Linkin Park

Selected by Dan Grunebaum
Rap-core challengers
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 Hybrid Theory.

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. 
See listings for details

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388: Dido
387: Papa Roach
386: Beast Feast 2001
385: Summersonic
384: David Sylvian
383: Maxi Priest & Big Mountain
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381: Roxy Music
380: Bo Diddley
379: John McLaughlin & Zakir Hussain in Remember Shakti
378: Paul Weller
377: Coolio
376: Backyard Babies
375: Marcus Miller
374: Black Crowes
373: Megadeath
372: Dionne Warwick
371: Arrested Development
370: Mouse on Mars
369: Duran Duran
368: Linkin Park
367: Maceo Parker
366: Japan Blues Carnival 2001
365: Ben Harper
364: Cheap Trick
363: Stephen Malkmus
362: Mogwai
361: Weezer
360: Marilyn Manson
359: Green Day
358: AC/DC
357: Richard Thompson
356: Bob Dylan
355: J. Mascis
354: Leigh Stephen Kenny
352/3: Limp Bizkit
351: Boyz II Men
350: Reef
349: Park Tower Blues Festival
348: Roni Size
347: Compay Segundo
346: Incognito
345: Jimmy Page and The Black Crowes
344: Bad Religion
343: Japan Soul Festival 2000
342: Rocktober 2000
341: Richard Ashcroft
340: Motorhead
339: Festival Halou
338: Ricky Martin
337: Taj Mahal
336: Asian Dub Foundation
335: Lou Reed
334: Earth, Wind & Fire
333: Sting
332: No Doubt
331: Camel
330: Fuji Rock: Smash Talks
329: Summer Sonic
328: Mt. Fuju Aid 2000
327: Salif Keita
326: Buena Vista Social Club
325: Bill Frisell
324: Maxi Priest
323: Lenine
322: Rage Against the Machine
321: Tommy Flanagan Trio
320: Smashing Pumpkins
319: Pet Shop Boys
318: Japan Blues Carnival
317: Gipsy Kings
316: Steely Dan
315: Pshish
314: Big Night Out
313: Femi Kuti and the Positive Force
312: Harry Connick Jr.
311: Sonny Rollins
310: Speech
309: Santana