LINKIN PARK's Chester Bennington Claims "We Kept Metal Alive"
Linkin Park's Hybrid Theory was a massive success of an album that almost came out of nowhere, selling over 11 million copies since it's release in 2000. In 2001, it was the highest selling album of the year, shifting over four million units. The album crossed over from rock radio to pop radio, introducing a whole new audience to a heavier sound.
So regardless of your opinion of the band, it's likely that album was many kids' first expsoure to metal, many of whom are deep in the underground today – an idea that isn't lost on frontman Chester Bennington. When speaking to Metal Hammer, Bennington responded to claims from metal purists that the band was nothing more than a boy band with guitars, saying they "kept metal alive" at that time.
“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.
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.”
Linkin Park have certainly maintained a level of success few peers from the early 2000s active rock era have been able to maintain, and there is no question they got a few kids into metal… some of which I'm sure are reading this site right now.
Were you into Linkin Park or did you hate them at the time of the release of their first album? Let's talk it out in the comments.