Bandmates Reveal If They Believe Chris Cornell’s Death Led To Chester Bennington’s Suicide

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In a new Rolling Stone article, Dead By Sunrise guitarist Ryan Shuck and Grey Daze drummer Sean Dowdell downplayed speculation that Chris Cornell’s death inspired Chester Bennington’s. While there are similarities – both artists hanged themselves, and Bennington did so on what would have been Cornell’s 53rd birthday – they believe it was mostly a coincidence. “It could be a part of it, but it’s a small part of it,” Shuck says. “I think that it’s just another horrible event that gets put in your subconscious. It’s kindling, but the fire was already burning.” Shuck played with Bennington in his late 2000’s side project Dead By Sunrise, and Dowdell played with him in his 90’s Grunge band Grey Daze, which was set to reunite later this year.

Bennington had always been open about his struggles with addiction and depression, but those close to him were shocked by his suicide. The day after Cornell’s memorial, Bennington tweeted that he was “feeling very creative” and had written six new songs. Around the same time, he told a friend, Rene Mata, “We have to stick together, and we have so much to live for.”

On Linkin Park’s European tour in June and July, Bennington seemed to be in top form. “We saw the most alive and present Chester of my 15-and-a-half-year history with the band,” says Jim Digby, the group’s director of touring. “He was arguably in the best physical condition of his life.”