Interview with Chester Bennington – The Daily Telegraph
The Daily Telegraph has posted their interview with Chester Bennington.
Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington credits thick skins, open minds and a strong friendship for breathing life into the band and keeping the creative juices flowing.
Almost 13 years after the release of their debut album, Hybrid Theory, the 36-year-old says being open to scrutiny from fellow band members has been the key to their creative success.
“We’re open to ideas, we want the sound to be successful and we want people to feel it,” Bennington says.
“All of us having that open mind pushes the songs forward in a productive way that gives them the chance to be good. If you’re so locked into your own idea that you can’t be open to the notion that it’s not very good or that we can maybe change these few lines you’re only doing yourself a disservice.”
He says the quality of songwriting, rather than egos, has always been the focus.
“The most important thing is always making sure that you’re staying open to criticism and open to the idea of making a track the best it can be or letting the track go because it’s not going to be up to par,” he says.
But Bennington says the similar work ethics are just icing on the cake of the solid friendships they’ve maintained by respecting each other’s individuality.
He says the band, who have a reputation for evolving their musical style with each album, also rely on pushing boundaries, most notably avoiding the expected on 2007′s Minutes To Midnight and 2010′s A Thousand Suns.
“We knew we were taking a chance (and) we knew it was going to piss some people off – possibly everybody,” he says.
“But we knew we had to do that if the band was going to survive. The idea of making the same style of record consistently because that’s what you think people want from you is not a good place to go as an artist at any time.”
Luckily, the dramatic leap of faith paid off, with A Thousand Suns debuting at No.1 in 15 countries, including Australia. But Bennington says while in some ways Linkin Park’s fan base grew stronger, it left them divided on which “version” of the band they liked better. “But those are all healthy things,” he says.
He says their latest album, Living Things, an Australian tour version of which was released on Friday, is more of a representation of their style throughout the years – no easy feat for a band so hell-bent on growth and change.
He says the ability to work with co-vocalist, rapper and songwriter Mike Shinoda has allowed the band to continue to make magic.
Bennington says the band are keen to return to Australian shores next month and show punters just what they have.
“It’s one of our favourite places to be,” he says.
“We’ve always enjoyed being there and we also know that we haven’t been there as much as people would like.”
The Australian tour edition of Living Things is out now. Linkin Park play at Sydney Olympic Park on February 24 and the Entertainment Centre February 26