Mike Shinoda discusses Chester Bennington’s reaction to Chris Cornell’s suicide

The comments in the new interview were made May 2017, days after Chris Cornell's death

Chester Bennington was deeply affected by Chris Cornell’s suicide, said his Linkin Park bandmate Mike Shinoda in an archived interview recorded in May 2017 and published yesterday (July 20) in response to the news of Bennington’s death.

On May 18 – the day of Chris Cornell’s death – the band were due to record a live performance of their single ‘Heavy’ for Jimmy Kimmel Live. But on hearing the news about Cornell, the band decided instead to play ‘One More Light’ – because, Shinoda said, “it’s about the loss of a friend.”

The following day (May 19), during his interview with Radio.com, Shinoda discussed Bennington’s struggle to complete the performance of the song.


“When we were doing a soundcheck,” he said, “Chester couldn’t even make it through the song. He was getting halfway through and getting choked up and even when we did play the whole song and it was live on TV – or filmed for TV – he kinda just stopped before the end. He missed the last couple lines of it – he just couldn’t finish the song.

“Fans were crying in the audience, and I think it was cathartic – it was good. Because the message of the song is: when you’re dealing with something so deep as losing a friend or in this case even just somebody you admire, one of the things you can do is to reach out to people and offer them community. Let them know we’re a family, we’re a community, we care about each other. Whether it’s a friend who’s lost somebody or a family member or whatever: to reach out and let them know even that you’re thinking about them – sometimes that’s enough.”

See the archived interview with Shinoda and the band’s Jimmy Kimmel Live performance of ‘One More Light’ below.


After news of Chester Bennington’s death was revealed yesterday (July 20), Shinoda wrote on Twitter: “Shocked and heartbroken, but it’s true. An official statement will come out as soon as we have one.”



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