As the 20-year anniversary of Linkin Park's 2003 album Meteora approaches, the band has shared their archived track “Lost,” featuring late singer Chester Bennington. Meteora celebrates its 20th anniversary on March 25.
LISTEN NOW: Mike Shinoda discusses Meteora 20th and "Lost"
"When we started putting together the thing that became this package that's coming out, this [Meteora] box set and all of the stuff with it," Mike Shinoda explains to Audacy's Nicole Alvarez, "it felt like, 'Oh, it's not that long ago!' Then I watched some of the footage, from that time, and I'm like, 'we are babies, we're children... So wildly immature!' So, now I've got a context of how long ago it really was."
Check out the Meteora archive track "Lost" below and hear it all day today on your favorite Audacy Rock and Alternative stations.
Meteora, Linkin Park's second studio album dropped in March of 2003, picking up number ones galore and accolades a plenty on the heels of what was the best selling debut album of the century at the time, LP's 2000 album Hybrid Theory.
"We were on tour non-stop for 'Hybrid Theory;' at one point it said that we did 300 shows in the span of 365 days," Shinoda remembers. "There was a period which we followed winter around the globe for months. Privately, we called it the 'Endless Winter Tour.' We just kept getting sick, it was exhausting, and at a certain point our manager had the foresight," he admits, to bring some recording equipment onto the bus once summer in the States rolled around. That seed needed to be planted for them, rather than making the decision themselves, because Mike says, "no one had ever seen this type of success before. If you put it in the context of today; imagine the biggest artists you can think of out there. Whether you're talking about Beyoncé, JAY-Z, Bad Bunny, Post Malone, Halsey, whatever it is, you -- who a few months ago were living in your parents' house -- you are now bigger than them and it's been maybe a year. We didn't wrap our heads around it; we said it but we didn't understand it."
"The suggestion to [record while on the road] wasn't a thing that people did," Shinoda continues. "It was like, 'we're all flying by the seat of our pants, you guys seem like this would feel good and it's the right time.' I could have been like, 'no, that doesn't work for me...' but I knew it was a good idea."
To place us in the right time, Mike reminds us that when he decided to begin recording on the tour bus in the early '00s, YouTube and Google were just getting started and he needed a refrigerator-sized computer set up to lay down tracks. "Cell phones existed," he adds, "but there were no smart phones, no GPS, no videos. None of that. So the beginnings of [Meteora] were there, but it was pretty soon after that that we were home and I was making demos for 'Meteora' at my house." Though he admits, "on any record, the beginnings of it are fuzzy. There's no first song; there's no moment that everything starts to happen... So many of the ideas might be things that came to me in the shower or the car; I'd make little notes or I'd record it into something and come back to it."
"Going into 'Meteora,'" he adds, "we had this wildly successful first album -- still is one of the top debut albums of all time -- and we had the pressure of that, and the pressure on ourselves to perform," due to a rumor that had gone around saying the reason Linkin Park had so much success was because they were manufactured by their record label. "That was harmful to us at the time, it was meant to be hurtful, it was meant to make us look bad, and it was a lie," Mike says. "That was the thing we were fighting, and we said 'when we do this record, here's our agenda: Number 1, make something great. Make something that's so good they'll go, 'I can't believe they did it again.' Number 2, capture it. Show them how we write, show them how we come up with the songs so they can't argue it another way. Number 3, and maybe most important, we gotta advance the conversation. We gotta do stuff on the record that fans, other critics, other groups don't see coming. Because we can't get trapped in the sound of 'Hybrid Theory.' If we do too much of that, we're gonna get stuck in it.'"
"That's the reason," he continues, "on the record you'll have songs like 'Breaking The Habit,' 'Session,' 'Nobody's Listening,' and even to some degree, 'Faint.' Those were all important and in fact two of those I just mentioned were singles. It was us going, 'you gotta put that out up front, so people know this is an evolution.'"
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When deciding to celebrate Meteora this year, Mike says the band members didn't look at the prospect as an obligation, but rather made a conscious choice. "So we looked at the stuff we had, and then found more stuff, and more stuff... We found this song 'Lost,' it was a mixed and mastered Linkin Park 'Meteora' song; like, it was a done deal. At the time, if I remember right, the inspiration for it was looking back on things, memories that you get just sucked into and you get immersed in that nostalgia or good feeling or bad feeling. In the case of this song, I think there was a bunch of not-so-good stuff, but it's bittersweet, it's a mixed bag because there's good stuff in there too. Things aren't black or white, or cut and dry. That's what I like about the lyrics of the song. But it's also a song that was this close to being on the record... the one right on the other side of the line was this song 'Lost' and the only reason it didn't go on is because it had the same intensity of 'Numb.'"
Linkin Park will celebrate 20 years of their groundbreaking record Meteora, with a re-issue on April 7 in multiple formats including a limited edition 4LP super-deluxe box set, 3-disc deluxe CD and digital versions, containing previously unreleased, live and rare tracks, including "Lost."
Listen to the new, old track "Lost" and host Nicole Alvarez's full interview with Linkin Park's Mike Shinoda above, and stay tuned for more conversations with your favorite stars and artists on Audacy.
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