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Linkin Park Vocalist Chester Bennington: “We Actually Kept Metal Alive”

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So Metal Hammer recently asked Chester Bennington from Linkin Park about accusations that the band’s multi-platinum debut, Hybrid Theory, hurt the integrity of metal. Chester’s response?

“I think that’s really funny – just those words, ‘the integrity of metal.’ In my opinion we actually kept metal alive. I met a kid a few days ago who said, ‘You were the first rock band I ever listened to’ and I hear that all the time. We played a surprise ‘Vans Warped Tour‘ show in California in 2014 and had a whole bunch of singers from other bands come up and sing with us. Every one of them was either, ‘Your band was my first record.’ Or, ‘Your band is the reason I’m playing music.’ It was maybe the first time where I felt like we were the band that people looked at in the way that I look at Deftones, Metallica andStone Temple Pilots.”

It’s easy to point out how silly Bennington’s answer is — a lot of people don’t even consider Linkin Park to be metal, and although they were no doubt a gateway band for many young artists, they certainly weren’t their generation’s only gateway band (see: Korn, Limp Bizkit, System of a Down, Disturbed, etc.). Plus, while Hybrid Theory arguably represents the commercial pinnacle of mainstream metal n the late 90s/early aughts, it’s not as though underground metal went away at that time. There were plenty of basement death metal and grindcore shows going on. Just because those bands weren’t on Ozzfest doesn’t mean they didn’t exist.

But in Bennington’s defense, the question was also pretty dumb. I mean, what was the dude supposed to say? “Yeah, sorry about that?” Even if he had pointed out that metal’s integrity was compromised long before Linkin Park showed up (and we could have a whole debate about which metal band was the first to commit such a crime), he would have basically been admitting guilt. And Metal Hammer, which has been around since the early 80s, should certainly be aware that metal didn’t really “go anywhere,” so to speak, during the Hybrid Theory era.

Good quote for getting people riled up, though.

[via The PRP]

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