Last week, after the world learned the shocking news about Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington’s death by suicide, his fellow Linkin Park vocalist Mike Shinoda tweeted that “an official statement will come out as soon as we have one.” That “official statement,” it turns out, is a lovely, heartfelt open letter to Bennington that the other members of the band posted on Instagram. Writing to Bennington, his bandmates write about how sad they are and how much they loved being around Bennington, and they also begin to grapple with the idea that Bennington’s mental illness played a role in their own success:
We’re trying to remind ourselves that the demons who took you away from us were always part of the deal. After all, it was the way you sang about those demons that made everyone fall in love with you in the first place.
You fearlessly put them on display, and in doing so, brought us together and taught us to be more human. You had the biggest heart, and managed to wear it on your sleeve.
Here’s the full open letter:
UPDATE: Mike Shinoda shared a photo of Linkin Park from around the time Bennington joined on Instagram. Check it out below.
1997 or 1998…I think this was the first photo we ever took together. We had just told Chester that we wanted him to join the band. He said he was ready to move out from Arizona to L.A. We went to a pizza place near UCLA to hang out and talk about what to do next. The band was called Xero at the time, and we probably had less than a half a dozen songs. No flame tattoos yet, no red hair yet, most of us were still in college.