Mike Shinoda Talks the Future of Linkin Park

  • Axl Rosenberg

As we rapidly approach the one year anniversary of Chester Bennington’s death, the question on many Linkin Park fans’ minds is this: “Will the band attempt to continue without Bennington?” The band kinda-sorta suggested that they might in a statement last August, during which they thanked their following “for all of your support as we heal and build the future of Linkin Park.” As a declaration of intent, that’s obviously about as concrete as water. But is the band any closer to reaching some kind of decision all this time later?

Apparently not. Blabbermouth reports that MC/co-frontman Mike Shinoda was asked if Linkin Park plans to soldier on during a recent, unspecified podcast, to which he allegedly replied, “That’s the million-dollar question… There aren’t any answers to that at this point.”

So what’s the hold up? The answer may lie in a new Rolling Stone interview with Shinoda, in which he reveals that when the surviving members of the group played a tribute show to Bennington last fall, he often had Chester’s vocals playing in his ear monitor, because “I’m used to hearing the songs in a certain way.” Shinoda also admits that even with some real heavy hitters standing in for Bennington — like Korn’s Jonathan Davis and Avenged Sevenfold’s M. Shadows — something about that performance felt off:

“The week after the show, I was listening back and going, ‘God, these people were all really great singers and none of them were Chester’… It became obvious that you can’t just hire some schmuck to get up there and sing with us, ’cause they won’t be able to hit half the stuff.”

Not that anyone in Linkin Park has any reason to give a shit what I think, but here’s what I think: they should let Linkin Park lie. I actively dislike their music, and even I’ll admit that Chester was a HUGE part of their sound. Why endanger their legacy by trying to make it work with a new person? They can’t possibly need the money. Even if the five surviving members of Linkin Park still have a burning desire to make music together, wouldn’t it better to re-brand the band with a new name, Joy Division/New Order style?

Just my two cents, of course. Feel free to debate the topic in the comments section below.

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