Linkin Park singer/guitarist Mike Shinoda discussed having an ‘existential crisis’ along with Kurt Cobain and Chester Bennington in a new Maekan interview.
“There is actually a really interesting old Ted talk. It’s like nine years old, I think, by Elizabeth Gilbert who wrote Eat, Pray, Love, which I haven’t even read, by the way. I was just having this artistic, existential crisis where I was just like, ‘I’m garbage. It’s over. I’m the worst. I’ll never make anything good again.’ And I mean I joke about it, but it’s a less extreme version of those same feelings. And my wife said, ‘You should listen to this, I heard this at some point and it talks about that.’ And it really did actually help. So if anybody’s dealing with that thing, then go listen to it.
One thing that she really talked about was that she wrote this book, it was a freakish success, and then she was trying to follow it up. And it’s like, ‘Well what if that’s my greatest success and it’s behind me, and I will never write anything that popular or that good again?’ Forget popular, I just may not write anything that good ever again, I just may suck from now on. And I will always measure myself to that and it won’t be as good and I’ll have performance anxiety and I’m just, yeah, I peaked early.
And so what she’s talking about is that in—I think it was the ancient Greeks and the ancient Romans—the way they saw genius, the idea of genius, was that it was not you. It was not you. Socrates called them Daemons. The Romans thought of genius as actual gods or like deities that lived somewhere else. And when you had a good idea it was because a genius came to you and acted through you and you were chosen for the moment. And then if it didn’t happen the next time, you couldn’t beat yourself up because it wasn’t you in the first place and it lowers the pressure.
I don’t know if I’m kind of extrapolating. Would artists like Kurt Cobain have taken his life, like Chester, would they have taken their lives because they just had this pressure and this feeling of the best days are already over. Or they just can’t see where—you know, there’s a lot of pressure—and they can’t see where anything good is going to or great is going to happen again.”
You can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.