"I said to Chester, 'What do you think about just saying SHUT UP?'" Mike Shinoda explains how Rage Against The Machine inspired one of Linkin Park's most iconic moments on One Step Closer

Mike Shinoda and Chester Bennington in the One Step Closer video
(Image credit: Linkin Park (YouTube))

Mike Shinoda has revealed the influence that Rage Against The Machine had on one of Linkin Park's most beloved songs. Speaking on The Allison Hagendorf Show in November (as highlighted by the excellent Crazy Ass Nu Metal Moments), Shinoda described the moment where he gave Chester a suggestion that'd have a major impact on the band's hallmark nu metal rager, One Step Closer.

"Chester and I were in the lounge, trying to figure this out, and I said to him, 'What do you think about just saying, "Shut up!",'" Shinoda explains. He was like, 'Just saying it?' and I was like, 'No, you'd, like, scream it, but just that, nothing bigger. You know that Rage Against The Machine song, 'Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me!' [Killing In The Name]? Like that!' And he's like, 'Oh! That's gonna be great!' He was like, 'I'm pumped! Let's do this!' 

"It was that Rage part," he continues. "'That Rage part is so iconic, and I wanna do something like that when we play it at [legendary LA venue] The Roxy; people are gonna fucking tear the place apart.' He was like, 'That's the part', and we both knew immediately that that was the best part of the song, it was gonna be incredible. He screaming on a lot of stuff, but he hadn't done it on that song yet. We told Don [Gilmore, Hybrid Theory producer], we walked in, we were like, 'Wrap it up. That guitar thing you guys are doing? Stop. Get the mic up, you gotta hear this thing.'

"We put Chester on the mic, and the very first take...I don't know if we kept the very first take, but the very first take was exactly what we feel when you hear the song, and Don freaked out! He was running around the room."

Watch Shinoda explain it all below.

Released as the band's debut single on August 29, 2000, One Step Closer broke the top 30 of the UK Singles Charts and peaked at number 3 on the US Billboard Rock & Metal Chart. Its parent album, Hybrid Theory, would land two months later, going onto become the biggest-selling debut album of the 21st century. 

Last month, in an interview with Metal Hammer, Shinoda discussed his tentative steps into releasing more music of his own, having spent some time writing with and for other artists in recent years.

"There was a point at which I realised that I was doing a lot of stuff in service of other people's creative ideas, and I had ideas of my own that I wanted to go back to, to get back into artist mode," he explained. "And so, yeah, In My Head, which came out earlier this year, that was probably the beginning of that, and then Already Over is a continuation. It's not pointed towards an album, it’s just stuff that I like, and I want to continue to stay home and make more cool stuff that I like, songs and otherwise. So that's the gear that I'm in right now.”

Merlin Alderslade
Executive Editor, Louder

Merlin moved into his role as Executive Editor of Louder in early 2022, following over ten years working at Metal Hammer. While there, he served as Online Editor and Deputy Editor, before being promoted to Editor in 2016. Before joining Metal Hammer, Merlin worked as Associate Editor at Terrorizer Magazine and has previously written for the likes of Classic Rock, Rock Sound, eFestivals and others. Across his career he has interviewed legends including Ozzy Osbourne, Lemmy, Metallica, Iron Maiden (including getting a trip on Ed Force One courtesy of Bruce Dickinson), Guns N' Roses, KISS, Slipknot, System Of A Down and Meat Loaf. He has also presented and produced the Metal Hammer Podcast, presented the Metal Hammer Radio Show and is probably responsible for 90% of all nu metal-related content making it onto the site.