He was only 41.
Look, let’s not pretend, you’ve more than likely heard the news by now. Chester Bennington of Linkin Park has sadly taken his own life. He was found dead by apparent suicide at his home on Thursday, July 20th in Palos Verdes Estates, California, leaving behind his wife Talinda Bennington, six children, his five other band mates in Linkin Park, and more fans than one could ever hope to fully count. No, it’s not a hoax or fake news – it’s real and has been confirmed by local authorities and the Los Angeles County coroner’s office.
By now, I can only assume that you’ve seen near-endless stream of obituaries and articles featuring various statements, like the one from Warner Bros. Records CEO and Chairman, Cameron Stang, calling Bennington “an artist of extraordinary talent and charisma“, and mentioning the singer’s past issues with drugs and alcohol and how Chris Cornell’s recent death struck the Linkin Park singer deeply. You’ve also probably seen many articles compiled of Twitter and social media posts from the vocalist’s heartbroken and still in-shock band members, fellow musicians and other famous individuals all pouring out their support in the wake of his death. You’ll no doubt see more such pieces arrive throughout today and over the next few days as the news spreads and mourning and support from around the world floods in over the loss of such a talented individual; a man who was an influence and inspiration to many. Myself most certainly included.
Personally, I do somewhat battle with writing and publishing articles like this as there’s the underlying motive of driving and generating click traffic – we are a website, after all – from tragedy and it does make me feel a little sick, to be honest. (But such methods do work, hence why other media outlets like your Rock Feed’s, your Ultimate Guitar’s, your Music Feeds‘, your Alternative Nation’s and so on all copy each other’s posts and report on even the slightest shred of news around such story’s). I felt much the same when the news first broke that Tom Searle of Architects had passed away last year, and that same feeling returns now with today’s news of Bennington’s suicide; a hero of mine from one of my all-time favourite bands that I’ve loved since I was 12. Regardless of whatever musical style they were adhering to at any given time. And look, that’s not me being some musical elitist nor me trying to discredit the love that others have for Linkin Park either. It’s just me trying to vent about how much this loss hits home for me, as I’m certain it does for countless others right now.
However, while pushing this post out into the digital void does make me feel a little ill, I don’t really know what else to do right now in order to find some kind of personal strength. Well, short of having Linkin Park on repeat today, which is my overall plan I must admit.
Besides, writing this has been the only way I’ve found some slither of closure and been able to keep back the tears. I mean, is it crushing to know that Chester Bennington – a man whose band’s music had helped me greatly when I myself fell into depression and teetered on the very brink of suicide in the past – could no longer take whatever manner of pain he himself had inside and turned towards taking his own life as a solution? More than you could ever know. And yes, I will make this about myself in part because that’s the only real way I’ve managed to cope. If that makes me some selfish prick on the internet, then fine, so be it. I don’t really care.
Just as I don’t care about autonomously rambling off here about LP’s critical and commercial success, ‘Hybrid Theory‘, the sound of ‘One More Light‘, people like BackWordz’s Eric July uploading their dumb hot takes about suicide, Brian “Head” Welch from Korn being an utterly insensitive cunt, and so on. You’ll get a healthy dose of that from literally anywhere else in the realm of music media currently. After all, none of that will truly lessen the deep loss felt around the world today (at least not yet), all from a vast majority of people who have probably never met Bennington yet who have been so utterly touched by the music he was a part of. Whether it was because of the band’s classic nu-metal jams of old, the experimentations heard around the turn of this decade, or the band’s most recent moody electro-pop sounds.
So, at this point, I don’t really know what else to say other than here are a handful of my personal favourite Linkin Park songs. Maybe you too will find some form of catharsis in these songs like I hope too.
Rest in peace, Chester.
I and the rest of Killyourstereo.com extend our deepest thoughts and condolences to Bennington’s family and bandmates. I simply cannot imagine what they’re going through right now. Please take care of each other out there, guys. Much love.
Depression and mental illness rarely, if ever, relent. For any assistance you may need, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline on 1-800-273-8255. They’re available 24 hours every day. Other avenues of help can be found below: