By Myself

Album: Hybrid Theory (2000)

Songfacts®:

  • In this song, Chester Bennington and Mike Shinoda sing about how everything they try to do backfires. They are afraid because no matter what they do, something else will come back to haunt them.
  • Early iterations of this tune were titled "Sad" and "SuperXero" on the band's late-'90s demos. In a 2020 Billboard interview, Shinoda explained how the song came together. "'By Myself' was our attempt to do the softest verses and every other parts of the song be the nastiest, loudest sounds we can. And so it was drawing more from like, Nine Inch Nails and Ministry, than some of the more nu-metal stuff," he said.

    Shinoda and Bennington laid down the track in a makeshift studio in the rapper's apartment, a far cry from their future sessions at NRG Recording Studios for Hybrid Theory. "I remember doing the demos for that song in my apartment in Glendale, in the LA area, and my neighbor just f--king hated me," Shinoda recalled. "The walls were paper-thin, Chester's screaming the chorus, and they must have thought we were murdering somebody in the room. We were both just shouting, and I'm going, 'No, LOUDER!' And my neighbors would bang on the wall at 10 pm every night to tell us that it was time to go to bed, basically. And thus, we would record all the way up 'til 10, and then you'd hear a thumping on the wall. We've got our headphones on, we're doing our thing, and they're literally punching the wall, trying to get our attention and tell us to shut the f--k up."
  • With their debut album, Linkin Park wanted to set themselves apart from other rap-rock groups who were emerging at the time. Joe Hahn, the band's DJ/programmer, thinks they accomplished the feat with their contrasting lead vocalists. He told Billboard: "The album is full of these moments like the one where Mike is saying 'By myself,' and then Chester goes, 'MYSELLLLLF!' That's what was kind of magical about Mike and Chester as frontmen, partners and co-vocalists - to have that sort of Jekyll-and-Hyde type moment. Two vocalists that could pull that off together really made us stand out from everyone else."

Comments: 4

  • Jenessa from Granbury, TxThis song is about the damage that things like anxiety, suicidal thoughts, depression, loneliness, abuse, and low self esteem does to one. RIP CHESTER! Thank you for singing about this kind of stuff and reminding those going through it that they're not alone, very great song though, one of the best from Hybrid Theory album in my opinion
  • River from Gloucester, VaThese lyrics are the remix on Reanimation, not the original, what's up with that?
  • Zero from Nowhere, NjThe lyrics to the chorus are all wrong; they should be:

    I can't hold on (to what I want when I'm stretched so thin)
    It's all too much to take in
    I can't hold on (to anything watching everything spin)
    with thoughts of failure sinking in.

    and the beginning of the bridge:

    How can I escape? I've lost so much.
    I'm so afraid. I'm out of touch.
    How do you expect I will know what to do
    when all I know is what you tell me to?
  • Effy E. Goodwin from Cov, United KingdomThis song can easily be related to by those who feel very lonely ande have experienced bullying, social isolation or abuse and cover it up, but go home to hurt themselves in some form or another.
see more comments

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