Friday, 21 July 2017

Music and Mental Health - The loss of Chester Bennington.

I was deeply saddened yesterday at the news of Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington's untimely death. At 41 years old he took his own life leaving behind a loving wife, 6 children, a devastated band, friends,family and millions of heartbroken included.

Growing up Linkin Parks unique NuMetal songs with their poignant lyrics and the combination of Chester's voice which could change from soothing to fierce and Mike Shinoda's raps got me through my teenage years. Listening to his lyrics let me know I wasn't alone. Songs such as Numb, Runaway and Pushing me away particularly stick out. They reinvented NuMetal for the masses and a new generation of teenage metal lovers was born. Hybrid Theory to this day still remains my all time favourite album, there isn't a track on it that isn't infectious. 

Over the years Chester had been vocal on many issues including his own metal health issues and his battle with drink and drug addiction.
It's so easy for us as fans to assume that being famous and having money means your life is easy and you've got it all. Losing another rock icon to suicide serves as proof that appearances can be deceiving and we're all very good at wearing masks. In wake of his death his wife and bandmates set up a suicide prevention site:

 Not many celebrity deaths hit me the last couple of years I think David Bowie, Alan Rickman and Carrie Fisher are the ones that shocked and saddened me the most,  but Chesters passing feels like a punch to the stomach, I am truly gutted. 
Seeing them sing live was on my bucket list, something I desperately wanted to do because my late aunt always wanted to do it but died before she could get the chance. I have so many fond memories of blaring their music on her car stereo,of singing along to One step closer and Crawling.

 It's hard to envision a world where his voice and persona no longer exist. Of course we can listen to their  albums on repeat but the world sure is a much darker place now that his light has gone out.

Mental health is cruel and callous and can come for any one of us. Don't be afraid to speak up and speak out. Ask for help.

I've seen so many posts detailing how selfish he was for ending it and a part of me used to agree especially when there's children involved, but I'm not naive enough to think that it's as black and white as that any more.  
However now is not the time to debate his actions, now is the time to reflect on a rock icon, a lyrical legend and a god among men. His wife Talinda is very active on social media, especially Twitter and is fighting to get people's voices heard and to end the stigma attached to mental health issues, she's using the hashtags #makechesterproud and #fuckdepression

May you rest in peace Chester. I bet heaven is sounding heavy right now.

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