Linkin Park Reveal Chester Bennington’s Reaction When Label Wanted Mike Shinoda Fired

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Linkin Park singer/guitarist Mike Shinoda discussed Chester Bennington reacting to an A&R person recommending to fire himself and possibly other bandmates in a new Kerrang article.

“His loyalty was there from the very beginning. When we were recording [2000’s] Hybrid Theory, we were basically a new band with a new record deal. The label could have shelved us at any moment, and we were halfway through recording when our A&R started losing faith in us. He took Chester aside and suggested he take the band over, or put me on keyboards, or even kick me out. He told him, ‘You’re the talent, you should make a rock record. You don’t need the rapping, you don’t need the rest of the guys…’ Chester finished the conversation and came in to tell us.

‘So what did you say to him?’ I said.

‘I told him to go fuck himself,’ replied Chester.

A lot of people would have been tempted! We had nothing. We had a record deal that hinged entirely on whether or not our A&R liked the album we were making, and he just told the guy to go fuck himself.”

He also told Kerrang in another article, “Chester taught me about spontaneity. When it comes to my art, whether that’s visual, or songs, or creative things in that world, I’m really spontaneous. In life I’m less so. Chester was spontaneous across the board. He would be the one to say, ‘Let’s go! What’s taking everybody so long? Let’s get on board and do the show. Let’s commit to the soundtrack. Let’s invest in this company.’

“Whatever it was, he made faster snap decisions than everyone else. He was a very fiery guy. When the five of us have got together in the past few months, we’ve joked that somebody is going to have to step up. One of us, or all of us, is going to have to step in and be more spontaneous just to cover for Chester.”