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Feature: Linkin Park – Inside 20 Years Of Hybrid Theory

By Hayley Treadwell

In the year 2000 Linkin Park released their debut album, Hybrid Theory which went on to be the biggest selling record of 2001 and subsequently, of the decade. With hit songs ‘One Step Closer’, ‘Crawling’ and In The End’, Linkin Park engulfed fans with their heavy rock/hip hop/electronic style and were hugely instrumental in creating a fantastic new genre of music. The album awarded Linkin Park their first Grammy for ‘Crawling’ and has sold over 11 million copies worldwide.

Today Hear 2 Zen were invited to Linkin Park’s international press conference for the 20th Anniversary of Hybrid Theory and to discuss the soon to be released, and amazing Box Sets.

I logged into the stream and the opening clip immediately made me emotional and excited all at once. Being such a huge fan of Linkin Park since their debut, this moment was surreal.

After the clip and a quick introduction from the host we were joined on screen by founding members Mike Shinoda (Vocals/Rhythm Guitar), Dave Farrell (Bass Guitar), Brad Delson (Lead Guitar) and Joe Hahn (Turntables).
In this time of COVID, everyone was in their own house via computer chat. It was really quite comforting that while I was safe at home watching, the band was also safe at home. It somehow made the moment even more special, kind of like a bunch of friends sitting around a fire having a chat, I think it just allowed for a more real conversation.

So, what did I learn today about Linkin Park and their upcoming release?

Well, firstly I learnt that Hybrid Theory was actually the band’s name before Linkin Park, and prior to that, with their previous singer, they were called Xero. Chester Bennington joined the band in 1999 while they were still Hybrid Theory, and when the idea of a name change was mentioned, it was he who suggested the name Linkin Park.

The 20th Anniversary releases have been approximately a year in the making and are filled with items celebrating the albums success, the bands success and some highly anticipated never before heard demos, never before seen pictures and previously unreleased footage. It was a huge team effort from band members to their families and friends and people in the industry.

When asked what the band members felt hearing Chester’s (Bennington) vocals on the early demo’s Brad (Delson) said Chester had the ability to emulate his heroes and was always working at discovering his own voice. Hearing a lot of the early works, for example the recently released ‘She Couldn’t’ showed the softer more vulnerable process of discovery in Chester’s vocals.

Photo: Hang Me On Your Wall Photography

Talking on their unique sound I was excited to hear that the band music influences were so diverse and whenever asked who their influences were, the band always replied with the same thing: Portishead, The Roots, Aphex Twin and the Deftones. Now for me, I know and listened to all of these artists at one time or another, but the band laughed that at the time it was more common that people only knew one or the other of these acts. But it was this love of multiple genres that contributed to each band members self-development and ultimately, they came together with a style of music that, for me and obviously their many millions of fans, shook the world.

Discussions circled around the early days and how the band handled their swift catapult to fame and the pressures that came with this. Mike (Shinoda) remembers being embarrassed about his car. He had an Acura SUV and said it didn’t much feel like the sort of car a rock start should have. Their success happened so quickly, they went from being the openers in a 5 or 7 band line up, to in the blink of an eye, being the headliners.

Photo: Hang Me On Your Wall Photography

Things moved so fast for Linkin Park, they said at times it felt like being in a movie.
From the release for Hybrid Theory, the band has no substantial breaks or rest until the release of their 2nd album. They were on tour for almost 2 and a half years. Things were such a whirlwind for them Dave recalls when the band was told, while on tour, that they had the best-selling album in the world. He said at the time the 2 most popular things in music were heavier rock and Britney Spears and it took some time for their accolade to sink in, it “just seemed so big”.

The Super Deluxe box set contains footage from their first year recording and touring and Mike said watching it back was like looking at an old family photo album. There is also an 80 page booklet comprised of photos and stories from the band members, a demo of ‘In the End’ which will be a treat for any dedicated fan as Brad discussed the song having quite a few different lyrical treatments.

Other demos include ‘She Couldn’t’ recorded in 1999 which the band released earlier this year, and the highly anticipated Pictureboard, which fans lovingly named ‘In yourself’ after the band played an instrumental of the unreleased song while on tour.
But I think what I am looking forward to the most is the 4 hours of footage which includes 3 full length concerts.

Prior to todays’ COVID style press conference, I watched Mike Shinoda’s unboxing of the Super Deluxe Box set and can tell you, from the casual fan to the most devoted fan, this is not to be missed.

There are 4 options of box sets which you can pre-order now and will be available October 9th 2020. Details of what each edition contains will be at the bottom of this article.

There is also Exclusive Hybrid Theory 20th Anniversary merchandise available on the Linkin Park website.

I know I will be buying one of the Super Deluxe sets and I cannot wait to give it a look and listen.

It was a very humbling experience being park of today, feeling the bands genuine gratitude for their fans, their success and their great gift of being able to relate to people through the universal language of music. Linkin Park entered the music industry with the desire that they could be a local band anywhere, and I think they achieved that with honour.

Thank you to Linkin Park for having us along today, it really was a truly fun and warming experience.

THE SUPER DELUXE BOX SET

5 CDS
HYBRID THEORY
REANIMATION
B-SIDE RARITIES
12 TRACK COMPILATION OF RARE B-SIDES
LPU RARITIES
18 TRACKS PREVIOUSLY RELEASED TO
LINKIN PARK UNDERGROUND
MEMBERS ONLY
FORGOTTEN DEMOS
12 PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED TRACKS
3 DVDS
FRAT PARTY AT THE PANKAKE FESTIVAL
OUT OF PRINT DVD ORIGINALLY RELEASED
IN 2002
PROJEKT REVOLUTION 2002 / THE SEQUEL
TO THE DVD WITH THE WORST NAME WE’VE
EVER COME UP WITH
UNRELEASED FULL CONCERT
BRAND NEW SEQUEL TO FRAT PARTY AT
THE PANKAKE FESTIVAL
THE FILLMORE 2001 / ROCK AM RING 2001
UNRELEASED FULL CONCERTS

3 LPS
HYBRID THEORY EP
AVAILABLE ON VINYL FOR THE FIRST
TIME EVER
HYBRID THEORY
REANIMATION
DOUBLE LP
CASSETTE REPRODUCTION OF ORIGINAL
2-TRACK STREET TEAM SAMPLER
80 PAGE BOOK FEATURING
CONTRIBUTIONS FROM THE BAND AND
MANY PREVIOUSLY UNSEEN
PHOTOGRAPHS
OVERSIZE POSTER OF
CHESTER BENNINGTON
3 LITHOS FEATURING NEW ART FROM
JOE HAHN, MIKE SHINODA AND FRANK
MADDOCKS
REPLICA TOUR LAMINATE
DOWNLOAD CARD FOR ALL AUDIO IN
THE BOX

THE VINYL BOX SET

HYBRID THEORY
REANIMATION
DOUBLE LP
B-SIDE RARITIES

THE DELUXE CD
HYBRID THEORY
B-SIDE RARITIES
16 PAGE BOOKLET

DIGITAL DOWNLOAD

HYBRID THEORY
REANIMATION
B-SIDE RARITIES
LPU RARITIES
FORGOTTEN DEMOS

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