Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda Talks Chester Bennington Memorial Nerves
Linkin Park‘s Mike Shinoda discussed the nerves coursing through the band as they prepare to honor late singer, Chester Bennington, at a tribute concert in Los Angeles October 27th. “I know that for some of the guys in the band, getting on stage is more scary than other guys in the band,” Shinoda said during an interview on KROQ Monday. “But I will say that for all of us, it’s definitely the thing that we want to do. It feels like the right way to celebrate Chester.”
The “one-night only” tribute concert will feature the five surviving members of Linkin Park performing together for the first time since Bennington’s death on July 20th. Shinoda noted that the band was also compiling a group of friends to perform as well, though a list has yet to be announced. The concert will raise money for Music for Relief’s One More Light Fund in memory of Bennington.
Shinoda noted that he sought out Rick Rubin’s advice after Bennington’s death, and it was the producer who pushed him to perform live again. “He said: ‘I know you guys know this, and I know it’s obvious because you’re looking at social media, I think you guys need to get on stage. I think that’s going to be the thing that’ll feel good. It’ll be super, super hard … The fans want to see you, but most importantly, not because they want to see a show, there’s a cathartic experience that needs to happen.'”
Shinoda also spoke about the massive outpouring of support and encouragement from fans, who have organized hundreds of tributes and memorials around the world and adopted the band’s new song, “One More Light,” into an anthem. Shinoda said the song was written about the deaths of several close friends and family members, saying, “It was initially intended to reach out to somebody who had lost someone, and now we find ourselves on the receiving end of that where the fans have taken our own song and played it back to us, and let us know, they’re there, they’re listening and they’re thinking about us.”
At the end of the interview, Shinoda spoke candidly about the dark circumstances surrounding Bennington’s suicide and grappling with how that same darkness was always part of the singer’s artistic identity. “What was so unique and special about this guy is that he used it as fuel to do so many things,” Shinoda said. “He was such a happy guy, he was such a fun guy when he’d walk in the room … That’s what we want to get out of this show. I know it’s going to be a roller coaster of emotion, but when we talk about this and when we’re focusing on the show, it’s really about celebrating life.”