Words by Kieron Sanderson
The music world is in mourning at the passing of one of our generations most distinctive and individual voices.
Chester, best known as the frontman for Nu-Metal pioneers Linkin Park, was found dead in his L.A home at 9am on Thursday July 20th.
He, along with his band mates, touched the lives of so many, not only in the Nu-Metal community, but across the world of music in general.
From modest beginnings on the club circuit in California back in 1996 they rose to dizzying heights in 2000 with their debut album, Hybrid Theory.
Chester’s iconic voice coupled with co-vocalist Mike Shinoda’s rhythmical rapping took the scene by storm and was a mix of styles never before heard.
With influences deeply rooted in alternative rock and hip hop, they took elements of both and produced what some consider the sound track to a generation.
I was introduced to the band’s 1st album in the summer 0f 2000 and was instantly hooked.
For me, it was my gateway to metal and rock. Opening the door to more and more bands.
Imagine my delight when, in 2001, they announced their 1st UK tour. I instantly booked tickets, time off work and rallied friends to take a road trip to watch, what at the time was my favourite band.
16 years have passed since those days of genre defining albums, bands have come and gone, but Linkin Park has always been there for me.
Exploring different corners of their musical inspirations, becoming ambassadors of their own style of music. Alas, this marks the end of an era. The loss of the man I considered a living legend.
Chester had, for a few years, battled with depression and substance abuse, both almost an occupational hazard for someone in the prime of their musical career.
His untimely passing contains a powerful message, even our idols can suffer with something so crippling and while being surrounded by family and friends can still feel alone.
I’ll leave you with this message; Talking can save lives, supporting someone who is plagued with mental health issues CAN save their lives.
Our thoughts go out to Chester’s family and friends at this most heart breaking and difficult time.
When my time comes
Forget the wrong that I’ve done
Help me leave behind some
Reasons to be missed
And don’t resent me
And when you’re feeling empty
Keep me in your memory
Leave out all the rest
*Leave Out All The Rest – Linkin Park, Minutes to Midnight. 2007