My social feeds this week and last have been swarming with appreciation for Linkin Park’s Hybrid Theory, which just turned 20. My friends and I laughed at the band at the time — all nu-metal was the enemy! rapping and a DJ get the fuck OUT of metal! — so I was initially shocked to see all the appreciation last week. That shock gave way to understanding, though, when I realized how important of a gateway album Hybrid Theory was to so many people of a certain age. I just missed that cutoff — I had already gotten into Maiden and Dream Theater and other stuff by the time LP came around — but I get it now, because we all have those bands, even if I’ll never really appreciate Linkin Park (make fun of me all you want for my love of Bush’s Sixteen Stone).
Fever 333 and Grandson count themselves as among those to whom Hybrid Theory was an important milestone, and both have trumpeted that appreciation with covers of “In the End” and “One Step Closer,” respectively, to celebrate its 20th anniversary.
Grandson, whose take on “One Step Closer” strays a bit from the original (in a good way), offers:
“I first heard ‘In The End’ when I was just a kid, illegally downloaded it off Kazaa when I was like ten and learned all of Mike’s verses. Then 10 years later I played the Forum with Mike in front of thousands of people. Chester is an all-time great, and I could never try and sing like he does. We had to pitch the song down just so I could come close to hitting the notes in this song. I just wanted to try and pay homage and do this incredible song justice.”
Fever 333’s Jason Aalon Butler plays it close to the original on his version of “In the End,” noting:
“I will never forget that overcast morning in Los Angeles walking from my locker in the F building down the now infamous 11 stair handrail at Westchester High (now of numerous skate vids fame) toward the bungalows that housed my algebra 2 education and being stopped by my only website building homie to tell me of this ‘awesome new band he found called Linkin Park.’ ‘In The End’ was the song that made me believe that rap and rock still belonged together. I studied their tasteful marriage of the two styles from that moment on and created my own music with that in mind. I wish I could tell my 14 year old self that one day I’d receive a DM from Mike Shinoda about him liking my music. I wish even more that I could tell my younger self he’d offer to share his talents and energy with me to make more music. I don’t think 14-year-old me would believe it, though. 35-year-old me still doesn’t.”
You can check out both below exclusively via Spotify: