Mike Shinoda is opening up about the early days of Linkin Park in the lead-up to the release of the 20th anniversary reissue of the band’s second LP, Meteora.

Shinoda details in a new interview with Vulture how difficult it was for a label to take a chance on their nu-metal sound. He says the band’s inspirations were “too esoteric.” Additionally, Shinoda says Linkin Park “were more introspective” than their nu-metal peers.

“What we didn’t like about what was going on in the scene was that it was very frat rock. It was toxic masculinity. We didn’t know the term yet,” said Shinoda. “We just didn’t like how everything was about tough-guy sh-t, and we didn’t identify with tough-guy sh-t. So nobody wanted to sign us because we didn’t fit.”

He added, “Somebody said to me, ‘If you guys were to open up a show with Kid Rock or Limp Bizkit, you’d get beat up.’ It was a joke, right? But probably true, at least for me. I would’ve gotten beat up. Chester wouldn’t have gotten beat up. He’d f-ck somebody up, too.”

Of course, not all nu-metal acts had a “frat rock” vibe. Shinoda says, ” … I should give groups like Deftones and Korn more credit … I liked how Jonathan Davis was just an open book putting all of his most fucked-up stuff right out there in the lyrics.”

The reissue Meteora 20 comes out this Friday (April 7.) All reissue formats are available for pre-order at LinkinPark.com where fans will find related merch also up for sale.

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Erica Banas is a rock/classic rock news blogger who's well-versed in etiquette and extraordinarily nice. #TransRightsAreHumanRights

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