RIP Chester Bennington: My Screamo Hero

Meg DSouza , 23 Jul 2017

Late last week, news about Linkin Park frontman, Chester Bennington‘s death broke out on TV and social media, much to the shock of his fans, his bandmates and colleagues. His words and voice were the soundtrack to the angsty and formative teenage years of most kids growing up in the 90’s all over the world. His band took the key elements of rap and hard rock, smashed them both up, threw in a good amount of ace scratching and started a ‘nu’ music revolution. They took alternative rock/metal from the underground to the mainstream.

At a time when artists like Britney Spears, The Backstreet Boys and N’SYNC were ruling the pop charts and radio waves with their happy shiney tunes, pretty vocal runs and perfectly manicured looks, Linkin Park introduced me to a new and exciting style of music. I clearly remember spending hours, days and months listening to their earliest albums, Hybrid Theory and Meteora, on repeat, on my precious walkman, EVERYDAY after school. Chester’s intense screaming parts and his gentler singing parts bounced perfectly off Mike Shinoda‘s rap verses, Brad Delson‘s distorted guitar riffs and Dave Farrell‘s solid bass playing with Rob Bourdon keeping the beat on drums. Joe Hahn, the sixth member of the band added all the glitches, vinyl scratches and is, along with Shinoda, the creative brains behind their artwork.

Linkin Park | Source: Sony Music India
Linkin Park (L-R: Dave, Chester, Brad, Mike, Rob, Joe) | Source: Sony Music India

I am a Linkin Park fangirl. I know Chester’s words, inside and out and I’ll admit to busting a vocal chord or two trying to keep up by simply singing along to their albums till very recently. His words came from a real place. They resonated with an entire generation of kids, like me, all over the world. I’ve spent most of the weekend listening and screaming aloud to his entire discography, YouTube-ing their many large scale live concert videos – He’s left behind an unforgettable legacy and to celebrate him, here are seven of my all-time favourite Linkin Park tunes, videos and breakdowns.

1. “Place For My Head” from Hybrid Theory (2000)

2. “Pts.Of.Athrty” from Reanimation (2002)

3. “In The End” from Hybrid Theory (2000)

4. “Faint” from Meteora (2003)

5. “Somewhere I Belong” from Meteora (2003)

6. “Numb/Encore” from Collision Course (2004)

7. “What I’ve Done” from Minutes To Midnight (2007)

Chester had a long drawn battle with depression since his childhood, after many ups and downs and after losing one his best friends, and another rock n roll idol, Chris Cornell, earlier this year, he took his own life. His words are all the more heartbreaking now. And any fan would agree, that this is one loss that’s going to take a while to get over.

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Wherever he is, I hope he knows just how much and what a big impact he had on billions and billions of kids. For me, he was the first step to years and years of precious discovery into the world of hard rock and metal. It’s, till date, my favourite genre of music and I don’t see myself growing out of this phase anytime soon.

We’re going to miss you Chester. Rock’n’roll heaven looks like one big party place now.

\m/ Thanks for the music! \m/

If it helps to ease the pain, horns up, comment below and tell us what your favourite Linkin Park song is and why. Click here to know some lesser known facts about this icon.

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