Linkin Park vocalist Chester Bennington has revealed in a new interview with Metal Hammer that back when the band was working on its 2000 debut album, Hybrid Theory, its label at the time, Warner Bros. Records, wanted the group to fire vocalist/rapper Mike Shinoda. Bennington explained, “This was a time where no one really knew what was f**king going on. I mean the label tried to get rid of Mike, which is probably the funniest thing in the world. Looking back I was just thinking ‘Wow, this is insane, this is a wild ride.’”
  • Bennington added, “We believed in what we were doing so much, and we were like, ‘F**k, why can’t anybody else see this?’ But when the album came out, I guess they saw it.”
  • Hybrid Theory was a massive, unprecedented success, selling more than 10 million copies in the U.S. alone.
  • Guitarist Brad Delson told us a while back that the success of the CD changed everything for Linkin Park: [“When we made Hybrid Theory, we certainly never expected it to be such a huge commercial success. Not only did it, you know, connect with people in such a massive way at the time, but it still resonates. It’s really surreal and it’s certainly a privilege for us to be able to continue to share not only those songs but songs that we’ve made throughout our whole career with such a dedicated and loyal fan base.”] SOUNDCUE (:23 OC: . . . loyal fan base.)
  • The record is best known for its four monster singles: “One Step Closer,” “Crawling,” “Papercut” and “In The End,” released in that order.
  • Linkin Park is currently at work on its seventh studio album, which may come out in 2016 and will follow up 2014’s The Hunting Party.
  • Linkin Park has been mostly out of the public eye since an early 2015 tour in support of The Hunting Party was scrapped when Bennington injured his foot. Bennington also ended his two-year run as Stone Temple Pilots frontman in late 2015 to focus on Linkin Park.

DID YOU KNOW? Mike Shinoda has been an integral part of Linkin Park since its formation. Not only has he served as co-vocalist and rapping, but he’s played guitar and keyboards, has taken a major role in producing the band’s music and used his graphic design skills on occasion as well.


  • Can you imagine Linkin Park without Mike Shinoda on all those albums?
  • How do you think they would sound without him?
  • Doesn’t something like this point out how clueless record label execs are, that they wanted a key member of the band fired?

INTERNET COMMENTS at The PRP — agree or not?

My Shackles wrote: “I always find it amusing when record labels and movie studios get in the way of their own investments. Has their involvement in a record or movie ever made anything actually better? I’m genuinely asking because I have never heard an artist or director say, ‘Yeah…that thing was going to be a mess, but thank god the executives came in.'”

Homey D. Clown wrote: “If they fired Mike, and the album flopped, Warner would be like ‘You shouldn’t have fired him.'”

SpinSwimScream wrote: “How would you kick out the guy who wrote the album? That’s just silly.”

Robert Gillespie wrote: “these guys in ‘suits’ are good for biz-mgmt…but they are clueless when it comes to creativity.”