Linkin Park’s ‘Hybrid Theory’ and ‘Meteora’ producer looks back on first meeting Chester Bennington

"I was just like 'Oh my God, this is really special'"

The producer of Linkin Park‘s classic albums ‘Hybrid Theory’ and ‘Meteora’ has spoken out in the wake of the death of frontman Chester Bennington – remembering their first meeting and honouring the ‘huge force’ of his talent.

“I went to a rehearsal, and Chester started singing and I was just like, ‘Oh my god, this is really special’,” Gilmore told Billboard. “I’d never really heard somebody sing that incredibly just in a little crappy rehearsal room. He wasn’t really singing like that on the demos, and I just felt like, if he can sing like this in the studio, then we might have a chance of doing something.”

“He was just a nice young kid. The whole band were nice guys. In my opinion, in that first rehearsal he overshadowed the whole band; he was such a huge force vocally that it got me really excited about the project and it made me want to work with them really bad.”


Gilmore continued: “We made that record in like six weeks – a pretty short amount of time – and looking back on it, when you listen to that record it’s like, wow, we did a pretty good job. It all kind of came together.

“There’s been a lot of talk about how the record was made, but I found something in the band that… as a producer, you’re always looking for special things that kind of stick out and are extraordinary, because sometimes it can take just an ordinary record – maybe it has good songs and it sounds good and maybe you’re fine – but when you can marry all that with something like Chester’s singing, then it’s just unstoppable.”

Linkin Park's Chester Bennington
Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington

This weekend, Chester Bennington’s cause of death was officially confirmed. Los Angeles Coroner’s Office spokesman Ed Winter has confirmed that 41-year-old Bennington died by hanging. They added that half a bottle of alcohol was found nearby but there was no sign of drug abuse. A suicide note was not found.