When you’ve been in the music game for a while, songs tend to become like children to you over time. Even though some fans might grow resentful of the big hit that made them a star, these all have an extension of yourself somewhere in there and give the audience a little peek into what makes you tick.
Once the band was working on their follow up to Hybrid Theory, Mike Shinoda had talked about originally conceiving what would become the song “Breaking the Habit, saying “This was going to be an instrumental track that was ten minutes long.
The guys convinced me to turn it into a full song. Lyrically, it’s kind of just about getting away from the parts of you that you do not like. It goes into a great deal about that type of situation.”
Speaking after the fact to MTV, Chester talked at length about how much he loved the song which ended up on Meteora, saying “That song got me straight to the core. Mike had written the song and he hands me a sheet with the lyrics on it, and I’m reading them and listening to them and it was like waterworks.
I felt like he was writing about my life. That song was very hard for me to record. I get all teared-up thinking about it right now. I’d have to stop, gather myself. I’d get through two lines, start crying, leave the room, come back in. I was like, ‘I can’t do this.’”
The song did become a powerhouse when Chester finally let loose though, telling a gripping story about grappling with your inner thoughts and trying to find some form of stability, whether that’s locked inside your mind or trying to some way out of your own alienated state.
Even if it was Mike’s words though, he had more glowing words to say about his fellow frontman when looking back on it, saying “I’m proud of this song in a lot of ways. I put a lot of work into it. I just think it’s really powerful. Chester’s performance is one of his best.”
You can hear the pain of this song even if Chester’s not here anymore, but that doesn’t diminish the thousands of kids who were helped by these words as well.