The musical world was brought to a standstill when Chester Bennington from Linkin Park died by suicide in 2017. Bennington was frequently open about his mental health battles, and that openness made him an inspiration for millions.
People resonated with Bennington when he approached these difficult topics, which stopped many from feeling ashamed about their similar struggles. While the tragic way his life ended is heartbreaking, during his time on the planet, Bennington’s impact on others through his soul-baring material with Linkin Park and his refreshingly honest approach in interviews is immeasurable.
With Bennington, he never tried to publically portray a version of himself which wasn’t true, and this helped establish a true sense of community with his fanbase. Even though he was the one who performed on stage, they were all in it together which was down to the singer’s relatability.
Bennington always had trouble fitting in; no matter where he was, the frontman felt like an outsider. A few months before his death, the Linkin Park frontman opened up about this with Music Choice when discussing the concept behind their track ‘Heavy’.
“My whole life, I’ve just felt a little off,” Bennington painstakingly revealed. “I find myself getting into these patterns of behaviour or thought – especially when I’m stuck up here [in my head]; I like to say that ‘this is like a bad neighbourhood, and I should not go walking alone’.”
He continued: “Most of my problems are problems that I cause myself. That’s what that song’s about – that time when you consciously look at that. Once you acknowledge what it is, you can separate yourself from it and do something about it, as opposed to just being in it.”
After his tragic passing, the Mirror obtained a transcript of his final interview with journalist Will Lavin, which makes for a harrowing read. “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,” he said.
In the same interview, Bennington said making One More Light along with therapy was helpful in him fighting against his “demons”. He added: “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’s comments show that mental health struggles are a constant fight, and even when you think you’ve turned a corner, it’s unlikely to stay that way forever. Those susceptible should remain vigilant to the warning signs and take each day as it comes.
If you or someone you know is struggling, head over to thecalmzone.net for practical support and advice regarding mental health.