Music

20 Things You (Probably) Didn’t Know About Linkin Park

Linkin Park have become one of the most successful rock acts in the world since releasing their debut album in 2000 and they released their sixth studio album, earlier this year, to critical acclaim. They've sold more than 50 million albums worldwide, gone platinum, won Grammies and seem a lovely bunch to boot. In our book that deserves acknowledgment, so please enjoy our mini tribute: 20 Things You (Probably) Didn't Know About Linkin Park.

And once you've finished, ensure you also check out Mike and Chester's respective Ultimate Playlists 

Linkin Park's new single Rebellion is out now; as is the band's latest album, The Hunting Party

(Images: Rex)

  • 20 Things You (Probably) Didn't Know About Linkin Park

    1.

    The band had two incarnations prior to Linkin Park. Three school friends - Mike Shinoda, Rob Bourdon, and Brad Delson founded the band Xero and recruited Joe Hahn, Dave "Phoenix" Farrell, and Mark Wakefield. Recording and producing songs in Shinoda’s makeshift bedroom studio in 1996, they produced a 4-track demo tape called Xero which you can hear here. Wakefield and Farrell left during tough times and Xero recruited Chester Bennington before rebranding as Hybrid Theory. That name didn't last either but was, of course, used for the title of their breakthrough album.

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    2.

    Their final rebadging saw them take the name Linkin Park, a play on and homage to Santa Monica’s Lincoln Park. The band initially wanted the name "Lincoln Park", however they changed it to "Linkin" because they couldn't afford the domain name "lincolnpark.com".

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    3.

    Chester Bennington worked at a Burger King in 1996. Brad Delson, meanwhile, was a bouncer at The Roxy during the early days of the band.

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    4.

    The band's first ever gig was at The Whisky a Go Go, in LA, which was also the launching pad for a plethora of legendary bands like Motley Crüe, The Doors and Guns 'N Roses.

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    5.

    Chester is one accident prone dude. In 2001, while touring for Ozzfest, he was bitten by a recluse spider (you could see the grey poison all over his body, apparently), he's pulled his back out picking up his baggage, tore a ligament in his hand while playing basketball at Chuck E. Cheese, and he broke a wrist in a stage dive in 2007. 

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    6.

    Chester has cameo roles in Crank (top) and Crank: High Voltage (bottom). You can see them here and here, respectively. 

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    7.

    That's trumped by Brad Delson, however, who was an extra in the movie Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey, in 1991.

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    8.

    Mike Shinoda started writing articles for The Big Issue in September 2012 and was the publication's US election correspondent.

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    9.

    Linkin Park were the first rock band to achieve over one billion hits on YouTube. They hit the landmark with their 2009 single 'New Divide', which acted as the lead-off single to the Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen soundtrack scoring 131 million views on its own. 

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    10.

    At the time of Chester and his ex-wife’s wedding, they were too poor to afford rings (he was working at BK at the time), so instead got matching tattoos on their ring fingers.

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    11.

    Chester has his own line of clothes in conjunction with Porsche. Check it out here

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    12.

    Joint tours with Family Values and the Project: Revolution Tour with Cypress Hill led the band to play a staggering 324 shows in 2001. They got results from it. They were the highest-selling music act that year.

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    13.

    If you play Announcement Service Public backwards you can hear Chester sing: "you should brush your teeth and you should wash your hands." Allow this YouTube vid to do the technical part for you. It plays the track normally first then backwards. Jump to 2 mins 28.

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    14.

    A graphic designer by trade, Mike designed the album cover of Hybrid Theory

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    15.

    Before forming Xero with Mark Wakefield, Brad Delson's first instrument was the trumpet. Rather wonderfully his first band was called The Pricks.

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    16.

    Rob Bourdon started to play Drums after watching an Aerosmith concert. His mother, Patty, is friends with Aerosmith drummer Joey Kramer, and Kramer gave Rob a kick pedal. That got him interested. 

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    17.

    The band was turned down 44 times before finally being signed by Warner Brothers, who had turned them down three times before then. 

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    18.

    Joe Hahn graduated from Herbert Hoover High School, Glendale, which boasts celebrity alumni including Eva Mendes (pictured), John Cho of Harold and Kumar fame and City Slickers director Ron Underwood. 

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    19.

    Chester has cited One Step Closer as his least favourite Linkin Park song and recently told us that Breaking The Habit was his favourite.

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    20.

    Talk about popular. Linkin Park are the biggest band on Facebook, with over 64 million fans and counting.