Stone Temple Pilots star Robert DeLeo has broken his silence about the death of former bandmate Chester Bennington, revealing he still can’t get to grips with the singer’s suicide.
Bennington, who was part of STP for two years before he quit to focus on his day job with Linkin Park and his expanding family, took his own life at his home in California in July (17), and bassist DeLeo admits his friend’s death was a big shock.
“I forget who it was that said it… but, ‘Everyone you meet has a battle inside that you know nothing about’, and it stuck with me,” Robert tells Yahoo! Music. “It was, like, ‘Wow!’ It couldn’t have been any more pointed than with Chester.
“(His death) was a huge, huge surprise. We live in the same community, so we took our kids to school and to baseball games, and I saw him all the time. And it hit really hard, being from the same community. For all of us, it did. And very surprising. We still get together weeks later here, and we’re… scratching our heads and wondering what made sense to him at that moment.”
Bennington joined STP in 2013 as fired frontman Scott Weiland’s replacement, and DeLeo will always cherish his time on the road with his friend.
“It wasn’t all about his talent, it was the energy that he brought into it that we so desperately needed at the time,” he adds. “He came into that going, ‘I can do this. I’m gonna do this’… He was in a huge band; he had plenty going on. But he wanted to do this. And he was excited about doing this. And he memorised all the lyrics, and he went out there, and he gave everything that he had.
“I just look back at the touring that we did and the time we spent together, and it was just laughing and having a good time and such a positive thing and going out there feeling really energetic and great about this.”
Many of Chester’s famous friends and fans joined his Linkin Park bandmates for a celebration of the singer’s life at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles on Friday (27Oct17).
The gig quickly sold out and now organisers have revealed 1.4 million viewers worldwide checked out the stream from the concert.
Over 30 people joined Linkin Park onstage to perform 31 of Chester’s songs. They included Alanis Morissette, Julia Michaels, Machine Gun Kelly, Gavin Rossdale, No Doubt’s Adrian Young and Tony Kanal, Jonathan Davis, and System of a Down stars Daron Malakian and Shavo Odadjian.
Bennington’s widow Talinda also hit the stage to deliver a speech about her husband and the importance of mental health.