Selected by Dan Grunebaum
Picture courtesy of UDO
Yes, they' from Southern California, and yes, they play rap-core, rap-metal, rap-rock, or whatever it's being called now. But don't hold that against them.
Linkin Park are one of the most articulate young bands around at the moment and, in an upcoming Japan debut gig at Zepp Tokyo, will hope to show that they have what it takes to go up against the current kings of the genre, recent visitors Limp Bizkit.
Despite the recent success of their fall 2000 debut, Hybrid
Theory, Linkin Park - notwithstanding the fact that they're still in their mid-20s - have been laying the groundwork for years. Formed in high school by drummer Rob Bourdon, guitarist Brad Delson, and MC Mike Shinoda, Linkin Park filled out their roster with the addition of DJ Joseph Hahn, singer Chester Bennington and bassist Phoenix.
In their very first show at LA's storied Whisky, Linkin Park got an offer from publishing company Zomba. Creating an industry buzz through Zomba, they eventually signed with Warner and began work recording
Contending with the CDs of something on the order of 450 rap-core bands with major label contracts,
Hybrid Theory nevertheless demonstrated that Linkin Park were more than just another bunch of rookies ranting over a background of heavy metal changes. Touches of electronica and alternative rock gave the album the depth and variety it needed to quickly push the 500,000 mark in sales.
In a recent amuZnet interview, singer Bennington described what makes Linkin Park different: "Well, I think that one of the biggest keys that makes us different is the fact that Mike and Brad and Rob have been playing together for close to five years, and when they started... really the only thing to draw from in this particular style of music were collaborations like Anthrax, Public Enemy... and Aerosmith and Run DMC. I think that's one of the key reasons why we're a little bit different. We're not biting off of someone's sound, we didn't just, like, hear
it and go, 'We need to do that, that's the new thing.'"
Linkin Park play Zepp Tokyo on May 14.
listings for details.