|Song by Linkin Park from the album Hybrid Theory (20th Anniversary Edition)|
|Released||October 9, 2020|
|Stems||Akai MPC 1000|
|Samples||Jimmy Smith - I'm Gonna Love You Just A Little More Baby|
|Writer||Chester Bennington, Brad Delson, Joe Hahn, Mark Wakefield, Mike Shinoda, Rob Bourdon|
|Label||Warner Bros. Records|
"Pictureboard" was a song written when Linkin Park was still called Xero and had Mark Wakefield on vocals. After Chester Bennington joined the band, it was re-recorded and allegedly performed live one time. "Pictureboard" to this day has become the most hyped up unreleased song by Linkin Park.
"Pictureboard" was first mentioned by Mike Shinoda during a private LP Underground chat in 2005 for an LPU winner and ten of their friends: "a place for my head used to be called esaul and there was a song called pictureboard which we actually played on stage one time probably 5 years ago with linkin park. we played it after we changed our name. i think that was the only time we played a xero song that wasn't on hybrid theory after we changed our name."
Since then, many fans have been asking the band through the years to release the song. Information was leaked that the song was intended to be released on the LP Underground 9.0: Demos CD but was removed at the last minute and replaced with "Across The Line". The song even had an entry in the BMI database. The fact that Chester is on the BMI entry means that the version that was registered was recorded with him.
During an LPU chat on November 19, 2011, Mike revealed the reason: "Pictureboard has samples in it. Can’t give to LPU." In the 2015 LPAssociation podcast, Mike reiterated that it can't be released due to samples in the song, and stated "It's not worth it, man. You guys think it's like this imaginary holy grail of a song. It's really not that great." When asked if the song was worked into something else, he said, "It did not. It got played back then and then there's a sample in it so we didn't play it anymore so we didn't want to deal with it anymore. So that's the story on that. I don't know if it was played as an intro to another song. Not a record, I'll tell you that much."
The sample in question is a Barry White drum sample. The verse beat in the song was taken from a version of "I'm Gonna Love You Just A Little More Baby" performed by Jimmy Smith. The snare hits on the intro to the Jimmy Smith song were cut up and re-arranged. The outro drum loop from "Pictureboard" was taken from "Jack Of Braex", the final track on the Super Duck Breaks...The Saga Begins vinyl by The Turntablist (aka DJ Babu), and reused on the bridge of "Runaway".
Brad Delson recalls "Pictureboard" being the first song he heard Chester's voice on. "I remember getting that and saying, 'Hey, what do you think of this guy? He just sent us this recording.' I wasn’t like crying with joy, but almost. I was like, ‘Wow, I don’t even know what that is.’ He’s so tiny and vulnerable on the verse and you can hear all those timbres and harmonics and then all the overtones on the heavy part. To me, it just blew my hat off my head. And then we were like, ‘We gotta meet this guy.’"
He told Kerrang, "We had made a bunch of demos and at that moment we were looking for a vocalist, and someone… a friend of a friend, had worked with Chester in Arizona. Chester's story – which I'm certain is true – is that he left his own birthday party to go to the studio and record his vocals on the tracks he had sent. That's how excited he was. He'd been in bands for years in Arizona and had basically hit the point where it was harder to get noticed out there, which was frustrating, and by that point he'd got a 9-5 job. And then he got this demo, left the party, recorded the vocals, and the rest is history. I was like, "Holy expletive." It just blew my mind. He sounds like two different people on the same song; the verses sound very, very, vulnerable. That song shows you all of his range: it's got the tiny, tiny, vulnerable verse, which we were able to channel on songs like "Leave Out All The Rest" or "Breaking The Habit" or "One More Light"... and then it’s got the big, melodic, almost-screamy but still-melodic chorus that you’d hear on "Crawling." It had all those elements there and it was like fireworks."
On April 19, 2021 on Twitch, Mike was talking about demo songs that fans ask him to talk about, explaining that he always hopes to write better songs than the old demos fans keep talking about. He added in response to someone in the chat bringing up the song, "Actually that's a really good point, "Pictureboard" is a really good demo."
"Pictureboard" was recorded in the sessions for the debut album. In Jeff Blue's book "One Step Closer: From Xero to #1: Becoming Linkin Park", he explained that recording for Hybrid Theory began on March 7, 2000 at NRG Studios. Rob's drum tracking began on March 14 and he tracked drums for "Pictureboard" that day. The band really thought "Pictureboard" and "Esaul" were the hits out of the group. They wanted "Pictureboard" on their album, but Jeff Blue convinced them otherwise.
Note: Only the date of the very first release of each version is listed.
|Pictureboard||Hybrid Theory (20th Anniversary Edition)||4:01||1999||October 9, 2020||
|Hybrid Theory (20th Anniversary Edition)||June 03, 2001||October 9, 2020||
It is unknown when the full song was performed, but it is confirmed that the song was played at least once live when Linkin Park changed their name from Hybrid Theory, possibly/likely at one of the two shows in West Hollywood, California in June and July 2000.
From LPLive's 2001 touring summary article, Astat said about the "Be Yourself" interlude, "This little interlude is one of the most mysterious things in Linkin Park's live concert folklore. It was randomly played by Brad, Rob, and Phoenix at the June 2nd, 2001 Rock Im Park show in Germany, in what sounded sort of like an improv jam, but it also seemed like the three of them knew their parts a little TOO well, so it's long been suspected that this is part of an unreleased early Linkin Park demo, possibly the long-fabled "Pictureboard" track. The title "Be Yourself" was given to this piece by fans, due to Chester repeatedly singing that phrase over the ending of it (it's been erroneously called "In Yourself" for years). This interlude was subsequently played again at two more shows on June 3rd and June 8th, only to disappear as suddenly as it appeared! No further information about this piece has surfaced over the years."
At the Rock im Park night show on June 2nd, Chester sang the words, "I will be myself / until it's time / for me to fly" quietly, followed be "be yourself" several times. The quality of the audience recording made it nearly impossible to hear what Chester was singing, hence why the name "In Yourself" became popular with fans. This is the only known time that he sang vocals on the jam, the next two times were solely instrumental.
A setlist was obtained on eBay in May 2016 for the band's show at the Q101 Jamborree, a few weeks before the show at Rock im Park where the song debuted. On the setlist, a mysterious "MELLOW Interlude" appeared before "Pushing Me Away". Previously, that interlude had not been listed on any setlists (meaning it was different from the "LEE Interlude", "SHORT Interlude", and "FALLING DOWN Interlude" which the band had been playing during that time), and it's speculated that the "MELLOW Interlude" may be "Pictureboard." This isn't confirmed, but it stands as a possibility since the "MELLOW Interlude" never appeared on any physical setlists before or after this time period (for example, it is not on any spring 2001 or fall 2001 setlists).
As part of the promotion for the 20th anniversary edition of Hybrid Theory, Linkin Park finally confirmed that "Be Yourself" is indeed part of "Pictureboard". Adam said about the Linkin Park "old band computer" website, "For those trying to follow along (including @mikeshinoda) - fans decided the little interlude played during RAR 2001 was called "In Yourself." It was actually Pictureboard. So we labeled the folder the "fan name" so it all came full circle."
I will be myself
I will be myself
- The Linkin Park Times - Interviews & Articles - LPU Chat with Mike Shinoda, September 04, 2009
- Alternate Versions Guide - Everything Linkin Park - Linkin Park Live, March 23, 2013
- Quick question? Ask here! - Page 27 - Everything Linkin Park - Linkin Park Live, July 23, 2013
- BMI | Repertoire Search
- Mike LPU Chat 11/19/2011 Summary - Mike Shinoda Clan, November 19, 2011
- LPAssociation, December 2014
- Mike Q&A Summary April 15th, 2020 - Newswire - Linkin Park Live, April 15, 2020
- Linkin Park to Finally Release Long-Awaited 'Pictureboard' Song, September 29, 2020
- Pictureboard = "In Yourself"/"Be Yourself" - Page 8 - Newswire - Linkin Park Live, March 01, 2021
- Kerrang - CHESTER BENNINGTON LEFT HIS OWN BIRTHDAY PARTY TO RECORD LINKIN PARK’S LOST TRACK, PICTUREBOARD, October 9, 2020
- Twitter: Brooding Ananas - Mike Shinoda talking about demos, April 19, 2021
- Adam Ruehmer on Twitter: "Yes. And it's glorious." / Twitter, August 13, 2020
- Blue, Jeff (2020). One Step Closer: From Xero to #1: Becoming Linkin Park. Permuted Press. ASIN: B08LMZLXTJ
- LPLive Wiki - 2001 Summary, May 19 2014
- Linkin Park Live on Twitter: "Excuse us for a second while we BLOW UP, but Linkin Park just dropped the biggest f*cking plot twist in our community's history... the long rumored "In Yourself" jam from Rock am Ring 2001? The band confirms it's "Pictureboard"! WHAT?!? How did they even... ?! https://t.co/xheeNg7Fox" / Twitter, August 11, 2020
- Adam Ruehmer on Twitter: "More accurately... June 3, 2001: The day you guys got Pictureboard (kinda)" / Twitter, August 11, 2020
- Adam Ruehmer on Twitter: "@mikeshinoda @LPLive For those trying to follow along (including @mikeshinoda) - fans decided the little interlude played during RAR 2001 was called "In Yourself." It was actually Pictureboard. So we labeled the folder the "fan name" so it all came full circle. 🤯" / Twitter, August 11, 2020