Bring Me the Horizon Singer on Chester Bennington’s Death: “I Definitely Felt like a Part of My Childhood Died”


The rock and metal world stood still when iconic Linkin Park vocalist Chester Bennington died in July 2017. Losing such a larger-than-life figure in such upsetting circumstances affected countless people, spurring tribute performances and a reevaluation of the way we treat mental health in the United States. Bring Me the Horizon vocalist Oli Sykes is one of the people who participated in the Bennington tribute at Hollywood Bowl in 2017; he described the experience as “unreal” in an interview with WRIF.

“I guess the best way to describe it would be bittersweet. Obviously [it was] just an unreal experience for me, but just under the worst possible circumstances. So, yeah, it’s… I don’t know. I think it’s hard to process things like that.

“I never really say much when famous people die that you don’t really know but meant a lot to you because part of me is, like, what right do I have to talk about this person? I didn’t know them. Just because their musical, whatever they did, did so much for me… It’s weird. I get it’s kind of like imposter syndrome. I feel like a piece of me has died, but also like I didn’t really know this person. So it’s a really hard thing to process.”

Sykes stressed that he did not know Bennington, so it felt like a surreal experience performing at his memorial.

“I definitely felt like a part of my childhood died when [Chester] died, of my innocence. I don’t know. But I didn’t cry because I didn’t know him as a person. [I felt] a kind of disbelief, I guess. And the same when we played the gig. It was almost like you’re not doing what you’re actually doing; you’re not actually thinking about it like what it really is. Like I’m here, stood up… It’s basically his funeral; I’m playing his funeral. You don’t think about it like that. You just do it. I don’t know. Grief’s weird.”

Bring Me the Horizon are currently on tour with Fall Out Boy.

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