On Navigating Chester Bennington’s Dark Thoughts in Linkin Park Songs, Mike Shinoda

Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda recently spoke with Genius about one of the band’s most recent tracks, ‘Fighting Myself.’ Shinoda discussed the process of writing songs with Chester Bennington in the video. The musician highlighted Bennington and how his ideas were represented in the lyrics. He stated: “So, there’s some of this about sitting in silence and amplifying negative thoughts and everything. That reflected him because he liked to think about things. ‘You good?’ you’d ask, and he’d reply, ‘I’m fine.’ Then you realized he wasn’t fine because he was too silent.”

Shinoda demonstrated how the two collaborated on the tracks earlier in the video: “Chester and I would collaborate on words like – I always wrote my own raps, and then his parts we’d write like, I might write it, and he might sing it, he might write it, and I’d tweak it with him, and he’d sing it.” Or we’d get together and figure something out together.” He went on to explain what had changed: “But the rap verses were always mine, so my challenge with those was to extract some of the elements.” If it makes sense, I might write about his point of view in my rap verse to tie into the chorus.”

When the band initially met the frontman, they had no idea how deep his ‘evil thoughts’ ran. Shinoda stated in a previous interview: “No one knew the extent of it. I didn’t know any of Chester’s stories when I met him. As I got to know him better, I found myself repeating, ‘I’ve never heard such a wild upbringing, such a crazy life.'” He went on to say in the same interview: “There was an element of Chester that was very fun sometimes when he was that way, and usually the next day he’d be, like, so dark.”

Bennington had fought with depression and anxiety for years and had spoken openly about his struggles, which ultimately to his suicide in 2017. The music Shinoda is reviewing in the video is from the 20th anniversary reissue of ‘Meteora,’ and it is Linkin Park’s second unreleased song from the Meteora era. The compilation includes six previously unheard tracks from the era, the first of which, named ‘Lost,’ was published this February, giving fans a chance to hear Bennington’s voice for the first time since his death.

You may listen to the CD and see the interview below.

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