Bennington died in July 2017 at the age of 41. His death was later ruled as suicide.
Shinoda, who released his first solo album (‘Post Traumatic’) under his real name today (June 15), has looked back on the tough days following Bennington’s passing in a new interview, with the musician recalling that he felt like he was being “dragged… right down to the bottom” whenever he heard a Linkin Park song.
“At a certain point, I just had to face enough of that and be okay with it,” he told Upset Magazine. “I had to listen to our music, for example. I was in a car on a long drive back from Phoenix’s house [Linkin Park’s bassist Dave Farrel], and we were hanging out with all the guys in the band, and he’d asked, ‘Have you guys tried to listen to our music yet?’ Everyone said no.
“It had been a week and a half or something, and we hadn’t even tried because it was just terrifying. I said, ‘Why, did you?’ He said yeah, so I asked him what that was like. He said, ‘Y’know, not as scary as you think. I got through ‘One More Light’, and I could do it. Now I’ve been trying to listen to our stuff again and face it head-on’.
“As I was driving home that night, I listened to our music,” Shinoda continued. “It was hard, but it was something I could strike off my list of things I had done again.
“As I go, those things are more and more things that I can deal with. They’re things that are okay and things that I can enjoy. I mean, maybe not listening to our music all the time, but I’ve never been the person who listens to my own music all the time and been like, ‘Yeah, this is me’ – but if it comes on in the ice cream shop, I’m okay with it.”
Earlier this week, Shinoda addressed what he called “the $1 million dollar question” about whether Linkin Park will carry on without their departed bandmate.