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An earlier Xero tape?


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In this interview with Seoul Journal, one of the questions was about the early days of Joe's musical career, his answer is a little bit confusing compared to what do we know or have:

SJ: Can you tell us how you got started? How did you first get into music?

Hahn: A couple years after that initial meeting, Mike had this demo tape with another guy. It was three songs under the title Xero that was the original demo for the band. The band eventually became three different bands through the course of time, and eventually became Linkin Park when Chester Bennington joined.

I guess I would've just ignored it if it wasn't for this fact: there are four tracks on the Xero tape, the credits for three of them (Reading My Eyes, Fuse and Stick N Move) are only Mike and Mark Wakefield, and one song has credit to Joe and Brad as well (Rhinestone).


Is there any minor chance that there was an earlier version of the tape or it's unlikely?

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I think that's possible, because he's talking about it, as if he wouldn't be in the band himself, as if it would be just Mike and Mark. But I also think that that demo tape could be unfinished, ready for one more track to be done, probably only the original copy existed, something Mike would show to his friends and eventually edit it. The credits pretty much confirms your hyphothesis.

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If there's an earlier tape (which I doubt exists, at least in a publicly-available manner), it's probably just the same recordings on the tape we have, minus Rhinestone. Mike's said in the past that the early demos were primarily just him and Mark (probably with Brad supplying some guitar/bass work too), and once he started shopping demos around looking for a publishing deal, he was told that he really should put an actual band together. We don't really know for sure who all actually played on the Xero recordings anyway.

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  • 6 months later...

's the interview where Mike talks about their first 4-song demo which was sent out to a "large indie label" and their A&R person said Mark and Mike should put a band together. He said Brad didn't play on the demo, but here's an
where he tells the same story saying Brad played guitars "on some it of". I'll believe 2011 Mike.


Mike and Mark started Xero in their first year of college, so Mike already knew Joe (who had been DJ'ing since high school) and could have asked him to contribute to Rhinestone. Joe wasn't a member of the band yet, so him saying Mike had a demo with Mark is right. The "three songs" part is probably wrong. I guess this was just the Xero demo we already have (probably didn't have artwork or anything at the time), recorded in 1996 and released publicly in 1997 when they started playing shows.

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