The world of rock n’ roll was shaken considerably on July 20, 2017 when Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington tragically took his own life. No one saw it coming, thus making it all the more flabbergasting and saddening.
Since Bennington’s passing and the tribute concert having come and gone, many of the fans of Linkin Park and others have speculated that this is more than likely the end of the band.
In a shocking turn of events however, Linkin Park has decided to carry on without Bennington according to a tweet from vocalist/guitarist Mike Shinoda during an AMA when asked about the future of Linkin Park.
I have every intention on continuing with LP, and the guys feel the same. We have a lot of rebuilding to do, and questions to answer, so it’ll take time. https://t.co/nXLxTSd40J
— Mike Shinoda (@mikeshinoda) January 25, 2018
So far the responses to this announcement have been mostly positive. Fans like Twitter user nadej54 even responded with a beautiful quote from Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj:
There are times when a person feels emptied and alienated. Such moments are very desirable, because they mean that the soul has anchored and set sail to remote places. It is detachment – when the old is over, and the new has not come yet.
Others like Loverjoory offered more traditional support, saying:
I believe this Mike 🙏🏻💙
Nothing will stop u guys.
Even when u will sing a new songs
it will feels always like he’s between us 🙏🏻💙💙 #LinkinPark 4 ever
Thank u so much guys 4 ur effort and standing always together 🙏🏻💙
If Linkin Park do replace Bennington rather than just tour with what they have left it would probably be best to find a singer who isn’t just a Chester Bennington sound-alike.
When Journey replaced Steve Perry with someone who sounded almost exactly like him, the band didn’t really grow and few ever remember the replacement Arnel Pineda‘s name. They think of Pineda as more of a stand-in for what they really want.
To replace Bennington properly would involve more than likely be to go the AC/DC route, which is to find someone with their own unique and memorable voice who can sing the old songs plenty well, but can take the band in a new direction to greater heights than was thought possible. Preferably also someone who is not already a well known singer.
Finding such a replacement will most likely take a considerable amount of time though if they want to do this task with the care and respect it so heavily deserves. The fans are going to be highly critical and scrutinizing no matter what, but with the proper amount of time and care taken they might end up coming around in the end.
As for what kind of musical direction Linkin Park will take next, that remains to be seen. Much of it could depend on the kind of singer they might pick up next.
Their last album One More Light had a distinctly lighter and more commercial friendly pop sound to it than the heavier, more rocking stuff they became known for. Considering how critically panned it was though, the band might not keep with such a direction especially if they want their big comeback to make a real impact.
Mike Shinoda put out a short EP of his own Post Traumatic recently that takes a much more electronic and straight urban hip-hop direction than anything heard in Linkin Park.
If Shinoda takes over as band leader in tandem with the vast influence over the sound that Linkin Park DJ Mr. Hahn has the band may end up going more in that kind of direction (at least more so than they already ever had to begin with), though obviously still with some level of rock element to it.
Currently there is no timetable for when the band will be back up and running and no indication of what their next move will be.
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