AVENGED SEVENFOLD's M. Shadows says that LINKIN PARK has "every right to move forward" following the passing of Chester Bennington.
The LINKIN PARK frontman died on July 20 at his Los Angeles area home after committing suicide at the age of 41.
LINKIN PARK paid tribute to Bennington on October 27 with an emotional three-hour show that featured numerous guests joining the band onstage at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles.
Shadows, who was one of the guests at the Hollywood Bowl concert, spoke about Chester's death during a recent interview with Eddie Trunk.
He said: "I didn't know Chester very well; I knew him kind of fleetingly, I guess. But I'm really good friends with Mike Shinoda and Dave [Farrell]. Me and Mike hang out every summer when Coachella happens, and Desert Trip [last] year, when they had Roger Waters and Paul McCartney and all that. So he usually comes out to the house out there and we'll hang out all weekend. He actually played me this whole record [LINKIN PARK's latest album, 'One More Light'] before it came out, and it was pretty haunting at the time, even hearing Chester's demos on the record. And then for this all to happen is just heartbreaking."
The AVENGED SEVENFOLD singer, whose bandmate Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan died in December 2009 from an accidental overdose of prescription drugs and alcohol, continued: "I think Mike realizes we've been through the same sort of thing — even though The Rev's [death] wasn't a sucide, you're losing a friend at such an early age. It's insane."
Asked if he thinks LINKIN PARK will carry on without Bennington, M. Shadows said: "They're human beings and they have a long life to live. And I think if they love music this much, they have every right to move forward. Knowing Mike as well as I do, he's always been, in my opinion, the leader of that band — the guy who gets things going, the guy who gets demos going, the guy who obsesses over every detail of that band.
"It's gonna be hard to lose Chester; he easily was one of the best vocalists of our time. From when I was growing up, just watching them live, he just was flawless for what he did. And it's gonna be tough, but at the same time, Mike is such a hard worker and he's so dedicated to that band and put so much time in that I can't just see him just being done with it."
Pointing out that "there's no blueprint for life," M. Shadows called the surviving members of LINKIN PARK "great dudes" and urged the band's fans "to give them time to recoup" so they can figure out their next move. "And they're gonna know what feels right and what feels wrong," he said. "It would just be a shame if they stopped making music altogether; I don't know if it's under a different name or if they'd keep the LINKIN PARK name. But Mike is the driving force in that band. He is meticulous — he obsesses over everything, from the label to the producer they're using to the beats they're doing to the type of songs they're gonna write — and I just can't see him letting that go. I don't think it's possible, and I think it would be a shame if he did."
LINKIN PARK will release a concert album titled "One More Light Live" on December 15. Recorded on the band's "One More Light" world tour, it features 16 songs, including "Crawling", "Numb", "What I've Done", "Heavy" and the title track from the group's latest studio album, "One More Light".
LINKIN PARK has yet to announce whether the band intends to continue without Bennington.