Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda pays tribute to ‘happy, fun guy’ Chester Bennington

'When he'd walk in the room, there was such a positive, funny, upbeat energy,' Shinoda says of Bennington

Linkin Park member Mike Shinoda has paid tribute to the band’s late frontman Chester Bennington in a new interview.

The nu-metal idol was found dead in his California home after taking his own life on July 20. He was aged just 41-years-old.

Following news that the band will reunite for a one-off tribute concert in October, rapper/guitarist Shinoda opened up about to Los Angeles radio station KROQ about his late bandmate and what convinced him to perform again with Linkin Park.

“He was such a happy guy, he was such a fun guy,” Shinoda said. “When he’d walk in the room, there was such a positive, funny, upbeat energy, and that’s what we wanna get out of this show… I know it’s gonna be a roller coaster of emotion. But when we talk about this and when we’re focusing on the show, it’s really about, like we say, celebrating life.”

“I had gone to [producer] Rick Rubin as a source of guidance,” he explained. “He had said, ‘I think you guys need to get on stage. I think that’ll be the thing that’ll feel good. It’ll be super, super hard.’ We haven’t gone out together in public, we haven’t played — we haven’t gone on stage. He said, ‘The fans want to see you. Not because they want to see a show, there’s a cathartic experience that needs to happen and it’ll inform what you guys are doing.’ And I thought it over — and I know that for some of the guys in the band, getting on stage [without Chester] is more scary than other guys in the band, 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.”

Linkin Park's Chester Bennington

Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington

“With something like this, and it was the same at his funeral… I know that the circumstances of his passing were really dark, and as we said at the time, the darkness that he had was always there and was kind of part of the package, but what was so unique and special about this guy is that he used it as fuel to do so many positive things.”

Shinoda went on to thank fans for their support during the difficult time. “The fans have been incredible. I don’t think we could have ever expected such an outpouring of love and all these tributes,” he said.

He also explained why the band made a posthumous video for their single ‘One More Light’: “Fans everywhere were making these montages of images of Chester, images of themselves to [‘One More Light’] and so we realised it struck a chord with them and we wanted to let them know we see that, we hear that so we made an official video for that.”

Listen to the full interview below:

Watch the band’s video for ‘One More Light’:

Linkin Park will host a tribute concert for Bennington at Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles on October 27. It will be the first time the group’s surviving five members will perform together since Bennington’s passing.

The band will be joined by a number of special guests, with the band’s fee for the show going to Music For Relief’s One More Light Fund in memory of Chester. Tickets go on public sale this Friday (September 22) here.

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