Limp Bizkit's Fred Durst praised Chester Bennington as an exceptional musician and a valued friend in an interview with Variety on Tuesday. Bennington was found dead at age 41 after committing suicide last Thursday.
"He had a way of making anyone he spoke to feel heard, understood and significant," Durst said. "His aura and spirit were contagious and empowering … if it weren't for him and his voice and his words, this genre would never have reached the masses and affected so many lives."
Limp Bizkit took a young Linkin Park to Europe for the first time as the band was beginning its career, and Durst remembered watching the audience fall in love with Bennington's fearsome vocals. "As they were performing, I was thinking to myself, 'Chester's voice is going to blow these kids the fuck up,'" Durst recalled. "It was a great moment, and I'm happy now to have had it." When Linkin Park returned to the dressing room after the show, Durst and his guitar player Wes Borland greeted them with a celebratory champagne shower.
Though Bennington struggled with his own depression, Durst remembered him as a selfless friend always willing to give guidance to others. "He would go out of his way to make sure you knew he truly cares," Durst said. "He was always the one projecting light on the shadows."
"I want to hug him now and let him know that we all experience our own pain and deal with it our own ways," Durst added. "I know his torture is unique to him, but I would always be here to listen and help in any way I can. But I won’t get that hug and that moment now, which makes me so sad."
Bennington was discovered dead last Thursday morning. The coroner's office ruled that the cause of death was suicide by hanging.
The remaining members of Linkin Park issued a statement in his memory on Monday. "Your absence leaves a void that can never be filled – a boisterous, funny, ambitious, creative, kind, generous voice in the room is missing, they wrote. "… You had the biggest heart, and managed to wear it on your sleeve."