Mike Shinoda – Vocals (Rapping), Rhythm Guitar, Keyboard
Brad Delson – Lead Guitar
Phoenix – Bass Guitar
Joseph Hahn – Turntables, Samples
Rob Bourdon – Drums
Scott Koziol— bass player on tour recorded on the song One Step Closer only.
Mark Wakefield— vocalist who left shortly after Farrell and Hahn created Xero. He was later replaced by current member Chester Bennington. Mark Wakefield now manages for Taproot.
1994-99: Early history
Linkin Park is the result of the collaboration, started in 1998, between ex-Grey Daze Chester Bennington and a Californian rap metal outfit called Xero.
In 1996, guitarist Brad Delson and MC Mike Shinoda 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”.
Meanwhile, upon graduating from Washington High School in Phoenix, Arizona, in 1994, Chester Bennington joined a band called Grey Daze. The band released two albums, No Sun Today and Wake Me. However, due to personal conflicts within the band, he decided to leave in 1997.
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, Shinoda met Joe Hahn.
Farrell and Hahn joined SuperXero and the name of the band was shortened to just 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 the band was never signed. Shortly thereafter, Wakefield left the band.
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 Bennington, a young vocalist from Phoenix who was looking to join another band.
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 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 mould it to be both soft and thought-provoking as well as hard and attention grabbing.
Once Bennington had joined the group, they changed their moniker 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 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 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 Brothers in 1999 thanks to Blue. However, they were forced to change their name due to a copyright issue with a British electronic group called Hybrid. There were several suggestions for the band’s new name, including Clear, Probing Lagers, Ten P.M. Stocker (an inside joke for the band since they were always recording and practicing material late at night) and Platinum Lotus Foundation.
Many of the songs heard on Hybrid Theory were available at this time as demos. Many of them had different lyrics, but same melodies.
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 the band was recording demos for its debut album. Bennington thought that it would be a good name for the band because there are Lincoln Parks all over the country. He figured that the band would be recognized as a local band no matter where they went. However, since the domain name lincolnpark.com was already taken and the band couldn’t afford to purchase it, they changed the spelling from “Lincoln” to “Linkin” so they could purchase the domain name linkinpark.com.
2000-02: Breakthrough success
Hybrid Theory album cover (2000)
On October 24, 2000, Linkin Park’s debut album, Hybrid Theory, was released in the United States. Only one track was cut from the album, a remake of a hip hop song called “High Voltage” that appeared on the band’s 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, “One Step Closer”, was a rock anthem on MTV.
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 brand-new song entitled “My December” for the occasion. The song was not featured on Hybrid Theory and is often mistaken as a B-side. 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, Papa Roach, Disturbed, Crazy Town and Zakk 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 massive statue in the rain. The video had a massive amount of CGI compared to most music videos at the time.
On September 2, 2001, the band released its first DVD humorously 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 studio performance of a demo of “A Place for My Head” from 1999.
In November, a friend of the band, Jessica Bardas, suggested forming a fan club. The band 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 the band’s Hybrid Theory EP with new artwork.
In early 2002, the band put together its first headlining tour called Projekt Revolution. The first leg of the tour featured Adema, Cypress Hill 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 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.
Some of the artists featuring on the album included 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.
“Pts.of.Athrty” (Jay Gordon) (2002)
The project was released on July 30, 2002 and its first and only single was “Pts.of.Athrty” (“Points of Authority”) remixed by Orgy’s 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 featured the Crystal Method’s remix of “Points of Authority” and a song called “Dedicated”, which has been speculated as being cut from the band’s EP before it was pressed. There’s also a fifty-second instrumental track entitled “A.06″ which showcases a harder side of the band. This instrumental gave fans a new hope allowing them to believe that the band’s second album would be harder than Hybrid Theory. It also elevated hype for the band’s follow-up.
2003-04: Meteora, Live In Texas, Collision Course
Meteora album cover (2003)
The band 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, 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 PR02, the band 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, the band released “Numb” as a single. They shot a video for the single in Prague, Czech Republic. Simultaneously, the band 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.
Live in Texas album cover (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 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, the band 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 the band should have placed rare songs on the CD (as with year two) instead of the live tracks.
At the end of 2003, the band 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, 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. Following the “Meteora World Tour”, the band 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 sexual 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 the band’s most ambitious tour as it included two stages and what the band 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.
Collision Course album cover (2004)
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”.
2005-Present: Recent events
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 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. 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. Jay-Z joined them briefly to perform “Numb/Encore”.
In May, the band demanded to be released from its contract with Warner Brothers 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 Brothers Records. The settlement came from a new agreement signed by both parties that Warner Brothers will pay $1.5 million advance for their new album, along with an increase of royalty payments to 20% of total revenue generated from units sold. The length of the new contract is five releases, bringing the total number of releases under Linkin Park’s contract since 2000 to an eventual eleven, one more than the previously agreed upon ten.
In July, Shinoda announced a hip-hop side project, Fort Minor. Shinoda explained that Fort Minor was a way for him to return to his hip-hop roots. He wanted the record to feature some 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).
About a month and a half before Fort Minor’s album was set to be released, a song called “Remember the Name” was leaked onto the Internet. Because of this, Warner Brothers threatened a website completely unrelated to the source of the leak. Through constant pressure, Warner was forced to back down, whilst other sites complied and removed the song from their servers. “Remember the Name” is now featured on NBA Live 2006, and was used in many television fillers during the 2006 NBA Finals, similar to a theme song for the playoffs.
Fort Minor’s The Rising Tied album cover (2005)
On October 30 2005, a Fort Minor mixtape entitled DJ Green Lantern Presents Fort Minor: We Major was released onto the Internet. Fans of the project were sent searching all over the Web trying to find the mixtape before it was finally made public on Rap Basement. On November 22 2005, The Rising Tied, Fort Minor’s first album, was released. The album’s first single, “Petrified”, has yet to receive much airplay. Though the album has been praised by many hip-hop fans, it failed to do well on the charts. But in 2006, the project started gaining popularity thanks to surprise success of the third single “Where’d You Go” which peaked at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100. Bennington is also working on his own solo album with Amir Derakh and Ryan Shuck of Orgy, who also play guitar on the album. Little is known about Bennington’s side project other than its name, Snow White Tan. One of Snow White Tan’s songs, “The 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. During some shows that the band played, they covered Snow White Tan’s “The Morning After”. Snow White Tan’s debut album is speculated to be released after Linkin Park’s third studio effort.
Because of Shinoda’s and Bennington’s projects, rumours were swirling that the band was splitting up, rumours that both Shinoda and Bennington refuted. Shinoda added recently that he has “[…] a demo of some new Linkin Park songs. I’m not making that up, either. I have to pull my CD changer magazine out when I get out of my car, in case it gets stolen — I couldn’t let the LP stuff leak.”  “We are glad to go back to the studio,” stated Brad Delson in a statement posted on linkinpark.com, “We’re ready to put out a new album”. The band expects to release their new album some time in the summer of 2006, though Shinoda states that new music could come out near the end of the year.
The band’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.
In November, it was revealed by Dave “Phoenix” 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 The Beastie Boys, Weezer, Metallica, Audioslave, Slipknot, Rage Against the Machine, 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 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. . A report in the New York Post said that Linkin Park is likely to leave their current agent, “The Firm” . On June 9th, 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 the band’s official site soon. A reported update from Mike says the band is currently narrowing down the songs from 100 to about 15 and the album should be out in October around halloween.
The official website recently was closed down for remodeling. However, fans were treated to being able to watch all the music videos (excluding live videos) that the band has produced to date, as well as use the message boards and read news about recent events concerning the band.
Linkin Park revealed their next album title in mid-July. The album is set to be called Recycled. It will be released on October 24, 2006. (A Halloween release is also not ruled out yet.) The album will feature an intro, outro, interlude, and fifteen new tracks. The first single will be released early August to iTunes. It is called “Unplugged”. 
1999 Hybrid Theory EP - - Independent Release
2000 Hybrid Theory 2,2 Warner Brothers Records, Diamond
2002 Reanimation 2,3 Warner Brothers Records/Machine Shop Recordings,,2x Platinum
2003 Meteora 1,1 Warner Brothers Records/Machine Shop Recordings, 6x Platinum
2003 Live in Texas 23,43 Warner Brothers Records/Machine Shop Recordings, Gold
2004 Collision Course (with Jay-Z)1, 15 Warner Brothers Records/Machine Shop Recordings/Roc-a-Fella Records 2x Platinum
2006 Recycled – - Warner Brothers Records/Machine Shop Recordings