Mike Shinoda Reveals That Linkin Park Was ‘Miserable’ While Making Hybrid Theory

Mike Shinoda & Chester Bennington Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images / Hybrid Theory: Joe Hahn (artwork), Mike Shinoda (artwork), Frank Maddocks (graphic design), James Minchin III (photography), Warner Bros. (label)
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From a critical and financial standpoint, Linkin Park‘s Hybrid Theory is one of the most successful albums in all of metal history. That said, while the band knew they were creating some good music, Mike Shinoda says Linkin Park was “miserable” while creating the album.

During a recent interview with ALT 98.7 FM, Shinoda spoke about the band’s track “Lost” and reflected on their history. Among the stories he reflected on, Shinoda opened up about the band’s experience creating their debut studio album.

Specifically, he speaks about how the band was “miserable” while making the record and mentions how their label was fighting with them about it. Per Shinoda (as transcribed by Rock Celebrities):

“When we went in the studio and did ‘Hybrid Theory,’ though, we were doing great stuff, and we were really happy with a lot of stuff we were making. But culturally, it was a nightmare. We were miserable. The band was very aligned on what we wanted to make, but the label was fighting us every day; people kept throwing in opinions about, ‘Oh, it shouldn’t be this. It shouldn’t be that.’

“There were even suggestions the band shouldn’t have any rapping. [It shouldn’t have] any hip-hop-like production or influence in it. We just stuck to our guns, made ‘Hybrid Theory,’ and the rest was history. The thing about ‘Meteora’ was, we were like, ‘That sucked, that ‘Hybrid Theory’ process sucked.’”

Shinoda then goes on to talk about his and the band’s hesitancy to work with producer Don Gilmore again on Meteora (he was the producer on Hybrid Theory). That said, Shinoda shares that things ultimately worked out:

“I don’t think we want to work with Don again because he was letting the door open to all these knuckleheads who were coming in and making our lives miserable. I mean, I don’t mind the difficulties and stress and the things that can make an album tougher. I don’t mind that stuff, but there was extra stuff, and Don was aware of it, but he wanted a meeting.

“We asked him, ‘We’re gonna let you go. Why should we do this with you? Like, first of all, thank you, congrats on the record, but also, we’re at a different place,’ and he was basically, ‘If you make ‘Meteora’ with me, I promise we will make as good or better of a record. I will devote 100% of myself to it.

Also, I learned a lot making the last one. I will eliminate all of that nonsense that happened on that first record. We will not experience it.’ And true to his word, we believed him. We could have been like, ‘Nah,’ but we believed him, and it did work out.”

Both Hybrid Theory and Meteora are amazing albums. Which one is your personal favorite?

You can pre-order the Meteora 20th anniversary box set here, It will be released on April 7th.

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