Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington explains the band’s pop direction

Posted by on March 20, 2017

Unless you enjoy dinnermusic or elevator tunes, you probably weren’t impressed with Linkin Park’s one new direction. After hearing two songs “Battle Symphony” and “Heavy,” we can only assume One More Light won’t include heavy riffs and angsty screams. Speaking of angst, frontman Chester Bennington responded via Twitter about their change:

We heard teens react to Linkin Park’s change and listened to heavy version of “Heavy,” and recently Bennington spoke to RockSound in greater detail about the drastic change. He admitted to writing poppier music before 2014’s The Hunting Party:

“We actually started writing some really interesting pop music before we wrote ‘The Hunting Party’. We started down a pretty clear path of writing some pretty serious pop music.

Mike was giving me litmus tests like, ‘Hey, what would you say if I said… let’s do a collaboration with Katy Perry or Kelly Clarkson?’ and I was like, ‘Fuck yeah! I actually really like pop music.’ It was just a test to see if I’d go, ‘Absolutely not, that makes me want to puke’ or if I’d be open to the idea, and I’m pretty much open to anything.”

Later, Bennington admitted the band always took risks:

“Starting from ‘Minutes To Midnight’ on, it’s like, ‘Let’s take some fucking risks’. If the songs are great, that should be all that matters. We feel like we’re pushing ourselves creatively. If we write a bunch of pop songs that suck, we’ve definitely taken a wrong turn, if we write a bunch of metal songs that suck, we’ve taken a wrong turn.

“It doesn’t matter what style we write in, as long as it comes from a pure place and it’s something that we pour our hearts and souls into, we can deal with what happens from that point forward and we’re pretty confident that even if it may be shocking to some people – or even everybody at first – sometimes for us it was like, ‘We know we’re going to make a lot of people go, ‘What the heck is this? Who is this?’ and we also know we’re gonna make a lot of people go, ‘What the fuck happened to my band?’.

“I think for us, creativity is way too big to be put in a box, and for us we’re not a one trick pony. We like to really play with our palette and expand our abilities as songwriters and performers, and that’s what we did on this record.”

Bennington never considered Linkin Park a nu metal band:

“We don’t want to be bound by a genre. It’s not like we hate nu metal music. What we hated was being branded as something. If it’s just hard rock, we’d be like, ‘are these people listening to the record?’ but we could equally be called a hip hop group, an electronic group, an alternative band. There are so many different parts to what we’re doing. That’s why we called it ‘Hybrid Theory’…”

Similar to Suicide Silence, it seems they expected backlash and confusion from their fans but due to the current state of their lives, it’s something that had to be done. Check out the full interview on RockSound here.



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