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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Name: CHESTERLAND
Admin: ChesterDEAN
Since: July 17th, 2007 [with a little hiatus]
Previously: CHESTER-LAND.NET

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Mike Ragogna: Mike, what brought The Urgency Network to your attention?

Mike Shinoda: That was brought to us by one of our staff members at Music For Relief. I’m sure you know Music For Relief is our non-profit. We established that back in the two thousands. Music For Relief was originally founded to provide relief for victims of natural disasters and then we also later included preventative efforts to try to mitigate natural disasters. So charity, helping people who are involved or affected by environmental problems, those types of things are always on our radar and The Urgency Network popped up as part of that effort.

MR: Many artists are involved with The Urgency Network’s efforts including Incubus and Paul McCartney. One of the things that you’re offering as a prize to help raise funds is a trip to Japan and hanging out with Linkin Park at the Summer Sonic Festival. How will all this work?

MS: The basic idea of Urgency Network is it’s an online platform where users get points for everything they do and they’re rewarded for their actions. The campaigns each have a big grand prize, and their focus has been on larger-than-life grand prizes. They really want to go big with the things they offer, so a flight out to Japan to see Summer Sonic–that’s not just to see us, Summer Sonic is the biggest festival in Japan. it’s one of the biggest festivals in the world, from Linkin Park to Metallica, and you’ve also got great indie bands like Alt-J. Just to go back to the relationship, Music For Relief is trying to create a “jackpot,” as they call it, of a million media placements, so that would be the top performing campaign between now and October. So if you go to the page, you can see ways to earn points and whoever gets the most points wins.

MR: One of the goals is to raise fifty thousand dollars to send socket-powered LED lamps to the families in need.

MS: Yeah, I believe that’s the case.

MR: It would be great to go over the goals some more, but before we do, what else do we need to know about the process?

MS: Well, to wrap that up, let me just say that the campaign with The Urgency Network is cool because anybody can participate but that’s not the only way you can help. You can watch videos or sign a pledge for sustainable energy or share things on Twitter and Facebook. Every action that you participate in gets you points and the points get you closer to the grand prize and other rewards. The goal of the campaign is to raise awareness about energy poverty because there are 1.3 billion people on the planet–that’s like a fifth of the planet who don’t have access to electricity or sustainable energy, and they’re using harmful pollutants like dung and kerosene to light their homes and heat their homes and cook their food. That’s what Power The World and Music For Relief are working to help people with, and that’s what by signing the pledge or watching videos, anything that gets you points, those points are helping combat this sustainable energy problem.

MR: Is global sustainable energy one of the things that you feel strongly about?

MS: Yeah, yeah. With Music For Relief, we caught the attention of the UN a couple of years ago and we were introduced to the “Sustainable Energy For All” effort by Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon. They set off on that path last year and we decided to do our own kind of branch-off from that, which is called Power The World. In other words, Power The World is kind of under the umbrella of the UN’s Sustainable Energy For All program and the reason we created our own branch was because we felt that by specializing or focusing on smaller areas rather than saying we’re just going to try and help everybody in the world–over a billion people need help with this sustainable energy problem–we decided our most effective efforts would be to focus on places where we knew we could make an impact and the first place that we did that was in Haiti, which is great. Being from LA and being from the US, it’s nearby.

They have massive, massive problems with not only sustainable energy but also deforestation and cholera, and a lot of this stuff can be traced back in one way or another to the living conditions there. So with the help of the UN and supporters of Power The World, delivering them solar light bulbs and solar lamps in a country where you’ve got a seventy-five percent unemployment rate and a fifty percent illiteracy rate, people need to feel safe after the earthquake. They were walking around in the dark and violence and stuff was happening, and they had nowhere to go and do the things they needed to do, maybe even just going to the bathroom. These things were helping keep people safe and keep their minds off those other concerns and get back to the things they needed to do to move their life to the next step.

MR: Mike, can you go more into when you and the group decided to become more hands on with global concerns and contributing in this way?

MS: Oh, I don’t know… It’s been an evolution over time. We started Music For Relief in the mid-2000s–I want to say ’05 or ’06–and it’s been an ongoing thing since probably before that.

MR: Normally, you have a lot of bands dealing with issues like climate change or hunger in a general way, but you’re digging in and getting specific.

MS: The way that I look at charity is that it’s something that I wish everybody would do in one way or another, and I think it’s an important part of being a member of the human race and it’s also something that you don’t have to spend money doing. You can spend time, you can give effort instead. For me, one of the more difficult things is choosing where to use that effort. So for us, we try and look at it in terms of where can we make a difference and what skills and connections do we have that afford us the best opportunity to make change. For example, one of the things that we know about Linkin Park is that we are the biggest band on Facebook. We have fifty-five million followers on Facebook and a large percent of those followers are gamers. They love to play games, especially action games. This year, we’re debuting a game called “Recharge,” which is a Facebook game. It’s an action-based puzzle game, so think third-person, three dimensional like an action game, but puzzle-based like “Field Runners.” This game, “Recharge,” is going to be available to Facebook players later on this year and you don’t have to be a Linkin Park fan to play it. The story of the game happens in a future where the Earth’s natural resources have basically run out and a small group of people are controlling those resources and using them to enslave the rest of the planet. You’re a part of the rebellion fighting them to take the resources back and save the human race. What we’ve done with the game that I’m really happy with is we’re tying in the charitable component so that whether or not you’re trying to do anything charitable, you’re just playing the game, right? Based on things where money’s involved, maybe it’ll be ads and we’re also hoping to include things like where you buy upgrades for your character. Certain upgrades will actually benefit Music For Relief. So let’s say you buy a Music For Relief t-shirt for your avatar, you’re actually making a difference to maybe a family in Haiti who get solar lights for their home.

MR: You’re thinking globally which is really a beautiful thing, but we also have a lot of issues in the United States. What are a couple of things Stateside that you have your eye on?

MS: In the US? I think everywhere sustainability, waste, recycling…these things are pretty global issues. I personally try and pay attention to my carbon footprint. I have solar panels at the house; I actually have an electric car as well. I read the other day when I was in London that they’ve created legislation that’s going to make it mandatory for all car companies to reduce emissions by a certain threshold by 2020 I think it is or in the next twenty years, I can’t remember which it was. But the idea was that because they passed that legislation in the country, the car companies were going to be forced to acknowledge the fact that they need to be producing hybrids and definitely electric cars as well. If they aren’t then they won’t meet the standards. So it makes it mandatory and I think sometimes that’s the thing that tough for people to deal with here in the States, but it’s something that in the bigger picture just needs to happen. We need to be more conscious about the amount of pollution and waste that we’re responsible for.

MR: How do we bring the United States more into the world family when it comes to these concerns?

MS: One of the things that bothers me and I think our generation to a large degree is the in-fighting that goes on in politics. It’s like people are playing for a team. When it comes to basketball, I’m happy to watch two teams fight it out. But when it comes to politics, I don’t like the idea of people putting their team over the good of the people. So that bothers me a bit and I think it bothers a lot of people, especially when it comes to things like environmental issues where they could be making a difference except they have a responsibility to their team to play a certain way, their team or their supporters, which is even scarier. For me, I wish that the US would lead when it comes to environmental issues. We don’t really lead in the world when it comes to environmental issues and I think that’s sad. I think Americans, as competitive as we can be–and Americans love to make fun of other countries, like the French, for whatever reason–but truth be told on this subject the French and the English are doing better than we are.

MR: Yeah, I have a feeling that we hit the reset button during the Bush years with things like abandoning the Kyoto agreement, the denial of climate change, and environmental issues. I feel like as a country, we may have lost our momentum with a lot of these concerns.

MS: I admit, I’m a musician, so I spend the majority of my time playing shows and making music and I am definitely not the most knowledgeable about the weekly goings-on with the legislature or the changes in that kind of landscape. But in general terms, I know that there are things that we can do on an individual basis that make a difference. When I talk to people who say, “Well what do you say to people who just don’t believe it’s even happening.” Let’s just humor that for a moment…I always say that if you walk around your house and you say, “My house is not a mess, so therefore I’m not going to clean it up or keep it clean,” guess what your house is going to look like in six months? If you say to me, “It’s not happening, so I’m not going to do anything about it,” it’s the exact same thing. If you’re not going to do anything about it I don’t give a crap about if it’s a mess right now or not, if you’re not doing anything, it’s going to be a mess sooner than you know it, so you might as well get on board and help out.

MR: Can you give an update as far as what’s going on with Linkin Park?

MS: Yeah. Other than the game, which we’re very excited about, we’re working on a new album, we’re about to go on a tour in Asia, and I can’t give you too many details about what we have going on, but I think in the next month, we have something very exciting for fans and I’m only allowed to pique your interest. That’s all I’m allowed to say. I promise something very exciting for Linkin Park fans in the next month.

MR: My traditional question. What advice do you have for new artists?

MS: I always tell new artists that the key to their success as they’re beginning is to not worry about other people helping them out. It’s really that they have the power to get their music to the next step completely on their own at this point in time, whether it’s talking about making the music, recording the music, playing the music live or just spreading the word about the music, there are so many tools out there, especially online, for people to just make amazing stuff and they don’t really need anybody’s help. That’s not a knock against the label, I think the label can be really useful once you’ve already established something but don’t look to some label or some producer or some deal to get you to the next step, especially if you’re doing it just to get famous. I never related to that. To me, it’s always been about making great art and being able to stand behind that at the end of the day.

MR: If somebody wants to jump in and do something socially conscious, where does one start?

MS: There are a couple of different ways I could go answering this question…

MR: Might it be simple things like recycling?

MS: Well, I always find that the way to get into charity is to choose things that are meaningful to you. For example, if you have a family member or family members who have passed away because of cancer, or if you have friends and family who have been affected by some kind of natural disaster or tragedy, I feel like that’s a place where you’ll be motivated to make it a habit. To me, the habitual nature of charity is the most important. If you’re only doing it every time something bad happens, then I think there’s an element of guilt that goes with it, and I don’t feel like people should be just doing charitable actions based on guilt. It should be a positive experience. It should be habitual. Challenge yourself to do it when you don’t feel guilty, so that it’s only a positive experience and you’re not doing something because something went wrong.

MR: If you were to become socially conscious today, if you were to look at one thing today that would get your attention, what would it be to get you motivated?

MS: One thing that I’m personally really excited about–and part of this is because I’ve got an interest in Haiti, especially in recycling down there–one of the things that’s going on right now that I think is really cool in the US and other places, too, is that people are starting to use recycled plastic and recycled material to make things like jeans and t-shirts. The recycling technology is always changing and developing. I found out just the other day that that styrofoam that everybody used to think was so bad for the environment because it “can’t” be recycled, that’s actually recyclable now, you just need to sort it. A lot of people don’t know that because, especially if you’re thirty years or older, you just grew up hearing that was bad stuff. But the super-super cheap styrofoam is now a recyclable. It’s come a long way and it’s going to continue to develop and hopefully stuff like that becomes a part of being able to just reuse and reuse instead of just making more crap and making more waste.

MR: Beautiful. I really appreciate your time Mike. Thank you very much.

MS: Awesome, thank you.

Source: Huffingtonpost.com

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