Who Sounds like Linkin Park?
Sharing a legacy of having five consecutive albums debut on the Billboard 200 chart with industry giants like Kanye West, Madonna, Beyoncé, and U2, Linkin Park is an industry legend in their own right.
Though their sound has developed from album to album, the band is well-known for their leading role in bringing nu-metal and rap rock genres into mainstream music. Additionally, the band has dabbled with alternative rock and alternative metal musical stylings in their songs.
Originally from a suburb of Los Angeles, CA, Linkin Park has been around since 1996.
If You Like Linkin Park, You May Like…
Since Linkin Park’s discography features a range of styles and genres, so too do the band’s musical influences. Group members have cited prominent hip hop artists and groups like The Roots, Public Enemy, and Chuck D as impactful.
Alternative rock band Nine Inch Nails and nu-metal group Deftones also played a role in the development of Linkin Park’s sound. Furthermore, some of the group’s mid-career experimentation with different instruments and electronic mixing was inspired by Aphex Twin.
Bands like Linkin Park heavily feature guitar riffs, power chords, and blasts of feedback created by instruments used on albums and in concert. Lyrics tend to grapple with the overwhelming and with heady themes like love, loss, and life in general.
The following artists play music similar to Linkin Park:
- Green Day
- Thirty Seconds to Mars
Furthermore, Linkin Park has toured with other groups that sound like them, such as Limp Bizkit, Hoobastank, System of a Down, My Chemical Romance, Taking Back Sunday, Paramore, Slayer, Iron Maiden, The Devil Wears Prada, A Day to Remember, Yellowcard, and Machine Gun Kelly.
All these bands are known for experimental genre crossing, prominent guitar reminiscent of rock genres and subgenres, and a mix of clearly sung lyrics and other vocalization techniques like screaming or rapping.
Linkin Park was formed by high school friends Mike Shinoda, Rob Bourdon, and Brad Delson in 1996. Though not originally called Linkin Park, the members settled on the name as an homage to Santa Monica’s Lincoln Park. The spelling deviation is the result of available internet domain names.
The band’s initial lineup changed several times before the current members joined. Linkin Park is comprised of lead vocalist Chester Bennington; vocalist, rhythm guitarist, pianist, and keyboardist Mike Shinoda; lead guitarist Brad Delson; bassist Dave Farrell; turntablist, sampler, and keyboardist Joe Hahn; and drummer and percussionist Rob Bourdon.
As Linkin Park struggled to establish itself as a band, the group produced music under the names Xero and Hybrid Theory. While still under the latter name, the band released a self-titled EP album that achieved a measure of fame in Internet chat rooms and forums.
The previously-elusive success brought to them by the Hybrid Theory EP resulted in the change of name and eventually clinched Linkin Park a record deal with Warner Bros. Records. In late 2000, the band released a remixed and polished version of the EP, which became Linkin Park’s first full-length studio album.
A massive commercial success, Hybrid Theory is easily the band’s most fruitful effort to date and launched the group into mainstream popularity. Capitalizing on their newfound fame, Linkin Park participated in many tours, such as Ozzfest and the Family Values Tour, and performed over 320 concerts within a year’s time.
In the time between the release of their first and second studio albums, Linkin Park launched their own tour called Projekt Revolution, released a documentary of their touring experiences titled Frat Party at the Pankake Festival, and produced a remix album called Reanimation that claimed the second spot on the Billboard 200 chart.
In mid-2003, Meteora was released and featured the band’s usual nu-metal and rapcore styles as well as experimental elements. To promote the album, Linkin Park went on another circuit of tours, including the Summer Sanitarium Tour 2003 to which they were invited by Metallica. The group released a CD and DVD combination titled Like In Texas to document the experience.
During the significant gap between the release of Linkin Park’s second and third studio album, many of the band members took on side projects and performed at benefit concerts for victims of Hurricanes Charley and Katrina. Then, in mid-2007, the group dropped Minutes to Midnight, which marked a serious deviation from their old nu-metal style of music. A world tour to promote the album then kept the band busy for much of 2008.
While also working on their fourth album, A Thousand Suns, Linkin Park collaborated with renowned film composer Hans Zimmer to produce the score for Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. Additionally, the group released a game app compatible with iPhone called 8-Bit Rebellion! wherein a new song could be unlocked by beating the game.
The song, “Blackbirds,” was also released as a bonus track on their fourth album. A Thousand Suns was released in late 2010.
Linkin Park’s fifth studio album, Living Things, dropped in mid-2012. The group continued to tour and work on side projects until the release of The Hunting Party in mid-2014. The sixth and most recent album was produced by co-founders Shinoda and Delson. The album’s sound explores the musical elements of their first album and is described as a “90’s style of rock record.”
A seventh album is expected to drop in 2016.
The earliest albums produced by Linkin Park, Hybrid Theory and Meteora, as well as their latest release The Hunting Party, all feature a unique mix of rock and rap music. Catchy hooks and melodic choruses contrast with the quickly delivered and rhyming vocals during verses. The overall effect is rhythmic and memorable.
Later albums like Minutes to Midnight and A Thousand Suns feature familiar musical elements but also incorporate new technology, like sampling, and unexpected instruments like piano.
- Hybrid Theory (2000) – A remixed release of an EP put out by the band before signing with Warner Bros. Records. The best-selling record of 2001 with over 4.8 million copies sold.
- Meteora (2003) – Over 800,000 copies sold during the album’s first week. The record topped charts in the US and UK. Notable singles include “Numb” and “Breaking the Habit.”
- Minutes to Midnight (2007) – Topping the Billboard charts, the band’s third studio album sold over 625,000 copies in its first week. The popular single “What Have I Done” was featured in the film Transformers.
- A Thousand Suns (2010) – Peaked at the number four slot on the 2011 Billboard Hard Rock Albums chart and featured the singles “The Catalyst” and “Waiting for the End.”
- Living Things (2013) – Sold over 220,000 copies in the first week and ranked number one on the US Albums Chart.
- The Hunting Party (2014) – Produced by band members Shinoda and Delson and reminiscent of the band’s earlier sound.