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Linkin Park - Breaking The Habit (Rock In Rio Festival 2008)

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Retrieved from Wikipedia:
Breaking the Habit on Wikipedia
"Breaking the Habit"
Single by Linkin Park
from the album Meteora
GenreElectronic rock, alternative rock
LabelWarner Bros.
Writer(s)Mike Shinoda
ProducerDon Gilmore, Linkin Park
Linkin Park singles chronology

"Breaking the Habit" is a song by American rock band Linkin Park. It was released as the sixth and final single from their second album, Meteora. It became the fifth consecutive single from Meteora to reach #1 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart, a feat unmatched by any other artist in the history of that chart. It was also the third single from the album to reach #1 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. The song was a hit, peaking at #20 on the Billboard Hot 100.


"Breaking the Habit" features a strong electronica-influenced opening, live strings and guitar. It is an exception from their previous nu metal performances as no distorted guitar riffs are included nor are there any rapping vocals from Mike Shinoda, a style they would further explore on their later albums.

A common misconception about "Breaking the Habit" song is that it was written by lead singer Chester Bennington, when in fact, band member Mike Shinoda was the original writer. The song was based on a close friend's drug addiction. It is a common idea that it was written about Bennington due to his extended drug abuse issues, although Shinoda began writing the song before he met Bennington. The rumor has its roots in Bennington's reluctance to play the song at early live shows, because he was able to relate to it so closely.

In the album notes, it was said that the song was originally going to be an instrumental track lasting a little over three and a half minutes, but Shinoda was convinced by the band to change it. The instrumental was later released on the Underground 9.0 Fan Club as a demo track entitled "Drawing".

Mike Shinoda had a lyrical idea of an emotion he had been trying to express for 5 to 6 years before the production of Meteora. To him, the lyrics had sounded wrong until listening to the Drawing demo one night and they fell together. He showed the lyrics he wrote to the singer Chester Bennington who read them and teared up, relating to the words to a point where he had difficulty performing the song live for almost a year after the release of Meteora. Contrary to popular belief and since Mike Shinoda wrote the lyrics, the song is not originally about Chester's problems or drug abuse. Though, it demonstrates the style of Meteora which is conveying pure emotion and letting the listener reflect their stories onto themselves.

Breaking the Habit was a new unexpected sound to the band when they discovered it, revealing at the end of the cycle of Meteora that the band wanted to explore song styles like it while they go into the studio to write their third album Minutes to Midnight.

Music video

The music video for "Breaking the Habit" was animated in the Studio 4°C, it was directed by Joe Hahn and co-produced by Eric Calderon. It uses an anime-stylization which was supervised by Kazuto Nakazawa, who had previously directed the animated segment of Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill Vol. 1 among other things.[1][2] The video was shot of the band performing the song and was later rotoscoped.[3] The video has gone on to be a favorite amongst MTV viewers, going as far as winning the 2004 MTV VMA Viewer's Choice Award.

As the video begins, a deceased man is shown lying on a car's roof. The surrounding area has been taped off and is littered with investigating police officers as well as onlookers. The video cuts to other characters, many shown to be depressed or frustrated with their lives. Noteworthy is a girl who breaks a mirror, then writes "I'm nothing" onto a sheet of paper. She then picks up a shard of broken glass, clenches it in her hand, then smears her blood on the note. Throughout the different scenes, a wisp of smoke meanders around the characters as their stories play out, and the ghostly face of Chester Bennington flashes various times. At a point, the ubiquitous smoke drifts over the deceased man's body and enters his mouth, and the video begins to seemingly rewinds itself, revealing more about the characters and their situations. Suddenly, the body of the deceased man begins to rise, falling in reverse, towards the roof of a tall building. It is revealed that the body is that of Chester, who had apparently fallen to his death. Upon landing on the roof, he joins with the rest of the band in performing the remainder of the song.

There is also a second music video, entitled "Breaking the Habit (5.28.04 3:37 PM)", showing the band in their studio performing the song. The video was directed by Kimo Proudfoot and is available on the Breaking the Habit DVD.

Live Info

Breaking the Habit wasn't introduced to Linkin Park shows like the other songs from Meteora. It wasn't even played until November of 2003. However, since then, it has found itself in the majority of their concerts. A piano intro is often added where Chester sings the entire first verse. Then the normal song kicks in where he re-sings the first verse followed by the rest of the song. An extended piano outro is also added at times where Chester sings the chorus one last time.

Track listing

All songs written and composed by Linkin Park. 


Linkin Park
  • Chester Bennington – vocals
  • Rob Bourdon – drums
  • Brad Delson – guitar
  • Dave "Phoenix" Farrell – bass
  • Joe "Mr. Hahn" Hahn – turntables, sampling
  • Mike Shinoda – Keyboard


  1. ^ Steve Hochman: Anime finds its match in Linkin Park, Los Angeles Times, May 16, 2004
  2. ^ Jeffrey Rotter: MUSIC VIDEO; Faith, Hope And Anime, The New York Times, May 30, 2004
  3. ^ Jon Wiederhorn: Linkin Park Avoid Bodily Harm In New Video By Using Anime Stand-Ins,, May 17, 2004

External links

  • Breaking The Habit official lyrics
  • Breaking The Habit music video on YouTube

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