Yesterday (20 July 2017), news of Linkin Park co-frontman Chester Bennington’s passing shocked the world of music right to its core. The charismatic and cathartic musician reportedly took his own life by hanging, having been found in the early hours of the morning by an employee on the day of a photoshoot. Here at All Things Loud, we would like to take a moment to shed light on the amazing musician that he was with a gallery of images courtesy of in-house photographers Natasja de Vries and Ralph Arvesen. (Obituary continues below).
More so than other artists who have met their maker in the last eighteen months (amongst them Bennington’s close friend Chris Cornell, as well as David Bowie and Prince), Bennington was a leading voice of today’s millennial generation, a population who grew up listening to the classic, genre and era-defining records such Hybrid Theory, Meteora and Minutes to Midnight. All the way through until May’s emotive One More Light (for which the lyrics now carry so much more lyrical weight, in particular lead single Heavy), Linkin Park remained one of the world’s most popular and relevant bands. Whatever they did turned out to be a success, and as time went by their status as heroic and Hall of Fame-worthy only grew. Fans could relate to Bennington and his struggles in a way that not many others could, with his upbeat and warrior-like personality doing a lot in allowing fans to understand themselves and get through tough times by means of music. Take one scroll through a comments section about Bennington’s death and you’ll see just a miniscule portion of how many people were truly touched by Chester’s lyrics, whether it be the raw emotion on Hybrid Theory or the emotive serenity on One More Light.
The band’s most recent record, as I mentioned above, now carries far more emotional weight than before Bennington’s passing. It was common knowledge that the vocalist struggled with depression (contributing factors include being abused as a child, as well as battling with drugs and alcohol), but I highly doubt that anyone saw the album as the warning sign that it’s now turned out to potentially be. Lead single Heavy bears a set of lyrics which, looking back, were just one of the many subtle warning signs embedded throughout the record:
“I’m holding on Why is everything so heavy? Holding on So much more than I can carry I keep dragging around what’s bringing me down If I just let go, I’d be set free Holding on Why is everything so heavy?”
Bennington’s death is tragic. There’s no need to speculate as to what pushed him over the edge, or anything along those lines. It’s also vital to kee in mind that no two depression’s are the same, meaning that different things trigger different people to different extents. There’s no way of knowing what went through Bennington’s mind in his final days, which makes it void and purposeless to speculate and wonder. Instead, it’s important to look at yourself and those around to ensure that you’re (to put it simply) okay. It’s okay to not be ok, as long as you do your utmost best to get the help you need and surround yourself with the right people, things and environment. Depression is not something to be taken lightly; rather, it should be taken just as seriously as any other illness, whether it be physically visible or not. Wherever you may be on this planet we all call home, help is only one phone call away. Together we can prevent future tragedies. See the below tweet for an international list of phone numbers.
Linkin Park are yet to release a statement or reaction surrounding Bennington’s death, however it would not come as a surprise if the band pack it all in and put Linkin Park to rest in Chester’s honour following one last tribute show. Nobody can replace his voice, his energy, his charisma, his storytelling or his personality, and I highly doubt that Mike Shinoda and his remaining bandmates would even go so far as to attempt finding a replacement. What happened to Bennington should never need to happen to anyone. Suicide is not the answer, however tough life gets and however challenging your personal situation is. Chester will be sorely missed by the whole music world, and his music will live on forever.
Bennington is survived by a wife and six children. We send all our love and condolences to his family, friends and the rest of Linkin Park during this incredibly tough time. Listen to a selection of Linkin Park’s finest work below.