Category Linkin Park

Get me gone by vei

It was May 14, 2007. As the midnight was approaching the clock on linkinpark.com was coming closer and closer to the moment of its halt, counting down last hundreds of seconds. There was still a fair share of minutes to midnight left, but the anxiousness was growing steadily with every single one that passed. It felt a lot like our own personal New Year's Eve. Even though the album leaked, then got released in other parts of the world, reviewed and picked apart already, that particular midnight was still something to wait for, if only because of the fair stash of champagne waiting for us at the Laurel House. We were already through with the official release party on Friday and this night was going to be just ours. No interviews, no cameras, no people from the record company we didn't call by their first names, thank you very much. I hoped for some serious juvenile fun and a proper good-bye to the supposedly haunted mansion turned a studio in which we spent the last months.

At 9 PM here in LA the midnight of the Eastern Time clocked by and the album's sale could officially begin. The crowd of enthusiastic fans flooded SURU's fancy interior, completing the scenery of yet another meet and greet in our career. At least for once Joe, as the man of the evening, was forced to sit through it to the very end. His impatient fidgeting which started after an hour of signing up a variety of things brought by the fans and his custom toys was actually quite amusing as I observed it from the corner of my eye without stopping to sign up whatever people placed in front of me. It lasted only a few minutes though. Then Mr. Hahn scowled, shrugged, stood up and went off to give some interview, inviting Chester along. I went back down to signing things down, noting how the design of the MTM cover was exceptionally autograph-friendly with its amount of blank space at the front. The graffiti-like overwhelming design of our own artwork at the previous covers was gone. It was supposed to be all about maturing. Still, I looked whistfully at the HT soldier as it was placed in front of me to sign up and then taken away.

I guess no fourteen months of work on an album can rival all of our, or at least, mine teenage years spent thinking up the kind of music I initially wanted to show to the world. Hybrid Theory wasn't a struggle, and wasn't even work at all, it was all about a dream coming true. If something like that happens to you though, it only does once in a lifetime.

"Where's the smile, Mikey ?" Chester poked me passing by on his way back to his seat.

As two fans rolled out a poster with a group picture of the six of us from Meteora times I was faced with myself from a few years back, the hair spiked and the earrings on, and it actually made me smile.

It kind of amused me how some people were fans of us at a certain stage only. Hybrid Theory only fans, Meteora and nothing beyond it fans. They gave us photos of ours to sign that aged back to 1999 and featured us almost 10 years younger and, let's face it, looking significantly different and being different people altogether to some extent. To the point I felt like saying sometimes: `Sorry dude, I can't sign it for you. I'm not that guy in that photo. He doesn't even exist anymore for some time now.` It amused me too how people were still asking Chester where his labret went, even though he'd gotten rid of it like five years ago.

"Something to cheer you up." Chester offered, snickering, and shoved a Mr. Hahn toy in my hands.


"No problem. They're not selling as well as Joe thought they would anyway."

"I've heard that." Joe muttered from the other end of the table, starting to fidget nervously again.

I patted the toy on its head affectionately.

"They are really cute though. Just like you, Joe."

He answered with a scowl. He was sure getting moody after a few hours of signing up records. Thankfully, the event was over within the next half an hour. 11 PM. An hour to midnight as we left SURU and boarded a van that was going to take us to the Laurel House.

"And so it's out. Sadly, I'm getting used to that." Chester said, stretching. "It's my... what... sixth album release ? Whatever..."

"Yeah, Chester. You are sooo much more experienced." Phoenix droned from the first row of seats.

Me and Joe joined Chester in the back row. I was still clutching a Mr. Hahn toy in my hands and so did Joe. Two identical plump vinyl warrior figures in yellow clothes in the hands of grown-up men must've surely looked weird.

"Guys, you look ridiculous with those." Chester commented, pointing a finger at us.

"You look ridiculous without one." Joe replied calmly. "Let's have a fight." He nudged me.

And so we spent the rest of the ride arranging a vinyl toys' fight, complete with Chester attempting to sing us `Hollaback girl` for some unfathomable reason to cheer us up. This was seriously going to be one interesting night. Even though our laughter sounded the least bit hollow and the feeling of nervousness permeated the interior of the van.

It was another crazy night of an album release after all, as frightening in its intensity as all previous, despite Chester talking about getting used to that. The happiness mixed with horror, self-loathing with satisfaction. Just a few minutes were left to midnight when we finally arrived at the Laurel House. There were a few cars parked in front of it. Our wives, Rick Rubin and a few people who cooperated closely with us were already waiting there. We proceeded to climb the stone staircase leading up to the front entrance. Some bird made a howling sound somewhere in the trees above.

"Maybe we'll finally see the infamous ghosts tonight." Phoenix said. "It's supposed to be a haunted mansion after all."

"We should so shoot a remake video for Papercut here." Chester suggested when we arrived at the front door.

Strangely enough, there were no lights on in the house. Seemed like our guests were preparing something special for us.

"The ghosts have eaten them." Joe said in a scary voice.

"Mike, you're the frontman. You go in first." Chester said.

"So now I'm the frontman ?" I asked him, opening the door, which wasn't locked, and peering cautiously into the dark hallway.

"Have you ever doubted that ?"

"Not really." I muttered, searching for the light switch on the wall with my hand. Go figure, the electricity was off. "What time is it ?"

"Five to midnight." Rob answered. He checked the time on his cell phone and left it on so the display would light up the surroundings a bit.

"Touché. Dude, when the electricity is off, you light your way like that." Chester commented, taking out a lighter. "I think something drastic will happen at midnight. They are going to drown us in champagne or something like that."

"They are already eaten up by now."

"Yeah, sure. Whatever was trying to eat them has long since choked on Rubin's beard too."

A muffled snicker followed.

The silence that permeated the house when it died down was perplexing. I don't think I remembered the Laurel House to be that quiet ever. After all, it was a recording studio. But also a supposedly haunted mansion, right now veiled in darkness and deadly silent. Sounds menacing, doesn't it ?

I wandered further down the hallway and finally entered the large room at the ground level. A cold breeze hit me in the doorway. Someone has left the glass door leading to the balcony open it seems. The wind shut the door up behind me with a deafening thud as soon as I let them go. I smiled hearing the commotion in the hallway.

"Mike, you're all right in there ?"

I didn't answer, looking at my watch instead. Seconds were left to midnight. I also realized that I was still stupidly clutching the Mr. Hahn vinyl toy in my hand. The door behind me opened and Chester entered with his lighter. The door shut up on its own behind him with an even more prominent thud.

He actually jumped at the sound.

"It's midnight."

"That's great. I was so planning to be kissing Talinda senseless right about now..."

"Let's have a bet." Even despite Chester's lighter it was still so dark there was no need to keep my eyes open.

The various bets concerning the album's sales were sort of a tradition. I had quite a few already.

"Sure. I'm saying MTM is going to be one of three best-selling albums of the year, with over... 2.5 million copies sold. You top that ?"

"I pass."

"You should have more faith in us." He snorted.

"I'm afraid we won't stand the competition of Dead By Sunrise. Though I wouldn't bet on that." I added, smiling. "If you win..."

I stuttered, blinded by the sudden flood of electric light. The electricity clicked on and all the lights in the room and on the balcony and in the garden were instantly on, along with a blast of `PLC. 4 Mie Head` out of the numerous speakers scattered around the house.

"Holy shit, is there no better music on the house ?!" Chester asked no one in particular, sounding genuinely aggravated.

We could hardly hear the female voices and laughter in the hallway over the music. They were waiting outside, with champagne, toasts and congratulations.

"We were actually thinking about dressing someone up as a ghost and..."

In an instant I had my hands full of Anna, a glass of champagne in my hand and half of its contents already down my throat. It felt like such a potent moment, like releasing Hybrid Theory, when we knew nothing of how well it would actually do, like going on the first tour together, like meeting Chester for the first time. It was another point of no return, Linkin Park wasn't ever going to be the same after that.

When the champagne and the flood of congratulations ended, we moved from the hallway to the biggest recording room, which was the best the mansion had to offer when it came to partying. We proceeded to get drunk fairly quickly, all except Rob who preferred to stay clean. Anna wasn't drinking all that much either. Actually, when I concentrated on her, she looked really tired to me, which probably had something to do with her revising her latest novel late into the night. I was going to suggest we should go home early, even though I didn't feel like leaving at all, but then Chester detached from Talinda, talked silently with Rubin for a while and then announced that we, as in the band, would like some quality time alone.

Did we really ? We were going to get fed up with each other during the upcoming tours all right, but nobody seemed to actually care enough to protest. The girls didn't have anything against either. I told Anna Chester got drunk and was just talking bullshit and that she could stay, but she muttered something sounding convincing about being deadly tired and called the cab. As everyone else left I realized I was left in the room with only Rob as company and Joe in the control room behind the glass wall, browsing through the stacks of CDs. After a while Chester came back from the hallway where he was saying goodbye to Talinda. Still, Brad and Phoenix were nowhere to be found.

"Rick told us to behave." Chester informed before dropping down next to me and taking the bottle of Red Label out of my hand.

"It was such a stupid idea too." I said.

He looked at me anxiously.

"What was ?"

"Getting drunk at a recording studio for a celebration. Seriously, how much fun is that ?" I snorted. "Where is Delson and Phi anyway ?"

Chester just snickered and promptly choked on his drink.

"They are preparing a surprise for Joe. In the garden, you know, right next to the terrace..."

My drunken mind couldn't fathom what kind of a surprise that could be. I should have realized my Mr. Hahn toy was mysteriously gone, but frankly, I didn't. I stood up and went downstairs and out to the garden, my steps not faltering at all. I guess it's part of being a rockstar - learning to move while drunk as if you weren't drunk at all. I mastered that feat in the earliest days of my career, so I could actually perform in Relative Degree after drinking half a bottle of vodka before the gig to get the courage to go out on stage at all. What I found in the garden was kind of perplexing. Brad and Phoenix were messily throwing kitchen knives at the vinyl Mr. Hahn, cursing loudly every time they missed.

"Hey guys, don't you think that's not really nice ?" I asked.

"What. It's a good target, being yellow at all." Phoenix slurred, bending down to pick up a knife.

We all got bored of that game a few minutes later though and got back to the house. There was not really much to do without the other guests so we just went back to drinking. Joe put on some decent music and it was quite nice altogether and I felt perfectly ready to just stay like that to the very morning, but then Chester whispered something to Joe and he went away again, looking at me strangely. As I heard the beat of some Fort Minor song blare from the speakers I instantly knew what they wanted me to do and I knew that, frankly, I didn't want to.

I could hardly tell what song that was in my condition and I knew just how funny me attempting to rap right then would be. They always managed to bribe me into it, though. In fact, I could hardly refuse anyone asking me to perform.

'The hard way' it was. No mic, a grime expression on my face, showing them how much unhappy about that I felt, and no recognition of the lines for that one at all. I just went with general whatever, making everyone laugh really hard. It actually felt kind of nice, I liked to get a rise out of people like that.

"Shit, that would so sell..." Chester slurred happily. "We should shoot it for LPTV."

"Don't you dare." I growled, interrupting the rhyming.

"Hey, watch your beat there, homie."

"Can somebody please just explain to me... Yeah, that's it" I muttered, realizing I got the correct verses "What happened to the way that we always said we'd be

Right now I dunno why I push through the pain I got through

And I'm losin' hope, give me one reason not to... Well, I need Kenna right now. The chorus comes in now..."

"Wasn't Kenna like, a surrogate Chester, anyway ?" Brad asked, looking at Chester pointedly.

"Surrogate Chester..."

Another wave of laughter followed.

"I'm not singing, not singing !" Chester screamed when Rob attempted to push him out of his seat and in my direction.

"That's one fine chorus, too."

"Hey, Mike" Joe called through the open door of the control room, turning the music off. "You remember that one ?"

"Hahn, you walk around with a complete collection of Fort Minor's beats on you all the time ?" Phoenix asked. "You're a great groupie it seems."

More laughter.

"Still, you could turn on some actual music." Chester suggested.

"Hey !" I protested.

"And that one ?" Joe asked, unabashed. "Rings some bells ?"

I didn't like the tone of his voice one bit.

"What's your point, dude ?"

He shrugged. Hahn was never a very considerate person when it came to behaving during social events. And so he turned on 'Get me gone'.

The laughter subsided somewhat, though Chester didn't stop telling some joke to the other guys. I could feel my head clearing of the happy drunken haziness and I didn't like it one bit.

"Now that you quit rapping for the most part, should I wear that cowboy hat ?" Joe asked, looking me in the eye and actually sounding serious.

"Don't act like you're a 15-year old kid. It's like you said in the interview for that fansite that I've removed your scratching from our tracks. That's not really professional, Hahn."

"Professional my ass, Shinoda."

"There, there guys. Hold your horses." Brad came over and stood next to me.

"Joe, we're going to change our style and it's still gonna rock !" Chester shouted from the table.

"Maybe. The sales and the cash may be big. That's nice. But you did that, you know. You got me gone." Joe said and promptly, left the room.

I felt my jaw clench on its own. I went after him, not hurrying much though.

He was down in the hallway, getting his jacket on.

"Come on, Joe. Don't be a drama queen."

"I have a point. That's not being a drama queen." He answered, not even looking at me. "I am a turntablist. X-Ecutioners style. I was hanging around in the first place because that shit you made had more space for me than hip-hop did. But if there's no place for me anymore then there's no reason either for me to stay."

"Don't be kidding me, Hahn." I said, sounding strangely dangerous in my own ears. "You're so not leaving this band."

"I won't." He agreed. "But only because I'm a greedy coward. I still think it's funny though, how in the end you listened to those people who advised you a long time ago to go with general rock. Maybe you should apologize, too. Ah, right, you've apologized already. I wonder what would Mike Shinoda I've met back at Art Center all those years ago have to say about a meek song like 'In Between.`"

"It's called growing up." I said calmly. "Just go home and sober, Joe. "

He looked at me pointedly and then left, the door silently clicking shut behind him.

"He's just drunk. Besides, you know Hahn is a bit crazy." Brad spoke from the doorway.

I shrugged. We went back upstairs to the other guys, not saying anything more.

"He left ?" Rob asked, looking concerned.

I nodded.

"He'll be fine in the morning. When the alcohol wears off." Chester said off-handedly and handed me another glass of whiskey. "Just get drunk. You won't even remember that."

"Maybe I should remember." I said, putting the full glass down on the table and going to the window. I looked down through it, spotting Joe's lonely figure in the light of the street lamps as he was getting down the stairs to the parking. Maybe I did fail. Getting him into my band in the first place only to move him into the post-production mostly after two albums. But then again what albums those were. Was he in any position to complain ?

"I guess sometimes we all think we've fucked it up big time. But that's understandable..." Rob said in a terribly sober-sounding voice. "...I guess."

"We wanted to make it sound different. We did. We had fun on the way. But we still worked hard enough to make it into something really nice. I think it's great." Chester slurred almost angrily, a bottle of whiskey in his hand.

I turned around, facing them, and opened my mouth to speak, but Brad must have caught the look in my eyes or something, because he interrupted before I could say a word.

"Mike, don't. Don't give us that bullshit you say in the interviews. Chester is so full of himself he may actually really mean that. You're not."

"All right." I agreed, slumping against the windowsill behind me. "I just... There is something I want to tell you, honestly." I interrupted further protests. "Back when we were only starting to think about the third album, before we decided on cooperating with Rubin, I honestly felt like a deer caught in the headlights when it came to LP. Korn and Deftones falling apart, a plethora of nu-metal bands sounding like us, we had to change one way or another. I don't know if what we've chosen is right. I don't know if we had the skill to pull it off. I won't lie to you and say that I'm not trying to get a nice portfolio as a producer, just in case we won't last forever. We were damn lucky with Hybrid Theory, we made a great album that was selling great. But we may not be that lucky forever. This time, for instance. I think that it may actually be so bad it will get all of LP gone. As much as I don't want that."

"Don't be stupid. You know it's not that bad." Phoenix opposed, sounding quite coherent too.

"We have quite enough skill to pull that off just fine, if you ask me. You, for instance, are really scary, Mike Shinoda." Chester said, pointing at me with his, now almost empty, bottle. "You can rap, play the keys, play guitar, you're trying to sing..."

I snorted.

"...you're a great producer, you dab in rock and hip-hop just like Rubin. And you even have a bit of a beard..."

The guys snickered.

"...you're great with ProTools and the mixing gear, you write great lyrics... I'm getting boring here... you can paint too. And you're a designer with a diploma of one of the best art schools in the world. Honestly, sometimes when I look at Talinda I'm really afraid that she'd run to you when I won't be looking so you'd inseminate her instead, because you're so much more of a great male than I am. Hey guys, that's not funny ! I'm honestly afraid of that."

There was no stopping our laughter, though. Especially since we were still pretty much intoxicated.

"Who knows how much fun you've lost..." Phoenix took over the story, still choking with laughter. "...not realizing you were such an intellectual alpha male for whom the girls spread their legs wherever he goes."

"Chester should have told you earlier." Brad added. "Now that we're aware we need to really keep our women out of your reach."

"Hey, but wouldn't you want to father a super-kid with Shinoda's super-genes ?" Phoenix asked.

"In the first grade, he'd get smarter than me. That'd be plain scary." Chester said, shuddering visibly.

"Ergo, if super-Mike was anywhere near the creation of that album, it just has to be great. There's no other fucking way." Phoenix concluded, before slumping down onto the couch he'd been sitting on and falling asleep right then and there with a contented sigh.

"Ooh... Phi's so cute." Chester cooed, waving a hand in front of Dave's eyes to no avail. "Mike, don't stand over there like that." He said, patting the couch next to himself, motioning for me to sit there.

I complied.

Rob stood up and went out of the room, appearing to be deep in thought.

"This is one great place." Chester said dreamily, settling down more comfortably on the couch and staring up at the American flag - decorated ceiling. "I'll miss it. Even though some parts seriously lack better air-conditioning."

"Another deal with Rubin and we'll be back." I said.

I noticed how my arm went behind Chester's back on its own. It was the kind of easy intimacy that only comes with being the best buddies, so much unlike the staged manly affection between hip-hop homies. I shared it with Brad and Rob too, simply because we'd been friends for so long now. But for some reason I was the closest friends with Chester. Maybe it was something about the occasional jewish jokes and the mutual understanding Brad and Rob had because of their shared heritage that set me apart from them a bit. But then again, I should've been best friends with Joe. We were both Asian, both artists, we shared the common interest in anime, mecha and the more technical side of making music. The compatibility of our interests was what had attracted me to him in the first place, but then the psychological differences kicked in and we never got really close. With Chester, it was more about opposites attracting, I guess, because our social backgrounds surely differed greatly, but also, there was something great in the way he could stand up to my charisma. It tended to overwhelm people, to the point I wasn't even noticing some of them. But Chester had a more prominent personality than I did and with him around all the eyes weren't trained on me constantly anymore. Frankly, deep down I didn't enjoy the constant attention as much as he did, so it suited me just fine.

"Hey, stop staring at me like that. You look like a hungry seven year old." Chester protested. "And I feel like a candy." He added, bursting into a fit of giggles.

"There, there, I think you had too much to drink, Chester." I said, patting him on the back soothingly.

"We get out albums, with new material none the less, so rarely that it's quite an occasion to get completely wasted. See..." He stopped talking, perplexed. "I said such a long phrase. I'm not drunk at all."

His glazed over eyes proved the opposite though.

Chester's eyes never failed to amaze me. They were so mysteriously dark in his pale face. It really attracted attention.

"I think I'm seeing things." Chester muttered, looking at me suspiciously. "I'll better go to sleep."

"What happened to not being drunk ?" I asked, a light laughter rumbling in my chest.

Chester blushed.

"Goodnight." He said and closed his eyes, slumping somewhat against Phoenix as his body went slack a few minutes later.

"Maybe we should cover them with something ?" I suggested to Brad, who was sitting at an office chair next to the window, looking out whistfully.

"Hahn's not going to do anything drastic, is he ?"

"I don't think so." I answered silently, not wanting to disturb the guys' sleep. Only then I realized how deadly quiet it was in the mansion and yet again it struck me as odd.

"It wouldn't be Linkin Park without him." Brad continued silently.

"He'll be fine. He has lots of work to do on the tour. It's not like we're ever going to stop playing our old songs."

It was one of those talks Brad always wanted to have when we ended up alone. He was very eager about discussing the future of the band and the general direction we should go one on one. I guess it helped him to maintain the feeling that he, along with me, was the founder and the core of the band. It was our first album actually where every song hadn't initially started as a draft of the melody put together by me and Brad. Rubin said it was silly to maintain some hierarchy in the band basing on who joined when and who was best friends with the mastermind and let it be reflected in our songs, so we dropped that habit. Only now I was realizing that it could actually make Brad feel somewhat insecure.

"It wouldn't be LP without you too, Delson."

He smiled faintly and I knew my words meant a lot to him.

"I guess some of us are starting to think only Chester is irreplaceable by now." He said. "That may be Hahn's issue, too. Somehow, that doesn't feel quite right. I'm not sure why..." Brad seemed bothered. "Maybe because in the very beginning he was just singing choruses to our songs. Or maybe because he's so overwhelming. You know like... Rick told all of us to cooperate, but when you cooperate with Chester somehow you always end up doing what he'd want and then you look at it and there's no you in that, just Chester, even though you made it. That's disturbing."

"That's not necessarily a bad thing. Grey Daze wasn't bad music, Dead by Sunrise isn't bad either. Chester has some serious skill."

"But Chester isn't all there is to Linkin Park. More importantly, he even wasn't there when we thought up our sound in the first place." Rob spoke from the doorway. He must've been standing there and listening for some time now.

"We took him into the band though. Him, not just his voice."

"I have nothing to complain about. I got more into the song-writing thanks to our changed strategy. Dunno if that's good or bad." Rob shrugged. "But yeah, Chester tends to get overwhelming when you really work with him."

"We actually had a talk with Rob once about how you were able to have some actual input into the lyrics you have been writing with Chester. It seemed natural in the beginning, but now that we've seen how it is to work with him..."

"I swear if you weren't here we'd end up like Grey Daze by now." Rob said. " Chester has way too big of an ego to be a part of a band. Unless someone else balances his influence."

"We've been a band with Chester for what ? Eight years now ? Doesn't it prove in itself that somehow we aren't dysfunctional ?" I asked, nudging Chester's shoulder to see if he wasn't awake. I could feel Brad and Rob didn't really think it was a conversation meant for his ears. I couldn't help but feel a bit protective about him. In fact, I guess none of the other guys cared about every other person in the band individually as much as I did. Frankly, they didn't have too. I was The Glue for a reason. So they could have their insecurities and feel hostile towards some other band members once in a while.

"We've been working differently before." Brad pointed out. "Now the dynamics have shifted. We'll see how it'll work out on tour. But we can't let Chester take a hold of too many things. He has his solo project too. If he ever thinks he doesn't need us anymore to stay on top, he will leave the band. Just like he did with Grey Daze."

"Whoa, there. I don't think so." I opposed. "Grey Daze was more of a garage band, they didn't even make any money. Did I leave after Fort Minor anyway ?" I added.

"You like to experiment. You do this and that. Chester has way more of a one-track mind. He'll go with what suits him best." Rob pointed out. "See his record with women. He doesn't have much second thoughts about throwing a part of his life away."

"It's your band, Mike. First and foremost we trust you, not Chester."

'Don't fail us' echoed heavily in the air, even without actually being spoken. It was one of those moments when I could clearly, physically, feel the weight of the responsibility resting on my shoulders. All those people looking up to us, who would be so disappointed if Linkin Park ever broke up or didn't live to their expectations, my fellow band-mates expecting me to keep the band together, the musicians who collaborated with Machine Shop, looking up to me hoping I would make them successful. It could get overwhelming at times. But as long as I felt that I could do that I wasn't going to stop trying not to fail them all.

"I guess we'll go out for a walk." Brad suggested and Rob nodded.

It was already starting to get light outside.

"If you need a ride home in the morning, call me. I wasn't drinking." Rob offered.

"Yeah, I'll call."

They left the room yet again, leaving me with sleeping Phoenix and Chester for company.

I wandered into the control room, turned on the computer there and began to mindlessly scroll down through the list of contents of an external hard-drive hosting most of Linkin Park and Fort Minor records to date along with some beats and unreleased demos. Joe must have brought it along. The fact that he had left it behind when he left, along with his vinyl Mr.Hahn, still standing proudly next to the monitor, proved that he was quite agitated when he left. Maybe the guys had a point. Anyway, it was better to know how they felt. If there was something that could make a group of people break up it was surely the lack of communication.

Fame cannot be all peaches and cream. Nothing in life is. It's responsibility too and a real roller coaster of violent emotions.

Somehow, I was always getting melancholic after my head cleared a bit after getting drunk. I could remember sitting in a studio like that, in the really early morning, at 3:30 or 4 AM, slightly drunk after a night of partying with the guys from Styles of Beyond and some other people with whom I collaborated on Fort Minor project, waiting for inspiration to struck. It was quite absurd in fact, because I was stuck there. It was a regular recording studio, where you're generally not allowed to stay at night and if you do you can only sit in one room all night with everything around you closed up for the night. I've pretty much thought up the rough draft of the beats and the chorus for 'Slip out the back' on that night.

All of a sudden, I felt overwhelmed with all of this. The responsibility, the schedule, the interviews, guest appearances and frankly, everything else. I looked up to touring again in a week or so, but the enthusiasm for everything else just died down.

We had a day off today though, because we didn't really think we were going to be any good for the wear after having properly celebrated the album release. It wasn't really fair to Anna, but I felt like getting away for the day. Just getting away from everything, along with the very fact who I was. I typed in a text message for her on my cell phone and called Rob. He said he'd be down in the parking in a few minutes. I unplugged Joe's hard drive and took it and his toy to the main room where I put it down next to a pile of other things we still needed to take away from the studio. Somehow, Phi and Chester cuddled on the couch. I felt like shooting a photo so I could taunt them then, but it was way too dark for my cell phone camera to succeed.

"Have a nice day off, guys." I whispered in the doorway and headed downstairs, out of the house and down to the parking. Rob and Brad were waiting next to the car, silently talking with each other.

"Where we're going ?" Rob asked.


"Art Center or... ?"

"Yeah. I wasn't there for ages. I'll walk for a bit, clear my head."

"All right. Then I'll drop Brad home and I guess I'll come back here to wake the guys up and take away the rest of our equipment."

"It'll take like... half a day. Don't you have anything better to do ?" I asked. "The equipment can wait.

It's not like Rubin won't let it lay there for a few days longer."

"He's not on the best terms with his girlfriend." Brad informed me in a stage whisper.

"Ah, that's it." I nodded, smiling.

"Come on, guys, I still need to get it all done before the evening. I still have some plans."

We complied, and boarded the van. It was 5 AM as we took off from in front of the Laurel House. Soon, people would be buying our album all around the country. I tuned out the anxiousness the best I could, chatting with the guys about unimportant things. But the weight of our earlier conversation and of the importance of the following days for our career still hung in the air. I hoped to escape it though, if only for one day.


It's my first story for the fandom. If you cared to read it tell me what you think about the characters. I'm really concerned with them being very ooc. And I would like to correct that in my future stories.

Hopefully, see ya.