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In the early years, Linkin Park began with three high school friends; Mike Shinoda, Rob Bourdon, and Brad Delson. Once they graduated from high school, they began to take their musical talents more seriously. During this time they recruited Joe Hahn, Dave “Phoenix” Farrell and Mark Wakefield (as the vocalist) and formed a new band, Xero. With the little resources they had at that time (in 1996), they used Shinoda’s bedroom to record a 4 track demo tape. Because of the lack of success and not being able to get a record label, Wakefield ended up leaving the band to pursue other projects. Farrell ended up leaving also to tour with Tasty Snax at that time and also tour with other bands.

Xero eventually found Chester Bennington by recommendation of Jeff Blue, which is the president of Zomba Music in March of 1999. Chester stood out among other applicants because of the dynamics in his singing style, while at that time he was in a band he created called Grey Daze. While recruiting Chester, the band agreed to change their name from Xero to Hybrid Theory, then again shortly after to Linkin Park to play homage to Santa Monica’s Lincoln Park.

After all the name changes and recruiting the new singer, the band still struggled to sign a record deal. Linkin Park eventually turned to Jeff Blue again for additional help. Even though the band was declined three attempts to sign a deal with Warner Bros. Records previously, Jeff Blue as the new vice president of Warner Bros. Records helped the band to sign a deal in 1999. In just the following year, the band released their groundbreaking album, Hybrid Theory. And that was just the beginning for Linkin Park.

Short Linkin Park Facts

  • Linkin Park is formerly known as Hybrid Theory. They named their first
    album that after they couldn’t use the name Hybrid Theory because of
    copyright issues with another group called Hybrid.
  • The reason they misspelled their name from Lincoln Park is because the domain name was already taken and would have been expensive to buy.
  • Chester has a side project called Dead by Sunrise
  • Shinoda also has a side project called Fort Minor

With the little resources they had at that time (in 1996), they used Shinoda’s bedroom to record a 4 track demo tape.