Linkin Park is a real band
It's the very early noughties, the NuMetal movement is about to reach its absolute peak. A sound that previously fell under terms such as crossover or rap metal has become the largest youth movement of alternative rock. In skate parks and children's rooms, the frustration of puberty is given a lot of air. Aggressive songs about teenage fear and outsiderhood dominate rock radios worldwide.
While the Guano Apes are making a career in Germany with shouted vocals and power chords, in the USA, besides Korn, Limp Bizkit and Slipknot, no one else meets the ravages of time as precisely as Linkin Park. Drummer Rob Bourdon, guitarist Brad Delson, DJ Joseph Hahn, singer Mike Shinoda and shouter Chester Bennington first called themselves Xero in 1996, then Hybrid Theory, soon Linkin Park (slang for "Lincoln Park").
Thanks to major support, the five Californians in 2001 quickly became the blueprint of a genre. Shinoda rapshoutet, Bennington shoutsingt, DJ Hahn delivers the scratch parts taken over from HipHop. In short: Linkin Park always aim at the big crowd with melodies. You could call it hard-pop.
The guitars are distorted and powerful enough to sweep away the young clientele, the videos are stylish and dark. At the same time, the presentation never seems too strange for the parents' generation to fear for their protégés - "Parental Advisory" stickers or not.
"Hybrid Theory", which triggered the NuMetal hype in 2000, quickly achieved gold and platinum status in Brazil, Canada and Switzerland. In the United States, the band garnered two Grammy awards for their debut album. Logical consequence: the superstar status.
It goes without saying that Linkin Park has been playing halls instead of clubs in Europe from the start, especially since their second album "Meteora" (2003) is also selling well. Even at festivals, Bennington and Co. quickly rank on par with close (Deftones) and distant relatives (Metallica). A bastard pop record with Rapkrösus Jay-Z is made, and for the third album "Minutes to Midnight", producer legend Rick Rubin is brought to the mixer in person in 2007.
And as it is with youth movements - at some point teens will turn into their twenties, adolescent anger gives way to a differentiated approach, but above all: the next trend is certain to come. In the present case, vintage rock takes over the changing of the guard.
While the Californians still benefit from the fame of bygone days, the NuMetal genre is once again leading a niche existence. Alongside grunge, britrock, punk revival and all the other faded mainstream rock conquests.
In the meantime, Linkin Park are increasingly relying on electronic beats, and with "A Thousand Suns" (2010) and "Living Things" (2012) they sit between all chairs. Only with "The Hunting Party" do they return to their roots and focus more on alternative metal again.
The seventh regular studio album "One More Light" will be released in May 2017 and sends out contradicting signals in advance. The first published song "Heavy" feat. Many old fans consider Kiiara too poppy, but the guys with "Good Goodbye" feat. Pusha T and Stormzy at least have a real rap-rock hybrid on board.
A severe blow of fate hits the band shortly after the release. On July 20, 2017, singer Chester Bennington was found lifeless at his Los Angeles home. Several media outlets report suicide as the cause of death. Bennington suffered from depression like the Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell, who was good friends with him. He was only 41 years old.
The other band members are of course shocked after this stroke of fate. They're creating a condolence page for Chester so that his fans can say goodbye to him. In a Facebook post, Linkin Park hint that they will continue in some form ("Our love for music is indelible.")
Three months after his death, Shinoda and Co. invite bands they are friends to to a tribute concert in Los Angeles. Under the title "Linkin Park And Friends Celebrate Life In Honor Of Chester Bennington", Daron Malakian, Shavo and John Dolmayan from System Of A Down, Korn singer Jonathan Davis, Blink-182, Ryan Key from Yellowcard will perform on October 27th , Machine Gun Kelly, Kiiara and Bring Me The Horizon singer Oli Sykes. Linkin Park will close the horror year on December 15, 2017 with the release of "One More Light Live", a live album with songs from several concerts from the last studio album with Chester Bennington.
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