How did Linkin Park approach this? Simply put: maturely. Sophomore efforts are usually a chance for bands to bark about how they are more extreme, more exciting, more everything than on its predecessor. And yet, in the March 2003 Kerrang! cover story written about the band, Chester doesn’t talk a lot of self-aggrandising shit. He is honest about his band’s decision to focus on hard work over trying to top themselves.
“To repeat [Hybrid Theory’s success] – or to assume you can repeat that – is just ridiculous,” said the singer. “It’s also extremely pompous, in my opinion. To assume that we have that type of fanbase, or that we should expect something like that is just not something we think about.”
Obviously, the folks at Warner Bros. knew they had struck gold with Linkin Park, as the piece goes to describe how journalists only get a first listen to Meteora with a security guard in the room, and are forced to give up their coat and bag before even being allowed to be in the same room as the CD. And yet, as the article goes on, it becomes more and more obvious that Linkin Park are not the rock stars journalists are looking for. Even at the height of their hype, the guys in Linkin Park are less concerned with success as they are integrity. Chester describes a nightmare he had. Mike Shinoda talks about buying a dog with his money from Hybrid Theory.
“If you’re reading about us, you have to remember that it’s us plus another person,” says Mike. “If you buy our album or see us play, you’re seeing us in our purest form. Period.”