As the celebrations for the 20th anniversary of their debut album Hybrid Theory continue, Linkin Park have unearthed documentary footage showing the LA band on the cusp of stardom.
In a never-before-seen clip taken during the filming of the video for the sextet’s debut single One Step Closer, a young Chester Bennington can be seen telling an interviewer, “I’ve been doing this since I was 13… Finally I got lucky enough to meet up with the right guys and write the right music.”
Explaining why the band selected One Step Closer as the lead single from Hybrid Theory, the singer says, “The song itself is a very good representation of the group as far as the riffs and the power of the song, and the aggression of it. Lyrically, it’s just about being fed up, and expressing that angst we all feel…”
The One Step Closer single peaked at number 24 in the UK, and at number 75 on the Billboard chart in America, laying the first foundations for Hybrid Theory’s phenomenal success.
Linkin Park’s debut album was released in the US on October 24, 2000, and entered the Billboard chart the following week at Number 16. Bennington recalled making a bet with a friend that the album would sell 500,000 copies by Xmas: it actually reached that figure by the end of November, and kept on selling…
“You’re thinking, ‘This is crazy, but OK, it has happened to other bands’,” he told Metal Hammer in 2016. “But 18 months later, we were still selling 100,000 copies a week, and you’re thinking, ‘Holy shit, this is some Michael Jackson shit, I don’t understand what’s going on.’ It’s like all the effort and energy we put into that record just exploded on to the world and people just got it.”
Going on to sell 27 million copies worldwide, Hybrid Theory is the best-selling rock album of the 21st century. Not bad for a band who didn’t want to be part of the nu metal scene…