AVENGED SEVENFOLD vocalist M. Shadows discussed Chester Bennington‘s death and the current state of LINKIN PARK after performing as one of the special guests at LP’s recent tribute show dedicated to Chester. He told Eddie Trunk:
“I didn’t know Chester very well; I knew him kind of fleetingly, I guess.
“But I’m really good friends with Mike Shinoda and Dave [Farrell]. Me and Mike hang out every summer when Coachella happens, and Desert Trip [last] year, when they had Roger Waters and Paul McCartney and all that.
“So he usually comes out to the house out there and we’ll hang out all weekend. He actually played me this whole record [‘One More Light’] before it came out, and it was pretty haunting at the time, even hearing Chester’s demos on the record. And then for this all to happen is just heartbreaking.
“I think Mike realizes we’ve been through the same sort of thing – even though The Rev’s [death] wasn’t a suicide, you’re losing a friend at such an early age. It’s insane.”
Asked if he thinks Linkin Park will carry on without Bennington, Shadows replied:
“They’re human beings and they have a long life to live. And I think if they love music this much, they have every right to move forward.
“Knowing Mike as well as I do, he’s always been, in my opinion, the leader of that band – the guy who gets things going, the guy who gets demos going, the guy who obsesses over every detail of that band.
“It’s gonna be hard to lose Chester; he easily was one of the best vocalists of our time. From when I was growing up, just watching them live, he just was flawless for what he did.
“And it’s gonna be tough, but at the same time, Mike is such a hard worker and he’s so dedicated to that band and put so much time in that I can’t just see him just being done with it.
“They’re gonna know what feels right and what feels wrong. It would just be a shame if they stopped making music altogether; I don’t know if it’s under a different name or if they’d keep the Linkin Park name.
“But Mike is the driving force in that band. He is meticulous – he obsesses over everything, from the label to the producer they’re using to the beats they’re doing to the type of songs they’re gonna write – and I just can’t see him letting that go.
“I don’t think it’s possible, and I think it would be a shame if he did.”