Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington's abrupt suicide in 2017 was a shock to the system for a whole generation of kids who'd connected to his wildly resonant voice. Pace-pushing hits like "Papercut," "Breaking The Habit," and "Bleed It Out" fit effortlessly in the LP canon alongside slower, emotional tracks like "Leave Out All The Rest" and "Somewhere I Belong." Bennington's vocals found ways to layer itself, hitting notes that became chords with just his voice.
He was irreplaceable, and Linkin Park's One More Light album was widely assumed to be the last we'd hear of him. But here we are in a worldwide pandemic where everyone's staying home, and both Chester Bennington & Linkin Park are coming back -- just not in the ways you'd expect.
A few weeks ago, old vocals of Bennington's were used to create a bunch of unheard songs with his old band, Grey Daze. The coronavirus situation has pushed the whole album's release back, but there's still a single out.
Before his death, Bennington had looked into reviving Grey Daze. To preserve their friend's legacy, Grey Daze got friends of his from multiple bands to help re-record everything except the vocals. In an additional heartwarming moment, Bennington's son Jaime got to do some backing vocals.
On top of that, Linkin Park itself is apparently working on new music. Though they've been on hiatus since Bennington's death, Linkin Park wants to get back to it. It's just hard to do when you've lost a friend like that -- especially one who had such a unique sound. Not every band gets to pull the type of miracle that AC/DC did with finding Brian Johnson. Linkin Park has also had to fend off replacement rumors while being honest that they don't know how they could even find someone to fill that role. Mike Shinoda is a super capable frontman in his own right, but he's probably not going to carry the whole thing.
So, while they're having some difficulties, it seems the band was in the process of putting new material together before this pandemic hit. They're actively working on stuff despite the safer-at-home orders, having video calls with each other, but it's not the same as being able to get in a room together and really get back to basics. And that's what keeps coming up with them, that it's got to be about the music. Ultimately, that's probably what Chester would've wanted.
Top Image: Kristina Servant/Flickr