In the middle of emailing bands for press passes, I found out that Chester Bennington of Linkin Park had taken his own life the night before. Linkin Park was scheduled to perform on October 18th at the SAP Center in San Jose… I had to cross their name out. It hurt. I remember them playing AFTERSHOCK back in 2015, and I wished that I had a press pass that year. It’s sad to say but the metal community has taken yet another emotional hit this year. My friends are on my Facebook crying, and I feel sick. Reading the posts and comments, it seems like the same thing is on everyone’s mind right now… why? Why did he do it? He was rich, famous, loved by his fans and family. Why would he take his own life? The answer to that has yet to be revealed. However…
As many times as I’ve had deep, and very personal conversations with rock stars post-gig, I know that this wasn’t a random idea. There’s articles on his addiction to drugs during Linkin Park’s early years, but I know it’s far deeper than that. There was pain inside of him that he couldn’t shake with love, music, or drugs. I see this kind of pain in a lot of artists (not just musicians). And the fact that he was rich, and famous, and loved meant nothing. It didn’t heal him. What people fail to realize is that depression is a very real thing, and frivolous things such as fame and money never helps.
“The idea that success equals happiness pisses me off…” -Chester Bennington (Metal Hammer 2016)
Feeling completely alone in a room full of people who are overjoyed to see and meet you is a reality a lot of artists go through. It makes you more aware of how pained you are inside; to see all of those happy faces and being unable to match their enthusiasm.
In an article published in Rolling Stones, there was a mention of Chester’s “Dead By Dawn” project from back in 2005. It was far too “dark and moody” for Linkin Park, but he kept it as a side project. Looking back at it now leaves a haunting realization that he had been telling us something all of this time.
“Chester sang about it. He told us. And we commiserated.” -Anonymous Fan
I crossed out a name today; scratched off long before it was meant to be. If you yourself are dealing with inner demons please talk to someone, anyone. Because in the end, it DOES matter. You are loved. You are wanted here. Don’t let your emotions fester until you can’t hold on anymore. You may feel like giving up, but you’re worth more than you realize…
These are a few quotes that I found on my Facebook:
“I had the chance to see Linkin Park a couple years ago. It was awesome. Chester Bennington was a phenomenal singer and melodic composer. Almost every artist you’ve ever met or will ever meet struggles with feelings of isolation or depression. Fans and friends alike should remember that when they speak about other artists.”
-Lindsey Pavao from Trophii
“In the end” got me through everything and that song I’ll say in particular shaped me into the person I am today. That song saved me.”
“I am absolutely sickened by the number of posts I’m seeing calling Chester Bennington weak and a coward. People need to get their heads out of their asses and consider how much pain and anguish one must be in to believe that death is the only way to make it stop. Suicide is not an act of cowardice or weakness, but one of desperation.”
“Linkin Park was my first introduction to rock music and one of the first cds I borrowed from friends. Their music got me through rough times in school and was often a balm on my soul.”
“To me, Hybrid Theory is still an incredible album and it was one of my favorites that I kept on repeat for years. Sure, rap-metal may have fallen out of fashion in music, but I’m kind of appalled at the amount of posts I’ve seen with negativity directed at a man who just lost his battle with drugs, alcohol, & depression.”
“Chester Bennington’s was one of the voices that got me through my late teens and early 20s – my soul hurts for his wife and children. I hope he’s found peace.”
“Chester Bennington was an artist of extraordinary talent and charisma, and a human being with a huge heart and a caring soul. Our thoughts and prayers are with his beautiful family, his bandmates and his many friends. All of us at WBR join with millions of grieving fans around the world in saying: we love you Chester and you will be forever missed.”
-Warner Brothers Records CEO Cameron Strang (Rolling Stone)
Chester Bennington was only 41. Rest in paradise my friend.