Xero (A&R Demo Tape)

From Linkinpedia
Demo by Xero
Producer:Mike Shinoda
Linkin Park demo chronology

Xero is the self-titled 1997 demo tape by American band Xero (now known as Linkin Park) sent by the band to record label executives while trying to get signed. The tape contains some of the band's earliest known recordings. The existence of this tape first came to public knowledge in 2022 when a copy previously owned by former Warner Bros. Records executive Barney Kilpatrick was auctioned by his family following in death by suicide on December 03, 2021.[1][2] The label had passed on the band three times before signing a developing deal with them in November 1999.[3][4][5]


Mike had been friends with Mark Wakefield since they were 12[6] and they loved a lot of the same groups. Mark would introduce Mike to more guitar-based music like Rage Against The Machine, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nirvana and Pearl Jam while Mike introduced Mark to hip-hop artists such as Biggie Smalls, Tupac, Mobb Deep and Wu-Tang Clan.[7] They went to high school together[8] and had a reputation as the guys who made funny songs.[6][9][10] After both graduated, they started working on a new project called "Xero" (pronounced "zero") in the winter of 1995/1996. "We named it Xero with an X because we thought it looked cool," explained Mike.[11]

When Mike Shinoda was 15, a friend’s dad chaperoned them to a Anthrax and Public Enemy show[12] during Anthrax' Attack Of The Killer B's tour in 1991.[13] Guitarist Scott Ian said, "I had one of the dudes from LINKIN PARK, a long time ago, one of them told me he was at the ANTHRAX/PUBLIC ENEMY show in Los Angeles on the tour, and he loved it, and it was a very important night for him. So that was nice to hear."[14][15] Shinoda was so inspired by the musical melding that when he decided to form his own group, he wrote with both rhymes and rhythms in mind.[16]

"When we started, we wanted to play something that we weren’t hearing. The first show I went to was Anthrax and Public Enemy. They did ‘Bring the Noise’ together, and I was like, ‘That’s the most amazing thing I’ve ever heard.’ Everybody in our band —– and our fans, too —– has just been raised on different styles of music. Everybody’s mixing everything. When you hear Redman do a song with Roni Size, or Busta Rhymes with Ozzy, you know something’s happening."[17]

After one or two writing sessions, they enlisted the help of Mark's neighbor and Relative Degree bandmate Brad Delson to record a demo containing 4 songs, a few of them having guitars done by Brad.[18][19] They sent it to an A&R representative from an indie label/publishing company whose mailing address was included in one of the CDs they owned and got a phone call from Paul Pontius, the representative from Immortal Records, a day later asking them to come over.[20][21][22] He was shocked to learn the duo recorded a professional sounding demo on a 4-track recorder in Mike's bedroom and encouraged them to put a band together and start playing shows.[23] Drummer Rob Bourdon said, "we haven't really figured out the exact date, but it was somewhere in ‘97 that we came together, most of us came together."[24]

After the demo, the band came together and started writing new music. The exact content of the demo sent to Immortal Records remains unknown, but it's possible it was the same demo sent to Warner Bros. Records executive Barney Kilpatrick.

Track Listing

No. Title Writer(s) Length
A1 Dialate Diggs Robert Fitzgerald, Shinoda Michael Kenji, Smith Clifford, Wakefield Mark, Woods Corey 3:24
A2 Fuse Shinoda, Wakefield 3:19
B1 Deftest Shinoda, Wakefield 3:31
B2 Stick N Move Shinoda, Wakefield 2:41


  • Mike Shinoda
  • Mark Wakefield
  • Brad Delson


External Links


  1. Barney Kilpatrick Dead: Veteran Radio Promo Exec and Artist Manager – Billboard, December 08, 2021
  2. "Deftest" To Be Auctioned On May 19th, 2022 - Newswire - Linkin Park Live, April 4, 2022
  3. Interview: Linkin Park | Rolling Stone, March 14, 2002
  4. Linkin Park Wants Out Of Warner Bros. Contract | Billboard, May 03, 2005
  5. Linkin Park Steps Out - TIME, January 20, 2002
  6. 6.0 6.1 Linkin Park Hit the Studio in L.A.: "We Have a Ton of Material" | Rolling Stone, November 07, 2008
  7. Mike Shinoda on 'Post Traumatic', Chester's Death, Performing With The Roots, Donald Trump + More - YouTube, June 26, 2018
  8. Agoura High School Class of 1995 - Timeline | Facebook, May 23, 2015
  9. HD Radio Sound Space Webcast | The World Famous KROQ, June 2018
  10. Mike Shinoda @ KROQ HD Radio Sound Space (Full Show) - YouTube, June 15, 2018
  11. 9.3 Goth Christmas Song (fan request: In The End + Evanescence + Christmas Music) - OfficialMikeShinoda on Twitch, September 03, 2020
  12. Mike Shinoda and Joe Hahn Talk Linkin Park, Mall, and More at Comic-Con | Collider
  13. Linkin Park Planeja um Show que Você Vai Querer Lembrar - Mike Shinoda Clan, January 23, 2011
  14. Anthrax's Scott Ian: 'We Weren't The First Ones To Do Rap And Metal' - Blabbermouth.net, November 23, 2015
  15. Anthrax's Scott Ian Speaks Of The Band's Impact On Rap Metal | Theprp.com, November 25, 2015
  16. Linkin Park's Rap 'n' Rock - latimes, February 01, 2001
  17. Linkin Park’s Compassionate Thrash – Rolling Stone, March 29, 2001
  18. Linkin Park’s Joe Hahn, September 04, 2016
  19. The Secret History Of Linkin Park's Hybrid Theory: In Their Own Words — Kerrang!, October 07, 2020
  21. Mike Shinoda on Beats, Rhymes and Linkin Par‪k‬, March 02, 2021
  22. Rolling Stone Chat with Mike Shinoda and Mike Einziger Summary | LP Association Forums, May 02, 2012
  23. Linkin Park Interview with Mike and Brad Part 2 - YouTube, October 15, 2011
  24. The Linkin Park Times - Interviews & Articles, July 19, 2007