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06 April 2023

Linkin Park Talk Chester Bennington, ‘Meteora’ Reissue

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Linkin Park have spoken about their late frontman Chester Bennington and the forthcoming Meteora 20 anniversary reissue in a new interview with Zane Lowe for Apple 1 Music.

In the interview, which you can watch below, Mike Shinoda, Brad Delson, and Dave Farrell talk about how it was Bennington who pushed back against their label when the record company tried to “change the DNA” of the band — and make Bennington a “star” with a different band — during the recording of their debut Hybrid Theory.

“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.

“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… He 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.”

Ultimately, Bennington informed his bandmates that he told the label he wasn’t interested. “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 told Lowe.

Shinoda also discussed why the band decided to give Meteora the deluxe treatment for its 20th anniversary.

“Part of the reason that this 20th-anniversary thing came together… from my perspective, when the question was asked, like should we do a 20th-anniversary package for the second album, I was like, ‘I don’t know,’ like, ‘I don’t want to feel like I’m milking this thing.’ The album was the album, and everybody knows the story,” Shinoda said. “But we started to uncover the stuff that hadn’t been released.”

Meteora is being reissued on 7 April in multiple formats: Limited Edition Super Deluxe Box Set, 4LP Deluxe Vinyl Box Set, three-disc Deluxe CD and digital: all containing a wealth of previously unreleased or rare tracks. New artwork, stencils, stickers and a 40-page book will also be included, along with a QR code that will reveal “something special” when scanned. Meterora 20th Anniversary Edition is available for pre-order now.

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