Roads Untraveled

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"Roads Untraveled"
Studio-Living Things Cover.jpg
Song by Linkin Park from the album Living Things
Working title Roads Untraveled
Recorded 2011 - 2012
Length 03:50
Stems Stagelight: Linkin Park Edition[1]
Leaked Multitracks
Time signature 6/8
Tempo 100
Key Ab Minor
Live debut May 6, 2017 (Roads Untraveled/Fallout)
October 27, 2017 (Album Version)
Last played July 6, 2017 (Roads Untraveled/Fallout)
October 27, 2017 (Album Version)
Writer Linkin Park
Producer Mike Shinoda, Rick Rubin
Label Warner Bros.

Living Things track listing
  1. Lost In The Echo
  2. In My Remains
  3. Burn It Down
  4. Lies Greed Misery
  5. I'll Be Gone
  6. Castle Of Glass
  7. Victimized
  8. Roads Untraveled
  9. Skin To Bone
  10. Until It Breaks
  11. Tinfoil
  12. Powerless

"Roads Untraveled" is the eighth song off of Linkin Park's fifth studio album, Living Things. The song was never released as a single, but it was included in the 2014 film Need For Speed, and the compilation album Songs For The Philippines.


Mike Shinoda wrote most of the lyrics, melodies, and even the drum parts for "Roads Untraveled", which is a rarity for him.[2] The groove of the drums was inspired by the groove in the demo "Animals".[3]

Chester Bennington stated that the band looked towards the artists that inspired Bob Dylan while writing "Roads Untraveled", and wanted to create a strange combination of a driving beat with very folk-like melodies. Brad Delson further backed that claim, stating "One of the dominant musical inspirations early on in the process was a folk influence. We had The Anthology Of American Folk Music, and we listened to a lot of that."[4]

Mike talked about the meaning behind the song, though he did manage to incorrectly title it, saying "For me, it's always coming from something that I have firsthand experience with, whether that be my own story or one of my close friends. We have a song called "Road Less Traveled" where I kind of wrote the song for one of my best friends. In every case, I feel like my best stuff comes when I'm thinking about something I feel strongly about. One day, I may not be inspired to talk about something, and then the next day, I may, and that's when I really try and dig into the lyrics of whatever might be optimal. Usually, for me, it's like the music will bring out that emotion or that inspiration and I just try and follow it."[5]

He introduced the song at the Tampa show of the Post Traumatic Tour by saying it was written about the broken engagement of his friend, but the song took on a new meaning after Chester passed away.[6]

When asked about the triangle sound in the song, Mike said, "It's not a triangle, it's a chime thing. It's a bell sound. I don't know, it was just one of those cool patches I found. I don't remember exactly what kind of sound it is, in fact."[7]


"Roads Untraveled" received one official remix, done by Rad Omen. The remix featured an additional verse done by Bun B. While the remix was included on Linkin Park's second remix album, Recharged, it was initially released through the Living Things Remix Subscription in October, alongside Bobina's remix of "Burn It Down". Mike Shinoda cited Rad Omen's remix as an example of the diversity on Recharged, claiming "But even stepping outside of EDM, the album has a lot of different flavors—some songs represent multiple genres at once. For example, on the Rad Omen remix, there are elements of house, trap, and folk, all in the same song."[8]


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


Title Album Length Recorded Released Notes
Roads Untraveled Living Things

Songs For The Philippines

3:50 2011-2012 June 20, 2012
Roads Untraveled (Instrumental) Living Things (Acapellas and Instrumentals) 3:50 2012 September 11, 2012
  • Official instrumental version.
Roads Untraveled (Acapella) Living Things (Acapellas and Instrumentals) 3:11 2012 September 11, 2012
  • Official acapella version.


Title Album Length Recorded Released Notes
Roads Untraveled (Rad Omen Remix feat. Bun B) Living Things Remixed

Living Things Remixes

5:32 2012 October 1, 2012
  • Remix by Troublemaker.[9]
  • Features vocals by Bun B.
  • 3 seconds longer boom echo at the ending.
Roads Untraveled (Rad Omen Remix feat. Bun B) Recharged 5:28 2012 October 29, 2013
  • Remix by Troublemaker.
  • Features vocals by Bun B.


Title Album Length Recorded Released Notes
Roads Untraveled (Live In Moscow, 2018) Soundcheck Session: Live In Moscow 4:33 September 1, 2018 November 15, 2018
  • Mike Shinoda solo.
  • Video only.


The first and third verse of "Roads Untraveled" were mashed up with "Fallout" starting on the first show of the One More Light touring cycle. It would later get its full band debut at the tribute show for Chester Bennington, where it was part of the opening medley. The song was played a half-step up to match the key of "Iridescent" and the outro of the song was cut, effectively being replaced by that part being moved to the intro.

On April 17, 2018, Mike posted a poll on Twitter asking fans to vote on which song he should add to the setlist, with "Roads Untraveled" being one of the options and the eventual victor.[10] It was debuted at the Identity LA performance, with the guitar refrain after the first chorus being cut out. It would be performed this way until Matt and Dan joined Mike on tour, where the full song was finally debuted. Multiple fans were brought on stage to play guitar during the song, starting in Milano and continuing into the Monster Energy Outbreak Tour. In Detroit, Mike added a short piano into to the song for the first (and only) time.


Linkin Park

Last Updated: April 28, 2020

Type Description First Played Last Played
Intro Guitar Refrain October 27, 2017 October 27, 2017
Alternative Half-step up October 27, 2017 October 27, 2017
Alternative Shortened (No Ending) October 27, 2017 October 27, 2017

Mike Shinoda

Last Updated: April 28, 2020

Type Description First Played Last Played
Intro Piano Intro November 16, 2018 November 16, 2018
Alternative Shortened (No Guitar Refrain) May 12, 2018 July 28, 2018




In Other Media

  • "Roads Untraveled" is featured in the 2014 film Need For Speed.

External Links