The frontman was found dead at his Palos Verdes, California home on July 20, 2017. He was 41 years old. His death was later ruled as a suicide.
Speaking to Kerrang in a new interview, Shinoda discussed the difficulties of getting back to making music without his collaborator. “A week after Chester passed, the idea of the studio was scary,” he said. “And it wasn’t just the idea of attempting to make a song and being overwhelmed by those memories. There’s another layer of fear for artists in this situation that is, ‘What if I can’t make anything good [without that person]?’
“Those hurdles start to accumulate, whether that’s fear or depression or the chaos of the outside world, it creates an echo chamber of anxiety.”
He went to say he needed to “make some stuff” regardless of quality to get through that. “I was making bad ’90s grunge songs, making bad rap songs… and then I made something good,” he said. “I’d make all these different things with no intention of putting them out, but just diving into some of the ideas that were already in my head.”
Shinoda released the ‘Post Traumatic’ EP in January 2018 – his first release of new music since Bennington’s death. He explained that some of those songs were specifically linked to the loss of his bandmate. “We did the tribute show back in October [at LA’s Hollywood Bowl] and while I was working on that set and show I was also working on the song ‘Over Again’,” he said. “The first verse of that was written and recorded the day of the Hollywood Bowl show. I wrote the second verse the day after.”
Bennington’s 42nd birthday was marked earlier this month by the release of eight previously unheard solo demos. His widow Talinda also launched the Campaign To Change Direction, which highlights the signs of depression and encourages fans to ‘lend a hand’ to those suffering.
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