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Interview with Chester Bennington

The only people who listen to rock music anymore are World War II veterans. Everybody else listens to Linkin Park because it has taken hoary guitar music and modernized it with beats, samples and graffiti spray, selling 12 million copies of its 2001 debut, "Hybrid Theory," and logging more than 70 weeks on the pop charts with its latest release, "Meteora." The band is currently on the Projekt Revolution Tour, which hits Shoreline tonight, with Korn, Snoop Dogg, the Used and Less Than Jake. We spoke with Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington, 28, by phone from Dallas..

Question: You spending a lot of time hanging out with Snoop?
Chester Bennington: No, not really.

Question: Why the hell not?
Chester Bennington: I don't know. Ask Snoop.

Question: Is he anti-social?
Chester Bennington: He seems to be the most anti-social out of everybody, so far.

Question: That's messed up.
Chester Bennington: I think he's just more into doing what Snoop does. He's a nice guy, very cool. But I've probably hung out with everybody else more than him.

Question: That's too bad because hanging out with him would have given you a chance to expand your vocabulary this summer.
Chester Bennington: Yeah, dude. One of the reasons I really wanted to hang out with him was to up my ebonical skills.

Question: Maybe if you stocked your tour bus with a few things he would like -- some weed, a couple porn videos -- instead of just video games and books, he might want to hang out with you a little more.
Chester Bennington: Perhaps I should re-evaluate my whole strategy here. So it's not just about the bud? I've got to get the bud, the booze and the bitches.

Question: Correct. You need a complete tour bus makeover.
Chester Bennington: That's kind of hard because I have a 2-year-old. I don't know if the coke and the strippers would go over that well. I have to pretend I'm a dad and stuff. But I'm sure we could work something out.

Question: I don't know. That sounds a little boring. And you are a former drug addict.
Chester Bennington: Well, we do say that there's no smoking and no weed backstage, or anything really that you can smell. We don't want anything to travel into our dressing room.

Question: So shooting up is OK?
Chester Bennington: Yeah, cocaine and heroin, they don't have an odor, so that's cool. No, seriously, I pretty much don't care. But we try to keep it mellow backstage. That's a little hard with Snoop.

Question: What are you thinking, bringing a 2-year-old on tour anyway?
Chester Bennington: Dude, he's awesome. Snoop has actually hung out with my son more than he's hung out with me.

Question: That's because he secretly probably has the most fun tour bus.
Chester Bennington: Actually, that's true. He's got Spider-Man sticky toys, Play-Doh, crayons. And no one looks at you weird if you're coloring farm animals.

San Francisco Chronicle - September 5, 2004



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