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Album-Xero Tape.png
Song by Xero from the album Xero (Demo Cassette Tape)
Recorded 1996
Released 1997
Format Cassette
Length 3:19
Samples Laura Olsher - The Very Long Fuse
Writer Mike Shinoda, Mark Wakefield

Xero (Demo Cassette Tape) track listing
  1. Rhinestone
  2. Reading My Eyes
  3. Fuse
  4. Stick N Move

"Fuse" is the third track on the Xero 1997 cassette tape.


"Fuse" was created by Mike Shinoda and Mark Wakefield when Linkin Park was still called "Xero" and had Mark on vocals. When questioned if anything was ever done to the song, Mike answered, "Yes, I'll tell you what happened to it... it stayed in a hard drive. It leaked, I think it leaked, Fuse leaked right? You guys found Fuse, right? It was on like old demos and stuff. No, it didn't? Yes, it did? Ok it's a very unknown and unusual track. But yeah it was one of my favorites back in the day, a little rappy-style thing."[1] Joe Hahn said the reason "Fuse" was never released anywhere after the tape might have been due to a sample clearance issue.[2]

The speech heard at the beginning of the track is a sample of "The Very Long Fuse", a story narrated by Laura Olsher on Disneyland Records' 1964 album Chilling, Thrilling Sounds Of The Haunted House.[3] Hip hop artists like N.W.A., Ice Cube and Jedi Mind Tricks have also used samples from this same album in their music.

Mike went by Kenji back in the day when he rapped with Styles Of Beyond members under the name Junkyard Scientific, hence the "Yo, it’s the junkyard, crooked letter-C-I-EN-tific" lyric.[4]

The band, at some point, went by the name "Xero 818" because there were other bands named "Xero".[5] 818 is one of the area codes for the San Fernando Valley area, which is where the band is from. That's also the origin of the line "testing the 818th battalion".

In January 2016, Derek Oswald of Linkin Park Association received the correct lyrics for the Xero tape from Mike.[6] The liner notes on the cassette actually have incorrect lyrics on both "Reading My Eyes" and "Fuse" - the correct lyrics are included below.


Note: Only the date of the very first release of each version is listed.

Title Album Length Recorded Released Notes
Fuse Xero 3:19 1996 1997
  • Samples Laura Olsher's "The Very Long Fuse" from Walt Disney Studios' Chilling, Thrilling Sounds of the Haunted House.


During a VyRT chat on April 20, 2015, Brad Delson said "Fuse" was played live before.[7][8] It's unknown when exactly or how many times the song was played.


  • Mike Shinoda
  • Mark Wakefield
  • Brad Delson
  • Rob Bourdon
  • Dave Farrell
  • Joe Hahn