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LPLive Q&A with Jeff Blue and Rob McDermott

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We're excited to announce that on Thursday (1/14), LPLive will be recording a video Q&A session with former Linkin Park A&R manager/executive producer of Hybrid Theory, Jeff Blue! Jeff is known for signing a little band called Xero to a publishing development deal after their very first show in 1997, shopping them for 3 years with 44 rejections, discovering a singer named Chester Bennington, eventually signing the band with him at Warner Records as Hybrid Theory, and finally being part of the team behind their genre-defining debut album as Linkin Park in 2000. Jeff recently published an autobiographical account of his experiences during the band's early years, One Step Closer: From Xero to #1: Becoming Linkin Park (Amazon link below!), which serves as a combination of a detailed historical document of the band's formative period, an insightful look into a side of the music industry not many people get to see, and a story of having to reconcile professional triumph with personal tragedy.

 

BONUS: Big thanks to Jeff, as he's been kind enough to bring a special guest for this Q&A as well, none other than Mad Mac Entertainment CEO and former Linkin Park manager from 2000 to 2009, Rob McDermott! Rob was another key part of the team that brought Hybrid Theory to life, and shows up in a lot of the stories in Jeff's book.

 

Got questions for Jeff and/or Rob? So do we! Let us know what you'd like to ask them in the replies (submit your questions by 4 PM ET/1 PM PT on January 14th), and make sure to follow Jeff's social accounts at the links below - the more interest he sees from the fans, the more questions he'll want to answer. Let him know LPLive sent you!

 

One Step Closer: From Xero to #1: Becoming Linkin Park on Amazon

 

Jeff Blue links: Website / Instagram / Twitter / Facebook

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Wow i'm so excited for this!!!, thanks to everybody working on make this possible

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This is a fairly big get for this site that tends to get some really big gets.  Started this with a compliment and a smile!  The transformation of this website from 'for the people' and liberation of content, to corporate management arm must be nearing completion.  Exciting stuff considering how much Jeff has been trashed on this forum.  Ha, sorry for the snark, still very excited for the interview.  It'll be really cool to hear from Rob too...   How awesome that Jeff was nice enough to grant this Q&A and bring him along.   I have nothing against Jeff and always wondered why he sometimes got trashed in the fanbase 20 years later because honestly most fans still salivate over that album and this guy was so instrumental in helping them bring that vision to the masses.  Bonus points for people trashing songs like Pictureboard and Stick N Move when Jeff probably had something to do with songs like that never moving forward in the recording process.  I'm sorry, but this whole saga has been a little too ironic in its own face for me not to say something hahaha.  Like...  You know when you see the opportunity to say something and like...   you won't feel right if you don't.  Even though you know you should probably just not say anything.  Totally there right now.  The controversy!  Don't @ me.  Unless you want to.  I miss you guys!  *muah*

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Just a couple of questions from me.

 

Is it possible that any of the live shows from the xero era thru to the HT era were recorded in audio or video form by you (Jeff) or the band?

 

Did you (jeff) get chance to see chester perform with Grey Daze live before you brought him into LP? And if so what were your thoughts?

 

Did you (Jeff) ever get chance to hear the SAC demo tape?

 

And regarding the Plaster (David Kahne Mix 1 Of 4) promo cd, do the other 3 mixes exist or was mix 1 a test mix?

 

cheers

Edited by danacky

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Hey Jeff, real important question:

1. When was the exact release date for Hybrid Theory EP?
2. How did you and the band make a connection with Mudrock?
 

Edited by itworkedforkurt

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Wow, this is great. Really enjoyed the book which included so much information the band couldn't provide in twenty years. Thanks for doing this Q&A :)

Here are my questions:

1. Did the shorter live version of "And One" get recorded in the studio? Is there a finished recording of this version?

2. "Step Up" and "Carousel" were written before Chester joined the band (according to the book). How many HTEP-songs we written after he joined the band.

3. We received a lot of information about the in-studio drama. Could anyone of you give us context about the infamous "lab coat" and "cowboy head" episode concerning Joe Hahn?

4. Was the reason for Marks departure stage fright (as claimed by Mike/the band) or his performance (as claimed in the book)? Or rather, did his performance suffer because of stage fright (as pointed out during the demo recording after signing the publishing deal).

5. Which LP album do you (both) enjoy the most?

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which song came closest to entering the album (hybrid theory), but didn't? 

was the song "Slip" reworked for inclusion on the album?
 If so, did it sound very different from the lpu 11 version?

Edited by PartOfMe
add more questions

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Do you (Jeff Blue) have any copies of the tapes/cds mentioned in your book?

Edited by NJPLP

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If Jeff already knew about some songs from HT era that aren't mentioned in the book (So Far Away, Dedicated) and didn't mention it for the sake that weren't good enough to be included in some compilation or he wasn't envolved in the process;

If there's some info about the Xero tape which contains "Dreamer" and "Weight" or at least about those songs (song notes as he did with the other unreleased tracks);

And if he has some thing to say / remember about Carousel and Step Up versions with Mark.

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mr.Jeff,

Since Mike doesn´t know exactly when Chester joined the band, do you know when?

Is there any good live recordings of Xero´s performances?

Do you remember some of the setlists of their shows?

How did the producers of "The Crow: Stairway To Heaven" found Xero?

Is "Harmonic Song" some how related to "Pushing me away"?

Did you saw the first rehearsal of the band with Chester?

Is there a chance that some day we can listen to "Turn to Grey", "Ashes" and other songs that you reference in your book?

Are you aware of the BMI entry named "NBA INSIDE STUFF-BG CUES (Legal Title)" that was credited to Rob, Brad, Joe, Mike and Mark?

 

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I havent read the book yet so if any of these are answered in it feel free to cross them off.

 

There is an episode of LPUTV titled

Perth Jam 1,  Xero Reborn. Phoenix is playing a tune on the guitar and Chester and Mike comment about it being an old Xero song and that it never made it pass the demo stage. There is alot of speculation amongst fans about it. Do you know the name of the song that they are talking about?

 

Recently I have found out the songs Carousel and Step Up were made back when the band was called Xero. What can you tell us about these versions of the songs? How different are they from the Hybrid Theory EP versions?

 

Brad once mentioned an old Xero song called Spark Maker but fans aren't certain if this is a legit song or if he was joking. Are you able to confirm if this is a real song?

 

What were your favourite songs and what songs do you wish made further in the creation process? 

 

What were your least favourite songs from the band?

 

Slip is probably one my favourite songs but all we got was the Hybrid Theory version. Is there any notable differences in the Xero version?

 

Do you have a fondest memory of working with the band?

 

What do you look for in a band? What stands out that makes you go, " These guys are going to be great!"

 

What made you think of becoming a record producer?

 

What were some of your favourite bands to work with and how did working with Linkin Park compare to them?

 

Which band that you worked with that you think had the most interesting creative process?

 

I'll add more later as I think of them. Excited for this interview.

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Step Up is one of my favorite songs off the Hybrid Theory EP, but we just have the Hybrid Theory version (the one with Chester on vocals). Are there any notable differences in the Xero version (the one with Mark on vocals)?

 

The Xero Demo Tape version of Stick N Move is one my favorite songs, as along with Rhinestone and Reading My Eyes, even though audio quality is bad. The Chester version of Stick N Move is one of my favorite demos from that Forgotten Demos disc from the super deluxe boxset of Hybrid Theory. Are there any notable differences between the redone Xero version of the song from 1998, and the original from 1997, and the Chester version from 2000?

 

We know that Rhinestone would eventually become Forgotten, Reading My Eyes was resurrected in rehearsals and decided to play it live in 2006 with Chester, and Stick N Move would eventually be reworked to become Runaway. Whatever really happened to Fuse? Did it become another song, or did Fuse not go past the demo phase?

 

Do you (Jeff Blue) know anything about a Xero demo song from 1997 called "Deftest"?

Edited by NJPLP

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On 1/11/2021 at 8:08 PM, jopevc said:

mr.Jeff,

Since Mike doesn´t know exactly when Chester joined the band, do you know when?

Is there any good live recordings of Xero´s performances?

Do you remember some of the setlists of their shows?

How did the producers of "The Crow: Stairway To Heaven" found Xero?

Is "Harmonic Song" some how related to "Pushing me away"?

Did you saw the first rehearsal of the band with Chester?

Is there a chance that some day we can listen to "Turn to Grey", "Ashes" and other songs that you reference in your book?

Are you aware of the BMI entry named "NBA INSIDE STUFF-BG CUES (Legal Title)" that was credited to Rob, Brad, Joe, Mike and Mark?

 

More questions:

Do you know/remember the songs that were in the tape sended to Chester? We already know that "Rhinestone", "Esaul" and "Pictureboard" were in it. Were there more songs on the tape?

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Just finished the book, and absolutely loved it, especially considering LP always seem to shy away from getting too "inside". 

 

I'd like to know what 2003-2017 looked like, as it relates to the Jeff/LP relationship. How often did they cross paths? Was Chester the only one on speaking terms? The book notes that he wasn't needed by the time they were ready to start "Meteora", and it seems like they didn't really cross paths until Chester's funeral. 

 

I'd also like to know more about LP's relationship, from Jeff's perspective, with other bands. He notes that DJ Lethal (Limp Bizkit) helped Joe out, and Jacoby (Papa Roach) hung out with Chester. I'd love to hear what happened when Mike met Fred Durst, or Chester met Scott Weiland. There's a picture of LP with the Deftones, too. 

 

Excited for this interview and can't think of other questions for now, but thanks LPL for doing this and thanks Jeff for writing it!

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On 1/12/2021 at 8:13 AM, NJPLP said:

Step Up is one of my favorite songs off the Hybrid Theory EP, but we just have the Hybrid Theory version (the one with Chester on vocals). Are there any notable differences in the Xero version (the one with Mark on vocals)?

 

The Xero Demo Tape version of Stick N Move is one my favorite songs, as along with Rhinestone and Reading My Eyes, even though audio quality is bad. The Chester version of Stick N Move is one of my favorite demos from that Forgotten Demos disc from the super deluxe boxset of Hybrid Theory. Are there any notable differences between the redone Xero version of the song from 1998, and the original from 1997, and the Chester version from 2000?

 

We know that Rhinestone would eventually become Forgotten, Reading My Eyes was resurrected in rehearsals and decided to play it live in 2006 with Chester, and Stick N Move would eventually be reworked to become Runaway. Whatever really happened to Fuse? Did it become another song, or did Fuse not go past the demo phase?

 

Do you (Jeff Blue) know anything about a Xero demo song from 1997 called "Deftest"?

More questions:

 

Carousel is also one of my favorite songs off the Hybrid Theory EP, but we just have the Hybrid Theory version (the one with Chester on vocals). Are there any notable differences in the Xero version (the one with Mark on vocals)?

 

Do you (Jeff Blue) remember the name of that "untitled song" you described that you said was you favorite out of all of the songs on the first Xero demo tape you heard?

 

Do you (Jeff Blue) remember how Dreamer and Weight (from the picture of the tapes on the front page of the book) sounded like/was described like, if you heard them anyway?

 

Are there anymore Xero/Hybrid Theory demos that you remember that were not mentioned in your book?

Edited by NJPLP

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