Darker Than Blood

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"Darker Than Blood"
Single by Steve Aoki
from the album Neon Future II
Working title Horizons
Recorded 2013-2015
Released April 13, 2015
Format Digital
Length 05:13
Stems Darker Than Blood Remix Contest
Time signature 4/4
Tempo 125
Key G Minor
Live debut February 28, 2015 (Steve Aoki)
May 17, 2015 (Linkin Park)
Last played November 14, 2015
Writer(s) Linkin Park, Steve Aoki
Producer(s) Steve Aoki
Label Ultra Records, Dim Mak
Linkin Park singles chronology

Final Masquerade (2015) Darker Than Blood (2015) Heavy (2017)

Neon Future II track listing
  1. Time Capsule (Intro)
  2. I Love It When You Cry (Moxoki) (Radio Edit) (with Moxie Raia)
  3. Youth Dem (Turn Up) (feat. Snoop Lion)
  4. Hysteria (feat. Matthew Koma)
  5. Darker Than Blood (feat. Linkin Park)
  6. Lightning Strikes (with NERVO and Tony Junior)
  7. TARS (Interlude) (feat. Kip Thorne)
  8. Home We'll Go (Take My Hand) (with Walk off the Earth)
  9. Heaven On Earth (feat. Sherry St. Germain)
  10. Holding Up The World" (feat. Harrison and Albin Myers)
  11. Light Years (feat. Rivers Cuomo)
  12. Warp Speed (Outro) (feat. J.J. Abrams)


Mike Shinoda and Steve Aoki met each other through Twitter around late 2012 and started sending song ideas to each other. The collaboration eventually turned into "A Light That Never Comes", however, after the release of the song, Steve revealed to Radio.com this wasn't the only song they had been working on: "We’ve been writing like four or five songs together."

One of those songs were "Horizons", which would eventually become "Darker Than Blood".

When talking to Spin in June 2015, Steve said:

"[...]The Linkin Park song [“Darker Than Blood”], it was a chameleon evolving into a human, really. Maybe a monkey to a human is better. We didn’t come from chameleons.

Producers, especially in an electronic space, produce to the current sounds and cultural space of what music relates to, and get it out as soon as possible. The idea for “Darker Than Blood” spawned from over three years ago. We started writing the song in January of 2013 with “A Light Never Comes,” a collection of ideas we started coming together, so we said, “Okay, let’s actually spend the time developing these into songs.” Every five months we’d come back to it and say, “Let’s keep this section because this is an idea that lasted five months; it didn’t deteriorate away because a trend moved or whatever.” In 2015 when we finally released a song it didn’t feel like ideas from 2012. It sounded like a classic."

About the transition of the demo to the final product, Steve told Billboard: "I threw out the drop because it didn’t fit, and [Linkin Park rapper] Mike [Shinoda] rewrote the lyrics because he was like, ‘They’re too happy.’ He wanted to make it darker."

When talking about the song, Chester Bennington told AltWire: "We did work on “Horizons” together while we were doing “A Light That Never Comes.” We didn’t finish it at that time, but we began working on it as well. We knew we wanted to do something to put on a CD, and Steve wanted us to do something that he could produce on his record as well. Part of that collaborative and creative endeavor included this song. We’ve worked on it since then, kind of passed it back and forth for a while…we’d work on it for a little bit, then kind of cool off, then work on it for a little bit. But then we finally finished it. And the song is really great. I think that it’s a bit darker than the other song. I actually like it a little more than ALTNC just because I think the music is so cool and the structure is a little different than I think what we normally do, but it’s really cool. I think working with Steve is awesome, and I love being able to dive deep into the electronic world and expose our music to people in a way that is fun. Clearly we like to play around with lots of different mediums. Working with Steve was just a lot of fun, and I hope that people really like this track."

And Mike went on to say: "[...]We actually finished “Darker Than Blood” during our Hunting Party sessions, where we were pretty much writing nothing but heavy rock the whole time, which might be why it finally came together. It was a change of pace at the time. I wanted “A Light That Never Comes” to be more of a Linkin Park song, and “Darker Than Blood” to be more of an Aoki song. We did more of the heavy lifting on the former, Steve did more of the work on the music track of the latter."

According to Steve Aoki, the song "has the definitive ‘Neon Future’ sound" and "it’s the track I have worked on the most of all the songs on the album". "Darker Than Blood" was released on Aoki's third studio album, Neon Future II, on May 12, 2015.


Steve Aoki and Linkin Park teamed up with Wavo and Ultra Music for a "Darker Than Blood Remix Competition" starting on May 26, 2015. Stems for the track were available to contestants for download. The deadline for submissions was midnight on June 30th and the sole winner was announced on July 5th. The Grand Prize included: official release on Ultra Music, Steve Aoki merchandise pack, premiere on Dancing Astronaut, and lifetime Wavo Pro Membership.[1]

Josh Macias, whose remix used the vocal track and a synth of the original song, was named the grand prize winner and had his remix released as part of the Darker Than Blood (Remixes) EP on August 28, 2015. Other remixes on the EP were done by Bassjackers, Panic City and Dirty Audio.

After vocalist Chester Bennington passed away, Steve Aoki created a remix tribute entitled "Darker Than The Light That Never Bleeds" using elements of "A Light That Never Comes" and "Darker Than Blood". The track was debuted on September 7, 2017 at 7+10pm ET on SiriusXM Electro Ch51 with Liquid Todd[2] and released the following day. Net proceeds went to Music For Relief's One More Light Fund in Chester's name.[3] An one-minute tribute video was also put together by Steve Aoki and posted to his social media accounts.[4][5] An updated version of the remix was released on September 26, replacing the original release on all digital platforms. Steve Aoki described it as having an overall better mix. He adjusted some levels and a synth layer in the first drop and wrote an arp part in the second breakdown.[6]


Digital Single

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1 Darker Than Blood (featuring Linkin Park) Linkin Park, Steve Aoki 5:12

Remix EP

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1 Darker Than Blood (feat. LINKIN PARK) [Bassjackers Remix] Linkin Park, Steve Aoki 4:22
2 Darker Than Blood (feat. LINKIN PARK) [Panic City Remix] Linkin Park, Steve Aoki 3:43
3 Darker Than Blood (feat. LINKIN PARK) [Dirty Audio Remix] Linkin Park, Steve Aoki 2:59
4 Darker Than Blood (feat. LINKIN PARK) [Josh Macias Remix] Linkin Park, Steve Aoki 4:28

Tribute Single

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1 Darker Than The Light That Never Bleeds (Chester Forever Steve Aoki Remix) Linkin Park, Steve Aoki 4:03

Music Video


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


Title Album Length Recorded Released Notes
"Darker Than Blood" Darker Than Blood

Neon Future II

Neon Future Odyssey

5:13 2012-2015 April 14, 2015
"Darker Than Blood (Radio Edit)" Darker Than Blood (Promo) 3:44 2015 2015
  • No intro.
  • Shortened bridge.
  • Shortened outro.
  • Same version used in the music video.
Horizons Hybrid Party Of A Thousand Things 1:11 2013
  • Original seed.
  • Released on LPLive for free download on August 5, 2019.


Title Album Length Recorded Released Notes
"Darker Than Blood (feat. Linkin Park) (Bassjackers Remix)" Darker Than Blood (Remixes) 4:22 2015 August 28, 2015
  • Remix by Marlon Flohr and Ralph Van Hilst.
"Darker Than Blood (feat. Linkin Park) (Panic City Remix)" Darker Than Blood (Remixes) 3:43 2015 August 28, 2015
  • Remix by Panic City.
"Darker Than Blood (feat. Linkin Park) (Dirty Audio Remix)" Darker Than Blood (Remixes) 2:59 2015 August 28, 2015
  • Remix by Dirty Audio.
"Darker Than Blood (feat. Linkin Park) (Josh Macias Remix)" Darker Than Blood (Remixes) 4:28 2015 August 28, 2015
  • Remix by Josh Macias.
  • The vocal track and a synth of the original song were used for the remix.
  • Josh Macias was named the grand prize winner of Wavo and Ultra Music's "Darker Than Blood Remix Competition". Macias received a Steve Aoki Merchandise Pack and a Lifetime Wavo Pro Membership. Macias' remix was also officially released on Ultra Music and premiered on Dancing Astronaut.
"Darker Than The Light That Never Bleeds (Chester Forever Steve Aoki Remix)" Darker Than The Light That Never Bleeds (Chester Forever Steve Aoki Remix) 4:03 2017 September 8, 2017
"Darker Than The Light That Never Bleeds (Chester Forever Steve Aoki Remix)" Darker Than The Light That Never Bleeds (Chester Forever Steve Aoki Remix) 4:03 2017 September 26, 2017
  • Different mix.
  • Additional arp part in the second breakdown.
  • Mash-up with "A Light That Never Comes".
  • Replaced the original version on all digital stores.


Steve Aoki debuted a remix of "Darker Than Blood" at his show in Chicago, Illinois on February 28, 2015, but the performance featured no live elements. Aoki added two drops from other songs for the live setting, the first being "Samurai" by R3HAB and the second being "This Is Dirty" by DVBBS & MOTi. This remix went on to be performed at other Aoki shows throughout the year.

Linkin Park later debuted a shortened form of the song during their performance at Rock On The Range. The shortened version featured Mike and Chester singing the first verse and chorus of the song over a droning synth before going into "Burn It Down".

"Darker Than Blood" was performed in its studio form on November 14, 2015 during Steve Aoki's DJ set at Music For Relief's Relief Live! event, which honored Aoki. Mike and Chester joined him for the song.



  • Steve Aoki - Programmer, Producer
  • Chester Bennington - Vocals, Songwriter/Composer
  • Rob Bourdon - Songwriter/Composer
  • Brad Delson - Producer, Songwriter/Composer
  • Dave Farrell - Songwriter/Composer
  • Joe Hahn - Songwriter/Composer
  • Mike Shinoda - Vocals, Producer, Songwriter/Composer



External Links