“I must have been about 13 when I first heard Linkin Park and, to be honest, music had never played that much of a part in my life to that point. Then I saw a Linkin Park video on Kerrang! TV and it made me think, ‘Fucking hell, this is really cool!’ I felt like the music was speaking to me, the lyrics really resonated, and they were the band that really got me heavily into the scene. From there I got into hardcore and metalcore, but I’d always check out their new albums.
“Chester’s voice was a huge inspiration, too. He was someone I looked up to. He was the benchmark, because I don’t think anyone sounds like him. He was such an iconic and unique singer. I don’t think anyone sounded like him before, and I don’t think anyone will ever again. That mix of melody, catchiness and aggression is something I wanted to aim for myself.
“When I heard the news he had died I was in Los Angeles, not too far away from where it happened. At first I didn’t believe it, to be honest. When it was clear it was real, I felt weird. I know we’ve lost a lot of great artists over the years, but no-one had the impact and influence on my life that he did. Him as a vocalist and his band are genuinely responsible for the path I chose in life. Losing someone that you don’t actually know – obviously I met him, but I couldn’t call him a friend – is such a strange feeling. I feel like I miss his presence, even though I didn’t really know him. I think it’s important that you grieve and appreciate what you and we’ve all lost.”
Go pick up a copy of this week's mag here. 26p from each issue sold in the UK and online through Newsstand.co.uk goes straight to the One More Light fund, established in Chester’s memory by Music For Relief, the charity he co-founded.