Linkin Park on being influenced by Depeche Mode: “The way they put together songs was so unconventional and interesting”

The band are currently celebrating the 20th anniversary of their 2003 record, Meteora.

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Mike Shinoda

Image: Simone Joyner / Getty

Linkin Park have revealed how Depeche Mode influenced their early work, and how working with producer Rick Rubin changed the way in which they made songs.

The nu-metal band soared to popularity in the early ‘00s for tying rock with rap and electronic music. They’re currently celebrating the 20th anniversary of their second record, Meteora, which hosted popular tracks such as Numb and Faint.

In a new interview with Kerrang!, the band revealed some of their early influences, and how producer Rick Rubin changed the direction of their songwriting later in their career.

“We would make playlists and analyse the influence of the bands we loved, discussing why we loved them, aside from the obvious emotional reaction,” explained Mike Shinoda. Alongside Run D.M.C and Beastie Boys, another band that got their attention was Depeche Mode, who Shinoda says taught them about breaking free from traditional song structure. “The way they put together songs, especially on [1990 album] Violator, was so unconventional and interesting,” he said.

As the band progressed, the way they pulled tracks together changed thanks to Rubin, having previously worked with Don Gilmore. Guitarist Brad Delson explained, “Later in our career when we worked with Rick Rubin, he trained us to work in lots of different directions and really challenged us to start with a vocal and a core melodic concept,” he said. “But that was not the way we worked on our first two records. Then it was always about building an instrumental first.

“Our goal for Meteora was that if you muted the vocals on any of the songs, the instrumental track could still hold your attention. You’re hearing that concept more directly with Session,” he concluded.

You can get your hands on the 20th-anniversary box set edition of Meteora now. Go to for more information.


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