It's been a rough and confusing 24 hours for Linkin Park fans, after frontman Chester Bennington was found dead in his home due to an apparent suicide via hanging. There was no note, Bennington was just found by a housekeeper, shortly before an unidentified member of Linkin Park arrived to grab Bennington for a scheduled photo shoot.
Many fans are looking for answers as to why. To add to the confusion, the day Bennington died was what would've been Chris Cornell's 54th birthday. Cornell and Bennington were very close and it was eerie how similar their deaths were. Perhaps some answers could be found in some of Chester's final interviews.
In an interview with Music Choice, Bennington spoke about the struggle to stay out of his head.
"My whole life, I've just felt a little off and I find myself getting into these patterns of behavior or thought. Especially when I'm stuck up here [points to head]. I heard somebody say this once and it stuck with me, but this [pointing to his head] is a bad neighborhood and I should not go walking alone. Most of my problems are problems that I cause myself."
The Mirror posted excerpts from one of Bennington's final interviews conducted in May, and again, he spoke of his internal struggles:
“I came to a point in my life where I was like, ‘I can either just give up and fucking die or I can fucking fight for what I want. And I chose to fight for what I wanted. I wanted to have good relationships. I wanted to love the people in my life. I wanted to enjoy my job. I wanted to enjoy being a dad and having friends and just getting up in the morning. Because that was a struggle for me.”
Bennington noted that Linkin Park's new record, One More Light, was a deeply personal one for him and one that came out of the darkest point in his life:
“For me personally when we first started working on this record I was coming out of the darkest time of my life and it was all shit that I was doing to myself. It was all stuff that I had control over but even though I felt differently at the time. I felt like the world was full of shit and everybody I knew was full of shit and life sucks and I was like ‘Fuck it.’ All that stuff it was just internal.”
“It was all really things I could work on if I chose to, and make myself happy. You know? Make myself capable of dealing with life on life’s terms, like it’s not always going to be peaches and cream but it doesn’t always have to suck when it’s not. For me it took a lot of work. It actually took me opening up and talking to my friends about it and writing about it, and like going to therapy and battling my demons.”
You have to wonder if the negative reaction from a vocal minority about the band's new sound got to Chester, or if it was dealing with the aftermath of Chris Cornell's death or something else altogether. Many of his friends and peers were shocked by the news in tributes that came pouring out yesterday.
If you or someone you care about is thinking about suicide, please reach out to someone who can help: in the United States, the national Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. International readers can find your country's number here. We posted an editorial about the proper way to respond to suicide that is also worth reading.