‘I loved that kid’ – KoRn’s Jonathan Davis speaks out on depression and pays tribute to Chester Bennington

'It's always the seemingly happy, sweetest ones that are hurting the most'

KoRn frontman Jonathan Davis has paid tribute to late Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington, and spoken out about the battle against depression.

The world of rock was left in shock after Bennington passed away in July after taking his own life. After KoRn guitarist Head apologised for having previously referred Bennington’s suicide as ‘cowardly‘, now singer Davis has spoken compassionately about what his suffering – and praised his generous demeanour.

“I understand depression and everything he was going through,” Davis told Kerrang. “It’s always the seemingly happy, sweetest ones that are hurting the most. It’s a terrible disease that can make things feel unbearable. When I found out what had happened, I didn’t even have the words.

“I loved his smile. I always looked forward to seeing him. If we were playing at a festival together, he’d make a point to come and find me, which I always appreciated. Chester’s was an amazing journey to watch. I loved that kid.”

Linkin Park's Mike Shinoda and Chester Bennington

Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda and Chester Bennington

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Paying tribute to Chester’s way with words, Davis said: “His lyrics hit home and were very relatable. On a lyrical level, Chester touched upon a lot of things that people feel, and when you experience that with music, it’s a release. When you’re helping so many people, you can sometimes forget about yourself. We’re like superheroes to kids that are hurting – we’re supposed to be the living proof that things will get better. There should be more Chesters in the world.”

Meanwhile, Bennington’s Linkin Park bandmate Mike Shinoda went on to put his talents on a par with those of Freddie Mercury, Depeche Mode’s Dave Gahan and Metallica frontman James Hetfield.

“He was inspired by a wide range of singers at different points in his life, people like Dave Gahan, James Hetfield and Freddie Mercury,” said Shinoda. “I would occasionally remind him that he was in that category, but he never agreed with me. He never acknowledged that he was, but in the past few months, dozens of artists have reached out publicly and privately to let us know what an inspiration Chester and the band have been. We’re just so very grateful.”