|The Making of Meteora
|DVD by Linkin Park
|March 23, 2003
|Warner Bros. Records
The Making of Meteora is the DVD that accompanies the limited edition Linkin Park's second album Meteora, released as a CD/DVD, on March 23, 2003.
Linkin Park began work on Meteora pretty quickly after completing Hybrid Theory and touring for it, starting new songs at the latest as early as their Ozzfest tour in summer 2001. Even in January 2001, the band was using the unreleased demo "Attached" (later released on the LP Underground 15) as the outro music for their concerts. In November 2001, the band released their DVD Frat Party At The Pankake Festival chronicling their touring in 2000 and early-to-mid 2001 for Hybrid Theory. As early as that DVD, the band showed clips of early versions of both "Somewhere I Belong" and "From The Inside" from Meteora in the back of their tour bus with Mike, Phoenix, and Joe. The intro of "Somewhere I Belong" was of was Chester performing a chord progression on an acoustic guitar. Mike thought it sounded too "folky", so he and Joe reversed the sample, effected it, and cut it into parts to maintain the chord progression.
The Making of Meteora picks up with Linkin Park's writing sessions in the back of their tour bus, showing the "Somewhere I Belong" clip again, and moving to Mike's home studio (later in the band's career commonly referred to as "The Stockroom") while showing clips of "From the Inside" and "Figure.09" being worked on in rough demo form. Early in the DVD, the joke song titled "The Wizard Song" is shown with Chester recording comical vocals over it in Mike's studio. The band has fielded questions over the song over time - Chester said during a LPU chat in April 2003, "No the wizard song will never ever ever be released because it doesnt exist." Mike Shinoda also commented about the song on August 12, 2015, in a Reddit AMA, "That was from the DVD right? We do dumb crap like that all the time, and sometimes it gets captured on camera."
The DVD then moves on to the band choosing Don Gilmore to return to produce Meteora, after the success of Hybrid Theory and how familiar he was with the band already.
In 2002, Linkin Park embarked on the Projekt Revolution 2002 Tour, their first arena headlining tour in the United States and their first Projekt Revolution, a tour that has become synonymous with the band's touring over their career. In late 2001 to mid-2002, LP finished up working on the Reanimation album which was released in July 2002. The 2002 touring wrapped up in early March, and the pre-production recording of the album began in April 2002 at NRG Studios in Hollywood, where Hybrid Theory was recorded. The recording of the album wrapped up in December 2002 at NRG, when Linkin Park began mixing the album with Andy Wallace who also mixed Hybrid Theory.
The Making of Meteora DVD shows the process of the album being recorded over the course of 2002, beginning with Rob's ProTools digital recording gear, the making of the album's artwork, recording drums, guitar, bass, the album's photoshoot, mixing the album, and it ends with the band discussing their thoughts on Meteora one-by-one. Linkin Park brought Amsterdam-based street artist "Delta" out to work on the album artwork for a Meteora-dedicated art day. Mike said, "For Meteora, we had a whole art day where Joe and I and Frank, who was our art director, then we invited out a graffiti artist named Delta, he's actually from Europe. It was a pretty big deal to get him out and get him to work with us. We had a lot of fun and we did a whole day where we just spraypainted and painted these gigantic walls. Things like that are really out of the ordinary and they're really special when we can make them happen." In what is shown in the DVD, there are clips of demo song titles that the band spraypainted on the artwork as well as lyrics for songs that ended up not being released, like "Thoughts That Take Away My Pride." This artwork was copied over to be integral parts of the band's stage designs while touring for Meteora - Projekt Revolution Tour 2003, Summer Sanitarium 2003, the Meteora World Tour 2004, and other shows all used artwork from this art day for the stage designs. As described by Frank Maddocks, this artwork also became the album's front and back covers: "Here’s a photo of one of the large walls we all painted for the album packaging. Original portraits by James Minchin Xeroxed and wheat pasted to wall. Then photographed again."
Highlights of the DVD include David Campbell and his team recording strings for "Breaking The Habit", a song Mike had been trying to write for years prior and a look into when disaster almost struck at the last second in the process - Chester became sick in December 2002. This resulted in the band having the final vocals being recorded while also simultaneously mixing the album so that the deadlines could be met. If the vocals were not recorded while Chester was sick and the album was being mixed (typically a big "no", as described by the band in the DVD), the album would have been delayed months and/or certain songs would have had to be scrapped. The last song Chester recorded vocals for was "Somewhere I Belong", which ironically is the first demo clip the band showed of the album being made, in the back of the bus while touring in 2001. While mixing with Andy Wallace, Mike and Brad made several decisions on songs that the rest of the band did not hear until the album was finalized, like swapping the "Figure.09" singing verses out for the older rapping verses that made the final version.
A few unreleased song clips are shown throughout the DVD, which is typical for a Linkin Park "Making Of" DVD for an album. As referenced above, the "Thoughts That Take Away My Pride" song, whose real title is unknown, is shown where Chester is singing a vocal line from it. There is a clip of Rob playing drums to a full band instrumental, whose title is unknown, as well as a clip of Mike playing piano for another unreleased clip. Finally, Chester singing the line "just drag it out, remember" is shown, which Brad later confirmed to be a part of the song "A6." However, that song has been released twice with no vocals - a shortened, refined instrumental on the "LP Underground 2.0" CD that the band performed a few times live between 2003 and 2004, and the long version instrumental "A-Six" on the LP Underground 9.0 CD.
The DVD was produced by Bill-Berg Hillinger, Anna Shinoda's dad who also filmed the Projekt Revolution 2002 (DVD) released as a part of the Hybrid Theory 20 box set. He also created the trailer for that announcement which was met with widespread enthusiasm from the Linkin Park fanbase. One short clip of the Projekt Revolution 2002 DVD is actually shown in this DVD, where Chester and Don Gilmore are talking about Chester pushing himself vocally as an artist. That clip preceded the release of the full show by almost two decades.
Along with using material for The Making Of Meteora and The Art Of Meteora, Linkin Park filmed content for their first LPTV series (referred to as "Season 1") with ten episodes leading up to the release of the album. Some of the content on the DVD made it into these LPTV episodes while other episodes included things such as the making of the "Somewhere I Belong" music video, and tour rehearsals.
The ten episodes released as a part of this Meteora LPTV series are:
01. The Writing Process (7:50) - Interviews with the band about their thoughts when it comes to making their second album.
02. Studio I
03. Rock The Mullet
04. The Studio II
05. The Vocals
06. Making Of Somewhere I Belong
07. Meteora Photo Shooting
08. Sound In Studio
09. Meteora Art
10. Last Repetition Before Concert
Meteora's release was announced via a television commercial released at the end of November 2002 and uploaded to linkinpark.com on December 3, 2002.
The DVD was included on the limited edition CD/DVD release of Meteora. The DVD was confirmed by press reports on February 3, 2003.
The Art Of Meteora
The Art Of Meteora is a mini-documentary released in the enhanced content portion of the Meteora CD alongside the "Somewhere I Belong" music video and other content. A lot of the content in the documentary is in black and white. It chronicles the time the band spent working on the Meteora art wall in Los Angeles that encompassed four large panels. Judging by where the art day is shown chronologically in The Making Of Meteora DVD, the art day was done sometime between August and September 2002.
The documentary begins with quotes from Mike, Brad, and Chester about how the album title Meteora was found by the band, what they thought of it, and how it influenced what they wanted their final product to sound like. Chester said, "I think the parallel between the music and artwork has always been there" for Linkin Park. He added about doing an art day, "The idea wasn't representing what the music was, it was focused on what the process was because the music will speak for itself." Band members continually painted over one another, showing via the art how their musical ideas change, songs change, etc. Mike said that it was a little bit of pre-planning but most of it was all freeform on the spot.
Delta, the graffiti artist the band brought in, worked on the art wall with Linkin Park. Mike described some of the unique ways Delta added art - "With the satellite that is up on two or three of our panels, he originally did it as a pencil sketch and copied it to acid tape and projected it on a wall. Then went in there with a certain type of spraypaint he likes to use and that's where you see where he really came up through the ranks of being a graffiti artist. His control with a spray can is unbelievable." Mike wanted Delta's "cityscape" art to take up all four panels and then everyone else filled in around it. Linkin Park first became aware of Delta when they were on tour for Hybrid Theory and noticed his work in magazines, immediately knowing that they wanted to work with him.
Joe Hahn said the idea to do an art day came from Mike himself, and Mike added, "Frank Maddocks, Joe and I are usually the starting point for all of our art projects." Frank said that the idea wasn't necessarily to shoot an album cover, but to get ideas about content for maybe the album booklet with lyrics, promo material, and more. Additionally, Frank contributed material for the art wall, including photos, Xeroxes, stencils of the band's logos, and more. James Minchin III shot photos while the band was working on painting the art wall with Delta. All six band members worked on the wall. Ironically, the album cover ended up being shot that day when James Minchin III shot a photo of Delta spraypainting something.
Joe claimed a lot of his material came out "evil looking" on the art wall as opposed to Delta's multidimensional look and style. He liked Frank's collages, saying they had a lot of vibes.
At the point when the band did the art day when making Meteora, Mike said the music was close but the lyrics weren't done and were still a work in progress, because Linkin Park did their lyrics last at that point in their career when recording music. This is why the art wall contained lyrics that were scratched out at times or lyrics from songs that didn't necessarily make the album. Demo titles like "Cuidado" are also on the wall. Mike commented, "When you look at those little lyrics and the words that are there, you'll notice that most of them aren't on the album anymore. I think that really represents what we are doing."
- Chester Bennington: Vocals, Rhythm Guitar
- Mike Shinoda: Vocals, Rhythm Guitar
- Brad Delson: Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals
- Dave "Phoenix" Farrell: Bass Guitar
- Joseph Hahn: Turntables, Sampling, Programming
- Rob Bourdon: Drums