Mike Shinoda was born in 1977 in Los Angeles suburbs. His father was Japanese. His mom had Hungarian and Russian heritage. Mike has a younger brother Jason.
Shinoda spent his childhood in a small city near LA. When he was six, his mom noticed the boy’s love for music and decided to pay for piano lessons. In school, Mike met one of the future members of Linkin Park, Brad Delson. While in high school, Shinoda learned how to play the guitar. He set up a small studio in the garage, where he and Brad recorded their first songs.
Soon, the young men found a drummer, Rob Bourdon, who attended the same high school. The artists called their band Xero. After school, Shinoda enrolled in Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. That’s where he met a DJ, Joe Hahn and invited him to join Xero. In 1997, two more artists joined the band. They were a bass guitar player, Dave Farrell, and a vocalist Mark Wakefield. The band recorded a short demo tape, but none of the labels noticed it. Soon, Dave and Mark left Xero, which seemed to have no future.
In 1998, Shinoda graduated from college and found a new vocalist for the band. It was Chester Bennington. The band changed the name to Hybrid Theory. In May, they released an EP, Hybrid Theory EP, which was uploaded to the Internet. The same year, the artists managed to sign the long-struggled-for contract with Warner Bros. Records. They changed the name once again and became Linkin Park.