Thursday, 20 July 2017

In Memoriam: Chester Bennington

For me and a number of my generation, we grew up in the shadow of nu-metal as it crossed over into the mainstream.  We found an alternative to pop music imported from America via MTV, for us Eminem, Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park, Papa Roach and the like were our own form of rebellion.

Loud music.  Angry music.  Parental Advisory - Explicit Lyrics.

We weren't kids anymore and we wanted to turn up our stereos and scream along with the swear words and hoped it offended our parents.  That's what teenagers were built to do.

For a number of friends that I have made through volunteering at a local youth music project, they grew up emo.  Rock was pop.  The alternative had become mainstream.  Screamo and other niche sub-genres were a new alternative to the mass-marketed product.  But the mainstream is always the gateway drug.  The choice to turn away is what makes us feel individual, even when we do it all together.

Tributes to Chester Bennington have been filling up my time stream since the speculative news broke.  We've all been hoping it was fake news, but nobody seemed to be discrediting it.

The suicide of a globally recognised frontman in his early 40s is unthinkable.  Leaving behind a wife and 6 children is heartbreaking.  The fact that a successful new album had brought the band touring in the UK recently leaves so many people asking the same questions.

I'm sure the next few days will reveal more, as inevitable toxicology and character reports surface.  But it doesn't change a thing.

We're hurting because we can't understand....

Cathartic lyrics, screaming loudly, it didn't help.

It didn't change a thing.

Some are maybe hurting because they understand it too well, some are maybe only just hanging in there.

Statistics state that suicide is currently the single biggest killer of men aged under 45 in the UK.  

Social media seems full to the brim with people affected by mental health problems.

We're all here for each other.  We're all willing to share, and comment, and like.

But for some people it doesn't seem to change a thing.

I hope the people that truly need help are strong enough to recognise that.

And I hope those that it is too late for, those like Chester Bennington, are able to find peace in the next life that they couldn't find in this.

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