Mike Shinoda Says Chester Bennington Wasn’t Like What People Thought

During a new chat with Revolver, Mike Shinoda said Chester Bennington was different in his early days.

Shinoda recalled how Linkin Park started under the name Xero. They started making music and later brought in other members. He liked how they worked together and their chemistry when they met Chester. The musician talked about what Chester was like back then:

“[Chester] was more of a raw talent than you’d think of now. Now, the only thing anyone thinks of is him being this iconic, huge voice that you recognize the minute you hear it. Back then he was a small statured, poorly-dressed, skinny little guy with a squeaky voice. He wasn’t really screaming on records very much. He would do aggressive vocals, but it wasn’t part of his repertoire.”

Mike And Chester’s Efforts To Create Linkin Park’s Sound

Shinoda shared how he and Bennington worked on creating Linkin Park’s sound:

“He and I really worked to focus in on what was the DNA of the band. It was trial and error, man. We just worked it out as we went — some real air balls as we’re doing it. But some other stuff we went, ‘Yeah, that one’s definitely going to work.'”

Shinoda’s Support Of Bennington

In an earlier interview with Splice, Shinoda said he didn’t get how talented Chester was at first, but later he saw how amazing his singing was. Then, he talked about how he helped the late vocalist with his singing over the years they worked together:

“I just thought he was good, and our effort was trying to figure out, ‘Who are you? How can we pull the most ‘you’ vocal out and make it sound really good on this particular song?’ Because back then, he was singing like all the people who he grew up listening to. And so, on one song, he would sound like this person, and on another song, he’d sound like somebody completely different. And I was like, ‘Nah, you have to sound like you on every song.'”

The rocker also praised Chester’s vocal abilities in a number of his past interviews. In the late ’90s, Shinoda and Bennington experimented with new songs to find Chester’s singing style. So, the late singer stopped mimicking others and found his own voice over time.