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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Music With Meaning: Linkin Park's "From the Inside"

Does it ever feel like some bands just make videos to songs that don't correlate at all? Critics and fans of Linkin Park have long argued whether or not their videos have anything to do with the song they're put to. In a recent Linkin Park contest, the winner explains "From the Inside" in a way few have probably thought of. Before reading I recommend re-watching the video.


""From The Inside" is not only my favorite Linkin Park song, but it's also, in my opinion, the best music video they've ever released to the public, for a variety of reasons. The video itself is a moving, political piece about the late 80s Iran-Contra scandal, which involved the US government secretly funding a group of Nicaraguan contras, of which those funds would be made by selling weapons to Iran, who were under a strict arms embargo.

After Mehdi Hashemi leaked this information to the media, all hell broke loose. For you see, it was reported that the contras and the US government had joined forces to more easily bring cocaine to the United States. When the world found out, people were terrified, shocked and any other emotion you can imagine. "From the Inside" tells the tale of a young boy growing up in the midst of the Iran-Contra affair, and his explosive emotions dealing with his outrage at how his government, and his people, are reacting to this atrocity. Mobs of common citizens uniting with one another to clash with officers of the law, clad in riot gear, tanks patrolling the streets, etc. etc. Finally, his anger reaches a new height, just as Chester screams out the prophetic lyrics, "I won't waste myself on you!". His anger is physically felt, with the angry mob of citizens and police officers being pushed back forcibly, the little boy's un-drank milk shakes and spills on his parents' coffee table, while Linkin Park is unaffected, playing the final riffs of the song with added vigor, while Chester emotionally twists and turns his body, almost like he feels the entire situation with all of his being and knows the little boy's pain. That's when you realize...

It's 1986, and the little boy is Chester Bennington."

I've always felt that Linkin Park's first foray in to political banter did not begin with Minutes to Midnight, but rather this video. But is there any evidence behind this? Well I don't think the fan is pulling all of this out of his ass. About six seconds in to the video there's a sign that says, "No Contra" and the choice to film the video in Prague speaks worlds considering the aesthetic similarities between it and Iran's more elaborate architecture. As for the child being Chester Bennington-- It sounds like a big leap, but not that big considering the child is actually Bennington's son. Pretty spot on... A little too spot on... To me it sounds like this "fan" is really a crew member "from the inside."

I'm sure the band will not confirm or deny this since they don't exactly like explaining the meaning behind their artistic endeavors. Perhaps one day we'll unlock the secrets behind all their videos ourselves. But if there's any truth behind the analysis for "From the Inside," the band clearly has a motive behind their often creative videos.