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One Step Closer

by

Linkin Park



Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

Lead singer Chester Bennington wrote this to express the anger he felt growing up. He didn't fit in well and got beat up a lot.
Bennington wanted kids who hate themselves at times to know that he went through the same thing. He did not intend it as an excuse for self-pity or anger.
This song was made after the band had frustrations making "Runaway," another song on the album. (thanks, William - Indiana, IN)
Hybrid Theory was the original name of the band. They used it as the name of the album, which was the best-selling album of 2001.
Linkin Park performed this on the 2001 MTV Video Music awards with turntable group The X-ecutioners.
A version featuring Staind lead singer Aaron Lewis appears on the album Family Values Tour 2001.
On their 2002 album Reanimation, this was remixed by The Humble Brothers with vocals by Korn lead singer Jonathan Davis. The title was changed to "1Stp Klosr."
After 15-year-old Charles Andrew Williams killed 2 people and wounded 13 in a shooting spree at his school in Santee, California, the NBC show Dateline interviewed one of his friends, who claimed that Linkin Park's music inspired Williams to kill. This song was cited as one that encouraged Williams, with the lyrics, "Everything you say takes me one step closer to the edge and I'm about to break."
The vocals to "One Step Closer" were recorded in Mike Shinoda's flat one night while an angry neighbor hammered on the wall. He couldn't hear the actual music, just Chester Bennington screaming into the microphone.
Mike Shinoda in Kerrang! magazine January 26, 2008: "This was written in my apartment. The music came together quickly but the lyrics took a few tries. I wrote 'Shut Up' as a rough example for Chester to scream and we kept that lyric. I remember thinking that was a great calling-card song. It said, 'Hello, we are going to crush you.'"
Chester Bennington recalled to Kerrang! January 29, 2011 how the band were forced to fight for this song during the recording sessions for Hybrid Theory: "When we were recording it, (producer) Don Gilmore was really drilling me and Mike (Shinoda) about lyrics, and it had gotten to the point where we had rewritten some songs 30 times! I remember walking into the control room, handing Don the lyrics and he grabbed them, passed them in front of his face without even looking, handed them back to me, and told me to do it again. I lost my f---ing mind, thinking, 'This guy's a f---ing maniac!' But that kind of inspired the lyrics - 'I cannot take this anymore/I'm saying everything I've said before/ All these words make no sense,' and the chorus, 'Everything you say to me takes me one step closer to the edge.' - it all came from that frustration. So I guess in the end he inspired me the way he wanted to."
Linkin Park
Linkin Park Artistfacts
More Linkin Park songs
More songs about being young and confused
More songs about trying to write a song or make an album

Comments (35):

It's so ignorant when people hate on artists for being moody and quote un quote "complaining or whining" in their music. The lyrics of a song aren't necessarily about the writer's own life, he's trying to relate to their audience.
- John, Chester, VA
I remember listening to the radio around the time when this song first came out and the band weren't very well known and they were advertising this album and there was a snippet of an interview describing this song and Chester (I think) was saying somehting along the lines of, "We were at the point where we were just fed up with our social lives and we just had to try to find a way to express ourselves," so yeah, it could very well be about not fitting in at school, although they were probably just writing about the frustration of the producer making them write the song over and over again and went back and saw that the lyrics were relatable to being picked on.

By the way, does anyone know what the line, "I find bliss in ignorance," could pertain to?
- Zero, Nowhere, NJ
Story of my life. All those little things everyone does without even thinking about it... it's taking me one step closer to the edge and I'm about to BREAK
There's no better way to describe it than just listening to this song.
- Snow, ..., NY
I remember thinking that was a great calling-card song. It said, 'Hello, we are going to crush you.'"

HAHAHAH. best line ever!!
- [P3yT0N}, somewhere, IN
can somebody plz tell me the name of the movie this song is in its about angry teens or something like that an there in an institution an they lock there self in the meal room an this song comes on an the start flipping over chairs an stuff it awesome
- sanya, shelbyville, Uzbekistan
In my perspective, this song is about teens dealing with their parents and how what the parents argue with their kids about gets on their last nerve and pushes them closer to the edge. It really reminds me of how I feel when my mom tells me about how wrong I am all the time and I just want her to shut up.
- Azalea, Hot Springs, AR
oddly enough this is the song i listen to when i REALLY need to calm down
- Taylor, G-ville, OH
My God, I want to scream this at my parents sometimes...
- Aless, Houston, TX
mikey ur ryt.....y is dat charles andrew williams so famous in here??
- Elmer, Zamboanga, Philippines
Wow, song of my life.
- Josh, Grasonville, MD
the song is about anger, i dont have any problems but when i listen to this song i feel so angry i dont know why, maybe because the lyrics is pretty good, and when chester shouts (wow amazing)
- naanoo, kuwait, Kuwait
perfect song for teen angst. lol.
- amy, nunyabiz, AL
i like this song. i feel like that alot of the time.
- alex, kinnelon, NJ
The remix of this song is good because the lead singer of KoRn ( Jonathon Davis ) sings in it. I saw linkin park on a MTV show that interviews singers and bands. I can't remember who it was, but some guy stated this song is simply about Chester's home life and how much trouble he had with it. I'm sorry to say that that has nothing to do with getting beat up and cetaintly has nothing to do with not fitting in. So in my opinion this song is about how your parents never want to listen to what you have to say. They think they know everything. "Shut up when I'm talking to you." So you get very angry and frustrated and you feel like you're about to explode. "I'm about to break." I pretty much agree with all of the above comments except for the very first one that's suppose to be a true song fact. So, what do yo'l think of the lyrics to the verse of the remix to this song that KoRn's Jonathon Davis sings?
- daniel, ada, OK
This song really explains what I've been going through for the past 2 years. Have you guys ever noticed that Linkin park has a way of reaching out to teens? It's like they know what we are going through.
- mikey, Galesburg, IL
Kieran, Reanimation was the best, if not their only good album.

Live in Texas' version was better mainy for the fact that they used both the remixed and regular version combined.

And Aaron Lewis of Staind sung in the remixed version of Crawling, dunno about live stuff.
- Jake, Houston, TX
i love this song. it opened the doors for lp and that alone is effin awesome!
- Kayla, Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Usually Linkin Park writes lyrics that have deep meanings, but this one is an exception. This song, like some smart people have pointed out, was basically written out of frustration with lack of progress of writing another song, Runaway. This one does not have any deeper meaning, it's just frustration in its purest form. "I cannot take this anymore" Get my point?
Aside from all that, I just want to say that the lyrics of the bridge, "SHUT UP!", are the best lyrics ever written, especially being screamed like that. Can't begin to tell you how much I love it.
- Jon, Small Town, Iceland
this may sound weird, but listening to this song really helps me with my anger management issues
- shaun, chandler, AZ
Its About Bullies Who Are Mean And Push Someone Soo Far They Just Explode They Cant Take It Anymore And They Do Something Stupid....I Love This Cd It Is My Ultimate Fav I Would Give Anything to Meet The Band Seriously.....
- Mercedes, Portland Yah!, OR
Michael,
They are not angry to be angry, they are xpressing their thoughts and feelings which in their case happen to be anger and SADNESS. thats right sadness. WE have all been through tough times, some of us worse than others. If you say you haven't your lying. they help kids to put words to the emotions they feel inside. I find it very helpful to listen to them when i am depressed or hurt which happens very frequently. they are like having a friend to sympathize with you. thats what they are, a sympathizing friend. They are a band that has experienced the hard parts of life. And what does 'Spengy" Mean anyway?
- Taylor, Ofallon, IL
This song was actually a by-product of Runaway. The guys were having real problems writing it, so they wrote One Step Closer about the frustration of not being able to say what they felt. Abbey, Essex (England)
- Abbey, Essex, England
The Humble Brothers reinterpretation was actually a remix made before Reanimation was compiled. Linkin Park put Korn's singer in the track to fix it up for Reanimation.
- Dude, TX, TX
this song is embarassing marketed angst which is just angry for the sake of been angry, which doesn't take a song all, the whole of LP are spengy.
- michael, Sutton Coldfield, England
wow i just love this song its my anger anthem i just listen to it when i get angry and it works very well with that just to chill and clam down
so i just love this song.
- rebecca, peoria, AZ
i love chester and linkin park
- rossana, long beach, CA
This song rocks! I love the bridge in this song. The video is kinda weird but it's ok. This song is about someone who's just frustrated with another person and how he's warning that other person you'd better stop if you still want your voice. This is one of the many LP songs that can help convince people to stand up for themselves.
- Gabe, Utica, NY
this song is great as is... remixing tends to do songs great injustices!
- heather, plattsburgh, NY
this song was GREAT as is... remixing sucks (for the most part)
- heather, plattsburgh, NY
this song rocks big time i love the way they did the music video also and the band did very well on the song anyone who says didfent is not much a of linkin park fan just a not a linkin park freak like me.
This is good music for when you're up 4 in the morning, getting caffeinated from 7 or 8 cans of Pepsi, playing Tony Hawk, and carving things into the arm of your chair.
- the jorge, Hell, Other
The version that i like the most is off live in texas. for the reason that it is live. but the one off hybrid theory is good to cos chester is still screaming a long note when he starts the next line thats what i like a good screamer go LP u rock!
- Natz, Brisbane, Australia
The part when hes yellin SHUT UP wasn't supposed to be in the song when he went in the studio he was really frustrated so they let him at it and he ripped that part. Its a really good part in the song too, kinda like it was supposed to be in there
- Darbey, Mount Vernon, OH
This song is about how every little thing people do in ignorance(such as make fun) is pushing him over the edge and he is about to explode
- Zac, Drexel, MO
This is a great song if you just need to blow off steam. ;)

The remixed version on "Reanimation" is AMAZING.
- Sarah, Morganville, NJ
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