Hybrid Theory - Background

Background

Linkin Park was founded in 1996 as the rap rock band, Xero: lead guitarist Brad Delson, vocalist and rhythm guitarist Mike Shinoda, drummer Rob Bourdon, turntablist Joe Hahn, lead vocalist Mark Wakefield and bassist Dave Farrell (who was not with the band during this point to tour with Tasty Snax). In 1998, after Wakefield's departure, lead vocalist Chester Bennington joined the five members Xero and the band was renamed to Hybrid Theory. Bennington's previous band, Grey Daze, had recently disbanded, so his lawyer recommended him to Jeff Blue, vice president of A&R coordination for Zomba, who at the time was seeking a lead vocalist for Xero. Blue sent Bennington two tapes of Xero's unreleased recordings — one with vocals by former Xero member Mark Wakefield, and the other with only the instrumental tracks — asking for his "interpretation of the songs". Bennington wrote and recorded new vocals over the instrumentals and sent the tapes back to Blue. As Delson recalls, " really was kind of the final piece of the puzzle We didn't see anything close to his talent in anybody else." After Bennington joined, the group first renamed itself to Hybrid Theory and released a self-titled EP. Legal complications with Welsh electronic music group Hybrid prompted a second name change, thus deciding on "Linkin Park". Throughout 1999, Linkin Park was a regular act at the Los Angeles club, The Whisky.

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