The Story of how Breaking the Habit was produced by Mike Shinoda

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Breaking the Habit is a song by Linkin Park released on 14th June 2008 as part of the ‘Meteora’ album. It is among the most popular songs by the band and also regarded by many as among the best songs by Linkin Park. So, here’s Breaking the Habit Song Review.

Breaking the Habit Song Review, Facts and Meaning

Mike Shinoda wrote the lyrics to this song. He had been trying to write something like this for about 6 years.

The main theme of this song is about getting rid of bad habits. A lot of people think that Chester wrote this song since he was dealing with issues like these but Mike actually was working on it before he met Chester.

This was going to be an instrumental track that was 10 minutes long. The guys convinced me to turn it into a full song. I’m proud of this song in a lot of ways. I put a lot of work into it. I just think it’s really powerful.

Chester’s performance is one of his best. Lyrically, it’s kind of just about getting away from the parts of you that you do not like. It goes into great deal about that type of situation.

The things about our lyrics in general is that we spend so much time on them that there is no way I can tell you in conversation any better than the actual lyrics.

If I sit here and think up something, that’s an off-the-top-of-my-head summary of what those lyrics are about whereas those lyrics took five years to do. So those lyrics are the most accurate depiction of what that’s about, not what I can tell you.

Mike Shinoda

Interestingly, Chester was hit hard by these lyrics and found it difficult to perform the song live for about a year. It is said that Mike wrote these lyrics to serve as an alert for Chester’s addiction.

Also, Mike was inspired by their fans response to Linkin Park in general as several fans claimed that Linkin Park had helped them overcome internal issues.

The song that really got me straight to the core was ‘Breaking The Habit’ off of Meteora. Mike had written the song and he hands me a sheet with the lyrics on it, and I’m reading them and listening to them and it was like waterworks.

I felt like he was writing about my life. That song was very hard for me to record. I get all teared-up thinking about it right now. I’d have to stop, gather myself. I’d get through two lines, start crying, leave the room, come back in. I was like, ‘I can’t do this.

Chester Bennington

The song is about dealing with any kind of habits be it dr*gs, depression etc. It is also about mental well being, overcoming anger issues and maintaining self control. Its about how a person may have gone through tough times in the past and perhaps is now dealing with post traumatic stress disorder.

It is about how a person who has had bad things happen to them remain consumed by the past which causes them to feel anger and hatred towards those who have wronged them in the past.

The video depicts people going through self esteem issues where they cause physical harm to themselves. Like in the lyrics its mentioned ‘You all assume, I’m safe here in my room unless I try to start again’; its about how people might think that someone being alone can’t cause damage but it is when they might cause damage to themselves.

A lot of times people may look at themselves and wonder why these things happen to them only – referred to by the lyrics ‘I don’t want to be the one the battles always choose’ cause inside I realize that I’m the one confused.

It also refers to how the person finds it difficult to fit in the society. One may look at other people and feel that they have their stuff sorted while one might find himself confused at the same time.

The music video for ‘Breaking The Habit’ was animated by Studio Gonzo, directed by Joe Hahn and coproduced by Eric Calderon. The anime sytlization was supervised by Kazuto Nakazawa who had directed the animated segment of Kill Bill: Volume 1.

Mike spoke about the difference between ‘Hybrid Theory’ and ‘Meteora’ saying that they changed their style of music by experimenting with different instruments and sounds. This change was also carried on to their albums that they produced afterwards.

One of the big differences people will notice between Hybrid Theory and Meteora is just simply the use of different instruments, different textures and moods. For example, in ‘Breaking The Habit’ we have live strings and piano, in ‘Faint’ we have live strings. You’ll notice Japanese flute here and there, we’ll use different samples that will basically create a new mood, create a vibe in the song. The songs still have the Linkin Park sound – they have the dynamics, the heaviness, the things that make it sound like us. But we did try to experiment with different sounds and time signatures and tempos, all these different things just to make it feel a little bit different.

Mike Shinoda

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