It's always an interesting feeling you get when an artist you like passes away. Yesterday (July 20, 2017) the news that Chester Bennington, lead singer of Linkin Park, passed away from suicide broke and it didn't really hit me until later in the day.
In 2000 I spent a lot of time watching MTV2. Mostly because they had a hard rock countdown show. Yes kids, they used to play all kinds of music videos on television not just your phone or computer. That's when I first heard Linkin Park. The song was "One Step Closer" and it was just so unbelievably heavy. I loved it.
As soon as I could I got my hands on their first album, "Hybrid Theory", and listened to it from cover to cover. I wore out by burned copy (sorry Linkin Park) of the CD I listened to it so much. At first in my sony walkman CD player, and then in my car CD player once I could drive. I absolutely loved that album.
A few years went by and they released their next album, Meteora, and I grabbed that up so quick and listened to that one, too.
The band became so huge. They even put out that album with Jay-Z, which wasn't bad. They were certainly one of my favorite bands during my high school years.
Radio was still playing their hits off the first two albums despite them releasing a few more rock albums, but Chester and the guys wanted to evolve with music and not be pigeon holed into one particular genre. So they changed their sound.
I will fully admit to not loving their new sound. I just wanted more of the same.
One thing that can be said for Chester Bennington as an artist is that he unapologetically made the music that he wanted to make with the sound he wanted. He even had some harsh words for fans like myself that were critical of the new Linkin Park.
However that was something that you had to respect, and it opened them up to a whole new audience. Maybe a 15-year-old kid like me was sitting around and heard "Heavy" and it opened up his ears to a sound he really liked, much like it did for me almost 20 years ago.
I'll always love those Linkin Park memories. Listening to the albums, seeing them live.
Thanks for all of that, Chester Bennington. May you rest in peace.