Chester Bennington Revealed Depths of Depression in Radio Interview, Linkin Park Launch Chester Site With Suicide Prevention Information
In a recent piece, we detailed the frankness in which Chester Bennington addressed his struggles with such things as drugs, alcohol and abuse, but the singer also gave a very candid interview to Los Angeles radio station 102.7 KIIS-FM this past February which may be the most in depth description he offered about his battles with depression.
Speaking with host JoJo Wright, the subject turned to the Linkin Park's poignant single "Heavy," which in itself offers lyrical content speaking about depression. "I don't know if anybody out there can relate, but I have a hard time with life… sometimes," explained Bennington. "Sometimes it's great, but a lot of times for me, it's really hard. And no matter how I'm feeling, I always find myself struggling with certain patterns of behavior… I find myself stuck in the same thing that keeps repeating over and over again, and I'm just, like, 'How did I end up…? How am I in this?' And it's that moment where you're in it and then you can just separate yourself from that situation and you look at it and you see it for what it is and you're able to then do something about it; you've now broken out of that circle, that cycle."
He continued, "I know that for me, when I'm inside myself, when I'm in my own head, it gets… This place right here [points to his head], this skull between my ears, that is a bad neighborhood, and I should not be in there alone. I can't be in there by myself. It's insane! It's crazy in here. This is a bad place for me to be by myself. And so when I'm in that, my whole life gets thrown off. If I'm in there, I don't say nice things to myself. There's another Chester in there that wants to take me down."
The singer offered, "I find that, it could be… whether it's substances or whether it's behavior or whether it's depressive stuff, or whatever it is, if I'm not actively doing… getting out of myself and being with other people, like being a dad, being a husband, being a bandmate, being a friend, helping someone out… If I'm out of myself, I'm great. If I'm inside all the time, I'm horrible — I'm a mess. And so for me, it's kind of like that was kind of where the 'I don't like my mind right now / Stacking up problems that are so unnecessary…' That was where that came from for me."
"I drive myself nuts actually thinking that all these are real problems. All the stuff that's going on [in my head] is actually just… I'm doing this to myself, regardless of whatever that thing is. So this is that conscious awareness of that thing. When you can step back and look at something, you're actually elevating yourself consciously — you're enlightened at that point, to a certain degree. And so this is that moment of enlightenment, where you go, 'I could do something about this, and by doing it, I can move forward and get unstuck from this, and I can actually…' For me, I can live with life on life's terms. I can experience the whole spectrum of humanity and not wanna get out of it, whether it's happiness, sadness or whatever. When I'm in it, I just wanna get out of however I'm feeling, no matter what it is," concluded the singer.
During the chat, Bennington stated that he had struggled with "the bad neighborhood" during the downtime between albums and that "Heavy" came from that. "This time last year, I was a mess — a total wreck. I think for a lot of people, they think if you're successful, all of a sudden you get some card in the mail that says you're gonna be totally satisfied and happy for the rest of your life. It doesn't happen like that. Life, for me, happens the way it always [has]… The only difference is I'm in Linkin Park. What goes on inside my head has always been this way for me. So when I'm not working on that, my life gets messy. And that's kind of how the inspiration for all these songs came from — conversations about life and what was going on, as friends, as husbands, as fathers, as… whatever… business partners," says Bennington.
"We were all talking about what was going on in all aspects of our lives at certain times throughout the process of this record, and we realized, man, we've all gone through some really crazy stuff. And we don't need to find a source of inspiration — like, 'What's this record about?' This is our life," says the singer. "We always have written about our lives, and that should just be enough. We don't need to find some new thing. Life is always throwing these curveballs at you, whether they're good or bad — it just happens. And eventually, what I've found is, especially with the bad stuff, 'cause that's the stuff that sticks to me a little bit more, coming out at the other side and being, like, 'Man, I'm a better person because of that.' Or, 'I'm more compassionate because of that.' Or, 'I feel like I can understand people or humanity a little bit differently, 'cause I've been through some pretty crazy stuff.' And that's a positive. So finding a positive in all these things, that's what we always try to do, but we still talk about the feelings we had going through all these different circumstances."
Though Linkin Park have yet to issue an official statement, a new website was launched over the weekend specifically for those wanting to pay their respects to Bennington. The site houses posts about Bennington, most with the hashtag #RIPChester, and also includes information for a Suicide Prevention Lifeline, the Crisis Text Line and a link to find support if you live outside of the U.S. The site can be found at http://chester.linkinpark.com.
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