Linkin Park

Biography

The Band

"The biggest misconception about us is that we're just a rock band," describes Linkin Park's guitarist Brad Delson. "We think our music is a cross-section of many genres; a hybrid of what the six of us have grown up on." The title of the band's debut album and its original band name, Hybrid Theory, describes both the six-piece's artistic goals and its approach to making music. Linkin Park's sound, a melting pot of heavy alternative rock, hip-hop, and electronic flourishes, is utterly their own, an accomplishment strengthened by the band's remarkably powerful, organic songwriting. But almost everything about Linkin Park has been unforced, including their Southern California origins.

Origins
The band saw its beginnings in emcee/vocalist Mike Shinoda's small bedroom studio, where he and Delson recorded the band's first material in 1996. The two had attended high school together, where they met the band's drummer, Rob Bourdon. Shinoda hooked up with DJ Joseph Hahn while studying illustration at Art Center College in Pasadena. Meanwhile, attending UCLA, Delson shared an apartment with bassist Phoenix, who left the band after college and returned a year later. The final piece of the puzzle was singer Chester Bennington, a transplanted Arizona native who started making records when he was 16. "When I was two, I used to run around singing Foreigner songs--there's tapes of me doing that...Since I learned how to talk I've been telling everybody I was gonna grow up to be a singer." laughs Bennington.

The Album
The combination of Bennington's rich, mammoth vocal style with Shinoda's rapid-fire emceeing helps to define Linkin Park's sound. "I think one of Chester and Mike's goals is to be as integrated as possible," offers Phoenix. "Although the styles we're mixing can be very different, we want the combination to feel natural--that is a big part of our band's identity." Weaving influences as diverse as Deftones, Nine Inch Nails, Aphex Twin, and The Roots into a unified whole, Linkin Park "want everything to come together without feeling forced," explains Shinoda. "As part of the writing process, I record everyone directly into a computer to best integrate our digital and live elements. We spend countless hours mixing and matching parts until we get the right combinations and composition."
The band immersed itself in the writing process until the spring of 2000, when they inked with Warner Bros. Records and immediately went into the studio. To help record their work, they enlisted producer Don Gilmore (Pearl Jam, Apex Theory, Sugar Ray). "We met with a lot of people and had a very difficult time choosing a producer," says Bennington. "But Don, aside from making things sound good, stood out as someone who could really push us to work harder as songwriters." The end result is an album that is as well-crafted and melodic as it is confrontational, with a strong lyrical message. "Chester and I write about universal emotions, whether it's feeling insignificant, optimistic, or frustrated," Shinoda describes. "We write about everyday life, because sometimes it's good to know there are other people going through the same things that you are." These lyrics, along with the diverse instrumentation in which they are embedded, result in a powerful musical statement: Linkin Park's debut album, Hybrid Theory.

Touring
Following the completion of Hybrid Theory and the return of Phoenix, the band has played incessantly, introducing crowds worldwide to their explosive live performance. "I've always wanted our show to be energetic," says Hahn. "We use drum pads, samplers, and turntables with original vinyl to perform all the sample parts live on stage, which I think brings an exciting uniqueness to the songs." The energy and tightness of the band's performance, on tours with Deftones, P.O.D., and Papa Roach, and as a headliner itself, has secured Linkin Park a strong foundation of dedicated fans worldwide, and helped propel the band's record sales into the millions.
When asked about the secret behind the Linkin Park's rapid success, Bourdon responds, "Ever since the beginning, we've always tried to maintain a strong relationship with our fans. From our close-knit street team family, to our videos, to designing quality merchandise, to our hands-on website activity with www.linkinpark.com, we stay involved in order to put our fans first." Linkin Park's reputation for being fan-oriented is best exemplified in their dedication to interacting with listeners at shows: the band obsessively sign hundreds of autographs at every concert. When asked about this phenomenon, Shinoda explains, "It's just a way of giving back. Our fans have helped us to realize a dream we didn't know was possible." It's taken Linkin Park five years to become an overnight success, and in the process, they've proven that a fresh combination of talent, unwavering dedication to craft, and pure artistic vision can, as Bennington describes, "get you through anything and help you realize your dreams."

 

Members

NAME: Chester (Chazy Chaz)
DOB: March 20, 1976
INSTRUMENT: Vocals

GEAR:
Audio Technica Wireless Mics
Yamaha SPX 990
Takamine guitars
DVS/Matix action figure steelo BIATCH!

"What I enjoy most about being in the band is having the opportunity to create and perform music with amazing musicians who have also become closest of friends. I would like to thank all who support us and make all of this possible." -Chester



NAME: Mike Shinoda
DOB: February 11, 1977
INSTRUMENT: Vocals, Beats + Samples, Keyboards, Guitar

GEAR:
(on stage)
Audio Technica wireless mic
PRS guitars
Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier heads
Mesa Boogie cabinets
(studio)
Digidesign Protools software & hardware
Anteres software
Waves software
Emagic hardware
Roland keyboard modules
AKAI S-900 & MPC 2000 samplers

"Writing songs and sharing them with people is a very rewarding experience...I can't think of anything more gratifying as seeing people from different backgrounds come together to enjoy music. Thanks." -Mike



NAME: Joe Hahn
DOB: March 15, 1977
INSTRUMENT: Turntables, Samples, Beats, & Sounds

GEAR:
Motor-driven Turntables
Rane TTM 54 DJ mixer
AKAI MPC 2000
Emagic Logic Audio
Various effects
Shure M44-7 needles
Custom-made vinyl

"All of these quotes sound like excerpts from a high-school yearbook." -Joe



NAME: Brad Delson
DOB: December 1, 1977
INSTRUMENT: Guitar

GEAR:
Ibanez guitars
PRS guitars
Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier heads
Mesa Boogie cabinets
D'Addario strings (10XL)
Boss Pedal effects
D'Addario cables
Dunlop picks (.83)
Shure wireless

"I love playing music with my friends. I'm really proud of the record we've made and the opportunity we have to play these songs all around the world. Much respect to all the people who have supported us and help us to make dis ting happen -- Booyakasha!" -BBB



NAME: David Michel Farrell (Pheonix)
DOB: February 8, 1977
INSTRUMENT: Bass

GEAR:
Ernie Ball Music Man Sting Ray basses
Ampeg SVT Classic heads
Ampeg SVT Classic cabinets
Dean Markley Blue Steel strings
Dunlop Picks (.88)
DBX 160 compressor
Monster cables
Sans Amp
Boss pedals
Whirlwind direct boxes
Shure wireless

"After a long year out of the band, it's been incredible to rejoin and be back in the mix. I appreciate everyone who supports us both on the website and at our live shows more than I could ever express. To be afforded the opportunity to do something I've always loved, with a bunch of friends, is truly a blessing. Thank You." -Phoenix



NAME: Rob Bourdon
DOB: January 20, 1979
INSTRUMENT: Drums

GEAR:
Gretsch kit
Gibraltar Hardware
Zildjian cymbals
Remo heads
Vater sticks
Rane headphone amp
Alesis DM-5 drum module
Shure E-1 in-ear monitors
D-drum trigger pads

"I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to make an album with five of my closest friends. It has been a great experience touring and having the chance to meet our fans and street teamers. Thank you to everyone who has shown their love and support." -Rob


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