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From Linkinpedia
Single by Linkin Park
from the album The Hunting Party
Working title:Artillery / The Wastelands / Wastelands Of Today
Released:June 1, 2014
Time signature:4/4
Key:D Minor
References:John Lennon - Power To The People
Live debut:May 24, 2014
Last performed:July 6, 2017
Writer:Linkin Park
Producer:Brad Delson, Mike Shinoda, Rob Cavallo
Label:Warner Bros., Machine Shop
Linkin Park single chronology
Until It's Gone
The Hunting Party tracklist
  1. Keys To The Kingdom
  2. All For Nothing (feat. Page Hamilton)
  3. Guilty All The Same (feat. Rakim)
  4. The Summoning
  5. War
  6. Wastelands
  7. Until It's Gone
  8. Rebellion (feat. Daron Malakian)
  9. Mark The Graves
  10. Drawbar (feat. Tom Morello)
  11. Final Masquerade
  12. A Line In The Sand

"Wastelands" is the sixth track on Linkin Park's sixth studio album The Hunting Party. The track was co-produced by Rob Cavallo.[1]


The first verse of "Wastelands" was written before any of the music for the track was written, but the second verse got rewritten at the end of the recording sessions.[2][3] The song follows a fairly straight forward structure, until the end of the song, when the band completely changes the chord progression of the chorus, an unusual characteristic for Linkin Park.[4]

The intro loop was created by Mike Shinoda by sampling a live drum track and adding effects to it. That loop became the driver of the song, with Rob Bourdon playing what the loop is playing. While most of the song is a combination of the loop and live drums, the chorus is entirely live drums.[5]

On The Hunting Party, the band made a decision of not working with any outside producer and instead produce the album by themselves. The decision was supported by A&R executive Rob Cavallo, who ended up working on the song, as explained by Chester, "As co-producers, this time we were able to get Rob Cavallo for the song "Wastelands Of Today" and we were completely surprised when he heard us and did not give much advice, but just said we should do our thing that way. That was nice. We just thought, if we want a producer for this or that song, then we get it - not necessarily for every song."[6]


On December 24, 2014, several members from the Linkin Park Association community teamed up to release a remix album of The Hunting Party titled Viscera. The album was later released to the LP Underground on June 18, 2015 after the band received the full rights to distribute the album. The remix of "Wastelands" was done by Cypher, and samples "Step Up". The instrumental version of the remix was released February 28, 2015.


The song was given away to fans in the form of a burned CD thrown by Mike Shinoda during Linkin Park's performance at the Rock In Rio festival in Lisbon, Portugal on May 30, 2014.[7] When it came time to transition from "Runaway" into "Wastelands", Mike said, "Ladies and gentlemen right about now, I'm going to skip this part real quick because I want to tell you guys something. In my pocket I have CDs of our brand new song that is not out yet. This is not out on the Internet, you can't buy it, it's sitting right here in my hands. It's for you! It's called "Wastelands"!"[8]

One of the CDs was caught by well-known Linkin Park community member Tiago Rodrigues from Linkin Park Portugal. He uploaded the song immediately to YouTube after the show.[9][10]

On May 30, 2019, Linkin Park tweeted a video saying, "On this day in 2014, @mikeshinoda leaked @linkinpark's new song Wasteland by handing out CDs with the track to the fans at Rock in Rio Lisboa #TBT". In the video shot before the show, Mike says to the camera, "We have a new song called "Wastelands" and it's not out yet, but these are some CDs with the song on it. We're going to hand these to the crowd and just let them have it and they can give it to the world."[11] Adam Ruehmer commented that it was his idea to have Mike give the CDs out at the show and said, "Man, I remember staying up and scrolling through twitter in a panic because it hadn't leaked yet. Then the dude who leaked it said he was going to and we were all just like waiting for him to get home from the show to upload it. haha."[12]

Two days later, on June 1, 2019, Linkin Park had SiriusXM release the official music video for "Wastelands" on YouTube.[13]


Digital Single

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1 Wastelands Linkin Park 3:15

Music Video

Lyric Video

A lyric video for "Wastelands" was created by Black Balloon, a Los Angeles-based creative studio specialized in motion graphics and post production.[14][15] It was released on June 1, 2014 and features a shortened version of the track without the interlude at the end.[16]

UFC Video

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) partnered with Linkin Park in the campaign for the UFC 174: Johnson vs Bagautinov live pay-per-view event which took place on June 14, 2014 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, Canada. A teaser featuring "Wastelands" over footage of the fighters was released on May 28[17][18] and a full-length music video for the song was released on June 25 featuring clips of fights in The Octagon over a live performance at Rock In Rio Lisboa.

IAVA Video

Linkin Park partnered with Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) for the Convoy to Combat Suicide, a national tour to raise awareness around the issue of veteran suicide and to issue a call to action to the American public to help lower the high suicide rate among the new generation of veterans. As part of the collaboration, a "Wastelands" music video was created by Black Balloon with photographs submitted by IAVA members across the country. The video was featured on and also shown during Linkin Park's live concerts.[19][20]


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


Title Album Length Recorded Released Notes
Wastelands LP Recharge - Wastelands

The Hunting Party


3:15 2013-2014 June 1, 2014
  • Contains a reference to John Lennon's "Power To The People".
Wastelands 3:10 2013-2014 June 1, 2014
Wastelands (Instrumental) The Hunting Party: Acapellas + Instrumentals 3:18 2013-2014 August 12, 2014
  • Official instrumental version.
Wastelands (Acapella) The Hunting Party: Acapellas + Instrumentals 3:15 2013-2014 August 12, 2014
  • Official acapella version.


Title Album Length Recorded Released Notes
Wastelands: Cypher Viscera 2:24 2014 December 24, 2014
  • Remix by Cypher.
  • Released on LPAssociation for free download on December 24, 2014 in AAC, MP3 and FLAC formats.
  • Released to LP Underground members for free download on June 18, 2015 in MP3 format.
  • The band obtained all the rights to the album.
Wastelands: Cypher (Instrumental) Viscera (Instrumentals) 2:24 2014 February 28, 2015
  • Remix by Cypher.
  • Instrumental version.
  • Released on LPAssociation for free download on February 28, 2015 in AAC, MP3 and FLAC formats.


"Wastelands" got its live debut at KFMA Day 2014, the first show of The Hunting Party touring cycle. Technically, the song has only been performed in full three times, once at KROQ Red Bull Sound Space and twice at iHeart Radio Theater. Every other performance of the song has come straight from the extended transition outro of "Runaway", where Mike raps the first verse of "Wastelands" over an altered version of the "Runaway" bridge instrumental", or with a hard start, as seen at Download 2014.

At the show in Tampa 2014, Mike accidentally rapped a demo verse of "Wastelands" over the transition outro of "Runaway." These lyrics are included below, directly from Mike.

At the first show of the One More Light touring cycle, "Wastelands" was played second in the set with the outro sample from "War" as an intro. The song was the sole survivor from The Hunting Party to make it to the next touring cycle.


Last Updated: July 18, 2018

Type Description First Played Last Played
Intro Hard Start (No Album Version Intro) May 24, 2014 November 14, 2015
Intro "War" Outro Sample May 6, 2017 July 6, 2017

Live Guests

Last Updated: December 26, 2015

  • Benjamin Chandler (replacing Brad Delson)
  • Warren Willis (replacing Joe Hahn)


Linkin Park is

  • Chester Bennington
  • Rob Bourdon
  • Brad Delson
  • Phoenix
  • Joe Hahn
  • Mike Shinoda


  • Produced by Mike Shinoda and Brad Delson
  • "Wastelands" co-produced by Rob Cavallo
  • Lyrics & Vocals by Mike Shionda and Chester Bennington
  • Background Vocals by Brad Delson, Joe Hahn, Rob Bourdon, and Phoenix
  • Additional Lyrics by Brad Delson
  • Engineering by Ethan Mates and Mike Shinoda
  • Digital editing by Josh Newell
  • Assistant Engineer: Alejandro Baima
  • Additional Assistant Engineers: Brendan Dekora and Jennifer Langdon
  • Studio Electro Tech: Warren Willis
  • Studio Drum Tech: Jerry Johnson
  • Album Production Coordination: Ryan DeMarti
  • Recorded at Larrabee Sound Studios, North Hollywood, CA
  • Additional Recording at EastWest Studios and Glenwood Place Studios
  • Mixed by Andy Wallace
  • Pro Tools Engineered by Paul Suarez
  • Assisted by Del Bowers
  • Mastered by Emily Lazar at The Lodge
  • Assisted by Rich Morales


Album Version

Uh, this is war with no weapons
Marching with no stepping
Murder with no killing
Illin' every direction
First / no sequel
Do the math / no equal
John with no Yoko:
More power less people
And no / I'm not afraid of that
Print it in your paperback
Every rap is made in fact to act as a delayed attack
Every phrase a razor blade that's saved until they play it back
Slay and leave 'em laying on the pavement
Fade to black
In the wastelands of today
Where there's nothing left to lose
And there's nothing more to take
But you force yourself to choose
In the wastelands of today
Where tomorrow disappears
When the future slips away
And your hope turns into fear
In the wastelands of today
Roll credits you get it the show's done
They're talking for just talking but meaning, they got none
None of 'em come proper they talk like a shotgun but
How many got bred with integrity / not one / so no
I'm not afraid to see you suckers hold a blade to me
Ain't a way to shake the ground I built before you came to be
Take it how you take it / I'm the opposite of vacancy
And this is not negotiation ya'll can hate and wait and see
In the wastelands of today
Where there's nothing left to lose
And there's nothing more to take
But you force yourself to choose
In the wastelands of today
Where tomorrow disappears
When the future slips away
And your hope turns into fear
And your hope turns into fear
In the wastelands of today
In the wastelands of today
Where there's nothing left to lose
And there's nothing more to take
But you force yourself to choose
In the wastelands of today
Where tomorrow disappears
When the future slips away
And your hope turns into fear
And your hope turns into fear
In the wastelands of today
In the wastelands of today
In the wastelands of today

Demo Verse

And yeah I'm not afraid of that
This is underrated rap
Take it back to
Raiders caps
Like 1988 is back
N.W.A. in fact
Cock it back & spray the track
Slay 'em, leave 'em laying on the pavement
Bang, fade to black


In Other Media

  • "Wastelands" is featured in Linkin Park's 2014 videogame LP Recharge - Wastelands.
  • "Wastelands" is featured in the 2015 videogame Guitar Hero Live.

External Links