Linkin Park: Everyone's Hometown Band

Linkin Park didn't think too deeply about its name when legal issues forced the sextet to abandon original moniker Hybrid Theory (which became the name of the rap-metal act's first album). The members grabbed the name of nearby Lincoln Park in their home town of Santa Monica, Calif., modified the spelling to secure the Internet domain name, and that was it.

They didn't realize the name would connect them to virtually every city in the country.

"There's been radio stations in Chicago that have said, 'Here's this local band, from Chicago, Linkin Park' — and that's actually been happening all over the country," the band's bassist, Phoenix, said at an interview at the ESPN Sports and Music Awards. "In every major city you go there will be a Lincoln Park that's either a park, or a community. … For a while, everybody thought we were local, like a support act."

Thanks to the success of "One Step Closer," the band has established itself as a mainstage performer — this weekend the members of Linkin Park end a two-week break with a performance at the Boarding for Breast Cancer Snowboard + Music Festival in Tahoe, Calif., and are booked solid with Ozzfest and other performances until late this year.

Phoenix says the band is installing music-production software Pro Tools on its tour bus and will take its first shot at writing new material since its breakthrough.

"I think all six of us have been more pressure performers than anything else," Phoenix says. "So it'll be interesting to see how we do without a big deadline looming over our heads, and see what comes out of that process. At the same time, I think we're really looking forward to being able to sit down and go through the creative process again and start working on new stuff that way."

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