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Chazy Chaz. Рождение звезды

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Project Revolution, West Palm Beach, Florida

Q&A with Linkin Park's Chester Bennington at Flaunt OC

30 марта 2008

Q&A with Grammy award‐winning band Linkin Park's front man Chester Bennington on his clothing line Ve'cel at Flaunt OC on March 30, 2008. Clothing Modelled by Students at Estancia H.S.


Старое интервью 2002 год

Bring the Pain

Ben Mitchell
March 2002

The anguished persona of Chester Bennington, a former drug addict and victim of abuse, has helped turn Linkin Park into an unstoppable, five million-selling rap-rock juggernaut. This is how he did it...

The bigger the band, the bigger the security guy, so Linkin Park employ a cartoonishly immense handler named Jake. Built like an upended couch stuffed with sides of beef, Jake sports the classic cue-ball noggin and Harley Davidson?approved beard of minders the world over.

“You the guy writing the article?” he says in a Midwestern drawl that would make “Happy birthday, Mom” sound like the prelude to a savage beating.

"Er, yeah."

“Make sure you write how levelheaded these guys are,” Jake says, pointing to the red suitcase he’s wheeling from their dressing room. “They packed their own clothes. Bands never do that. They’re the best guys I’ve ever worked with.”

Linkin Park are in Kansas City, Missouri, to play the Hale Arena, a 6,000-capacity barn normally used to meet the city’s demand for rodeo. It’s the third night of the band’s Countdown to Revolution road trip, a precursor to January’s Projekt Revolution tour with bong lords Cypress Hill and nь-metal contenders Adema. Soft-spoken Linkin drummer Rob Bourdon chats with the band’s business manager over baked potatoes and fried chicken. “Nothing to worry about,” he says of the meeting. “Everything looks good.”

Indeed it does. In November 2000, shortly before the band’s first tour, lead singer Chester Bennington bullishly decided to have blue-and-red flames tattooed from his wrists to his elbows — a strict no-no in the fast-food industry and other career avenues he’d grudgingly explored while playing with his first band, Grey Daze, in his hometown, Phoenix. Having heard a Linkin Park demo — the band was then known as Hybrid Theory — Bennington caught a flight to try out for the Los Angeles five-piece a few months earlier. Things worked out, and their debut album, an eclectic rap-rock concoction christened Hybrid Theory, was cut in four weeks. Today, propelled by the well-manicured rage of singles “Papercut,” “One Step Closer,” “Crawling” and “In the End,” and a rigorous 12-month tour that has included slots on Ozzfest and Family Values, Hybrid Theory has sold 5 million copies. It’s been a year of stupefying success from which the band is proud to have emerged, to use Bennington’s words, as “ordinary dudes.” No cause to regret that ink job, then?

“One tattoo leads to two, and two leads to 20,” says the 25-year-old Bennington, hitching up his jeans to reveal a green dragon above his right ankle. It’s the latest addition to a collection now numbering 10, which includes a huge, gothic LINKIN PARK etched across his lower back and the cover of Hybrid Theory — a flag-bearing soldier with dragonfly wings that was designed by his cofrontman, 24-year-old rhyme-buster Mike Shinoda — on his left calf. “I still don’t know what to think about that,” muses Shinoda. Asked if he might one day regret wearing the band’s colors so indelibly, Bennington insists it’s never crossed his mind.

In Bennington, Linkin Park have found a frontman to lift them high above the angst pack. Shinoda is an enthusiastic MC, and the band — guitarist Brad Delson, 25, bassist Dave “Phoenix” Farrell, 24, drummer Bourdon, 22, and DJ Joe Hahn, 24 — is ferociously tight live, but Bennington’s surprisingly versatile voice and anguished back story provide the star power. Like Korn’s Jonathan Davis, Bennington was shattered by the divorce of his parents and abused as a boy. Unlike Davis, though, Bennington insists none of Linkin Park’s material is autobiographical. “The songs can relate to anybody’s situation,” he says. “Like on ‘One Step Closer’: there’s nothing in my life that drives me to ‘the edge’ . . . except trying to write the lyrics.”

“Chester’s the emotional leader — he brings a real fire to everything that goes on,” explains bassist Farrell, who once played with now defunct Christian-rock crew the Snax. “Mike and Joe are the creative forces in the band. Rob and Brad handle the business stuff. I’m the one who doesn’t have a talent,” he quips.

Were the Snax akin to white-bread Jesus-rockers Stryper?

“No, more like P.O.D., which is to say the focus was positive, and not about screwing chicks and pounding 40s.” Linkin Park, it turns out, share Farrell’s former band’s message of uplift, minus the son-of-God shout-outs. “We’re not saying that everything has to be like The Partridge Family,” Shinoda says, “but if things are going to sh*t, you want to stay optimistic. That doesn’t mean you have to have a good time when things are going poorly; just look at the big picture.”

“We’re smart, we’re serious and we’re not here to f*ck around,” adds Delson. “People think when you get a record deal all your problems will go away. We know that the bigger we get, the more problems we’ll have. I guess Puff Daddy was somewhat — what’s the word? — prophetic in that respect.” In the band’s second dressing room, reserved for anyone who wants a discreet beer or a smoke, Bennington fiddles with a new purchase, a $25,000 Pro Tools recording rig, and gushes about his wife of six years, Samantha, a realtor he met when he was manning the grill at Burger King. Their first child, Draven Sebastian Bennington — named after Eric Draven, Brandon Lee’s character in The Crow — is due in April.

Does your wife worry that you might take liberties with female fans?

“I think that’s natural for any woman with a husband who travels a lot, but we really don’t have a problem with it. I’m a pain in the ass, and she’s perfect.”

Bennington’s attempts to set up his Pro Tools unit are hampered by the fact that he ignores the manual and has just sucked down a fat doobie. “If I don’t have pot on the road, I will f*cking kill somebody,” he explains.

Linkin Park’s only recreational drug user, Bennington’s need for weed is mild compared to the narcotic meltdown of his youth. “I was on, like, 11 hits of acid a day. I dropped so much acid I’m surprised I can still speak! I’d smoke a bunch of crack, do a bit of meth and just sit there and freak out. Then I’d smoke opium to come down.” His arrest for marijuana possession when he was 18 wasn’t the only sign that he needed to get a grip. “I weighed 110 pounds,” he says. “My mom said I looked like I stepped out of Auschwitz. So I used pot to get off drugs. Every time I’d get a craving, I’d smoke my pot.”

Bennington appeared to be a normal, happy kid. The son of a policeman and a nurse, he did well at school, enjoyed theater and thought The A-Team ruled. One day when he was 11, he came home from school, “and Mom wasn’t there anymore — she left. I took the divorce pretty badly — started sleeping in class, getting high. I just wanted to get away. . . . I was going through the molesting part of my life then, too.”

For someone who has made no secret of being abused as a child, it seems unusual that Bennington sometimes wears a T-shirt bearing the logo of Hustler magazine’s unsavory comic-strip deviant Chester the Molester.

“That’s just a name people have always called me,” he says. “When somebody meets me and I go, ‘Hi, I’m Chester,’ they go, ‘Chester the Molester!’ ”

What exactly happened to you when you were younger? “I’m over it. I mean, what exactly happened is a lot.... just.... certain situations....” Bennington stares at the floor.

“I don’t know..... I don’t really want to talk about it.”

A few uncomfortable moments later, Bennington shakes off the silence with a smile. “It’s all good. It sucks when those things happen, but going through them made me who I am today. And I’m a pretty decent person, I think.”

Immediately after their encore — which climaxes with the “Shut up when I’m talking to you!” refrain from “One Step Closer” — Linkin Park quickly towel off and stand behind the security barrier at the front of the audience. For the next 30 minutes they sign autographs for any fan who wants them. It’s just before midnight when they get back to their bus. Girlfriends are phoned, cookies eaten. Bennington walks in, mock-punches Blender in the stomach, fetches sodas for both of us and slouches into a bench seat.

What’s the strangest request you’ve ever received from a fan?

“Someone once asked me for my pubic hair,” he replies. “That was pretty sick.”

Did you comply?

Bennington recoils in mock horror. “We’re just normal dudes,” he says with a shrug, then smiles. “For God’s sake.....”


Linkin Park: In The Beginning

Corey Moss and Peter Wilkinson
March 15, 2002

For someone whose band has conquered the world, Chester Bennington bellows, "So insecure!" pretty convincingly onstage night after night.

With the best-selling album of 2001 in Hybrid Theory, a permanent home near the top of the Billboard 200 albums chart and a Best Hard Rock Performance Grammy for "Crawling," Linkin Park should reek of confidence.

But Bennington remembers when things were different. When Linkin Park had few believers. When nearly every record label had passed on signing the band, some of them multiple times.

"We did probably 36 to 40 showcases before we got signed," Bennington said backstage at the First Union Arena in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, where he and vocalist Mike Shinoda, guitarist Brad Delson, bassist Phoenix, drummer Rob Bourdon and DJ Joseph Hahn would headline the Projekt Revolution Tour hours later.

"It's like a cycle, too," Bourdon added. "The more showcases you do, the more you get rejected. It's like, if you're the 21st person to see us, you know the band has been rejected 20 times. It got worse and worse."

Obviously, Linkin Park survived and are now armed with one of the most rousing success stories in music history. Not only have they captured the hearts of the rock, hip-hop and electronic universes, they are the inspiration for a myriad of young bands that refuse to listen to industry executives who claim rap-rock is expiring.

Still, Linkin Park remain humble. Rather than take the credit they deserve, they thank their fans for hearing what record labels did not.

"There were a ton of kids, every day, tons of e-mails coming in, and we would get online and talk to them," Bourdon said. "There was a really good response on the Internet. We knew that we were not insane, that we weren't the only ones liking our music."

"The only way you can really maintain your sanity and keep a clear conscience about what you're doing is when people react to what you're doing from a fan level and not an industry level," Bennington added.

Before Linkin Park would even play a single showcase, they spent half a decade putting together the right lineup, toying with a genre that was still in its infancy and working hard to build a national fanbase.

It all began when Bourdon and Delson were in high school and played together in a band called Relative Degree. "We set a goal to play one show at the Roxy [in West Hollywood]," Bourdon said. "That was our big goal, so we wrote 12 songs, rehearsed for a year, played that show at the Roxy and then broke up. That was the end of Relative Degree." Shinoda, a classmate of Delson's and Bourdon's, crashed a few Relative Degree practices and fostered a strong friendship with Delson. He created a few samples for them but was more interested in making beats for local MCs. "We always just figured we were in two different worlds," said Delson, whose head looks naked when not wrapped in his signature headphones.

The duo eventually decided to write some songs together.

"One of the first songs we wrote, we were like, 'Let's try to collide these different styles of music,' " Delson recalled. "It really was somewhat crude at that point, because you could hear, 'OK, here's the hip-hop verse and here's the rock chorus.' "

After several months of songwriting sessions together, Shinoda and Delson decided to recruit a band to test their creations. They snagged Bourdon and later Phoenix and Hahn, college classmates of Delson's and Shinoda's, respectively, and adopted the name Xero.

They practiced daily for months. Xero were coming together but they needed a singer. Delson was interning at Zomba Music Publishing at the time, and a friend there suggested Chester Bennington, whose previous band had crossed paths with the company.

"He called me up at work on a Friday, and I got the demo on Saturday morning, went in Saturday night, cut the vocals and called him on the phone Sunday," said Bennington, who was living in Arizona at the time. "I said, you know, I could mail this to you or I could be in L.A. before the mail would get there. And he goes, 'We gotta hear it first.' So I went, 'OK, hear.' And I pushed 'play' over the phone. And he was like, 'When can you be here?' "

Bennington impressed his future bandmates, but they wanted to spend some time rehearsing together to test the chemistry. They decided to be fair to other potential singers and didn't cancel already-scheduled auditions.

"One guy came in a couple of songs before our practice was over," Bennington recalled. "He was sitting there and they were like, 'OK, you ready?' He stood up and said, 'You know what, I'm going to leave.' And they were like, 'Why? What's going on?' He's like, 'If you're not gonna take this guy, you're stupid.' And he just left. That was kind of the last audition."

Bennington had sealed the deal, but even then the band was "in a state of flux," according to Phoenix, who left Xero to tour with another band but returned a few years later. "We were auditioning some bass players, and everybody was getting ready to graduate from college," he said. "Nobody knows how dedicated anybody else is. It was like, anything could happen."

The band's new vocalist had already made his decision about the future. Bennington left behind his newlywed wife and newly built house and moved to Los Angeles. "I had to say, 'Honey, you stay here. Pay all the bills with half the income that we had before and wait for me to tell you when it's cool.' That was really hard, but I knew deep down inside that if we put in the right amount of work and we focused on the music that it was going to work."

His actions motivated the rest of the band to take the music more seriously. Bennington even suggested a new name, Hybrid Theory, after the mix of styles they brought to their music.

There was something special in their musical hybrid, but it needed work.

"All of us, collectively, felt that this style of music could be blended a little bit better, not so jagged and kind of forced in there," Bennington said. "We stopped practicing the songs and started working on new stuff."

Bennington and Shinoda also started writing lyrics together. "I can't talk about this crappy thing that happened to me and expect him to be able to sing it," Bennington said. "It has to be vague enough for both of us to go, 'We can relate to it.' And we found that by writing in that way, our lyrics were hitting home with a lot of different people and a lot of different age groups."

Armed with new material, the band played its first show at the Whiskey, where Zomba offered them a publishing deal. With that money, Hybrid Theory purchased enough equipment to record an EP worthy of shopping to record labels and selling at shows.

After selling about 20 records, the band dreamed up a more effective outlet for the EPs and began shipping copies for free to fans they found on the Internet. That following grew into a street team, which they continued to nurture with stickers, samplers and other handouts.

"Those kids did so much for us," Phoenix said. "They're basically our 150 additional members of this band. Those kids worked really hard just because they wanted to be part of something."

"And I think that's what helped catapult us back into the eyes of the industry," Bennington added.

Warner Bros. caught wind of the band's work ethic and offered a contract in the spring of 2000.

"They were like, 'Wow, these guys are doing so many different things that are proactive. And these guys are excited and hungry about playing music and are willing to work at it,' " Phoenix said. "We would actually go down to Warner Bros., five or six of us at the time, and go in and sit in the boardroom at the big table with all the different departments and just talk to everybody about what we were doing and our plans. We would actually bring in letters from our street team of kids saying, 'I like this song so much.' "

Around the same time, an electronic trio called Hybrid was emerging and Hybrid Theory didn't want to confuse fans. Bennington drove by a Lincoln Park in Santa Monica, and the band agreed a variation of it would make a good name. Like their music, it was a different take on something a lot of people could relate to.

"Unfortunately, that park has been renamed the Christine Emerson Reed Park, so we're actually thinking about changing our name to Christine Emerson Reed Park and making Linkin Park the name of the second record, just to keep the consistency," Delson joked.

Hybrid Theory made an impressive debut out of the gates (#16 on the Billboard 200 albums chart) and has continued to amaze with its stamina. Seventy-two weeks later, it's at #4 and certified several times platinum.

Linkin Park's collaboration with the X-ecutioners is also riding high, they're selling out arenas, and their upcoming remix album is highly anticipated. Yet instead of popping open champagne bottles after shows, Linkin Park are out doing what got them there — signing autographs, thanking fans.

"It's such a unique and exciting and special experience to be able to say you're doing something you are passionate about," Phoenix reflected. "That is the most rewarding thing for us."


Linkin Park

David Fricke
Rolling Stone
RS 891, March 14, 2002

The Magnitude of Their Revenge and the Worst-Case Scenario

Chester Bennington answered the phone on March 20th, 1999, at his home in Phoenix. The guy on the other end of the line, Jeff Blue, vice president of A&R at Zomba Music in Los Angeles, came straight to the point: "I'm going to give you your big break. I have a great band for you." The band was called Xero, and they needed a singer. The date happened to be Bennington's twenty-third birthday; Blue called him in the middle of a surprise party.

The next day, Bennington -- whose L.A.-based attorney had recommended him to Blue -- received a Xero package in the mail: a demo with the group's previous singer and one with just the instrumental tracks. Blue told Bennington, "I want your interpretation of the songs." Bennington wrote and recorded new vocals over the band's playing and sent the results to Blue by FedEx.

Two days after that, Bennington was in L.A., formally auditioning for Xero at their Hollywood rehearsal space. He arrived with his favorite microphone, some clothes and the blessing of his wife, Samantha, who had stayed behind in Phoenix. He had also quit his job as an assistant at a digital-services firm.

"There was a lot of fear," Bennington admits, smiling with love and relief at Samantha, seated next to him in a cozy booth in a restaurant across the street from the beach in Santa Monica. "We had a lot to lose -- our credit to destroy, a relationship to destroy." Both are in fine shape. Chester and Samantha, who were married in 1996, just bought a new home down in Redondo Beach and are expecting their first child, a son, in May.

"But when I got that tape," Bennington says, "we looked at each other and went, 'This is it, this is the one. It's gonna happen, even if it takes five years.' " He was way off. Three years after he took that phone call, Bennington -- a slender dynamo with black-rimmed eyeglasses, a ring piercing his lower lip and a shrapnel-laced howl that sounds like it comes from someone twice his size -- is the singer in the hottest new band in rock. After he joined, Xero changed their name to Hybrid Theory. They are now called Linkin Park.

The arithmetic is breathtaking. Released by Warner Bros. in October 2000, Linkin Park's debut album, Hybrid Theory, has sold 6 million copies in the U.S. and more than 11 million worldwide. Twelve songs of compact fire indivisibly blending alternative metal, hip-hop and turntable art, Hybrid Theory was the best-selling record in America last year -- trumping albums by Jay-Z, 'NSync and Britney Spears -- and still sells nearly 100,000 copies a week.

Linkin Park -- Bennington and founding members guitarist Brad Delson, rapper Mike Shinoda, drummer Rob Bourdon, DJ Joseph Hahn and bassist David Farrell, a.k.a. Phoenix -- are also up for three Grammys on February 27th, including Best Rock Album and Best New Artist. The band's maiden DVD, Frat Party at the Pankake Festival, is a Top Ten seller, and an official fan club, launched in November, already has 10,000 members. "Each week, we're in awe," Bennington, 25, says with a deep gulp of air.

Executives at other record companies must be in tears. For three years, Linkin Park were rejected by every major label in the business and by a lot of indies, as well. Warner Bros. passed three times before finally signing the band in late '99. Blue, who gave the group a development deal in 1997 after seeing just one show, recalls a Xero club date in Los Angeles packed with A&R scouts. They had all fled by the third song. "The place was empty," says Blue, now a vice president of A&R at Warner Bros. and the executive producer of Hybrid Theory. "You could hear crickets." When Bennington arrived in 1999, the band played forty-two showcases for labels and, the singer says, "got turned down by everybody."

It is hard to imagine how the suits blew it. At a soundstage in North Hollywood, where Linkin Park are rehearsing for their current Projekt: Revolution Tour with Cypress Hill, they romp and roar with an invention and intensity free of gangsta affectation and devil-metal posturing -- closer to classic Faith No More than mere electric Eminem. Delson, a wiry paragon of concentration who wears a bulky set of headphones as he plays, colors his power chords in "Crawling" and "Papercut" with ringing harmonics that betray his affection for U2 and the Smiths. Hahn scratches custom-pressed discs of his own samples (he does not use other artists' records) with ambient brawn, often charging behind Delson like a second guitar. Over Bourdon's tumbling funk in "Runaway," Bennington and Shinoda shoot and share rhymes like they're joined at the lip, their bodies rocking in spasms of conviction.

"We hit a lot of roadblocks -- we could have easily given up," says Delson, 24, during a chicken-dinner break at a nearby Popeyes. "But we said, 'We know what we have is great. We're gonna keep going until someone else thinks so.' It should be inspirational for people to know that if you really go for something and are willing to bust your ass, then you can make it happen."

It is clear, in their manner and chatter, that Linkin Park are wrestling with the magnitude of their revenge. Hahn, a twenty-four-year-old Korean-American who conceives and directs videos for the band, talks about success with a guarded tone. "It has been a blessing to get to this point," he says before rehearsal, trying to steady himself in a broken chair. "But when you're an outsider looking in, it seems like a bigger deal than when you're in it. It's like when you graduate high school: You wait for that day to come, and when you actually get there, you're like, 'OK, what next?' "

Farrell, 25, turns to Hahn in mild surprise. "I don't know if you remember this," the bassist says, "but three or four years ago, we asked ourselves, like every other band, 'What do we want out of this?' We all went home and wrote down goals. Mike came back with his list of goals, and one of them was 'I want to win a Grammy.' We were like, 'Wow, that's crazy. It's cool, but it's crazy.' "

Bennington, who had already done hard time with a Phoenix band called Grey Daze, is a charming mix of bull-elephant certainty and childlike astonishment. Before Hybrid Theory's release, he made a bet with Myra Simpson, national promotions manager at Warner Bros. "She had a triple-platinum Stone Temple Pilots plaque," says Bennington, a huge STP fan. "She said, 'If you go gold by Christmas, I'll give it to you.' I said, 'Cough it up.' " He laughs. "I was joking."

Sure enough, Hybrid Theory was gold by Christmas 2000. "And I got my STP plaque," Bennington says, beaming. He slept with it in his bunk on the tour bus every night. "Nobody touched it."

"I'll tell you the worst-case scenario." Shinoda, 25, is sitting under a patio umbrella outside a Starbucks. The rapper -- a second-generation Japanese-American whose father, as a young boy, lived in a U.S. internment camp during World War II -- is explaining how he juggled his course load at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, with shows and rehearsals in the growing-pain days of Linkin Park.

"I'd do classes from nine to four, four to seven and seven to ten at night," he says over the swish of traffic from the Ventura Freeway half a block away. "I'd go from there to band practice in Hollywood for two or three hours, then all the way back to my parents' house and work on paintings until I couldn't do it anymore. Then I'd get up in the morning and do it all again.

"A week could be awful," Shinoda goes on, "especially if we had a show on Friday. I'd try to get my friends to come, and they'd go, 'Screw you, I've got a triptych due on Monday. I can't get the second or third painting done if I go to your show.' "

Everyone in Linkin Park has a version of that story -- of balancing school, jobs and the DIY demands of being in an unsigned band. Bourdon, 23, waited tables, worked in a bowling alley and studied accounting at Santa Monica College. Hahn also attended Art Center, where he met Shinoda, but left after a year to be a freelance illustrator, designing monsters and robots for the movies. Delson split his time between UCLA (where he received a degree in mass communications), songwriting in Shinoda's bedroom and an internship at Zomba Music, where his boss was Jeff Blue. "Brad took in the entire atmosphere of what it takes to get an act signed," says Blue. "He helped me send out Macy Gray demos and set up her showcases."

Linkin Park are not only one of the best-educated bands in new metal (Farrell, a native of Massachusetts and Delson's roommate at UCLA, holds a degree in philosophy); they are surely one of the best organized. Each member, according to his expertise, is in charge of some aspect of the group's artistic and business interests. As Hahn puts it, "We're the only guys that really get it. This is our career, and we take it seriously."

He and Shinoda are the visual generals; they created the drawings for the cover of Hybrid Theory. Delson and Bourdon specialize in finance and marketing. Bennington designs a clothing line and writes all of the lyrics with Shinoda. Farrell, who left the band before the making of Hybrid Theory but returned just prior to its release, writes a regular tour report for Linkin Park's Web site -- no small chore: Linkin Park played 324 shows last year, almost a gig a day.

"They're the best people you could be in business with, if I can use that term for what they do," says Rob McDermott, who became the band's manager in February 2000. "A lot of rock bands go, 'Hey, we have a record deal,' and think they have it easy. These guys come from a whole different perspective. They built this thing."

"It really is a democracy -- there's never a spot where one band member doesn't know what's going on," says Bourdon, who started drumming in the third grade after his parents took him to see Aerosmith. (Bourdon's mother, Patty, was a high school girlfriend of Aerosmith drummer Joey Kramer, who credits her with helping him come up with the band's name.) Bourdon's own passion for detail goes back to his childhood: As a toddler, he once spent three hours sitting in a corner, teaching himself to tie his shoelaces. "I sat in that corner until I did it," he says, grinning. "That's one thing we all have in common -- a strong work ethic."

Delson and Shinoda, friends in high school, made the first Xero music in 1996. By the time Bennington replaced original vocalist Mark Wakefield and Xero changed their name to Hybrid Theory, Shinoda -- a classically trained pianist -- was such a whiz at mixing hooks and rhythms with Pro Tools software that he produced the group's 1999 independent EP.

Bourdon cites "Points of Authority" on Linkin Park's album as an example of Shinoda's skill: "Brad wrote this riff, then went home. Mike decided to cut it up into different pieces and rearranged them on the computer." Shinoda rewrote Delson's riff so completely, Bourdon says, "that Brad had to learn his own part from the computer." Delson wasn't bugged. "Mike is a genius," he declares. "Trent Reznor-talented."

Undeterred by record-company apathy, Hybrid Theory used the word-of-mouth mechanics of hip-hop promotion to build an audience. Combining Internet savvy and snail mail, Hybrid Theory established their own street team: posting messages on other bands' Web sites to draw traffic to their own; uploading MP3s of their demos; and sending free T-shirts, stickers and tapes to people who responded. "They got so pissed off at the post office next to my old apartment," Bourdon says. "Priority Mail boxes are free, so I would take all of their boxes and run out of there. We would package the stuff in my apartment. My living room became a total mailroom."

Linkin Park now apply the same energy and logic to staying sane. (They had to change their name again when another Warner Bros. act, called Hybrid, turned up.) On tour, Linkin Park travel in two buses: One is outfitted as a mobile studio for writing and recording; the other vehicle is a band-only, no-party zone. Alcohol, smoking and guests are prohibited; when Bennington brings Samantha on the road, they stay in the studio bus.

The same policy applies to the band's dressing room at shows. "We just like having a clean working environment," says Bourdon, who got "way into partying" at the end of high school but has been sober for five years. "We don't believe it's an industry standard -- to be a band on the road, partying and drunk. Would you go to work drunk every day?"

"We don't have moral issues about it -- for God's sake, we're taking Cypress Hill on tour," Shinoda says with a big laugh, then refers back to his time in art school. "People I knew then would rather paint or get together and talk about art than go out and party. That's where we're at as a band. You can tell by the way we practice and hang out now -- music is not a means to another end. "Music," he says, "is the end."

In 1998, almost a year to the day before he talked to Jeff Blue on the phone, Bennington came home from a frustrating rehearsal with another band in Phoenix and swore to his wife he was quitting music.

"He was screaming and yelling, 'I'm not doing music anymore!' " Samantha remembers. "I looked at him and said, 'I'm not letting you quit. You owe me an hour of practice, whether you're singing to the radio or playing your guitar.' I also told him, 'One day, you're going to get a call from L.A. I just know it. You need to be ready.'

"When you really love someone, you want to support them," she contends as Chester nods his head in adoring agreement. "He needs to be happy in what he is doing -- and doing his best." When Chester left for L.A., Samantha insists she had no doubts about letting him go. "I believed that it would work out. I also knew that if he didn't give it his all, saying 'What if?' would have driven him crazy."

Bennington did not just fall into stardom with Linkin Park. In L.A., he was essentially homeless for months, shuttling between friends' and relatives' sofas, as Samantha prepared to join him. Bennington even slept in his car, which was a piece of shit. "It wouldn't go over thirty-five miles an hour," he says. "Two lights were burned out. I had no money to replace them." During the Hybrid Theory sessions, Bennington bunked in the car when the studio closed for the night. After it reopened in the morning, he would crash on a couch inside until the rest of the band showed up for work.

"It was weird," Bennington recalls. "They're all best friends, and I was so focused on not going insane. When I would lose my mind, I couldn't lose it with them -- why would they want to put up with my ass? I didn't want them to think I had lead-singer's disease -- always unsatisfied with everything."

Bennington's dedication had the opposite effect. "We each made our own sacrifices, but Chester's was unique," Delson admits. "Because he had so much to risk, he was extremely motivated. He would actually tell us, 'Guys, I don't think we're working hard enough.' "

Bennington, the youngest of four children, was not always that way. "I was an ambivalent kid," he says. "I floated around, coasted through." When he was eleven, his mother, a nurse, and his father, a Phoenix police officer and detective for thirty years, split up. "It was just me and him for a long time," Bennington says of his dad, who worked for many years investigating child-sex crimes. "He was hardened by dealing with the shit of the world every day. So he brought a lot of that home. It was a very emotional situation."

In Linkin Park's first interviews, Bennington alluded to periods of sexual abuse and drug use in his own past. He says he did so in defense of his lyrics: "It was like, 'There's a lot of songs about depression, fear and paranoia. Are you just making it up?' And I said no."

When asked about those experiences now, Bennington speaks with wary candor, emphasizing hard lessons over prurient detail. "No one in my family molested me," he says firmly. "It was people who were around me. Coming from a broken home, it was easy to fall into thinking, 'This is OK.' " The abuse -- and that self-delusion -- lasted for about five years, into his early teens.

"I was a lot more confident when I was high," he goes on. "I felt like I had more control over my environment when I was on hallucinogens or drinking." Bennington ended his romance with cocaine and methamphetamines before he met Samantha in 1996. But on tour with Linkin Park last fall, he hit a black patch of heavy drinking in which, he confesses, "I found myself not saying no to other things, things that would have made me another rock & roll cliche." The rest of the band felt the strain -- between shows, Bennington traveled by himself on the studio bus.

"It's easy to fall into that thing -- 'poor, poor me,' " he says. "That's where songs like 'Crawling' come from: I can't take myself. But that song is about taking responsibility for your actions. I don't say 'you' at any point. It's about how I'm the reason that I feel this way. There's something inside me that pulls me down." On January 2nd of this year, Bennington took his own advice and quit drinking. He is now totally clean.

In that Santa Monica restaurant, Chester and Samantha cheerfully raise their glasses of mineral water in a toast to his sobriety. "It's going to be more difficult for me to bitch on the new record," he concedes. "Because life is great."

After rehearsal, in the loading area where Linkin Park's road crew rolls the band's gear into trucks for the drive to the first Projekt: Revolution date in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Rob McDermott runs down the schedule for the year ahead: this last leg of touring behind Hybrid Theory; personal and writing time in the spring; recording sessions in the summer. "Do I think it's better for them to have another record this year?" he says. "We've always been a gambling group of people. If they tell me, 'Rob, it's not there yet,' then it's not there. But if they say, 'We've got eighty songs, we've got to cut this shit now,' we can do it."

The present is already packed solid. Bennington turned up for his interview straight from an overdub session for "System," a song he's cut with Korn's Jonathan Davis for the soundtrack to Queen of the Damned. A remixed version of Hybrid Theory drops later this year, with contributions from friends and all-stars such as Marilyn Manson and Orgy's Jay Gordon. Shinoda has produced a track for legendary DJs the X-ecutioners, "It's Going Down"; Hahn co-wrote the song with Shinoda and directed the video.

"We don't need a break," Bennington claims. "We've got three albums to do before we take a break. We just started." But he can't help thinking that too much has come too fast. "I'm kind of pissed off," he admits when pressed. "We have the Number One record of the year; we're nominated for all these Grammys. Why did it have to be the first record? Now every record we make is going to be compared to this.

"But we deserve it," he snaps excitedly. "Nothing was handed to us. Everything you see, we did. Every note of the music -- we wrote, practiced and performed it. Every piece of art you see, we designed it. When people said that nobody was going to get it, we said, 'You're f***ing wrong.'

"It's paid off, because we work f***ing hard. Come and see how, for two hours after the show, we talk to people and hang out and sign everything they want. We won't deny anybody anything. We'll chew our legs off to satisfy people who want to see us." Bennington pauses, glances down at his legs as if to make sure they're still there and laughs.

"I think I just spoke for everybody."







As Saturday, May 10, the date for the 13th Anniversary celebration of CLUB TATTOO, draws near, the organizers of the event–Club Tattoo founders Sean Dodwell and Chester Bennington (Linkin Park) in conjunction with Guerilla Union (Rock the Bells, Paid Dues)–have announced the additions of Bennington’s Dead By Sunrise solo project, The Delta Fiasco and Comfort For Change. Rabbit In the Moon will now DJ as they can no longer perform live due to an injury incurred by frontman Bunny while on tour in Korea.

Club Tattoo will mark the first time ever that Dead By Sunrise will perform a live set of several songs. The Chester Bennington-fronted project also features all members of Julien-K and Anthony “Fu” Valik. The band will unveil selections from their upcoming untitled album due out next year, giving fans a first listen to the new material.

Enhancing Club Tattoo’s line-up are The Delta Fiasco and Comfort For Change who join Julien-K and DJ sets by Rabbit In The Moon, Jeremy Dawson of Shiny Toy Guns, A Virgin Tear and JKDJS. Hailing from Liverpool, England, The Delta Fiasco trio jump off their current tour with Ladytron for their Club Tattoo gig. Comfort For Change is a leading local Phoenix-based hard rock act.

About Club Tattoo:
Sean Dowdell founded Club Tattoo in 1995 with friend Chester Bennington of Linkin Park, who aided in the original concept and design behind the popular chain. The friendship dates back to when the duo played in the Phoenix based band Grey Daze, which was a pre-cursor to Chester's current position with Linkin Park. Club Tattoo has expanded into four locations in Arizona, and has become world renowned for its artistry and professionalism of talented tattoo artists, body piercers, and support staff. It boasts the largest collection of body jewelry in the Southwest United States and has a full clothing store dedicated to the "tattooed soul.” Club Tattoo has been voted Best Tattoo and Body Piercing studio for four years (1999-2003) by the Arizona Republic & Gazette, The Rep and Get Out Magazine. Their artists have won over 80 international awards and have been featured in 18 worldwide-distributed publications. Most recently, Club Tattoo has expanded its apparel interests and created a men’s premium clothing line called Ve’cel, which is one of the fastest growing men’s lines. Additionally, Club Tattoo teamed up with Etnies in 2007 to release custom tattoo design shoes created by Club Tattoo artists. 2009 will see the Club Tattoo chain expand even further, with a Club Tattoo studio on the Las Vegas strip in the newly created Cosmopolitan Hotel.


Singer meets Luke Airmen

May 8, 2008
Luke Air Force Base

4/9/2008 - LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. -- It's not every day one meets a rock star while at work, but for many Luke members that was the reality Tuesday.

Chester Bennington, lead singer of the rock band Linkin Park, toured Luke to learn about the Air Force mission and to personally thank servicemembers.

"Thank you for everything you do," Mr. Bennington commented to many of the Airmen he met throughout the day.

Accompanying Mr. Bennington were Talinda, his wife, and some friends. The first stop was to meet the 56th Security Forces Squadron Military Working Dogs and view a demonstration. Here Mr. Bennington met Rex, Luke's award-winning MWD. Rex and his trainer, Staff Sgt. Gabriel Bravo, 56th SFS K-9 handler, demonstrated their ability to take control of a suspect and transport them. Mr. Bennington got into the action by donning a protective sleeve and allowing Rex to perform an attack maneuver which included Rex hang from his arm. Just to show there were no hard feelings, Mr. Bennington was able to pet Rex before continuing the tour to the 56th Civil Engineer Squadron Explosive Ordnance Disposal Flight.

When they arrived at EOD the guests were briefed on the types of ammunition and bombs used by Luke pilots. They also learned about the EOD mission in a deployed area of responsibility. EOD members demonstrated the capabilities of the robots and Mrs. Bennington volunteered to don the 60-pound EOD-9 bomb suit. It gave her a taste of what EOD technicians experience while deployed.

"That thing is really heavy," she said. "You wear that in the summer time? I have much more respect for what you do now." They also climbed aboard one of Luke's humvees.

From EOD the group went to the air traffic control tower.

In the tower the group was shown the six different tower control positions and was briefed on the purpose of each as they watched four F-16s launch.

Before closing out the tour at the F-16 simulators, the group headed to the 61st Fighter Squadron for an up close look at an F-16, and visited the 56th Fighter Wing headquarters to meet with Brig. Gen. Tom Jones, 56th FW commander.

Mr. Bennington expressed his gratitude for the tour, Luke and its mission and for Airmen here and deployed.

"Thank you," he said to Luke members. "You are the real heroes; keep on with all the good you do."


Music for Relief - Get Involved! : August 30, 2007 
Music for Relief is helping to rebuild the Gulf Coast with Habitat for Humanity. Go to to get involved


Jaclyn написал(а):

Camp Freddy Performs At The Roxy
            Singer Chester Bennington of Linkin Park and guitarist Slash of Velvet Revolver perform with all-star cover band Camp Freddy at the Roxy nightclub on May 8, 2008 in Los Angeles, California.

Camp Freddy with Chester Good Times Bad Times- Led Zeppelin … V00070.flv

highway to hell: AC/DC

paradise city: Guns'n'Roses

Фотки - 2008.05.08 - Camp Freddy in Concert - Hollywood, California

The 4th Annual MusiCares Benefit Concert - Arrivals  09 May 2008


Live Review
Camp Freddy - The Roxy, Hollywood … 98,00.html

Chester and Camp Freddy played at The Roxy in Hollywood last night, here's a review, I'll collect all the photos and post them later. See bootleg vids here (Paradise City) and here (Highway To Hell). Setlist here. Update: More clips here. Billy Morrison has his review of the Roxy show on his blog.

The three-song salvo that followed "It's So Easy" proved to be the night's most explosive. Linkin Park's Chester Bennington took the mic for Led Zeppelin's "Good Times, Bad Times." His signature wail brought the song into the 21st century, bridging the gap between now and then. Slash and Navarro bowed at the altar of Jimmy Page, playing each line with reverence. A raw and vibrant "Highway to Hell" followed, as Chester did his most faithful Bon Scott impression and Sorum bashed away at the timeless rhythm.

Of course, our two favorite guitarists kept axeing out, not missing a beat or chance to blaze a riff. After the AC/DC homage, Chester asked, "You want to hear some f***ing Guns N' Roses?" The crowd erupted, and the band launched into "Paradise City." The audience clapped in unison as Slash ripped through the opening with the same fire he had in the '80s. At one point, Chester posed a question that resonated. "Do you have any idea what you're witnessing on this f***ing stage tonight?" Everyone in attendance certainly did, and that's why they walked away all smiles. Whether they had passes or not, everyone got a little closer to the Strip's legend last night.

Chester Bennington Live Guide - 08.05.2008

Los Angeles, California
The Roxy
8th May 2008

01. Hello There
02. Song 2 (Blur Cover)
03. Rock And Roll All Nite (KISS Cover)
04. Rock And Roll Star (Oasis Cover)
05. Lil Devil (The Cult cover)
06. Eighties
07. Chinese Rocks (The Heartbreakers/The Ramones Cover)
08. It's So Easy (Guns N' Roses cover)
09. Good Times, Bad Times (Led Zeppelin cover) [with Chester Bennington]
10. Highway To Hell (AC/DC cover) [with Chester Bennington]
11. Paradise City (Guns N' Roses cover) [with Chester Bennington]
12. I Wanna Be Your Dog (Iggy Pop cover) [with everyone]

Source 1: Video - AUD (Unknown)
Taper: tom91381
Time: Unknown
Format: Unknown
Comments: Only "Good Times, Bad Times", "Highway To Hell", "Paradise City".

Show Notes:
- The second of five Indie 103.1's MAYhem residency shows.
- Highway To Hell was played with four guitarists - Slash, Dave Navarro, Billy Morrison and Billy Duffy.
- Guests: Chester Bennington, Slash, Duff McKagan, Jerry Cantrell, Billy Duffy, Tommy Lee, McQueen, Steve Jones, Paul Cook.

Ещё видео … D=44532620


Billy Morrison has his review of the Roxy show on his blog. … he_bi.html

May 09, 2008

I haven't felt this tired in a while! Four hours sleep after one of the craziest shows I have ever seen!! And I was right there in the middle of it all, playing my ass off with a bunch of musicians that I respect and love. Last nights Roxy Show (Week 2 of 5) was possibly one of the greatest 'vibe' gigs I have ever played. In that tiny club, on that small stage, we were joined by Chester Bennington, Slash, Duff, Tommy Lee, Billy Duffy, Jerry Cantrell, McQueen, Steve Jones and Paul Cook. And they were ALL on the stage at the same time for our traditional finale - Iggy Pop's I Wanna Be Your Dog!! Honestly, it was SO much fun for me, and from the noise the sold out Roxy was making, it was a lot of fun for everyone!! The full set will be over at Camp Freddy's site tomorrow (I dont have time today, cos its the MAP Awards) and I did get a ton of amazing video - so another 'clip/highlight' blog from me at the weekend as well. Just know that these Camp Freddy shows are very special - that everyone turning up, jamming and being a part of the family just want to play great music and have a fun night of loud rock and roll. We thank them all!

Marku - No, the song the band is playing is called A THOUSAND TIMES and its a Circus Diablo song that was an extra track on the Japanese release of the album (and I think certain stores here got the extra tracks as well - not sure)

Justin - Actually yes we have thought of the Camp Freddy Festival. One of these days someone will come to us with the logistics and we'll do it! And BK (and everyone else) - you have to understand that we have ten ideas a day! But making them real is a lot different. The 5 Cities Tour is still something we would like to do. In fact, JUST for you, I'll talk to the agent about it and see what it would involve. Don't hold your breath, though!!

Paul - we actually have never had a serious offer from the UK. A few enquiries, but nothing solid. I don't think we have actively looked into it. When the offer comes, we'll deal with it!!

So today we take our good selves down to the Henry Fonda Theater in Hollywood, to perform at an Awards Show that is honoring Slash and Alice Cooper. We are happy to be able to take part, and I am looking forward to our five song set. Dave is in Vegas, so Slash is playing all five songs with us, and we will be joined by Steven Tyler, Chester, Billy Duffy, Jerry Cantrell, Duff McKagan, Robin Zander and Wayne Kramer. Yep - more Rock N Roll extravaganzas, and all in the name of sober musicians. I will give you a full rundown of the show when I finally recover from these couple of days. I'm thinking (and hoping!) that I will sleep all day tomorrow and wake up in time for Camp Freddy Radio with Dave on Saturday. Tune in and I'll see you there.



Camp Freddy - MusiCares Benefit 9 мая

Chester's arrival at the event.

Camp Freddy @ MAP Awards

Camp Freddy performed last night at the annual MAP/Musicares Awards show and were joined onstage by Chester Bennington, Steven Tyler, Slash, Billy Duffy, Jerry Cantrell, Wayne Kramer, Duff McKagan and Robin Zander. The event was honoring Slash and Alice Cooper for their services to the Charity, and Camp Freddy performed five songs - Surrender (Zander), Gonna Raise Hell (Zander), I'm Eighteen (Bennington), Mama Kin (Tyler) and Whole Lotta Love (Tyler).

09.05.2008 Hollywood, CA, The Music Box @ Fonda


Club Tattoo Anniversary Celebration

Elias Andra, Thora dowdell, Amir Derakh, Anthony Valcic, Chester Bennington, Ryan Shuck, Brandon Belsky and Sean Dowdell attends the Club Tattoo Anniversary Celebration on May 10, 2008 in Tempe, Arizona.


Chester and Julien-K at Club Tattoo Anniversary Celebration the 05/10/08




Club Tattoo Anniversary Celebration- Report

From a user qixx at

The show was amazing. i wish everyone could have made it. It started with Comfort For Change playing for about half hour. Next on stage was JK DJs and A Virgin Tear. The traded of DJ responsibilities during the set (i hope it shows up on one of their MySpace Pages). It started with some Metallica and included Black Chrome near the end. Brandon and Amir tossed a couple copies of a CD after the set.

Delta Fiasco came on stage next and played their set. The first successful bootleg attempt. They were good but were not as good as JK DJs. The set was over way too fast.

Another DJ was up next. This time it was Jeremy Dawson of Shiny Toy Guns. This set included a little self promotion by playing Le Disco. It was a great build up to what everyone was there to see.

Julien-K was well worth what ever it took to go. They played 8 songs. Starting out with Death to Analog, then Someday Soon. Look at You was just as good as any other version we have so far. This led into Kick The Bass and Systeme De Sexe. Jim might have even like this performance of Systeme. Next up was a real treat of Maestro. It was better live than the youtube clips make it seem. Next in line was Spiral. It was good. Last was Technical Difficulties. Chester came out for this song. it was great to get to see it live with Chester.

Next up was Dead By Sunrise which is to say Fu came out to the keyboards and Amir stayed on the guitar and Brandon played bass guitar some and keyboards some. They started with ______. It was a bit slower and more mellow than i expected them to be. And then played Morning After. This live version mad any trip to this show worth it. The first DBS live version. Wow. Their last song was ______. It was much more heavy than the first track and is more the feel i was expecting. All in all i was impressed with DBS. It was not Linkin Park and it was not Julien-K. Definately had it's own feel.

Last up was the DJ performance by Rabbit in The Moon. With Depeche Mode and Sting it was worth staying if you had any energy left to enjoy it.

Sorry for those that missed it and sorry that i was not successful in bootlegging the stuff we all actually wanted. The show was recorded (video and audio) but we don't know when (or if --- nooooo not if) this will come out. 2 different video sources and it looked like the audio was being recorded by a box on the floor in front on WhenIAmQueen.

Turn out was good from the boards. Everything i have is now available via foldershare so it is online when i am (pm me an email addy and i can add you to the group) and it your were there and have things to add let me know that too (so i can give you write access). i'm currently uploading it all to another box that is always on so it will be up for all to access. images are already up somewhere below....

now to go catch my plane home


Club Tattoo celebrates 13 years with Bennington, Julien-K

A short interview with Chester about Club Tattoo's anniversary celebration.
by Sarah Gianetto - Apr. 29, 2008 12:00 AM
Special for the Arizona Republic … attoo.html

For a Tempe tattoo studio co-founded by the dude who sings for multi-platinum rap-rock heroes Linkin Park, Club Tattoo's 13th Anniversary Party May 10 at the Marquee Theatre sure is heavy on the electronica, with live performances by Rabbit in the Moon and Julien-K. What gives? As Chester Bennington, who formed the company with friend Sean Dowdell and was heavily involved in planning and producing this event, explains it, last year felt a little too much like a concert. This year, he says, they were going for more of a party vibe without losing the live performance aspect. And by having "a good, live, theatrical performance like Rabbit in the Moon can offer," Bennington explains, "we can really celebrate with our clients."

It's easier to understand Julien-K's place on the lineup, even if they have a largely electronic sound. Bennington is a member and will be performing a song with them at the event. Bennington and Julien-K members also make up the band Dead by Sunrise, so expect to hear their tunes as well. As to what they have to celebrate this year, Club Tattoo recently launched one of the fastest growing men's premium clothing lines, Ve'cel. They also teamed up with Etnies in 2007 on a line of custom tattoo-design shoes created by Club Tattoo artists. 2009 will see the Club Tattoo brand expand further when a Club Tattoo studio opens on the Las Vegas Strip in the new Cosmopolitan Hotel.


Skyolker потусовалась и на вечеринке Club Tttoo  :glasses:


Сейчас послушала Let Down ........ господи, хочу весь альбом такой  :love:

И ещё  Morning After … re=related

Ну это всё старые записи. Поскорей бы новенькое! Похоже нас одарят качественным мр3 :yep: и видео


Let Down Lyrics

And the tears fall like rain
Down on my face again
Oh the words you wouldn't say
And the games you played
With my unfoolish heart
Oh I should have known this from the start

Oh the winter and spring
Going hand in hand
Just like my love and pain
How the thought of you cuts deep within the vain
Oh this brand new skin stretched across scared terrain

I don't wanna be let down
I don't wanna live my life again
Don't wanna be lead down the same old road
So I don't wanna be let down
I don't wanna live my lies again
Don't wanna be lead down the same old road


All those years down the drain
Love was not enough when you want everything
What I gave to you and now the end must start
Oh I should have listened to my heart

'Cause I don't wanna be let down
I don't wanna live my life again
Don't wanna be lead down the same old road
So I don't wanna be let down
I don't wanna live my lies again
Don't wanna be lead down the same old road


I don't wanna be let down
I don't wanna live my life again
Don't wanna be lead down the same old road
So I don't wanna be let down
I don't wanna live my lies again
Don't wanna be lead down the same old road

Morning After Lyrics

Caught up against the wall again
Tied and chained to the ball again
Never cease to amaze in minds
So I just sleep sleep sleep please don't
Wake me till the morning after [2x]

Cut and bruised by the fall again
Lick my wounds like a dog again
Is that a light at the end of the tunnel
That I see I see please let it be but don't
Wake me till the morning after [3x]

Oh I'm so tired there has got to be an end
to the pain I feel when I'm
awake and alive alive alive
alive and I'm dreamin'

Caught up against the wall again
Tied and chained to the ball again
Is that a light at the end of the tunnel
That I see I see please let it be but don't
Wake me till the morning after [3x]

Oh I'm so tired there has got to be an end
to the pain I feel when I'm
Awake and alive alive alive
Alive and I'm dreamin'


Ещё один отчёт о концерте DBS, фотки внутри, првда плохое качество … E154319053

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