Inside Chester Bennington’s Final Days: “I Can Either Just Give Up and F**king Die or I Can Fight”

Gone Too Soon
Celebrities who died before their time.

Chester Bennington was a fighter.

The Linkin Park frontman, who committed suicide at the age of 41 on Thursday, opened up about his struggles with depression in what is believed to be his final interview. Speaking how his band’s new album, One More Light, helped him through the “darkest time” of his life, Chester told reporter Will Lavin that he chose to confront his inner demons.

“I came to a point in my life where I was like, ‘I can either just give up and f**king die or I can f**king fight for what I want.’ And I chose to fight for what I wanted,” he said, according to an excerpt of the unpublished sit-down obtained by the Mirror. “I wanted to have good relationships. I wanted to love the people in my life. I wanted to enjoy my job.”

According to the publication, the interview took place in May — just two months before the singer was found dead in his California home. At the time, he was preparing to hit the road again to promote rock group’s seventh studio album.

Chester Bennington
CREDIT: Rich Fury/Getty Images for iHeartMedia

“It’s hard. You know? Instinctively I want to make the river flow where I want it to flow and I want to make the water be calm when I want it to be calm. It takes a lot of patience to just let things happen as they’re happening and just ride it out. And I feel like that’s where I’m at in life right now,” he said. “I’m just going to focus on what’s going on right now and make the best of the situation no matter what it is. I’m not going to question it or analyse it in any way because that’s me going back to my old behaviour where I was trying to control everything.”

One More Light is for us a very personal and very therapeutic kind of record,” he continued. “We brought in various issues and situations into the writing process. When you hear it in the context of the music there’s a hopefulness and there’s a sense of moving forward and moving on and that’s really where we’re coming from.”

Mike Shinoda Chester Bennington Brad Delson linkin park
CREDIT: Beth Gwinn/Getty Images

“For me personally when we first started working on this record I was coming out of the darkest time of my life and it was all sh*t that I was doing to myself. It was all stuff that I had control over but even though I felt differently at the time.”

Chesters suicide was a shock to fans and his bandmates, who were said to have plans for a photo shoot in Hollywood the same day the frontman’s body as discovered. In fact, Linkin Park released a music video for their song “Talking to Myself” on the morning of Chester’s death.

“The truth is, you turn into someone else / You keep running like the sky is falling / I can whisper, I can yell / But I know, yeah I know, yeah I know / I’m just talking to myself,” Chester sang in the visuals, which comprised of footage from the band’s live performances and behind-the-scenes moments in the recording studio.

The week Chester died, Linkin Park revealed the band had also finished filming an episode for the spin-off to James Corden’s hugely popular Carpool Karaoke segment. “Fun day with @kenjeong @CarpoolKaraoke @AppleMusic,” a message on the band’s official Twitter read. “Stay tuned.”

In the photo, comedian Ken Jeong posed alongside Chester and Linkin Park members Mike Shinoda and Joe Hahn.

“Shocked and heartbroken, but it’s true. An official statement will come out as soon as we have one,” Mike tweeted upon learning about Chester’s death. Meanwhile, bandmate Dave Phoenix Farrell simply wrote on Twitter, “Heartbroken.”

Though Linkin Park has yet to release an official state regarding the loss, they did pay tribute to Chester by sharing an image of the singer performing for a sea of fans.