Following Chester Bennington’s shocking death Thursday, a newly resurfaced interview sheds more light on the Linkin Park frontman’s lifelong struggle with his mental health.
“My whole life, I’ve just felt a little off,” Bennington said in conversation with Music Choice earlier this year. “I find myself getting into these patterns of behavior or thought – especially when I’m stuck up here [in my head]; I like to say that ‘this is like a bad neighborhood, and I should not go walking alone.'” (Bennington suffered molestation as a young boy, and struggled with addiction, on and off, throughout his life.)
The celebrated singer was found dead at his home in Palos Verdes Estates, California, early Thursday morning, after an apparent suicide. He was 41.
“Most of my problems are problems that I cause myself,” he continued in the interview. “That’s what that song [“Heavy”] is about – that time when you consciously look at that. Once you acknowledge what it is, you can separate yourself from it and do something about it, as opposed to just being in it.”
Bennington is best known for his screamed, emotional vocals on Linkin Park’s biggest hits, including “In the End” and “One Step Closer.” For “Heavy,” the band’s latest single, the singer lent calmer vocals alongside pop singer Kiiara.
Thursday marked a significant day for Bennington; it would have been Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell’s 53rd birthday. Bennington and Cornell were longtime friends.
“I can’t imagine a world without you in it,” Bennington wrote in a touching post to social media at the time of Cornell’s death. “I pray you find peace in the next life. I send my love to your wife and children, friends and family. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your life.”
Bennington would later perform Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” at Cornell’s funeral; he is the godfather to Cornell’s 11-year-old son, Chris.
Cornell’s widow, Vicky Cornell, tweeted Thursday, “Just when I thought my heart couldn’t break any more…..I love you.”
Bennington is survived by his wife of 12 years, Talinda Ann Bentley, and six children.
From “One Step Closer to “Burn it Down,” here are some of Linkin Park’s Essential Songs.