|Single by Linkin Park|
|from the album Hybrid Theory|
|Working title||Paper Cut|
June 18, 2001 (Radio)|
September 25, 2001 (CD Single)
Open Labs SoundSlate Pro
|Last played||October 27, 2017|
|Writer(s)||Brad Delson, Chester Bennington, Joseph Hahn, Mike Shinoda, Rob Bourdon|
|Linkin Park singles chronology|
"Papercut" is the first track on the album Hybrid Theory. It was released in the UK as the album's third single on September 25, 2001.
- 1 Background
- 2 Composition
- 3 Demos
- 4 Remix
- 5 Tracklist
- 6 Music Video
- 7 Versions
- 8 Live
- 9 Promotion
- 10 Personnel
- 11 Lyrics
- 12 Gallery
- 13 In Other Media
- 14 Cover Versions
- 15 External Links
- 16 References
Speaking about the different elements on the song, Mike Shinoda said, "When mixing a Linkin Park song, there are always layers, and they major issue is figuring out what will the hierarchy of sounds will be. On our earlier material, live drums, guitar and bass took the stage. Still, if you listen to the beginning of Hybrid Theory, “Papercut” had jungle and hip-hop elements in the song. [Linkin Park's] intention was always to show people what we liked to listen to. As time passes, the balance gets shifted in different directions when our interests change. The sound of Linkin Park at any given time is usually a reflection where we’re at at the moment. Of course, we try and stay respectful of whatever genre it is that we’re playing with. The final sound of our tracks is not a “surface-y” thing, its definitely more analytical." He afirmmed the reason they put together different types of music isn't to sell records, it's because they actually enjoy it. "At least for us, if we’re ever dabbling with something that unfamiliar to us, there’s a real honesty there with our guys. Back in the day with Hybrid Theory, we were plugging in a little jungle and drum & bass thing into our songs—like “Papercut” you can really hear it. I don’t think I can even name 10 jungle songs or artists off the top of my head, but at the time we were so into it. We were getting all these sets of all this stuff, these 90-minute mixes of shit that we couldn’t name, and it was awesome."
Brad, Chester and Mike all have mentioned "Papercut" as being their favorite song at some point. Brad explained why: ""Paper Cut" is my favorite right now because I think it best integrates all our influences into one song and does it in a way that's tasteful and cohesive. In other words, one criticism that people have leveled at existing bands is that their songs don't always sound organic, that some of the songs might sound forced. And our goal has always been to integrate these influences in the most seamless way, and I think Paper Cut does that really well." Chester went as far as calling it the "identity of the band," saying, "When we got to that song, the chorus was so dope and the words behind it were so cool, that I kind of didn't need to do much melodically until we flipped it up at the end. That was a lot of fun; I felt like that song really captured what the vibe of the band about." Mike reiterated this, saying, "Remember what I always said about Papercut? It was the calling card for the band. It said 'hi, nice to meet you, this is what the band is about.' First song on the first album. And that's important."
Due to Phoenix being out of the band at this time (1999 to October 2000) to tour with The Snax, he did not record bass on any songs on the Hybrid Theory EP or Hybrid Theory. Ian Hornbeck recorded the bass on "Papercut", "A Place For My Head", and "Forgotten".
A demo of "Papercut" was featured on the Hybrid Theory 6-Track Demo CD, which surfaced online on September 15, 2012 via LPAssociation. The CD is dated from May 8, 2000 and is titled as the band "Hybrid Theory" before the name change to Linkin Park.
The demo features an entirely different vocal take by both Mike and Chester. The intro of the song is a repeating synth directly into the song, without the famous "Papercut" intro beat. Most notably, the ending of the song is different. The line "It's like the face inside is right beneath my skin" is not featured at the end and instead, Chester just extends the line "I feel the light betray me" to the ending of the song.
The version of "Papercut" on the Hybrid Theory (Unmastered Studio Finals 5/7/00) CD from May 2000 features louder background synth, louder drums on the bridge, and Joe's scratching extends into the bridge.
Linkin Park released a remix of "Papercut" on Reanimation in July 2002 titled "Ppr:kut". The track was remixed by DJ Cheapshot and Vin Scully of Styles of Beyond. Vin Scully is credited as Jubacca. Rasco and Planet Asia are featured on the track, with has a hip hop leaning sound to it.
A mash-up of "Papercut" with "Like A Pimp" by David Banner was created by DJ Vlad and Roc Raida for Rock Phenomenon.
|1||Papercut||Bennington Chester Charles, Bourdon Robert G, Delson Brad, Hahn Joseph, Shinoda Mike||3:05|
|2||Points Of Authority (Live on BBC Radio One)||Bennington, Bourdon, Delson, Hahn, Shinoda||3:25|
|3||Papercut (Live)||Bennington, Bourdon, Delson, Hahn, Shinoda||3:12|
|4||Papercut (Video)||Bennington, Bourdon, Delson, Hahn, Shinoda||3:13|
|1||Papercut||Bennington, Bourdon, Delson, Hahn, Shinoda||3:05|
|2||Points Of Authority (Live on BBC Radio One)||Bennington, Bourdon, Delson, Hahn, Shinoda||3:25|
The music video, co-directed by Nathan "Karma" Cox and Joseph Hahn, was originally made for the UK, but premiered in the US during a Family Values Tour special. The production company they worked with was Anonymous Content.
Joe has said the video isn't one of his favorites, calling it "a mishmosh of two guys kind of throwing ideas out there" and saying it was intended to be a lot darker but the label wanted a different thing, completely diluting it.
Mike Shinoda said the video didn't age well, called the special effects goofy and claimed they didn't know what they were doing. “I remember Chester showing up in all-plaid, a whole plaid outfit on, and I was thinking ‘That’s a very weird choice.’ It was the type of thing where you have to choose your battles because at that point there was so much on the line, we were just breaking, and there were minor disagreements on things all the time, so I wasn’t about to get into a conversation with him about the outfit when we’re just trying to shoot a great video.”
Artist Name: Linkin Park
Note: Only the date of the very first release of each version is listed.
|Papercut||Hybrid Theory||3:04||2000||October 24, 2000|
|Papercut||Papercut||3:05||2000||September 25, 2001||
|Papercut||Hybrid Theory 6-Track Demo||3:09||2000||
|Paper Cut||Studio Finals 5/7/00||3:11||2000||
|Papercut||Hybrid Theory - Instrumentals||3:07||2000||
|Ppr:kut||Reanimation||3:26||2001||July 30, 2002||
|Ppr:kut||"Reanimation" Internal Demo||2:56||2001||
|Big Pimpin'/Papercut||Collision Course||2:36||2004||November 30, 2004||
|Big Pimpin'/Papercut||Collision Course (Clean)||2:36||2004||November 30, 2004|
|Linkin Park Vs. David Banner||Rock Phenomenon||2:35||2006||March 27, 2006||
|Papercut (8 Bit Rebellion Version)||8-Bit Rebellion! Ringtones||0:29||2010||April 17, 2010||
|Papercut (8 Bit Rebellion Version)||8-Bit Rebellion! Ringtones||0:31||2010||April 17, 2010||
|Ppr:kut||Reanimation - Instrumentals||3:26||2001||
|Papercut (Live From The BBC)||Crawling
Hybrid Theory (iTunes)
|3:08||January 12, 2001||April 30, 2001||
Hybrid Theory (Special Edition)
In The End (JP EP)
Hybrid Theory (20th Anniversary Edition)
|3:12||March 24, 2001||September 25, 2001||
|Papercut||Live In Texas||3:06||August 02, 2003||November 18, 2003||
|Big Pimpin'/Papercut||Collision Course||July 18, 2004||November 30, 2004||
|Big Pimpin'/Papercut||LP Underground 5.0||2:32||July 02, 2005||November 21, 2005||
|Papercut (11/18/07 LP Live Shanghai)||Minutes To Midnight (Asian Tour Edition)||3:47||November 18, 2007||November 21, 2007||
|Papercut||Road To Revolution: Live At Milton Keynes
Hybrid Theory (Mastered For iTunes)
|3:50||June 29, 2008||November 21, 2008||
|Papercut||A Thousand Suns+||3:18||November 07, 2010||April 1, 2011||
|Papercut (Live)||iTunes Festival: London 2011||3:15||July 04, 2011||July 8, 2011|
|Papercut||Live In Red Square||3:11||June 23, 2011||July 21, 2011||
|Papercut (Live From Paris, 2010)||Hybrid Theory - Live Around The World||3:08||October 25, 2010||May 31, 2012|
|Papercut||Living Things+||June 05, 2012||March 29, 2013||
|Papercut (Live At Download Festival 2014)||Hybrid Theory - Live At Download Festival 2014||3:13||June 14, 2014||August 12, 2014|
|Papercut||Hybrid Theory (20th Anniversary Edition)||3:10||January 30, 2001||October 9, 2020||
|Papercut||Hybrid Theory (20th Anniversary Edition)||4:03||June 03, 2001||October 9, 2020||
|Papercut||Hybrid Theory (20th Anniversary Edition)||3:20||February 23, 2002||October 9, 2020||
"Papercut" has been a staple in Linkin Park setlists since 2000. Throughout the first half of 2000, it served as the opening song, after a shortened version of "Cure For The Itch". After "A Place For My Head" took over as the show opener for the latter half of the year it moved down to a mid-set position. In 2001, the band added an interlude before the song, entitled the "LEE Interlude", which was performed until the Ozzfest. The song remained in its mid-set position throughout the year the rest of the year. It retained its position in 2002, as well.
The song returned on the Meteora touring cycle in 2003, where it continued to be performed mid-set. Beginning at Smokeout and carrying out through the rest of 2003, "Papercut" finally escaped the middle of the set and was moved to the beginning of the show, opening them for the first time on its own (in 2000, it succeeded "Cure for The Itch") with a brand new intro, featuring Joe, primarily. As 2004 rolled around, the song returned to its regular position at the middle of the set. Beginning on the Meteora International Tour, in the summer of 2004, the song received a new extended intro, which consisted of strings and the beat of the song. In 2005, the song was performed as its Collision Course counterpart, "Big Pimpin'/Papercut", both performances with Jay-Z. The song was moved further down into the set in 2006, and gained a new, longer version of its extended intro from 2004.
The song returned for the Minutes To Midnight touring cycle, where its setlist position stayed the same and it retained its long intro from 2006. The song was featured in all three setlists on Projekt Revolution 2007 and the following tours. In 2008, for the first time, "Papercut" was consistently dropped. It was not featured in Set T, Set S, or the original draft of Set R (it was added in to Set R in Frankfurt, Germany). On the preceding Minutes To Midnight North American Tour, Chester fell sick in the middle of the tour, causing the band to drop "Points Of Authority". In its place, they added in "Papercut" and added the extended outro of "Points Of Authority" onto "Papercut". On the summer European tour, the song was only performed on Set X and Set Z, whereas it was dropped in Set Y. The song remained consistent in the Projekt Revolution 2008 versions of those three setlists, as well. In 2009, the song was dropped altogether from the setlists on the International Tour. However, at the show in Macao, China, the first verse of "Papercut" was performed over the extended intro of "Bleed It Out".
"Papercut" returned on the A Thousand Suns touring cycle, starting on their South American Tour. It was performed after "Wretches And Kings", making it the second "full" song to be performed in the set. The song made its way to the following A Thousand Suns European Tour, but halfway through the tour (starting in Köln, Germany), it began being rotated with "Lying From You", as a response to the band reading a thread on the LPLive forums ("The Messenger" was rotated with "Leave Out All The Rest", too). In 2011, in Atlanta, Georgia, "Papercut" opened after "The Requiem" and "The Radiance", making it the first time since 2003 that the song had opened a show. Throughout the tour, the song traded places with "New Divide" and "Faint" as the show openers. With the debut of Set B-11, "Papercut" found its way to the encore for the first time ever. The song retained its opening and encore positions throughout the rest of the A Thousands Suns World Tour.
In 2012, beginning the Living Things World Tour, "Papercut" was performed third in the headlining set, and second to last after "One Step Closer" and before "Bleed It Out" in the festival set. On the Honda Civic Tour, the song became part of a medley, featuring a shortened version of "Lying From You" transitioning directly into a shortened version of "Papercut". Both halves of the medley went from intro through first chorus to the bridge through the outro. The medley featured in both the original versions of Set A and Set C, and Set B. In Set A, it was originally performed after the "Victimized (w/ QWERTY)" mashup, before the medley was split up into the full versions of both songs, where "Papercut" was featured in the third slot of the setlist. In Set C, it was performed in the same spot originally, but the medley was again split, with "Papercut" being performed second in the encore. Set B is the only setlist in which the medley stayed consistent, when the band performed it in the encore, before the final song, "One Step Closer". As Set A and Set B moved onto 2013, "Papercut" remained in its position in Set A. Halfway through the Living Things New Zealand and Australian Tour, starting at the Soundwave performance in Flemington, Victoria, "Papercut" was added to Festival Set B after "A Place For My Head" in order to take advantage of their full set time. The new, full version of Set B did not debut until the Living Things Asian Tour, in Pasay, Philippines, where a full version of "Lying From You" replaced the medley in the encore.
On The Hunting Party World Tour, "Papercut" was a constantly performed song throughout the tour. Throughout all of 2014 shortened version of the song, which lacked the second verse and second chorus, transitioning directly from a shortened, instrumental version of "Blackout". At the Stars Of The Season Gaia, the band jammed to the first verse of "Papercut", with guest Luis Ortiz from Million Dollar Listing New York rapping over it. The "Blackout" and "Papercut" duo stuck around at the beginning of 2015, where it was performed at the three shows on the ill-fated The Hunting Party North American Tour. When the band returned to touring in May for their short North American Summer Tour, "Papercut" received a brand new intro (titled the "2015 Intro") and opened each show, the first time the song had opened a show since 2011, and the first time the song had opened a show without any preceding interludes since 2003. At the band's show at BlizzCon at the end of the touring cycle, the 2015 Intro was changed around for a new remixed version of the "World Of Warcraft" in honor of the company's most popular game. This was the only time that intro was used.
"Papercut" returned on the One More Light world tour as the penultimate song in the setlist, being followed by "Bleed It Out". The full version of the setlist that debuted at the band's show in Santiago was the first time the song had been in the encore since the Living Things South American Tour in 2012. The song was also performed at the show in dedication to Chester Bennington, where Machine Gun Kelly came out to perform the song with the band. Jon Green performed during this song as well, doing the backing vocals at the end of the song, being the first time those vocals were performed live.
Mike included "Papercut" in his solo sets as a mashup with "Over Again", where he performs the first verse, second chorus, bridge, and outro over a more stripped down instrumental. He makes heavy use of a vocoder during the outro. The instrumental primarily featured just synths and drums until Dan Mayo and Matthias Harris joined Mike on tour starting with his Asian Tour. The song was consistently played near the end of the set, but starting with the second show of the US tour, "Papercut" became the most common main set closer. The medley of "About You", "Over Again", and "Papercut" also sporadically opened the encore starting in Charlotte. For a select few of the west coast shows, Phoenix joined Mike and the band for the song.
Mike was asked on Twitch in September 2020 about why he mashed up "Papercut" with "About You" and "Over Again." He said, "I liked the idea of mashing a few things up in the live show. I thought especially when I was doing certain Linkin Park songs in the set, I wanted them to sound different than the Linkin Park sets. Like because it was my solo set, I didn’t want to be estimating Linkin Park especially without Chester singing. The songs were already going to sound different so I tried to take them further outside of the norm so they sounded... if I played them too similar I think your brain would have been comparing it right away and it was not going to be able to be compared. My solo version context wasn’t going to be better. I'd rather make it way different and you're like, "Oh, it's a totally different take on the song.""
Last Updated: December 13, 2015
|Type||Description||First Played||Last Played|
|Intro||Lee Interlude||January 10, 2001||June 25, 2001|
|Intro||Beatbox Intro||June 1, 2001||June 1, 2001|
|Intro||Long Show Opener Intro (Joe scratching over the beat of the song)||November 15, 2003||November 25, 2003|
|Intro||Short Intro (Short string intro with the beat of the song)||June 3, 2004||September 11, 2004|
|Intro||Long Intro (Longer version of the Short Intro)||August 10, 2006||August 23, 2008|
|Intro||2015 Intro (Explosion sample followed by the verse riff of the song building up into the intro)||May 9, 2015||September 6, 2015|
|Intro||World Of Warcraft Theme Remix||November 7, 2015||November 7, 2015|
|Outro||Points Outro w/ "There They Go" Verse 1 (Regular outro of "Points Of Authority" added to the end of the song, due to the song being dropped)||February 29, 2008||March 7, 2008|
|Outro||Points Outro Jam (Regular outro of "Points Of Authority" added to the end of the song, due to the song being dropped)||March 8, 2008||March 8, 2008|
|Outro||w/ Extra Note After Ending (Segue into "New Divide" due to "Given Up" being dropped)||November 7, 2010||November 7, 2010|
|Alternative||Shortened (No 2nd Verse or 2nd Chorus)||May 24, 2014||January 18, 2015|
Last Updated: April 28, 2020
|Type||Description||First Played||Last Played|
|Outro||"Over Again" Ending||May 12, 2018||September 8, 2019|
|Alternative||Shortened (No First Chorus or Second Verse)||May 12, 2018||September 8, 2019|
|Alternative||Synth and Drum Instrumental||May 12, 2018||July 28, 2018|
Last Updated: August 25, 2018
- Benjamin Chandler (replacing Brad Delson)
- Jon Green (The Bonfires)
- Machine Gun Kelly
- Warren Willis (replacing Joe Hahn)
Last Updated: May 1, 2020
- Phoenix (Linkin Park)
- Chester Bennington: vocals
- Rob Bourdon: drums, backing vocals
- Brad Delson: guitars, bass, backing vocals
- Joseph Hahn: records, sampling, backing vocals
- Mike Shinoda: emcee, vocals, beats, sampling
- Ian Hornbeck: bass
- Produced by Don Gilmore
- Executive Producer: Jeff Blue
- Mixed by Andy Wallace
- From the Warner Bros. Album 'Hybrid Theory'
- Available on Cassette and Compact Disc
- Management: Rob McDermott for Andy Gould Management
- Produced by Miti
- Engineered by Jamie
- Released by Arrangement with BBC Music
- From Radio One's "Evening Session"
- First Transmission Date January 11 2001
- Produced for Radio One by Andy Rogers
- Engineered by Simon Askew
- Released by Arrangement with BBC Music
- Directed by Nathan Cox, Joe Hahn
- Produced by Matt Coltabiano
Why does it feel like night today?
Why does it feel like night today?
In Other Media
- "Papercut" is featured in the 2001 film The One.
- A promotional poster for "Papercut" can be seen during a 2016 porn film starring Alyssa Lynn for WatchingMyMomGoBlack.
Pakistani rock band Call covered "Papercut" during a performance for PlayTV's Play It Live show in 2007.
To promote their And The World Stops EP, French metalcore band Early Seasons recorded a cover of "Papercut" which was made available on YouTube and SoundCloud in 2012. Their singer, Marty Degenne, have also done a vocal cover of "Blackout" which is available on the band's YouTube channel.
- Papercut (Music Video): LPTV | WMG | MTV | VK
- Papercut (Smokeout 2003) - Fremont Studios
- Papercut (Monster Mash 2015): LPTV
- Linkin Park Offering Free College Concert In Latest Contest - Blabbermouth.net, March 17, 2008
- Linkin Park Fans: A Rare Opportunity to Own a Piece of | Reverb News, April 02, 2018
- Linkin Park Central [home]
- Linkin Park : The Proven Theory >> Studio Reports
- Mike LPU Chat Transcript: 12/09/2009 - Mike Shinoda Clan
- Linkin Park's Mike Shinoda on EDM, "A Light That Never Comes," and Their New Remix Album | Complex, September 26, 2013
- Interview: Mike Shinoda Talks "Living Things," The State of Rock, and Linkin Park's Fan Base | Complex, September 27, 2012
- Chester Transcript 3 (LPU Chat), January 2002
- Linkin Park Web Interview - Mike Shinoda Clan, September 2000
- HOB.com: Linkin Park Text Interview recorded 11/30/2000, November 30, 2000
- Text-Based Online Chat with Yahoo and Linkin Park [english version], September 17, 2009
- Chester: 'Papercut' is the identity of Linkin Park - Newswire - Linkin Park Live, July 02, 2013
- Surprise: A Fortnite style DRAWING instead of a jam today - YouTube, May 07, 2020
- Linkin Park's Joe Hahn - Wikipedia: Fact or Fiction? - YouTube, September 24, 2014
- "I’m Sorry, I Don’t Know What We Were Doing": Mike Shinoda Reflects On Linkin Park's Papercut Video — Kerrang!, October 05, 2020
- Linkin Park - Papercut (2001) | IMVDb
- YouTube: Mike Shinoda - 9.11 // Freestyle Friday // live drums, ProTools, new Native Instruments gear, September 11, 2020
- CALL Papercut Cover PlayTV Live - YouTube, February 11, 2007
- "Papercut" Linkin Park cover by Early Seasons (OFFICIAL) - YouTube, April 01, 2012
- "Papercut" Linkin Park cover by Early seasons de EARLY SEASONS | Ouça grátis na SoundCloud, April 01, 2012
- Linkin Park - Black out - (Vocal cover by Marty Degenne) - YouTube, September 07, 2012