Less Than Jake on the main stage, and No Warning, Ghostface, Funeral for a Friend, M.O.P., and Downset on the second stage as part of Projekt Revolution 2004. They also had a travelling DJ, Z-Trip with them, along with Irvin the Urban Action Figure.
On November 30, 2004, Linkin Park released Collision Course, a collaboration with rapper Jay-Z featuring rap-style remixes ("mash-ups") of songs from Meteora and Hybrid Theory using lyrics from Jay-Z's repertoire. Collision Course debuted at #1 in the US, but peaked at #17 in the UK. In the Netherlands Collision Course topped the charts at 7th place. Their first Collision Course hit single, Numb/Encore, reached #1 at the Free Record Shop Download Charts in the Netherlands.
On the eve of its initial public offering in May 2005, Linkin Park demanded to be released from its contract with Warner Brothers Music on the grounds of a lack of confidence. The band is in negotiations with the label over a new record contract. Linkin Park still has four albums outstanding on its 2000 record contract.
Linkin Park is currently writing and recording a new album, set to be released in 2006 (although work has been stopped due to the contract re-negotiations). Mike Shinoda is also in the process of releasing a hip-hop side project called "The Rising Tied" under the moniker Fort Minor. It reportedly features several underground rappers, including Gift of Gab and is due to be released on November 22nd 2005. Aside from Mike, Chester Bennington is also releasing a yet to be titled album. The CD is being produced by members of Orgy.
On July 2, 2005 Linkin Park performed in Live 8 at Philadelphia, USA, performing part of their set with Jay-Z.
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 fucking insane!" Linkin Park has already come up with fifty new tracks and are in the recording phase of the album Shinoda reported on Australian radio that the album is scheduled to be released between July and September. Rob Bourdon recently said in an LPU chat that the band have narrowed down 70 ideas for songs down to 32, and Linkin Park should be playing with Metallica at this year's Summer Sonic Festival in Japan and they also hope to go to South Africa before the end of the year. A report in the New York Post said that Linkin Park is likely to leave their current agent, "The Firm".
1999 - Hybrid Theory EP
2000 - Hybrid Theory
2002 - Reanimation
2003 - Meteora
2003 - Live in Texas
2004 - Collision Course (with Jay-Z)
REMIX AND LIVE ALBUMS:
2000 - Reanimation (remix album including tracks from Hybrid Theory and Hybrid Theory EP)
2003 - Live in Texas
2004 - Collision Course (Mash-up album featuring rapper Jay-Z's mixes of songs from Meteora and Hybrid Theory)
LIMITED EDITION AND LPU ALBUMS:
1998 - Hybrid Theory EP (only 1000 printed) This album was reprinted for the members of the LPU who joined in the first year. The first 500 copies were autographed by the band.
2002 - LP Underground v2.0
2003 - LP Underground v3.0 (Audio Tracks of DVD Live in Texas)
2004 - LP Underground v4.0 Sold My Soul To Yo Mama [Mr. Hahn's Instrumental (with partials of Papercut)], Standing In The Middle, a live version of Breaking the Habit, 1Stp Klosr (featuring Jonathan Davis of Ko?n) & a Step Up/Nobody's Listening/It's Goin' Down medley (Gift to join LPU)
FROM HYBRID THEORY:
2001 - One Step Closer
2001 - Crawling
2001 - Papercut
2001 - In The End
2002 - Pts.Of.Athrty"
2003 - Somewhere I Belong
2003 - Faint
2004 - Numb
2004 - From The Inside
2004 - Lying From You
2004 - Breaking The Habit
FROM COLLISION COURSE:
2004 - Numb / Encore (with Jay-Z)
One Step Closer (with then bassist Scott Koziol)
Crawling (at the Dragon Festival)
Crawling (The Brothers Strause)
In The End - live-action plus CGI.
Points Of Authority - live footage (International)
Pts.Of.Athrty (Points Of Authority Remix), computer-generated imagery
Somewhere I Belong - live-action plus CGI.
Faint - MTV's $2 Bill Show Concert
Faint - reduced-colour concert-like footage, directed by Mark Romanek
Lying From You (Live in Texas)
Numb Numb (Live in Texas)
From The Inside (International)
Breaking The Habit, traditional anime
Izzo/In The End (live)
Points of Authority/99 Problems/One Step Closer (live)
High Voltage (live from the Docklands)
Papercut (live from the Docklands)
From The Inside (Europe Only Release)
AWARDS AND NOMINATIONS:
2003 - Won Favorite Artist - Alternative Music; 31st Annual American Music Awards
2002 - Won Best Group, Best Hard Rock 2002 MTV Europe Music Awards. Nominated for Best Website.
2002 - Won Best Foreign Rock; Swedish Hit Music Awards; November 17th, 2002.
2002 - Won Best Rock Video; 2002 MTV Video Music Awards (In The End). Nominated for Best Video of the Year (In The End), Best Group Video (In The End).
2002 - Won Best International Nu-Metal/Alternative Artist; ECHO 2002 awards in Germany.
2001 - Won Best Hard Rock Performance (Crawling); 2001 Grammys. Nominated for Best Rock Album, Best New Artist.
2001 - Won Best Foreigner Artist of The Year; Finland's 2001 Emma Awards.
2001 - Won Best International Newcomer; 2001 Kerrang Awards. Nominated for Best Video, Best Album, Best Band in the World.
2002 - Nominated for Favorite Artist - Alternative Music; 30th Annual American Music Awards; Sept 1, 2002
2003 - Won Best Rock Video (Somewhere I Belong); 2003 MTV Video Music Awards.
2004 - Nominated for Best Rock Video (Breaking The Habit); 2004 MTV Video Music Awards.
2004 - Won Viewer's Choice Award (Breaking The Habit); 2004 MTV Video Music Awards.
2004 - Won Song of the Year ? Rock Alternative Radio (Numb); 2004 Radio Music Awards
2004 - Won Artist of the Year ? Rock Radio; 2004 Radio Music Awards