Chester Bennington of Linkin Park Looks Back on "Meteora"
Thu, 17 Oct 2013 10:28:25
Meteora wasn't just a milestone for Linkin Park. It was a milestone for modern rock. The band's second full-length illuminated the fact that they were here to stay, and it also evinced just how incredible their songwriting is. Tracks like "Don't Stay", "Somewhere I Belong", and "Numb" remain classics in the Linkin Park catalog, and the record exudes a unique sense of urgency that's still magnetic ten years later. Meteora is a classic...
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, Chester Bennington of Linkin Park looks back on Meteora and looks ahead for Linkin Park.
Given the album has celebrated its ten-year anniversary, what's the first thing you think of when you think of Meteora?
I think Meteora was a really good step for us in terms of our ability to write the kinds of songs we were going to be capable of writing. I look at Hybrid Theory and Meteora in a really strange way. We knew what we wanted, and we knew how to execute to a certain degree. However, we were also just going for it. We didn't really care about what anybody else was doing. We also didn't care whether or not the songs fit together stylistically as a whole or a collection of songs.
It was more like, "This riff is sick!" Then, we'd just scream over it, and the next song would be a mid-tempo ballad and you'd sing the way that song needed to be sang. We were testing. We were students in college. We were in the lab, and we happened to stumble across something everybody liked and it worked. I think Meteora was an extension of that.
Do you feel a connection between the two albums?
Absolutely, it's like Volume 1 and Volume 2 of the same process. The only thing is we got better at writing songs on Meteora. We got better at creating sounds. We got better at arranging the songs.
What was Don Gilmore's role in all of this?
I think Don had respect for us at that point. It wasn't just about making a commercial record for the record company. We were allowed to make whatever we wanted. There were no fights. There was no power struggle coming from the label at that time. It was our first taste of being free to a certain degree. At the same time, we were still searching for respect. I feel like we were coming out on that record. It was like, "Now people know what we sound like. We've been around. Check this shit out!" We got heavier. We got more cinematic with our songs.
It's like a bridge into the Linkin Park of today.
I feel like those were two great stepping stones into catapulting us into really believing we could do whatever we wanted in the studio.
What's next for you?
Linkin Park is making a new record now. We're writing some great music, and I'm really excited about it! Next year is going to be a busy year.
What's your favorite song off Meteora?
See our interview with Chester about Stone Temple Pilots here!