10 bands who wouldn’t be here without Linkin Park
Linkin Park are one of the biggest-selling artists of the entire 21st century. Their success has been staggering and their influence huge. For many people – including fellow musicians to come – they served as an introduction to a whole new world of heavy and alternative music. For some they were a gateway band, especially via those first two nu-metal albums, while others would continue to take inspiration from the band’s subsequent evolution, musical experimentation and their often vulnerable, honest lyrics.
Here are 10 bands who might not be here without Linkin Park…
Bring Me The Horizon
It might not have been apparent in their early deathcore roar but BMTH’s more recent exploration on That’s The Spirit or amo certainly borrowed from the spirit of Linkin Park’s later albums. Oli Sykes also recalled how his first appearance in Kerrang! magazine was when “my eyeball and a bit of my head was in the background of a photo from the Linkin Park gig I went to”. He said that he cried his eyes out when he saw the mag. A few years later he would meet Chester Bennington for the first time for a joint K! cover shoot. “I told him Linkin Park were the first band I ever saw live and the reason I wanted to be in one,” Oli recalled. “He seemed really taken aback about it all when I said how much he influenced me. He seemed to really appreciate it and be humbled by it.”
ONE OK ROCK
Linkin Park’s success was on a global scale and their influence extended all over the world, including the future members of Japan’s ONE OK ROCK. Speaking to Kerrang! after the 2017 Linkin Park And Friends tribute show in honour of Chester, frontman Taka Moriuchi recalled hearing the band for the first time in the cinema. “It was a shock to me, as it seemed like such a new thing to hear – I thought it was really fucking cool,” he said. “Later I met Toru [Yamashita, ONE OK ROCK guitarist] and he loved Linkin Park too, and their music gave us a reason to want to be in a band and make music.”
From Ashes To New
When it comes to bands that actually sound explicitly like Linkin Park, they’re usually harking back to the crunching rap-rock and nu-metal of Hybrid Theory and Meteora. From Ashes To New are a case in point. They might only be two albums old but their sound stems straight from LP’s early era, complete with one singing and one rapping vocalist. The Pennsylvanians have also been known to cover In The End and a mash-up of Heavy and Papercut, just to hammer home the comparisons.
Of Mice & Men
Linkin Park were a huge, formative influence on Of Mice & Men. That means we could also have pointed at Attack Attack! and blamed crabcore on LP – but OM&M are probably apposite if only because they were one of many metalcore acts to go through a blatant nu-metal phase. Austin Carlile, who actually had to deny rumours that he was being lined up as Chester’s replacement a couple of years ago, told Revolver: “I bought Hybrid Theory when I was a sophomore in high school. It was the angriest thing I’d ever heard at the time, other than Pantera — but Pantera was my dad’s music, and this was the first record I really got into that I didn’t learn about through him. Linkin Park has been my band for such a long time.”
Escape The Fate
When asked to name the artists without whom Escape The Fate wouldn’t exist, singer Craig Mabbitt plumped for Linkin Park and The Used. He told Alternative Press: “I liked that genre of music before, but [Chester Bennington and Bert McCracken] really got me into modern music. I felt what they were singing about affected my life and I really looked up to them for what I wanted to do as a musician.” He also revealed that his first live gig was a Linkin Park show and said that having Chester look his way during My December was an incredible moment. “It had such an impact on me, and I immediately wanted to be able to impact people that way. I had never even heard live music before, but I went home knowing that’s what I wanted to do with my life,” he said. Craig wasn’t Escape’s original frontman of course, but you could argue the band might not exist had he not come onboard to replace Ronnie Radke.
The Word Alive
Staying in that whole entangled period, Craig Mabbitt did found The Word Alive and when he was kicked out over his commitments to Escape The Fate it was in favour of another Linkin devotee. In an open letter after Chester’s passing, Telle Smith wrote: “The lyrics, the melodies, the controlled chaos of his voice… It hooked me instantly. As I began to start singing and my voice started to come to life, I knew that it would be a huge honor if people could recognize his influence in our music and in my voice.”
Austin Dickinson has a very famous rock star for a father. Watch him live and you’ll see he’s picked up a few crowd control mannerisms from dad and Iron Maiden frontman Bruce. Every child needs to find their own thing though and, at 29 years old, the As Lions frontman would have been exactly the right generation to be swept up in the first wave of Linkin Park fever. Like many others he posted his own tribute after Chester’s death, writing, “You are one of the main reasons I do what I do, and who I am. Music and emotions transcend so much of what we choose to complicate in life. You helped me understand.”
As already mentioned, Linkin Park were such an early influence for so many people that they’ve had an immeasurable impact across pretty much all of the rock and metal spectrum. You might not find glaring similarities between LP and Architects on a cursory listen but vocalist Sam Carter was another musician who laid bare his influences in tribute to the late singer. He tweeted, “Absolutely crushed by the passing of [Chester]. My biggest vocal inspiration and reason I wanted to start singing. Rest in power.”
They might have influenced bands right across the louder side but it’s fitting that Linkin Park’s increasingly genre-fluid approach also inspired people beyond the hard rock and metal scenes. In a tribute made after Chester’s death, Corin Roddick of Canadian electronic duo Purity Ring tweeted that “Linkin Park was my first concert and it inspired me to make music”. And sometimes that inspiration runs both ways. Mike Shinoda listed Purity Ring’s second album Another Eternity amongst his albums of the year and there were parallels to be drawn between Purity Ring’s dream-pop and Linkin Park’s last album One More Light.
Machine Gun Kelly
Machine Gun Kelly is another player from outside rock’s strict generic lines, although he has been known to dabble in rap-rock – a sound that Linkin Park themselves helped define. They were also a huge influence on the rapper’s nascent development. “Hybrid Theory was one of the first three CDs that I ever had in my life,” he told Kerrang!. “When Papercut comes on and that fucking beat kicks in – oh my God! Imagine going from listening to the Grease soundtrack to listening to that!”
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