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I’m Sorry, I Don’t Know What We Were Doing”: Mike Shinoda Reflects On Linkin Park’s Papercut Video

Mike Shinoda reflects on the goofy” video for Linkin Park’s smash single Papercut

Later this month, Linkin Parks Hybrid Theory will celebrate its 20th anniversary. The big 2 – 0. And to celebrate this milestone, we’re giving you the definitive track-by-track guide to the album, straight from the band’s mouths, over on our Instagram every day this week.

Kicking things off with opening track Papercut, vocalist Mike Shinoda revealed to Kerrang! that despite the track laying the foundation for the album, he’s not a fan of the video clip.

The only thing about that song that didn’t age well, in retrospect, is the video,” he laughs, in the first instalment of our Hybrid Theory video series. If you watch the video, I’m sorry, I don’t know what we were doing.”

READ THIS: The 20 greatest Linkin Park songs – ranked

The video itself – which currently has over 170 million views on YouTube – shows the band in a lavish house, specifically in one nice-looking lounge, adjacent to a much darker, twisted, shadowy room on the other side. While half the band are chilling out on sofas, turntablist Joe Hahn is hard at work while Mike and co-vocalist Chester Bennington give it their all to the camera – with Chester sporting a red mohawk and rather fetching trousers.

I remember Chester showing up in all-plaid, a whole plaid outfit on, and I was thinking That’s a very weird choice,’ ” smiles Mike, reflecting on the day of the shoot. It was the type of thing where you have to choose your battles because at that point there was so much on the line, we were just breaking, and there were minor disagreements on things all the time, so I wasn’t about to get into a conversation with him about the outfit when we’re just trying to shoot a great video. 

As the video progresses, the sinister room somehow generates a creepy chrysalis, from which hundreds of dragonflies spawn (referencing Hybrid Theory’s artwork). Then faces start coming through the wall and the room starts shape-shifting around the band. 

The special effects are goofy,” adds Mike. It’s not a terrible video, I think we’ve made worse, but when I watch it now, I look like a fucking idiot and I don’t know what’s going on (laughs).”

Check out the full clip of Mike’s memories of Papercut below, and don’t forget to follow us on Instagram for the stories behind all 12 tracks.

Linkin Park’s Hybrid Theory boxset is out October 9 and available to pre-order now.

Posted on October 5th 2020, 5:11p.m.
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