Stone Temple Pilots Singer ‘Imitating’ Layne Staley Leaks


Late Stone Temple Pilots and Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington was such a big fan of late Alice In Chains frontman Layne Staley that he imitated him during Linkin Park’s early days, according to a new interview with Mike Shinoda with Music Radar.

“He was so remarkable in that way. We didn’t even know. I feel like we didn’t even know the extent, meaning he and I – when we met and started writing together and experimenting with how he would fit into the band.

Basically he would come in my house and it would either be just me and Chester or me, Chester and Brad [Delson, guitar]. We would work on new material. It was ’99 maybe, or ’98 and we’d work on new material and see what directions we could push his voice. At the time he was still developing his own identity as a singer.

And I say that because when he would sing a new thing, he was very good at imitating somebody else’s style and he would often fall into his favorite singer’s style, even to the extent that he would accidentally form words with an accent.

So one minute he’s Dave Gahan from Depeche Mode and the next minute he’s Layne Staley [from Alice in Chains] and I’m like, ‘You just saying an ‘r’ and then you sang an ‘arrr” and you’re not that you’re not even from the same country right now.’ We’d laugh and we’d joke about it.

There’s one part of it that’s like just your natural instrument you’ve been given – he just had a wonderful instrument and he spent so much time learning it and getting in tune with it and unlocking it. There’s a lot of great singers who hear a song like [Linkin Park’s ‘Crawling’] and sing along in their car or their shower and it sounds so great.

And then they sing it without the recording and they sing it by themselves and they go, ‘Oh my God, that doesn’t sound anything like it did in my head,’ and I’ve seen that happen in it’s very…I mean, Chester’s voice was insane. There was nothing else like it.”

Chester Bennington was a huge Grunge fan, with Scott Weiland being one of his heroes before replacing him in STP. Bennington was also friends with the late Chris Cornell.