Linkin Park

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
/wiki/Linkin Parkcreator
Left to right: Brad Delson, Mike Shinoda, Mr. Hahn, Chester Bennington, Rob Bourdon, Phoenix

"Crawling in my skin
These wounds, they will not heal
Fear is how I fall
Confusing what is real"


Linkin Park is a rock band from Agoura Hills, California. Since their formation in 1996, the band has sold more than fifty million albums and won two Grammy Awards. They achieved mainstream success in 2000 with their debut album Hybrid Theory, and continued it with the remix album Reanimation, the follow-up Meteora, and their mashup collaboration with rapper Jay-Z, Collision Course.

To some, they are known for blending the sounds of nu metal, rap, and rock together in an appealing fashion. To others, however, they are remembered for excessive screaming and lyrics that suggest the emotional range and maturity of any average 13 year old. As such, they have been the butt of many jokes on forums and are often criticized for introducing "emo" elements into the mainstream.

The band eventually realized this and changed their sound with their third studio album, Minutes to Midnight. Upon release, flame wars were ignited in every faction of their fandom, splitting their fanbase permanently. Years after the fact, mentioning "New Sound vs. Old Sound" still produces a large backlash. The next time the band stepped into the studio, they made an effort to insulate themselves from public opinion, only intensifying the discord when they released that album, A Thousand Suns, which was an even more radical departure.

The band was in hiatus from July 2017 (when their lead singer Chester Bennington committed suicide) to August 2020.

They are a popular music source for anime music videos, inevitably featuring Shōnen manga series like Dragon Ball Z (and occasionally not-so-shonen series, namely Neon Genesis Evangelion). Furthermore, their music video for "Points of Authority" (remixed version) features CGI Humongous Mecha battling an army of alien invaders.

Their song lyrics have inspired the trope name for The Walls Are Closing In.


  • Mike Shinoda: co-founder, emcee, singer, rapper, pianist, second guitarist, graphic designer, producer, painter, and blogger. Used to playing several instruments during the same song. Has a side project named Fort Minor.
  • Brad Delson: co-founder, lead guitarist and lead afro. Occasionally plays the keyboard.
  • Rob Bourdon: the drummer, but can also play piano when the band is writing new songs.
  • Joe "Mr." Hahn: The DJ, synths and samples guy who also directs their music videos. Owns an art shop in Los Angeles called SURU.
  • Dave "Phoenix" Farrell: The bassist and backing singer. Nicknamed because another fan thought his name was boring. Also does string arrangements.

Former Members:

  • Chester Bennington: Former lead singer and metal screamer, who committed suicide in July 2017. Could play guitar when needed. Had a side project named Dead by Sunrise.


Related Acts:

  • Fort Minor (Shinoda)
  • Dead by Sunrise (Bennington)
  • Grey Daze (Bennington)
  • Tasty Snax (Phoenix)
Linkin Park provides examples of the following tropes:
  • Album Filler: Lampshaded by Black Thought on "X-Ecutioner Style".
  • Album Title Drop: "The Requiem" and "The Catalyst" for A Thousand Suns.
    • Probably would have counted as Book Ends if not for "The Messenger."
  • All Just a Dream: The video for "Somewhere I Belong".
  • Animated Music Video: "Breaking the Habit", "Pts.OF.Athrty", and "FRGT/10".
  • Animesque: The music video for "Breaking the Habit", though the "-esque" is questionable, as it was produced by Kazuto Nakazawa.
  • Ascended Extra: Mike Shinoda was the founder and original producer of the band, and was its primary vocalist during the underground years; Chester Bennington, despite being the last member to join, is now popularly recognized as the frontman.
  • Asian and Nerdy: Mike and Joe.
  • Audience Participation Song: During live performances of "Bleed it Out", there's a chance of Chester and Mike initiating a singing contest between each other with the audience's help, such as on Road to Revolution. The audience is also encouraged to sing with Chester on "In the End".
  • Awesome McCoolname: Mike Shinoda. Just SOUNDS badass.
  • Berserk Button: Mike's is the insinuation that the band was manufactured by their record label. According to him, he would have been kicked out if the execs had gotten their way.
  • Bittersweet Ending: A Thousand Suns.
  • Boastful Rap: "Step Up", "High Voltage", "When They Come for Me", "I Have Not Begun" and if Fort Minor is to be counted, "Remember the Name".
  • The Cameo: Frontman Chester Bennington has small roles in the movies Crank, Crank: High Voltage, and Saw 3-D.
  • Chewing the Scenery:
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Mike and especially Chester swear like children out of their parents' earshot during concerts, which is rather jarring since they have stated in interviews early after getting big that they're averse to swearing in their music.
    • However, the band decided to be a little liberal with the word "motherfucker" on "When They Come for Me". With their last two albums, they've resigned themselves to getting parental advisory labels.
      • Liberality or just for the hell of doing it? It seems like the seven motherfuckers on "When They Come for Me" is for fun.
        • I have the exact profanity count for each album. Minutes to Midnight has eight uses of fuck: two on "Bleed it Out", four on "Given Up" and two in "Hands Held High". A Thousand Suns has eight fuck (or fuck-related words): seven motherfuckers on "When They Come For Me", and one fuck in "Blackout". There is also three shits in "Wretches and Kings".
  • Concept Album: A Thousand Suns, about war, corruption and the atom bomb.
  • Concept Video: The videos that aren't Dress Rehearsal/Performance Videos.
  • Contest Winner Cameo: NoBraiN, the winner of Linkin Park's remix contest, got his remix featured on A Thousand Suns. He also makes an appearance on the outro to "When They Come for Me".
  • Cool Hat:
    • Not exactly a hat per se, but Delson's headphones count for being both unique and one of his most recognizable features, aside from his Jewfro.
    • More traditionally, Phoenix likes to rock a sweet fedora during concerts.
  • Cover Version: In addition to covering "Wish" by Nine Inch Nails and Adele's "Rolling in the Deep", they've also been known to play "Sweet Child o' Mine" and "My Own Summer".
  • Dark Reprise: "Fallout" from A Thousand Suns is this to the album's third (technically first when not counting the preludes) track "Burning in the Skies", which features an ominous vocoded version of the chorus lyrics and serving as the prelude to "The Catalyst".
  • Determinator: Chester Bennington. He gets injured/ill so frequently he once wished to be put in a bubble. He's been bitten by a recluse spider, broken his wrists in the middle of a concert, injured his back and ankle, had surgeries because of mysterious illnesses, become allergic to his own sweat, had a tennis racquet go through his lip after he hit himself in the face with it while playing, and he ripped off one of his nipples just by getting in the shower. Nonetheless, totally badass for finishing the show where he broke his arm three songs in.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: The band's behind-the-scenes videos, LPTV, were filmed in black-and-white during the A Thousand Suns touring cycle to reflect the theme of that album.
  • Digital Piracy Is Evil:
    • Averted. Members of the band have gone on record saying they really don't care if their songs are downloaded. When Minutes to Midnight was leaked, their only response was to advise people to listen to the tracks in order and ask that they buy the album anyway for all the non-musical stuff they put into it. Especially notable considering that their label is Warner, of all companies.
    • Just to underline how seriously Warner takes piracy, every time a copy of A Thousand Suns was sent to a music journalist for reviewing purposes, a cop was shipped along with it to make sure nothing leaked. Not that it stopped the album from being leaked anyway.
  • Doomsday Clock: Minutes to Midnight
  • Dress Rehearsal Video: About half of their videos.
  • DVD Commentary: The band has a DVD edition for each of their CDs barring Hybrid Theory (which saw a standalone DVD a year after its release). Footage of them is usually about the music making process, life on tour, music video commentary, and the odd practical joke.
  • Epic Fail/Hoist by His Own Petard: In "Figure 0.9" there this lyric

"I think of how I shot myself in the back again."

  • Epic Rocking: "The Little Things Give You Away" clocks in at six and a half minutes while "Krwling", "1stp Klosr" and "The Catalyst" come close to that.
  • Fading Into the Next Song: The only album that doesn't use this is Hybrid Theory. It was intended to, however; the version of High Voltage cut from the album (and on the One Step Closer single) was supposed to segue in from "Cure for the Itch" as can be heard by the remnants of Itch at the beginning of Voltage. It was probably cut because it had already appeared in a different version on the Hybrid Theory EP.
    • Various special editions of Hybrid Theory feature this version of High Voltage as a bonus track, but no attempt was made to restore the original segue.
  • Fake Band:

Baby, if you were my Iraq / I'd never pull out of you if you know what I mean.

  • Fan Service: Frontman Chester Bennington seems to be shirtless about 40% of the time, performing or otherwise. As for the rest of the band, fans will have to scour the behind-the-scenes videos on the group's website for even a hint of fanservice from the other five members.
  • Rule of Symbolism: Really, the whole A Thousand Suns album, but "Jornada Del Muerto" stands out even in the middle of it. The album is about the threat of nuclear weapons. Jornada Del Muerto was the site of the Trinity test, the world's first atomic explosion. In addition, Mike is singing "Lift me up/Let me go" in Japanese at the beginning of the song. Japan is the only country in the world where nuclear weapons were deployed offensively.
  • Follow the Leader: Well, one could make a case about their earlier years, what with being a nu-metal/rap-rock band in a time when those subgenres were on their way out. But let's face it, they're really following U2's genre-hopping and philanthropy.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • "The Requiem", the opening track from A Thousand Suns is an ambient, brooding version of "The Catalyst", the album's penultimate track, which also features the Album Title Drop. It also contains the piano track from "Waiting for the End" and the heartbeat-sonar ping combo sound is heard again in the start of "Jornada del Muerto".
    • A more subtle version comes in the track "Jornada del Muerto", which features Mike singing "Lift me up, let me go" in Japanese.
  • Genre Roulette: Minutes to Midnight. If you need further proof, look at its track order. Within the span of three songs, you'll hear a political hip-hop song featuring a choir and piano, one of the heaviest songs the band ever wrote with Chester coming close to snarling most of the lyrics, and a light alternative ballad about a funeral.
  • A Good Name for a Rock Band: The band's name refers to a Lincoln Park in which Chester resided in shortly after joining the band. One of the band members reasoned that the name would also help forge a connection with fans, since there were many cities with a Lincoln Park in them.
  • Humongous Mecha:
    • The cover of Reanimation and some of their music videos. Their song "What I've Done" also appeared in Transformers (as well as several thousand Transformers Armada Starscream AMVs).
      • The videos for "New Divide" and "Iridescent" feature the Transformers prominently.
    • The most incredible one is the video for "Somewhere I Belong", which include the Gundam models made by Joseph Hahn himself. Models include the Sazabi, Wing Zero Custom and GP-01 Zephyranthes.
      • Bandai-Namco is now returning the favor by featuring the song "The Catalyst" in the upcoming Gundam Extreme Versus arcade game. It'll also feature an Linkin Park version of the [GP-01Fb], included with the purchase of the Japanese edition of "A Thousand Suns".
  • Hypocritical Humor: On "Rn@wy", Phoenix Orion claims he "can't get with the hybrids". He raps this over an industrial rock track.
  • Instrumentals: Most of which show up on fan-exclusive EP's. These are the ones that don't.
    • "Session", which was actually nominated for a Grammy.
    • "Lockjaw", a piece Mike and Rob were commissioned to make by Digidesign to promote ProTools 8.
    • "Issho ni", a charity track for the 2011 earthquake that devastated Japan.
  • "I Want" Song: Pick a song from the first two albums.
  • The Jimmy Hart Version: "Shadow of the Day" sounds REALLY similar to "With or Without You". Likewise, the intro to "What I've Done" and the Halloween theme.
  • Large Ham: Chester all the time, whether onstage or on tape. However, Mike isn't that far behind him.
  • Let's See You Do Better: As a response to the typical criticism from fans over "Issho ni", Mike challenged everyone to remix the song as they saw fit.
  • Licensed Game: 8-Bit Rebellion for the iPhone/iPod Touch. Time will tell if the game's any good, though. And if it isn't, then at least there's a new song and midi remixes of their previous hits to look forward to. Critic reviews have been kind, however.
  • Long Runner Lineup: Type 2 since 2000
  • Lyrical Dissonance:
    • The song "What I've Done" sounds like a moody downer sound, but it's about facing the consequences of your actions, and finding forgiveness.
    • "Bleed it Out" averts this by being actually about writing lyrics, and re-writing them again and again (instead of self-mutilation as many automatically conclude). Bennington and Shinoda vented their lyric writing frustrations by writing more lyrics.[5]
  • Madness Mantra: On multiple songs, most notably Given Up and One Step Closer. Also have a tendency to have an ending Punctuated! For! Emphasis!.
  • Metal Scream:
    • "Given Up" contains a seventeen-second, two pitch scream while "Across the Line" has a prolonged scream lasting eleven seconds, also Wth>You has a 9 second prolonged COME ON!! at the beginning.
    • The chorus of "Blackout" also finds Chester giving his voice a serious work out.
  • Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: A 5 sounds about right, varying by the individual song.
    • To go in depth, their Nu-metal style songs range from 6-7 where as their more mellow offerings rank about 3-5. Their latest album arguably doesn't even fit on the scale, lacking almost anything rock about it.
  • Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: Their music has pretty much always been a mix of rock, hip-hop, and electronica. Which of these ingredients takes prominence depends on the song.
  • New Sound Album: All of them, every single time. Minutes to Midnight and A Thousand Suns are the most noticeable.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: The video for "Iridescent" features Mike as a one-eyed serpent king with spikes growing from his shoulders in a post-apocalyptic world where the rest of the band imitates The Last Supper while the Autobots hang around.
  • Once per Movie: Capping off a Transformers film.
  • Older and Wiser: Minutes to Midnight and A Thousand Suns disposes of much of the angst of their earlier work, in place of it being (arguably) deeper and with more meaningful messages and themes. The fanbase for that album is also possibly older than the band's earlier fanbase. It could also be argued that they've done a J.K. Rowling and had their music/lyrical themes age as their audience (and they themselves, in this case) have aged.
  • Perishing Alt Rock Voice: Whenever Mike's singing.
  • Piss-Take Rap: Chester's vocals in the verses of "Blackout" strongly resemble rapping.
    • Piss Take Reggae: Mike's toasted vocals in "Waiting for the End", Chester's half screamed-half toasted vocals in "Wretches and Kings".
  • Polish the Turd: According to Mike, this was Rick Rubin's opinion of their songwriting and production process before adopting "automatic writing" for A Thousand Suns.
  • Pop Star Composer: Mike worked with Joe Trapanese, best known for helping Daft Punk on the score to Tron: Legacy, for the soundtrack to an Indonesian martial-arts film called The Raid.
  • Protest Song:
    • "Hands Held High", "No More Sorrow" and "The Little Things Give You Away".
    • A Thousand Suns. It's a concept album dealing with war and nuclear power, as well as human fears of what's going to happen to the world.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!:
    • "Bleed it Out". "I'LL MAKE YOU FACE! THIS! NOW!"
    • "Faint". "Don't turn your back on me! I WON'T! BE! IGNORED!"
    • "A Place For My Head". STAY! A! WAY!
  • Rags to Riches: Chester was so poor before he joined the band, he and his first wife (later divorced) tattooed wedding rings on their fingers, instead of buying 'em.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Chester and Mike's vocal roles. Chester provides the aggression, passion and sensitivity while Mike provides reflectiveness and observations.
  • Refrain From Assuming / Non-Appearing Title: A good third of their songs.
  • Sampling: Linkin Park has sampled High and Mighty, Brand Nubian, Lamont Dozier, UNKLE and the first Pokemon movie, mostly on Reanimation. Conversely, they've been sampled by Krayzie Bone and Juicy J.
  • Self-Titled Album: The Hybrid Theory EP.
  • Shout-Out:
    • "Wretches and Kings" contains part of the immortal opening line from "Bring the Noise", which comes full circle in the HavocNdeeD remix which features Chuck D himself.
    • A few in "When They Come for Me". From name-dropping Lauryn Hill, Biggie, Chuck D and Big Daddy Kane to this:

Mike: 'Cause even a blueprint is a gift and a curse.

  • Spoken Word in Music:
    • An interview of the late turntablist Roc Raida discussing Rap Rock is inserted into "High Voltage".
    • Speeches by J. Robert Oppenheimer, Mario Savio and Martin Luther King Jr. are sprinkled throughout A Thousand Suns.
  • Subdued Section: Quite a few times, most notably "In the End" and "The Catalyst".
  • Subliminal Seduction: Playing "Announcement Public Service" backwards yields Chester howling "YOU SHOULD BRUSH YOUR TEETH AND YOU SHOULD WASH YOUR FACE!"
  • Surprisingly Gentle Songs: "My December", "Leave Out All the Rest", "Iridescent" and "Shadow of the Day".
  • Take That:
    • "When They Come for Me" for the contingent of fans who still yearn for the Hybrid Theory days.
      • There's even a line in it where Mike outright says he's not "the same person telling you to forfeit the game," in reference to "Points of Authority."
    • "Step Up" addresses other rap-rock bands in a less-than-flattering fashion.

Mike: Rapping over rock doesn't make you a pioneer, 'cause rock and hip-hop have collaborated for years. But now they're getting randomly mixed and matched up all after a fast buck and all the tracks suck.

When life leaves us blind
Love keeps us kind

  1. It was a rather minor single in comparison to the other singles on that album
  2. Remix album
  3. Was released as a single, but didn't have its own video.
  4. remix version made for Transformers: Dark of the Moon
  5. This is lampshaded by the opening line "Here we go for the hundredth time."