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Bradford Phillip Delson (born December 1, 1977) is an American musician, lead guitarist, and one of the founding members of the alternative rock band Linkin Park. He is also the A&R Representative for Machine Shop Recordings.


Early life

Brad Delson attended Agoura High Schoolmarker with childhood friend and Linkin Park band mate Mike Shinoda. He played in various bands throughout his high school career, the most notable being Relative Degree, in which he met and teamed up with drummer Rob Bourdon. Relative Degree's goal was simply to play a show, and, after achieving that goal, they disbanded.

After graduating in 1995, Delson, Shinoda, and Bourdon formed Xero, which would eventually become the starting point for Linkin Park.

Delson entered UCLAmarker in 1995 as a Regent Scholar working toward a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Studies with a specialization in Business and Administration. He was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, and shared a dorm room with future Linkin Park band mate Dave Farrell for three out of his four years at school. Delson also had the opportunity to intern with a member of the music industry as part of his studies and ended up working for Jeff Blue, an A&R representative at Warner Bros. Records, who offered constructive criticism on Xero's demos. Incidentally, it was Blue who later introduced Chester Bennington, the current lead vocalist of Linkin Park, to the rest of the band.

After graduating summa cum laude in 1999, Delson decided to forgo law school in order to pursue a musical career with Linkin Park. He remains an avid fan of all things blue and gold.

Linkin Park

In 1999, Delson's band, Xero, replaced former lead vocalist Mark Wakefield with Arizona native Chester Bennington and renamed themselves Hybrid Theory. Before long, Delson, along with Shinoda, had produced the six-track Hybrid Theory , distributing it to various websites online and earning the band its own cult following. By 2000, after one more band name change, Linkin Park was signed by Warner Bros. Records.

On October 24, 2000, Linkin Park released the overwhelmingly successful Hybrid Theory. Over the next year, Delson helped produce the remix album Reanimation (2002), and added his own creative insight into the remixed interpretation of "Pushing Me Away" ("P5hng Me A*wy").

After Reanimation, Delson played a key role in the production of Linkin Park's second studio album, Meteora (2003), which featured heavier guitar riffs than ones in Hybrid Theory.

Linkin Park released their latest album Minutes to Midnight on May 15, 2007 in the United Statesmarker. For this album, the band strayed away from the style of music they had perfected in Hybrid Theory and Meteora, and developed an entirely new sound. For Delson, this meant experimenting with different guitars and amps, both new and vintage. It also meant he needed to push aside his disinclination for guitar solos, which are featured in tracks such as "Shadow of the Day", "What I've Done", "In Pieces" and "The Little Things Give You Away".

While the band pieced together the song "The Little Things Give You Away," Delson experimented with an E-Bow, creating a song called "E-Bow Idea," which was later changed to "No More Sorrow". Listeners can also hear him jingling his keys in "Given Up", an idea which he is credited with in the album booklet, as well as the multiple tracks of hands clapping. He has also played the piano for a few of the live shows on the song Hands Held High.

Side projects

Personal life

Delson married Elisa Boren in September 2003 in a Jewish wedding at the Skirball Cultural Center. Elisa gave birth to her and Brad's first child, a boy named Jonah Taylor Delson, on March 25, 2008. He has two younger brothers. Delson also handles many of the business aspects of Linkin Park along with his father Donn Delson. Together, the two created BandMerch, which handles the merchandising affairs for Linkin Park and others. In 1991, Delson was an extra in the movie "Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey".

He was the keynote speaker at his alma mater UCLAmarker's College of Letters and Science commencement ceremony on June 12, 2009 in Pauley Pavilionmarker.


  • 2004 - Delson and his wife established the Delson Scholarship Fund at UCLA, which annually awards four-year scholarships to extraordinary students from Huntington Park.
  • 2005 - Linkin Park established Music For Relief, a non-profit organization founded to aid victims of world catastrophes and combat global warming. Since its founding, Music For Relief has raised almost three million dollars, helping victims of the South Asian tsunami, Hurricane Katrina, and the Southern California wildfires.
  • 2005 - Signed on as an official supporter of Little Kids Rock, a nonprofit organization that provides free musical instruments and instruction to children in underserved public schools throughout the United States. Delson has personally delivered instruments to children in the program and sits on the organization's board of directors as an honorary member.

Playing style and equipment

Brad Delson performing at Sonisphere Festival in Kirjurinluoto, Pori, Finland.
Delson has been sometimes criticized for playing simple guitar parts and never performing solos in Hybrid Theory and Meteora. He says that he "doesn't like to show off," giving reason to the fact that performing solos is a rare act for him. He has explained that this is due to the nature of the band, and that he tries to make his guitar playing sound like a keyboard or strings to try to fit in with the hip hop and electronica sounds of the band. However, Brad put a few solos into their new record, Minutes to Midnight, after his bandmates encouraged him to do so. Brad's guitar solos can be heard on the tracks "Shadow of the Day", "What I've Done", "The Little Things Give You Away", and, most notably, "In Pieces". Delson's playing style has evolved in live performances as well, as is seen by an outro solo in the live version of "Faint", as well as some occasional improvisations during the verses of "Given Up".

In the early days of Linkin Park, their usual bassist Phoenix was unavailable due to touring commitments with Tasty Snax. So in Hybrid Theory, Delson also became the band's bassist during recording. On live shows, he occasionally swapped guitars with Phoenix and he also plays the keyboard during the song "Hands Held High".

The equipment that Delson uses includes the following:



To avoid problems with pedals being damaged during live performances Delson keeps his effect pedals in a rack along with his amplifiers and controls them through a pedalboard onstage. The board also contains a pedal control which allows him to change the settings for his effect pedals.

  • Voodoo Lab Ground Control Pro floorboard
  • GCX Audio Switcher
  • TC Electronics G-Major effects processor
  • Boss BF-3 Flanger
  • Boss NS-2 Noise Suppressor

  • Boss CS-3 Compression Sustainer (x2)
  • Boss CE-5 Chorus Ensemble
  • Boss Expression pedal
  • Ibanez LF-7 Lo-fi pedal


For the first two albums, he used Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifiers, but during the recording of Minutes to Midnight Delson decide not to use much of his old equipment to give him a new sound. Several vintage and rare amplifiers such as Soldano SLO's, Marshall JCM 800, Mesa Boogie, a 1972 50 watt Hiwatt Custom and a extremely rare Bo Diddley amplifier with an onboard tape delay that was either made for, or made by Diddley. During live performances Delson relies on several Randall MTS Modules to recreate the sound from these different amplifers.



  1. Brad Delson
  2. U. Arizona: INTERVIEW: Linkin Park guitarist discusses highs of rock stardom, [1]
  3. Jewish Journal
  4. Linkin Park's Brad Delson to keynote UCLA commencement, June 5, 2009
  5. Larry Gordon, "Rock star to replace actor for UCLA commencement speech", Los Angeles Times, June 9, 2009
  6. Linkin Park Guitarist, Brad Delson, Joins the Little Kids Rock Honorary Board of Directors, Little Kids Rock
  7. Randall
  8. Guitar World, July 2008
  9. Delson's Official LPN Site
  10. Guitar World - Linkin Park's Brad Delson touring rig
  11. - Linkin Park’s Brad Delson By Deirdre H. Jones

External links

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