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Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda opens up about Chester Bennington

Chester Bennington and Mike Shinoda in 2014
Chester Bennington and Mike Shinoda in 2014 (Image credit: Getty)

Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda has spoken about his relationship with Chester Bennington.

In a new interview with Kerrang! (via The PRP) Shinoda reflects on his time with Bennington and remembers the late singer’s modest attitude - despite him being one of the most famous frontmen in music.

Shinoda says: “I spent more time with Chester than anyone else in my adult life, except for my wife. We were always around each other. People would say we were like brothers, but we were different because brothers are bound by blood.

“Technically we were dudes in a band who could break up and walk away from each other if we wanted to. I think it’s more exceptional that we never did that.”

Shinoda adds: “He was the kind of guy that when you would compliment his voice, especially early on, he would look away. He would deny it, or he would make a self-deprecating comment. While one part of him really enjoyed being the centre of attention, another part of him ran away.

“That was part of the beauty of Chester. He was inspired by a wide range of singers at different points in his life, people like Dave Gahan, James Hetfield and Freddie Mercury. I would occasionally remind him that he was in that category, but he never agreed with me.

“He never acknowledged that he was, but in the past few months, dozens of artists have reached out publicly and privately to let us know what an inspiration Chester and the band have been. We’re just so very grateful.”

Shinoda says that Bennington “deeply loved his wife and all his kids” and adds: “I’m not a perfect parent, nobody is, but Chester had the very best intentions. He had such a huge heart and he loved his family more than anything.”

Last weekend, Linkin Park held a tribute show in honour of Bennington at the Hollywood Bowl - the first time the band had appeared onstage together since the singer’s death in July this year.

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Chester Bennington: March 20, 1976 - July 20, 2017