Three members of Linkin Park recently reminisced about a pivotal moment in their band's history. During a chat with Zane Lowe of Apple Music 1, co-vocalist Mike Shinoda (appearing with guitarist Brad Delson and bassist Dave Farrell) claimed that their record label attempted to "change the DNA" of the band and turn Linkin Park into more of a Chester Bennington solo project.
The story takes place during the recording of Hybrid Theory, which, to this day, remains the best selling hard-rock album of the 21st century. Before Linkin Park's massive success, however, there were apparently questions from the label about whether Bennington really needed the other members of the band.
"There was a question from the label like, 'Well, the singer's so good.' At a certain point, they kept trying to meddle in our creative process and change the DNA of the band. And at one point, there was a suggestion, 'Well, maybe you just have the singer sing and you don't do any rapping,' which to all of us was an offensive suggestion," Shinoda said, as transcribed by Rolling Stone.
The Linkin Park rapper continued at roughly the 26-minute mark of the interview, "But they kind of back-doored it to [Bennington] and went directly to him. And the sell, the pitch was, 'We're going to build a new thing all around you. You are the star. You already are the star, it should be all about you.' So just like, whatever about these other guys. We don't need them … [Bennington] took us aside, and he's like, 'Hey, you guys, you need to know, they did this to me today. They said these things to me.' And he recounted the whole conversation. And we were all like, 'Holy shit.' In my mind, I'm like, 'Oh, boy. This is the beginning of the end.' Right? Because they're right, he's incredible, and we need him. I don't know if he needs us."
Shinoda finished the story by claiming Bennington told the label to "go fuck themselves," ultimately standing by his Linkin Park bandmates. "He has our back, we have his back. That was the start … To me, that was a real galvanizing moment. That was the start of all for one and one for all," Shinoda said.
"Chester was on board, first and foremost, maybe even leading the charge on it — 'let's do it our way or let's not do it.' He was a champion for that in so many ways," Ferrell added. Check out the full interview with Linkin Park below.