Linkin Park enjoyed massive success with their 2000 debut album Hybrid Theory. Though of course with that success comes the pressure of writing and releasing a follow-up album that's just as massive and successful.
In an interview with Audacy host Nicole Alvarez, Linkin Park's Mike Shinoda said the pressure was twofold – obviously the pressure to be successful, but also the pressure to shake the rumor that Linkin Park was only huge because they were actually put together by their label.
"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, 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. We had the pressure on ourselves to perform because there was a rumor that had gone around. It started in Europe, the kind tabloidy, rock magazines in Europe, and they said, 'Oh the reason this band is so big out of nowhere is because they're actually manufactured by their record label. They didn't even know each other before they started. And they didn't write their songs. It's all assembled – like an industry plant.'
"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."
Shinoda also touched on the new Meteora 20th anniversary release and the unreleased song "Lost." Shinoda said the only reason "Lost" didn't make the record is because Linkin Park felt that it had the same energy as the hit "Numb," and they didn't want two of the same type of song on the record.
"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 that are 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.'"