Interview with Chester Bennington
As their new album could be long to be made, to help their fans waiting, Linkin Park have just released mini-album of remixes made with Jay-Z. Chester comes back on this unusuall collaboration and also talks about his sentimental life...
Linkin Park have just released an album with Jay-Z. Is it a way for you to break your image?
No, not really. It's just a simply exercise of style, a bracket before starting on the new album. But recording Collision Course has sometimes been a real challenge. It hasn't been easy to re-sing our dark lyrics on Jay's music. Indeed, the atmosphere of Jay's songs is a bit more happy than ours. So there was a little difference between our lyrics and his music. That's what made the project interesting.
Are you interested a lot in hip-hop?
Not as much as I used to. When I was younger, hip-hop was my favourite musical style. Listening to rap made me really fall in love with music. Today, even though I still like it, I'm much more into rock.
What are your passions, apart from music?
I love art in general. When I have time, I go visit a museum or an art gallery. In a less intellectual register, I love playing video games, as well as the other members of the band. After a concert, we always play a bit. It helps us to relax...
A lot of bands have tried to copy Linkin Park lately. Do you find it flattering?
At the beginning, I must admit that I found it flattering. It's normal to be inspired by other bands, we've been through that too. But I think that we've at last found our own style and that everyone can say it's us when they hear our music. But to come back to your question, lately I get more and more angry when I hear bands that are trying to copy our music.
In your opinion, Linkin Park is a band that's made to last for a long time or do you know that you'll soonly start something else?
As long as we have pleasure to play together, we'll keep on. Even though it's hard to say today that we'll still be here in 10 years, what's sure it's that we're not planning to do something else for the moment. We are perfectly aware that we're incredibly lucky. A few years ago, we wouldn't have imagined to be where we are now. Thanks to Linkin Park, we've achieved things that we couldn't have otherwise.
You don't seem to care about your voice when you're on stage. How do you do to keep it intact concert after concert?
I must have pretty solid vocal chords... (laughs) Non, in fact, it's not that simple. When I'm touring, to keep a clear voice, I drink between 6 and 8 liters of water per day, and also several bottles of Gatorade. If my voice is a little bit broken, then I heal it by drinking herbal tea.
With all the money that you've earn those last few years, have you bought meaningless or crazy things?
No, not really. I bought a new house, even though I haven't had the time to live in it because of the touring. One day, somebody asked me what my address is and I was obliged to ask my wife because I didn't know it. Otherwise, I just customised my car over. Today, it's so beautiful that you have to wear sunglasses to admire it. If not, you'll be blinded by its beauty. (laughs)
Is it hard to be away from your wife when you're on tour?
Are you kidding me? It's hyper fustrating! Not making love for several weeks, it's not funny! Luckily there are other ways to satisfy yourself solitary otherwise, I wouldn't make it through. (laughs)
What are the craziest things that have happened to you when you're onstage?
There are plenty of it! When we were playing in Long Island, our computers, our platines and our samplers were out of order. So we had to play with just a guitar and a bass for all the concert! (laughs) To be one with this light musical atmosphear, I got undressed leaving just my underwears. It was a unique moment in Linkin Park 's story! Another time, in Mexico, the audience just kept on spitting on us all the concert long. We thought it was because they hated us... But a member of the Deftones, who had also played there, told us that it was their way of saying that they were happy! (laughs)
One (France) - December/January 2005