Linkin Park Reflect on Chester Bennington’s Allegiance to the Band: He Was ‘All for One and One for All’

Linkin Park Reflect on Chester Bennington’s Allegiance to the Band: He Was ‘All for One and One for All’

The surviving members of Linkin Park reflect on their late singer Chester Bennington and their 20th-anniversary edition of Meteora in an interview with Apple Music 1’s Zane Lowe.

In the interview, airing Wednesday, Mike Shinoda, Brad Delson, and Dave Farrell talked about how it was Bennington who pushed back against their label when the record company tried to “change the DNA” of the band — and make Bennington a “star” with a different band — during the recording of their debut Hybrid Theory.

“There was a question from the label like, ‘Well, the singer’s so good.’ At a certain point, they kept trying to meddle in our creative process and change the DNA of the band. And at one point, there was a suggestion, “Well, maybe you just have the singer sing and you don’t do any rapping,” which to all of us was an offensive suggestion,” Shinoda said. 

“But they kind of back-doored it to [Bennington] and went directly to him. And the sell, the pitch was, ‘We’re going to build a new thing all around you. You are the star. You already are the star, it should be all about you.’ So just like, whatever about these other guys. We don’t need them… He took us aside, and he’s like, ‘Hey, you guys, you need to know, they did this to me today. They said these things to me.’ And he recounted the whole conversation. And we were all like, ‘Holy shit.’ In my mind, I’m like, ‘Oh, boy. This is the beginning of the end.’ Right? Because they’re right, he’s incredible, and we need him. I don’t know if he needs us.”

Ultimately, Bennington informed his bandmates that he told the label guy to “go fuck themselves.” “That was the start… To me, that was a real galvanizing moment. That was the start of all for one and one for all,” Shinoda told Lowe.

Shinoda also discussed why the band opted to give Meteora the deluxe treatment for its 20th anniversary.

“Part of the reason that this 20th-anniversary thing came together… from my perspective, when the question was asked, like should we do a 20th-anniversary package for the second album, I was like, ‘I don’t know,’ like, ‘I don’t want to feel like I’m milking this thing.’ The album was the album, and everybody knows the story,” Shinoda said. “But we started to uncover the stuff that hadn’t been released.”

Shinoda added that, around Hybrid Theory, the band started “filming everything,” resulting in a surplus of footage and a visual history of the 2003 LP.

“So that’s why the Meteora 20 package is what it is, because we started capturing everything. It’s like other bands weren’t really filming everything at the time. Filming wasn’t super easy. You didn’t have camera phones,” Shinoda sai. “The idea of work in progress became one of the themes of the album. It’s like, yeah, we are a work in progress. Our music is a work in progress. All the stuff that we’re making, we were aware, maybe in 10 years we won’t love it as much as we do right now, but we love it right now. So let’s just show people what we’re doing.”

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The full interview with Lowe on Apple Music 1 will broadcast Wednesday at 1 p.m. EST/10 a.m. PST.

The 20th-anniversary edition of Meteora arrives this Friday with a previously unreleased concert recording, Live in Nottingham 2003, and a full disc of unreleased demos titled Lost Demos; Linkin Park have so far shared “Lost” and “Fighting Myself” from the demos disc.

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