Linkin Park (often abbreviated to LP) is a six-piece nu metal band from California.
The music of Linkin Park is a mix of alternative metal, rap, electronica, and hip-hop sounds. Like others in the nu metal genre, their sound has been criticized as being overly commercial and mainstream-friendly. Though the band's musical output has embraced a fairly diverse world of sound, their lyrics generally stay with a very narrow range of content (alienation, dissatisfaction, contempt for the self and for authority, and other standard adolescent themes). The prominent exception to this lyrical single-mindedness is the guest-written material on Reanimation.
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. They were never signed and the project floundered.
Shinoda advertised for a vocalist, choosing Chester Bennington, a transplanted Arizona native who started making records when he was 16. They immediately started to write and record music.
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", and "Part of Me".
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, with an artistic direction mainly dictated by Shinoda and Hahn. They also released a remix version of their song, "Points Of Authority".
In 2003 their new studio album was released, titled 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 fellow nu-metal band Limp Bizkit and Metallica 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., Hoobastank, and Story of the Year.
In 2004, Linkin Park was touring with Snoop Dogg, The Used, Koßn, 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.
On July 2, 2005 Linkin Park performed in Live 8 at Philadelphia, USA, performing part of their set with Jay-Z.
Chester Bennington (vocals),
Mike Shinoda (vocals / sampling / rhythm guitar, keyboard),
Joe Hahn (aliases: Chairman Hahn, Mr. Hahn) (turntables / samples),
Brad Delson (guitar),
Rob Bourdon (drums),
Dave Farrell, alias Phoenix (bass)