Music Notes

Linkin Park's Mike Shinoda Is Dealing With The Loss Of Chester Bennington Through Music

"At its core, grief is a personal, intimate experience."

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Linkin Park's Mike Shinoda is sharing his journey with grief and paying tribute to his late bandmate Chester Bennington on a new EP titled Post Traumatic. Shinoda, who has also a side project called Fort Minor, released the three solo songs in January, with homemade music videos to go with them.

Bennington, Linkin Park's frontman, died by suicide last July. His bandmates and fans have honored his memory in various ways over the months, from sharing suicide prevention resources to a tribute concert last October. Linkin Park also released a moving video for their song "One More Light," featuring footage of Bennington during his time in the group.

However, Shinoda shared at the time of his EP's release why he chose to release this latest music as "just me," explaining, "At its core, grief is a personal, intimate experience." He added, according to Billboard, "Art has always been the place I go when I need to sort through the complexity and confusion of the road ahead. I don't know where this path goes, but I'm grateful I get to share it with you."    

Shinoda, who co-founded Linkin Park and is known for rapping on the band's releases such as "Numb" and "In the End," wrote and produced Post Traumatic on his own, as well as filming and editing the accompanying music videos. The first, called "Place to Start," features Shinoda performing to camera as sunlight streams in through a window behind him. The video ends with recordings of various condolence messages he received after Bennington's death.

On the more aggressive "Over Again," Shinoda raps about his experience performing without Bennington. "I get tackled by the grief at times that I would least expect," he shares. "I know what I should be doing when I'm singing but instead / We'll be playing through a song and I'll remember in my head." In the video, Shinoda holds the camera as he walks between rooms, often filming himself in closeup as he raps the lyrics.

"Watching As I Fall," the longest and final video, cuts between Shinoda singing to camera and various other images, including bits of animation. In the second part of the video, filmed in December, he speaks to the camera, giving fans an update about his life: "I'm gonna do my best to have a good holiday and spend good time with the family, and be appreciative for what I've got, and work hard on my music and art and see where that'll take me."

Shinoda will perform at this August's Summer Sonic Festival in Japan, and fans are also campaigning to bring him to their own cities for solo shows through WeDemand. "The past six months have been a rollercoaster," Shinoda told fans at the time of the EP's release. "Amidst the chaos, I've started to feel an intense gratitude — for your tributes and messages of support, for the career you have allowed me to have, and for the simple opportunity to create."

Watch all three of Shinoda's music videos below:

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