Linkin Park insist they ‘kept metal alive’

Linkin Park in the early 2000s
Linkin Park in the early 2000s
(Image: © Getty)

Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington has laughed off the perception from some metal purists that the band were nothing more than a boy band with guitars when starting their career.

They released their debut album Hybrid Theory in 2000, which went on to huge commercial success. But some questioned the integrity of their sound, which challenged the concept of what metal could be.

But reflecting on their first album and the reaction to it, Bennington says Linkin Park were partially responsible for bringing metal into the 21st century.

The singer tells Metal Hammer: “I think that’s really funny – just those words, ‘the integrity of metal.’ In my opinion we actually kept metal alive.

“I met a kid a few days ago who said, ‘You were the first rock band I ever listened to’ and I hear that all the time. We played a surprise Vans Warped tour show in California in 2014 and had a whole bunch of singers from other bands come up and sing with us.”

He adds: “Every one of them was either, ‘Your band was my first record.’ Or, ‘Your band is the reason I’m playing music.’ It was maybe the first time where I felt like we were the band that people looked at in the way that I look at Deftones, Metallica and Stone Temple Pilots.”

The full feature on Linkin Park’s Hybrid Theory is in issue 286 of Metal Hammer, which includes the 100 greatest albums of the 21st century. It’s out now in print and via TeamRock+.

The band are currently working on their seventh album, the follow-up to 2014’s The Hunting Party.

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