Welcome to CHESTER-LAND!
Your source for everything Chester Bennington since 2007. Always updated with the latest news, videos, pictures and more about him, Linkin Park and his side projects such as Dead By Sunrise, Stone Temple Pilots, Ve'Cel, and much more. Founders of the annual Chester Birthday Projekt and other fan interactive activities. You can find us on Facebook, Tumblr, Ask.fm and Twitter. Thank you for your visit and constant support.
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CHESTERLAND

Welcome to CHESTERLAND, a fan site dedicated to Chester Bennington from Linkin Park. Here you will find news, videos, pictures and more about him, Linkin Park and his side projects such as Dead By Sunrise, Stone Temple Pilots, Ve'Cel, etc.

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Chester

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Yesterday Chester and his bandmates from Stone Temple Pilots, Dean and Robert DeLeo, visited the Cardon Children’s Hospital. Chester also said that this event is a highlight for him – every year. Bennington has been performing on three of the four events that have been taken place so far. He and his wife Talinda are great and passionate supporters of the Cardon Children’s Hospital ever since it’s opening.

The 5th Annual Stars of the Season, on which Chester & Stone Temple Pilots, headlined took place last night. Check our Ted Stryker’s twitter page – he hosted the even’t and posted some great pictures. As well as Chester’s bandmate Mike Shinoda and his wife Anna.

PHOENIX (CBS5) -

The rock band Stone Temple Pilots visited with kids at Cardon Children’s Medical Center in Mesa. That included the band’s new lead singer Chester Bennington, a Phoenix native formerly of the rock/rap band Linkin Park. Band members toured the facility, and hung out with patients and their families. “My wife and I have been involved with the children’s hospital since its opening,” said Bennington in a media briefing. The 90′s hard rock band is headlining the hospital’s “Stars of the Season” event Oct. 26 at the Montelucia Resort & Spa in Paradise Valley. “I’ve had the pleasure of performing at three of the four Stars of the Season events,” said Bennington, “and it’s one of the highlights of my year every year.”
Proceeds from the event will benefit the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit. For more information, visit the Banner Health website.

Chester said to AZCentral:

“It’s a beautiful place,” the singer said during a press conference. “The parents we met today were great and they’ve had a great experience here today. We saw a baby that was a little over a pound all the way to another baby that was born here with the same weight and now a full eight pounds and is ready to go home soon hopefully.”

Bennington, a father of six, was especially interested in the neonatal intensive care unit because he and wife Talinda have twin babies that were born premature. During his visit, he met children who were also born before full-term pregnancies and spoke with parents and staff members who were clearly touched by his dedication to the community and hospital.

“We live a very blessed kind of life and we get to do things that require very little effort in a lot of ways, so giving back for me has always been an obligation to give my thanks to the communities that supported what I do in my bands,” Bennington said. “I feel that when you reach a certain level of success, I think that it becomes imperative that you do things for the community. Bennington’s positive attitude and desire to help others may have impacted the DeLeo brothers to bring him on board as STP’s new singer.

“We spent some time together back around 2000 and I had a pretty good inkling of as to what was ticking inside of him,” said guitarist Dean DeLeo.

Bassist Robert DeLeo added, “That was really one of the main reasons we wanted him in the band because we knew what kind of human being he was and that means a lot to Dean, Eric, and myself.”

Bennington has been involved in the Stars of the Season from the beginning, performing with his other side project, Dead By Sunrise, and members of the Los Angeles all-star cover band Camp Freddy.

Although previous years have found him going easy on the volume, Bennington reported, with a laugh, “This year with STP, we decided that we are not going to play acoustically and that we are going to play full volume.”

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Chester Bennington is featured in the latest issue of Kerrang! magazine. He discusses the new Linkin Park album and the musical direction it has taken so far (You probably will be surprised ;) ). But he also speaks  to the haters who haven’t even gave the new STP lineup a chance – but chose to judge them anyways.

 

“I don’t personally know what Scott thinks of me fronting STP. Let’s put it this way: when my wife met me, she didn’t call my ex-wife and ask if it was okay. I care about Scott and I want nothing but the best for him, but at the same time I know that if I want my favorite band to be productive, then I’m the only guy who can do it.”

 

“I know that people may initially be sceptical because I’m not Scott. That’s natural. But for those who have seen us play together with their own eyes and heard our EP with their own ears – they believe it. For people who haven’t, and who don’t go to shows or listen to new material but still have opinions on us..well, [raises middle finger] they can kiss my ass. Listen to the EP; come see a show. This is a permanent arrangement, and I promise that you will believe that this is the future of STP.”

 

K!: So, Chester, what’s happening with Linkin Park?

 

Chester: We’ve written a lot of music for the new Linkin Park album; Mike’s written tons. When I got back from tour with STP, there was a lot for me to catch up with. They were playing me things, and I was like, ‘Dude, this is fucking awesome!’ The music has tons of energy – we basically want people to listen to it and go, ‘Really? They did that?!’ People will either love it or hate it. They’re the two preferred responses, and we have a real vision set out for this album.

 

K!: How will it sound then?

 

Chester: Before I left on tour with STP, everything that Mike had written was really dance-y and sounded kind of like electro. I loved it, and I said, ‘How about we start with this stuff and make it darker?’ and then I come back from tour…and it’s like death metal!(laughs). I just sat there listening, like, ‘Oh shit, this is awesome! So this is where we’re going with it? Cool, I’m down with that!’ Things will keep changing as we write – they always do!

 

K!: Are you really going to death metal?

 

Chester: That’s the most amazing thing about writing music in Linkin Park; we take such a massive variety of influences into demo sessions. It could be in any form, from Mike beatboxing into his phone to a completely finished song, complete with words. We take it all into the studio and work on it there, kinda stick to what they already do. I don’t imagine that Pantera ever took any pop-style beats into a recording session and said, ‘Let’s do this! We could pull this off!’ We’ve taken all sort of ideas into the studio this time, from acoustic folk songs to dupsteppy, crazy stuff with insane guitars…oh, and death metal complete with super-intricate drumming. In Linkin Park, we don’t give a shit what we’re doing, as long as it makes our ears perk up!

 

Source: CBNAlternativeNation and agathasophy.tumblr.com

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October is bullying prevention month and Hard Drive XL has a special campaign going on in which Rockstars get a spotlight to speak out to Bullying victims and offer advice, give hope and offer support.

 

Here’s Chester’s PSA. Heard on Hard Drive XL yesterday, October 16th. You can listen to what Chester has to say down below. For more information, please visit

http://www.stopbullying.gov/

and spread the word about this. Bullying is EVERYWHERE and it’s taking lives everyday. Make a difference and help! Thank you!

Earlier this week STP and Chester stopped by at KROQ’s Kevin and Bean show for an interview and a live acoustic performance.

Listen (and download if you want) to the complete show here.

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For their acoustic performance, they played “Pretty Penny” as well as “Black Heart” from their new EP “High Rise”!

 

“Black Heart”

In the past few days a lot of news, interviews and video’s have surfaced. I’m gonna put it all together for you ;)

 

Chester & Rober DeLeo talked to 106.9  THE BEAR

An audio interview in which Chester talked about the writing process for STP and how he approached writing lyrics in a “What Mike would say” kind-of-way. They also talked about their upcoming fundraiser for Cardon Children’s Medical Center “Stars Of The Season” 2013 which will take place on October 26th.

 

Part 1

Part 2

 

Chester and Robert DeLeo spoke to 91x

Chester and Robert talked to 91X about making sure that everyone was okay with Chester becoming the frontman of another band, as well about how the whole process of coming together started in general. Robert also spoke about Scott Weiland and his tour, as well as Scott playing old STP songs on his own.

 

Listen here.

Another, funny, audio interview with Chester and Robert DeLeo with KISW you can hear HERE. Make sure to tune in, it’s super hilarious ;)

Robert DeLeo: ‘It was a very difficult decision to terminate the face of the band’

Fellow Stone Temple Pilots Robert DeLeo and Chester Bennington, now pulling double duty as frontman for both Linkin Park and STP, sat down with Rolling Stone recently in North Hollywood. Before a revealing hour-long interview, DeLeo brought a reporter his laptop and a pair of headphones to hear the band’s forthcoming EP, High Rise.

Featuring five songs, the EP ranges from the straight-ahead hard rock of the lead single “Out of Time” and the planned second single, “Black Heart,” to “Cry, Cry,” a song written by Bennington, which segues nicely into the EP’s closer, the atmospheric long player “Tomorrow.”

With legal battles with Scott Weiland ongoing, DeLeo didn’t want to say too much about the band’s former singer, yet a lot emerged over the course of the interview. “Dean (DeLeo), Eric (Kretz) and I have been saddled by someone for a long time,” he said at one point. “We’ve always looked out for Scott’s best interests and tried to be a great friend to someone who really didn’t care to be friends with us.” That eventually led, he said, to “a very difficult decision.”

There is a freedom of collaborating in this day and age, and I’m sure that ties nicely into you guys being able to try something new.
Chester Bennington: I think that this is happening at the right time. From an outsider, this is something I expected was going to happen. For us the transition has been about as smooth creatively as a band as possible. And the fact that we all get along so well, we enjoy each other’s company, we have the same work ethic and we’re all enjoying what we’re doing, it’s a trip in a lot of ways. At the same time I have the chance to write songs with two of my favorite songwriters that have ever written, Robert and Dean. Writing songs with these guys, that’s something I can check off my list of shit to do.

Robert DeLeo: We’re all complementing each other very nicely.

I recall Slash and Duff McKagan admitting that after their experiences with Axl Rose and Scott, Velvet Revolver was a little gun-shy about bringing in a new singer. What were your thoughts on bringing Chester in?
DeLeo: I welcomed it because we’ve known each other for quite some time. I don’t think there was any other choice or options to make the band work. That’s the way it was. I remember I was producing a record over at Conway Studios and I saw Slash there, and I remember shaking his hand when I first found out about Velvet Revolver and I said, “Good luck with that.” [Laughs]

It’s like any relationship – you get burned and you’re hesitant to trust again.
Bennington: Part of the appeal of doing this, and part of the vibe that I bring, I’m just coming in here and doing the same things I would do normally, only I’m writing different music with different guys. It’s been interesting for me to see how the normal day-to-day stuff that I’m used to doing with the other guys that I work with is just a fucking complete shocker over here in this camp. It’s like, “Dude, you’re here?” Simple things like that, or, “Let’s play this song.” “OK, cool,” and I just start singing the song. Robert was like, “Are you sure you don’t need a teleprompter?” I was like, “I’m pretty positive I don’t need a teleprompter.” If I fuck up the words it just makes the show more human, and I’d rather fuck the words up than be latched to something that tells me what I’m supposed to do.

One of the things I’ve enjoyed the most about this process is seeing these guys have a good time doing it, and everybody’s talking and we’re all smiling. I’ve seen this whole process become fun for these guys again and see the joy that everybody is having when we’re doing band-related stuff. So that, to me, is a really great reward . . . The depth or the length at which I think these guys have been operating for the last 10, 15 years, they’ve put their dues in and they’ve really tried to make it work. This was the choice they had to make, and if it wasn’t me it was going to be somebody else. STP is moving forward without Scott 100 percent, whether I say yes or no. So I’m just glad that it’s me, because I am such a big fan of the band – I know the songs as well as these guys know the songs, maybe even better than some guys know the songs. And I do my best to honor the legacy of the music. We just want to go out and fucking play and have fun doing it – play rock & roll really loud and smile.

DeLeo: Loud is allowed.

It feels like this is a situation that should have very little pressure.
DeLeo: There are our own pressures of making great music. That means a lot, and it always has, and I think Dean, Eric and myself have earned it to be in this situation. I don’t think any of us are getting any younger, and I certainly don’t want to spend the next 10 years of my life the way I spent the last 10 years of my life, or the last 15 years, for that matter. So I think this is humbly saying very [well-deserved] for me, Dean and Eric to be in this situation. I know what kind of human being this guy [Bennington] is. It’s not all about him sounding just like someone. I’m talking about the quality of the human being and that means a lot to me, Dean and Eric.

Using the relationship analogy again, you come out of a bad one and you just want to have fun.
DeLeo: I wake up every fucking day and I put my life in perspective. Here’s a perfect example: we were doing pre-production one day, we were working on “Out of Time,” and I had to stop. I just looked at the four of us down in my basement and I went, “Do you guys realize where we’re at right now?” We’re down in my basement right now, and 35 years ago that’s where I started using a tennis racket, which came to a guitar, which came to other people involved and playing other people’s music. That all developed in the basement. So to come around full-circle 35 years later, to be a grown man and have us all playing in the basement, that’s pretty fucking beautiful. It puts things in perspective, and my point is I don’t ever want to lose vision of how important it is that my childhood dream has become reality and that’s gonna continue for the four of us.

Bennington: The weird thing is, I come in and we sit down and we’re all telling the same fucking fart jokes in the same funny voice. Things just were going at hyperspeed all the way. We know each other, but we don’t know each other intimately. Now we’re all really great friends, and we know that the only way to justify this type of move is to be a band that feels like this is our thing and we’re creating our music and our vibe. There are gonna be a lot of expectations from fans, mostly from the Stone Temple Pilots crowd and in some way the Linkin Park crowd, because they’re gonna wonder what could possibly be cool enough to take your attention away. You want to be an astronaut, you’re already in fucking outer space with a whole different crew.

The thing is, for me, it’s an opportunity to write with these guys, play rock & roll music that I like to play, and the competitor in me is like I want the challenge. I get off on the challenge of making something this difficult work. This is coming into a very well-known group that has a legacy and musically has some of the best songs written of its time. So to maintain that identity and stay true to that, there’s the pressure. But then also to take the reins and create something new and create our own vibe still feels very true to what the fans expect musically. Those are challenges we take very seriously, so that’s why I think being independent right now, with no label, and we’re doing everything on our own, we are able to produce the songs the way we want them to be produced. We are able to put out music when we want to. We don’t have to follow an album kind of thing – we can make one song at a time and put it out. And people are going to be interested in coming out to see us play, and that’s where it all matters. We show up with good songs and let the music do the talking.

The whole thing has gone better than expected, and I think making the music has been the hardest part. But, dude, you listened to the EP, there’s a vibe going on there. There’s a consistent vibe throughout the tracks that I feel really represent who we are as a band.

It starts off as more straight-ahead rock & roll, but I feel like “Tomorrow” ventures off a bit – more epic – and “Cry, Cry” is a bridge between the tracks.

DeLeo: Chester wrote that one. You always have a bank of songs that are hanging out, but for this it really was a matter of erasing the board, starting over again. That was a really big inspiration for me, to have this chance to wipe the slate clean and really start over again with this new energy.

So while it’s STP, it feels like a new band.

DeLeo: It was a very difficult decision to terminate the face of your band. There are many paths to the history of certain bands and each one is a little different, but it all kind of turns out the same at the end. But it was a very difficult decision to do that. That’s as big as it gets. But we really didn’t have any other choice. I don’t want to get too into that right now because of legal things, but Dean, Eric and I have been saddled by someone for a long time. We’ve always looked out for Scott’s best interests and tried to be a great friend to someone who really didn’t care to be friends with us . . . And I don’t think we had any other choice. We knew that was what we wanted before we thought about getting another singer. I think Scott’s made it very clear, his path and his decisions on what he’s done with or to this band. So when you’re in that situation, Dean, Eric and myself would rather move ahead. I want to have fucking fun, man, making music. I have the complete luxury of making music for a living. If I’m around people that don’t fucking get that, then I want to be around people who get that.

Bennington: I really respect the decision these guys have made. I also understand how incredibly difficult having that conversation would be. At the same time, it isn’t a surprise. Everybody who knows the band understands why decisions have been made. This is something I don’t necessarily need – I have a great career with a great bunch of guys who I love deeply, and we make awesome music together. There’s no need for me to do this, but at the same time I do realize this is their life. This is how they’re gonna pay their bills and put their kids through college, this is how they’re gonna want to spend the rest of their lives. So by saying yes to that means I’m 100 percent in as well. I didn’t want to dick around with these guys and their future and put a year of time and work on something to go, “I don’t know if I really want to tour on my downtime.” You can’t do that, so for me I need to make sure that I’m honoring everybody that’s involved.

DeLeo: I had the complete gift, and so did Dean and Eric, of writing music with Scott, and I cherished that for as long as I could. I think now it’s time to embrace this and cherish this. I feel very humbled by the fact the guys in Linkin Park are cool with this. All these guys are great dudes. It’s not about music – it’s about the humanity of it. They’re the kind of human beings you want to be around at this point in life.

 

Stone Temple Pilots With Chester Bennington Tour

9/4 – Bethlehem, Pa. – Sands Bethlehem Events Center
9/6 – Sayreville, N.J. – Starland Ballroom
9/7 – Atlantic City, N.J. – House of Blues
9/9 – Boston, Mass. – House of Blues
9/10 – Huntington, N.Y. – Paramount
9/13 – Oklahoma City, Okla. – Downtown Airpark (w/ Motley Crue)
9/14 – Newkirk, Okla. – First Council Casino
9/17 – Sunrise, Fla. – BB & T Center (FLA Panthers Event)
9/18 – Orlando, Fla. – House of Blues
9/20 – Columbia, S.C. – Township Auditorium
9/21 – Ft Myers, Fla. – Shockwave Festival – Jet Blue Park
9/24 – Midland, Texas – La Hacienda Event Center
9/26 – Tempe, Ariz. – Marquee
9/27 – Las Vegas, N.V. – Fremont Street Experience
11/1 – Biloxi, Miss. – Hard Rock Live

Source: Rolling Stone

The Phillipine Star released this interesting interview with Chester! He talks about the evolution of the band, studio time and what keeps him grounded! You can read the interview below, or here!

 

 

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‘Throughout our career, we got some great reviews, we got some mediocre reviews, we got some bad reviews. Reality is what we (take into consideration) is the fans. Had we based the outlook on our career on the reviews that have been written about us, we could have quit. Although the longer we’ve been around, with each record that we make, the critics seem to like the band more and more.’ —Chester Bennington

 MANILA, Philippines – Linkin Park’s latest work Living Things speaks volumes of how much of a “living thing” the band is: “Always moving, moving, moving creatively,” to quote vocalist Chester Bennington, and staying strong and relevant as it comes close to being around for two decades already.

Has Linkin Park really been making music for 17 years now (counting in the years of toil before it finally struck a record deal and landed its big break in 2000 via its debut Hybrid Theory)? When reminded about it during a recent phone interview for The STAR, Chester sounded a little overwhelmed himself, reacting with a laugh, “It is a little crazy!”

Linkin Park, whose other members are Rob Bourdon (drummer), Brad Delson (lead guitarist), Dave Farrell (bassist), Joe Hahn (DJ and sampler) and Mike Shinoda (rhythm guitarist, keyboardist and vocalist), grouped in 1996 in California. It has since packed a punch in the subsequent years — released five records, sold 50 million albums worldwide, won Grammys, among other things worth-noting — and is showing no signs of slowing down.

“It’s great to be doing something for so long. It’s an honor and a privilege. It’s still fresh and fun and exciting,” Chester said.

When the band was new and younger, reaching the “pinnacle of success” wasn’t something it was preoccupied with. Sure, according to Chester, “you dream about stuff like that and kinda hope about it. I personally had goals on what we were going to reach. But our expectations were not that high.”

Because everything now has exceeded the band’s expectations, the success has become sweeter. And if there’s anything that any aspiring artist can learn from Linkin Park’s story, it’s never resting on your laurels.

Chester believes that you can’t make it if you’re thinking that your way — even if it’s validated by awards, amazing record sales and a solid global fan base — is the only right way to do things. “One thing we’re really good at is taking constructive criticism,” he said.

Does Linkin Park keep tab of what the critics say? “Critics’ reviews kind of matter but they also kind of not matter. There are reviews that do not speak of the general public. Throughout our career, we got some great reviews, we got some mediocre reviews, we got some bad reviews. Reality is what we (take into consideration) is the fans. Had we based the outlook on our career on the reviews that have been written about us, we could have quit (laughs). Honestly, we don’t really pay attention to what the critics say although the longer (we’ve) been around, with each record that we make, the critics seem to like the band more and more.”

In support of the release of its fifth album Living Things last year, the band has been on the road almost non-stop, and it’s now on the last leg of its world tour, which will bring Linkin Park back to the Philippines for the Aug. 13 show at the Mall of Asia Arena. The band performed here in 2004. “We had a wonderful time. (The Philippines is) a great place to be. It’s crazy that it’s been almost 10 years though (since we last went there).

At the time of our brief phone chat, Chester and the rest of the guys were in a recording studio. (The band’s sixth record is reportedly in the works.)

“We’re always moving, moving and moving creatively. It keeps things fresh and fun,” Chester said, “and the fact that we don’t put any limitations on what kind of songs we should be writing, that makes the potential for writing much greater than like, pigeonholing yourself into a specific sound or style.”

True, for its long-time fans, it’s not hard to notice that Linkin Park has unhinged itself from constricting labels (like the “rap-metal band” tag heavily bandied about during its early years is nowadays used less and less to strictly define the band’s music), making room for descriptions like “experimental,” “futuristic” or “multi-genre/concept.” Its latest album has generated adjectives like “hybridized” for fusing different music elements from its previous records.

It didn’t make everybody happy, Chester acknowledged, but they have to keep going.

“Once you get to a point where people know who you are, you kind of have to understand that there’s gonna be people who love your music, and people who hate it. But if you focus on the people that don’t like it, that’s gonna be a bit weird. Same time, we are making music that we want a lot of people to listen to. We know, as songwriters, what things would be appealing or what are not gonna be appealing to people because we’re fans of music as well…

“We have worked our entire career to get rid of certain sounds of the band that we found were not appealing and by doing so, a lot of our fans have felt like, ‘What happened to my band (laughs)?’ But that’s part of evolution… We have to keep going.”

And keep going the band did with Living Things, which debuted last year at No. 1 on Billboard 200. The album’s songwriting is descriptive of, as Chester put it, “the place we are in life emotionally. We’ve become happier people (laughs). We try to make the songs as inspirational as possible, even if some of the content of the songs are dark.”

“I think that’s important, generally speaking, as we want to write songs that are going to mean something to people — and that in itself is inspirational to me — we want to dig deep into what we’re saying and put it out there in a way that it can attach itself to someone else’s life experience,” he added.

When the band is not on tour or recording, the members maximize the time-out for home life, for charity or for side projects. “We enjoy our families. I have a lot of kids. If I’m not with Linkin Park, I’m working with other people. I’ve been working with Stone Temple Pilots and we’re making great music together.”

Told that we came across that bit of amusing trivia he gave to another interview that interestingly, they have wives, kids, families who don’t really care that they’re in a band, or that they are the Linkin Park, he mused, “My kids just care that they’re living with dad. They don’t care if they’re living with the guy from Linkin Park.”

Chester further shared, “There are times when we are doing things together and people come up to you and talk to you about Linkin Park. Sometimes, (my kids) think it’s cool. Sometimes, they wonder why people think it’s so cool. It’s funny! Does family make me feel grounded? I think so. It keeps things in perspective as to what’s important in life.”

(Living Things World Tour: Linkin Park World Tour on Aug. 13 at the MOA Arena is presented by Scala Events with ticket prices of P9,880 — VIP Standing, P9,880 — Patron Center Seated [reserved seating], P6,880 — Lower Box A [reserved seating], P5,880 — Lower Box B [reserved seating], P3,480 — Upper Box [reserved seating] and P880 — General Admission [reserved seating]. Call SM Tickets at (02) 470-2222 or visit www.smtickets.com. For details, visit linkinpark.comfacebook.com/scalaevents or twitter.com/scalaeventsph.)

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Here’s an interview with Chester by the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

For Bennington in particular, 2013 appears to be a very busy year. Apart from gearing up for the “Living Things” world tour, he has his hands full with his latest stint as Stone Temple Pilots’ (STP) new lead singer. Following Scott Weiland’s controversial split from the ’90s band, Bennington made his surprise debut with STP at Los Angeles radio station krOQ’s Weenie Roast festival last May, performing a brand-new track, “Out of Time,” that he had written with the remaining STP members.

Fans need not worry, though, as Bennington won’t be leaving Linkin Park anytime soon. He will be recording and touring with both bands, as well as possibly writing new material for Dead by Sunrise, the supergroup he had formed with members of electronic rock outfits Julien-K and Orgy back in 2005. (In case you were wondering, Dead by Sunrise is still very much alive in spite of the apparent inactivity.) Musical multitasking is no small feat, but the vocalist seems perfectly happy with how things have been turning out so far.

Your debut as STP’s new frontman at Weenie Roast just came out of nowhere. How did that happen?

Well, unfortunately the band had to make some hard choices in order to move forward. After they’d let Scott go, I got a call from two of our crew who work with them as well, and they asked if that would be something I’d be interested in. Apparently, they’ve been talking to the other guys at STP about who would be a good replacement, and my name came up; I believe I was the only person that they asked. (Laughs) So that’s kind of how it came together. Once we decided to do that, within four weeks we had written a handful of songs and recorded “Out of Time,” and we played a couple of shows.  We turned that around really quickly.

Wow. Was it hard to keep it under wraps for that long?

It was. It was actually very difficult… We’d be playing and writing some music, and after about six to seven hours, we’d get hungry. We’d be like, “Let’s go get some food!” and when we’re ready to leave, we’d realize, “We can’t go, we have to order in because we can’t be seen together.” It was pretty hard for us not to tell anybody, to keep it a secret from our friends. But it was really worth it.

How much creative input or control did you have in writing “Out of Time” and your other songs?

It’s basically the same as Linkin Park. We all get in the room and write together; I have free rein to do and contribute as much as I wanted.

It’s inevitable that people will give you flak for filling in Scott’s shoes. How have you been dealing with the backlash so far?

I take it with a grain of salt. I understand that anytime something new [comes up], people are gonna have some reservations about it, especially with a band like STP because it’s really big and well-known and it has been around for a long time. And Scott is a great frontman…  In his time, he was arguably one of the best in the world; he is an inspiration for me and I have great respect for him. So, I wanna make sure we write music that’s good and lives up to what he’s done in the past.

But when it comes down to it, it’s kind of similar with Linkin Park. Every time we put a song out, there are people who will love it and hate it and talk about it, but it’s worked out for us so far. You try not to pay too much attention to outside influences when you’re creating something.

How does your new stint figure in the future of Linkin Park?

One thing that was really important to be clear when I decided to work with STP was that Linkin Park is my top priority, that the things we do in STP can’t change the course of what we do in Linkin Park. And the guys are fine with that. They’ve kind of been in positions where they have to work around certain things that they really don’t have much control over. (Laughs) With this kind of thing, there’s control over it. We understand when we could write and tour, and we understand when we couldn’t.

How about Dead by Sunrise, is it still alive? You’re gonna be juggling that, too, right?

I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s gonna be another Dead by Sunrise record. That one’s a little trickier, ’cause there are a lot of moving parts in that one and we also don’t really have the same kind of freedom that we have in Linkin Park and STP. It takes a lot more to get that machine moving… I’ll figure it out. (Laughs)

 

You’ve described “Living Things” as feeling like you’re in more familiar territory. Do you think you’ve gone back to your “Hybrid Theory” roots, or are you still evolving or experimenting as a band?

We’re always experimenting and pushing ourselves creatively. I think, for us, on “Living Things,” we got to a point where we intentionally stopped doing some of the things that we felt were kind of putting us in a little box. We really wanted to get away from those things, and I think we all pushed that.

I really don’t think people see us as a nü-metal band anymore. Once we got past that, it was like, now we can go back to doing some of the things that we really liked. We now have the tools to make it, and we can make it the best that it can be. We were comfortable to go back to some of that a little bit, but we’re not comfortable to go back there all the way. We like the direction that we’ve been going. We enjoy the process that we have now. We’re just gonna play and make use of all the tools in the toolbox.

Do you think your sixth album will be more similar to “Living Things”?

I have no idea. (Laughs) Honestly, we don’t have an idea what the record is gonna sound like. We’re just in a direction where we’re inspired by what we’re creating. So I have no idea what the next record is gonna sound like at all. It’s impossible to say at this point. We won’t know until we have it done.