Linkin Park are being sued by their former bassist, who says he never received a penny for playing on more than 20 songs

Linkin Park Hybrid Theory
(Image credit: James Minichin III)

Former Linkin Park bassist Kyle Christner is suing the Los Angeles nu metal superstars claiming he is owed both royalties and credit for playing on the group's early demos. Christner says he never received "a penny" for his contributions to the band, despite playing on over 20 songs. 

The tracks in question were featured on the band's 20th anniversary Hybrid Theory box set, which was released in 2020. The box set included Linkin Park’s self-released 1999 EP on which Christner played, and rare and previously unreleased songs, collated as "Forgotten Demos", "B-Side Rarities" and "LPU Rarities". The bassist claims that he was "a joint creator" of a number of these songs, including the previously unreleased Could Have Been.

"Though Christner was once under the misimpression that his bass parts were re-recorded on the EP after he left the band, he has, upon closer review, identified his bass playing on the edition of the EP included in the box set", the lawsuit states.

“In fact, Christner appears to have played on at least tracks 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12 of Forgotten Demos, tracks 1, 2, 7, 13, 14, 16, 17 of LPU Rarities, and track 7 of B-Side Rarities, as well as the Hybrid Theory EP,” adds the lawsuit, which was filed in US District Court for the Central District Of California on Wednesday (November 8).

Christner is requesting that he receives due credit for his work, and will receive his share of all the profits generated by the songs on which he plays. He is also seeking back-dated royalties.

"It would be unjust for defendants to retain such benefit without paying plaintiff his fair share," the claim notes.

Band members Mike Shinoda, Rob Bourdon, Brad Delson, and Joseph Hahn are listed as defendants in the suit alongside their record label Warner Records, and their management company, Machine Shop.

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.