Famous Drummer ‘Shocked’ By ‘Bizarre’ Chris Cornell & Chester Bennington Deaths, Reveals Final Dinner


Papa Roach drummer Tony Palermo discussed Chester Bennington and Chris Cornell’s deaths in a new interview with Italy’s SpazioRock.

“[Chester’s death] was really shocking — [and it happened] just not that long after Chris Cornell died. We actually played a show with Soundgarden a week before [Chris] passed away. And that was just like, ‘Wait! What?’ I was shocked. And then, I remember I was at home… I wake up in the morning and get coffee and read my computer news instead of a newspaper. And it was right there [that] Chester Bennington [had died]. And I was, like, ‘What? What? No!’ ‘Cause we just had dinner with him a month before that. And he was just… We were talking about the history of everybody and some killer stories, some funny stories, and he just seemed in such high spirits. And then I was shocked. Literally, it just… I was, like, ‘Uh… What?’ It literally took my breath away.”

Admitting that he “didn’t really know Chester that well, like some of the other guys [in Papa Roach] did from previous touring,” Palermo speculated that Cornell’s suicide must have contributed to Bennington’s feelings of depression. “He was friends with Chris Cornell, and after Chris’s death, I think he must have been in shock from that,” Tony said. “But just to, like, feel the pain… And I didn’t know Chris Cornell, but I love Soundgarden. Just to feel the pain of losing such an amazing artist, and knowing that Chester knew him, it was bizarre to me that he would just take his own life as well, knowing the pain that he must have felt losing a friend like that, and what he would, in turn, do.”

He went on to call Bennington’s death “extremely tragic. It’s a bummer because… well, apart from the life thing and the family thing, he was a father and a husband, and, obviously, sang for a huge band,” he said. “And it’s so sad, ’cause you know that band will just never make music as Linkin… I mean, they might — I don’t know — but when you lose a key member of a band, it’s not the same, it’s hard to go on. I don’t know what they’ve planned; I’m sure they’re healing, trying to heal. But… it’s so tragic.”