I LOVE MUSIC SO MUCH OKAY I WANT TO LITERALLY TAKE THE SOUND AND PUT IT INTO MY HEAD AND INTO MY CHEST AND WRITE THE LYRICS ALL OVER MY BODY AND PUT THE PHOTOS OF MUSICIANS ALL OVER MY HOUSE AND SING AND TALK ABOUT MUSIC BANDS BANDS BANDS
We are playing a one night only show at The Joint in Las Vegas on January 10th, 2014. LP Underground members may access pre-sale tickets starting tomorrow 12/3 at 10am PST here: http://bit.ly/LPVegas - Public On-Sale will begin on 12/6 at 10am PST.
Fresh from rocking Red Square, Linkin Park talk to Dave Simpson about battling some serious demons and finding a new sense of purpose.
This is from 2011 but a very interesting read. :))
"Bennington’s past is, Shinoda is quick to point out, "more extreme". His parents’ divorce when he was 11 led him to start smoking pot, which led to cocaine and methamphetamine. In some previous interviews, he has alluded to sexual abuse by an older male friend.
"When I was young, getting beaten up and pretty much raped was no fun," he says suddenly and disarmingly. "No one wants that to happen to you and honestly, I don’t remember when it started. But about four years ago I went to visit my mom and I saw a picture of myself and I remember very clearly when that picture was taken. All of a sudden, because I had kids, I looked at it and thought: ‘Wow, that’s what I looked like.’ And then I remembered. Oh my God. I remember that stuff happening to me at that stage and even thinking about it now makes me want to cry. Oh my God, that was fucking happening to me and I was just that little, much earlier than I’d remembered. My God, no wonder I became a drug addict. No wonder I just went completely insane for a little while."
Bennington’s trauma fired Hybrid Theory and 2003’s hit follow-up, Meteora. The success they achieved was, for Bennington, “like something you read in a book. It doesn’t really happen. I followed my own instinct because everybody else was fucked up, and I didn’t like anybody else’s thing, so therefore I would do my own.”
Although Bennington had knocked around in music for a while before Linkin Park came together, when success came, it came quickly. They realised things were changing when the pair drove over to Bennington’s dad’s house and heard their song on the radio. “It was the most surreal experience,” Shinoda remembers, smiling at the memory. “There were multiple radios and we were on every one. It was like, ‘Holy shit!’ It was so cool.”
Bennington went from sleeping in the back of an old Toyota to fronting what was then the biggest-selling debut album of the 21st century. Fans blared music outside his house. One woman caused a car accident after spotting him in the street. Bennington did not find the change in fortunes easy, and he fell back into serious drug abuse.
"Unfortunately, my ex-wife [Samantha, whom he married when they were so poor he couldn’t afford a wedding ring] and I were really toxic for each other, too young to get married," he says. "We were volatile personalities, and even though we helped each other, we were not good for each other, and that brought up other feelings."
"The tours we did in the beginning, everybody we toured with was either drinking or doing drugs," Shinoda says. "I can’t think of any that were sober. So you take someone who already has a hankering for drugs and … "
"I partied with everybody," Bennington says. That didn’t help build bonds with the rest of the band – who were more into pot and booze, and had no idea their frontman would be sitting on the tour bus tripping. He says he knew what their response would be: "Fuck, man. Look at what we’ve got going here. What the fuck are you doing?"
It wasn’t just the band who were kept in the dark. The early Linkin were a notoriously closed unit. Journalists would return from interviewing them with tales of confiscated mobiles and monosyllabic replies.
"We talked about this recently, and realised we were super-defensive," Shinoda says. The speed of their success led to suspicions they were manufactured, and for Bennington the accusation that he somehow "wasn’t real" cut deep.
"I’m like, ‘Fuck you, you don’t know me," he spits, grinding a fist into his hand. "And personally I would want to jump across the table and fucking kill you. ‘How dare you question what I’m singing about?’ Eventually I thought: ‘OK, you wanna know? This is where I come from!’ and I told a journalist things I’ve never told anybody. And my dad – a policeman – rings me up and says: ‘What the fuck do you mean this happened to you when you were a kid? Who did it?’ And I was thinking: ‘What have I done?’"
Eventually, Bennington revealed the identity of his abuser to his father. He realised his abuser had in turn been a victim and chose not to pursue him. “I didn’t need revenge. I realised … “
Shinoda quietly finishes the sentence: “That it can end with you.”
It did, but only after a lot of therapy. Linkin’s metamorphosis began in 2007, when they hooked up with Rubin for the tentatively experimentalMinutes to Midnight, after Bennington had turned his life around. “I’d become a person that wasn’t me,” he sighs. “This is me. I’m a nice, friendly guy that was always stuck behind this monster that was just really a hurt kid.”“