Linkin Park's Mike Shinoda discusses the emotional impact of losing Chester Bennington: "there's points where I felt angry"

Chester Bennington and Mike Shinoda together
(Image credit: Getty)

Linkin Park vocalist Mike Shinoda has discussed the emotional impact of losing bandmate Chester Bennington, admitting that anger was one of the initial reactions he experienced following the singer taking his own life in 2017.

In a recent interview with Howard Stern, the rapper/musician responds to the radio host suggesting that he'd be "angry" if he'd experienced losing a bandmate in the manner than Shinoda has.

"There's points where I felt that way," Shinoda agrees. "I'm sure for other people, it was the same. Even fans, too, by the way. And that's natural, that's normal, that's, like, one of the stages of grief, right? Anger's in there."

Chester Bennington battled mental health issues for much of his life following a turbulent and abusive childhood. When Stern asks Shinoda if Bennington's issues scared him at all, the co-frontman replies: "At that time, no," adding, "Let's go back to the beginning: when I met Chester, I didn't know his stories. As I got to know him, I would find myself saying oftentimes, 'I've never heard such a crazy upbringing. Such a crazy childhood.' Running wild in the streets, doing hard drugs on the roof of his high school, just barely staying out of jail. So different. And that's what made our dynamic what it was; I didn't grow up like that. I felt like I was an outsider because I was a mixed race kid that didn't have a community to belong to. I'm half-Japanese, I didn't speak Japanese, I don't look Japanese, the white kids thought I was obviously not white, the latino kids were trying to speak to me in Spanish...I was always floating around, I didn't have a home."

Pursuing the point about what life was like around Bennington in particular, Stern then asks if Shinoda's bandmate was "a difficult guy" to deal with.

"No, no," Shinoda responds. "Not the whole time. Early days, it was more difficult because we didn't know how it was gonna go. On early days Hybrid Theory, we were still getting started, we'd get a win here, we'd get a loss was hard. In the midst of all that, having a guy who would sneak out, he'd just go missing and come back obliterated. You couldn't even talk to him, he [was] just so wasted. But also kinda funny!

"There was an element of Chester that was very fun sometimes when he was that way," Shinoda adds, "and then usually, the next day, it would be so dark. He's super hungover, he's angry at everybody, yelling at everybody, and you're kinda just like...'Let's just get through the day.'"

Watch the interview segment below.

Linkin Park recently released a previously unheard song from the Meteora recording sessions. Titled Lost, it's the first time fans have heard Chester Bennington singing on a 'new' Linkin Park track since the singer's death. The song comes ahead of a deluxe, 20th anniversary reissue of Meteora, featuring bonus tracks, demos, previously unreleased live material and more in a variety of formats. The reissue lands on April 7.

Meteora reissue tracklists

1. ‘Foreword’
2. ‘Don’t Stay’
3. ‘Somewhere I Belong’
4. ‘Lying From You’
5. ‘Hit The Floor’
6. ‘Easier To Run’
7. ‘Faint’
8. ‘Figure.09’
9. ‘Breaking The Habit’
10. ‘From The Inside’
11. ‘Nobody’s Listening’
12. ‘Session’
13. ‘Numb’

‘LPU Rarities 2.0’
1. ‘A.06’
2. ‘Pretty Birdy (Somewhere I Belong 2002 Demo)’
3. ‘Sold My Soul To Yo Mama’
4. ‘Standing In The Middle’
5. ‘Program (Meteora Demo)’
6. ‘Faint (Demo 2002)’
7. ‘Figure.09 (Demo 2002)’
8. ‘Drawing (Breaking The Habit Demo 2002)’
9. ‘Cumulus (2002 Demo)’
10. ‘A-Six (Original Long Version)’
11. ‘Soundtrack (Meteora Demo)’
12. ‘Broken Foot (Meteora Demo)’
13. ‘Ominous (Meteora Demo)’
14. ‘Unfortunate (Unreleased Demo 2002)’
15. ‘Pepper (Meteora Demo)’
16. ‘Breaking The Habit (Original Mike 2002 Demo)’
17. ‘Halo (Unreleased Demo 2002)’
18. ‘Rhinocerous (2002 Demo)’
19. ‘Attached (2003 Demo)’

‘Live Rarities 2003-2004’
1. ‘Lying From You (Live LPU Tour 2003)’
2. ‘From The Inside (Live LPU Tour 2003)’
3. ‘Easier To Run (Live LPU Tour 2003)’
4. ‘Step Up (Live Projekt Revolution 2002)’
5. ‘My December (Live Projekt Revolution 2002)’
6. ‘Crawling (Live Reading Festival 2003)’
7. ‘Breaking The Habit (Live Rock Am Ring 2004)’
8. ‘Step Up/Nobody’s Listening/It’s Goin’ Down (Live)’
9. ‘Wish (Live Projekt Revolution 2004)’
10. ‘One Step Closer featuring Jonathan Davis (Live Projekt Revolution 2004)’

‘Live In Texas’ **
1. ‘Don’t Stay’
2. ‘Somewhere I Belong’
3. ‘Lying From You’
4. ‘Papercut’
5. ‘Side Two’
6. ‘Points Of Authority’
7. ‘Runaway’
8. ‘Faint’
9. ‘From The Inside’
10. ‘Figure.09’
11. ‘With You’
12. ‘By Myself’
13. ‘P5hng Me A*Wy’
14. ‘Numb’
15. ‘Crawling’
16. ‘In The End’
17. ‘A Place For My Head’
18. ‘One Step Closer’

‘Live In Nottingham 2003’ **
1. ‘Session’
2. ‘Don’t Stay ’
3. ‘Somewhere I Belong’
4. ‘Lying From You’
5. ‘Papercut’
6. ‘Points Of Authority’
7. ‘Runaway’
8. ‘Faint’
9. ‘From The Inside’
10. ‘Hit The Floor’
11. ‘With You’
12. ‘Crawling  ’
13. ‘In The End ’
14. ‘Easier To Run’
15. ‘A Place For My Head ’
16. ‘One Step Closer’

‘Lost Demos’ **
1. ‘Lost’
2. ‘Fighting Myself’
3. ‘More The Victim’
4. ‘Massive’
5. ‘Healing Foot’
6. ‘A6 (Meteora|20  Demo)’
7. ‘Cuidado (Lying From You Demo)’
8. ‘Husky (Hit The Floor Demo)’
9. ‘Interrogation (Easier To Run Demo)’
10. ‘Faint (Meteora|20  Demo)’
11. ‘Plaster 2 (Figure.09 Demo)’
12. ‘Shifter (From The Inside Demo)’
13. ‘Wesside’
14. ‘Resolution’

** only available on the digital edition and “super deluxe” box set

Merlin Alderslade
Executive Editor, Louder

Merlin moved into his role as Executive Editor of Louder in early 2022, following over ten years working at Metal Hammer. While there, he served as Online Editor and Deputy Editor, before being promoted to Editor in 2016. Before joining Metal Hammer, Merlin worked as Associate Editor at Terrorizer Magazine and has previously written for the likes of Classic Rock, Rock Sound, eFestivals and others. Across his career he has interviewed legends including Ozzy Osbourne, Lemmy, Metallica, Iron Maiden (including getting a trip on Ed Force One courtesy of Bruce Dickinson), Guns N' Roses, KISS, Slipknot, System Of A Down and Meat Loaf. He has also presented and produced the Metal Hammer Podcast, presented the Metal Hammer Radio Show and is probably responsible for 90% of all nu metal-related content making it onto the site.