BRING ME THE HORIZON's OLI SYKES On CHESTER BENNINGTON's Death: 'I Definitely Felt Like A Part Of My Childhood Died'

August 14, 2023

In a new interview with Meltdown of Detroit's WRIF radio station, vocalist Oliver "Oli" Sykes of British rockers BRING ME THE HORIZON reflected on his participation in LINKIN PARK's tribute concert to the band's late frontman Chester Bennington. The performance took place on October 27, 2017 at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles and saw LINKIN PARK return to the stage for the first time since Bennington took his own life in July of that year.

"I guess the best way to describe it would be bittersweet," Sykes said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). "Obviously [it was] just an unreal experience for me, but just under the worst possible circumstances. So, yeah, it's… I don't know. I think it's hard to process things like that.

"I never really say much when famous people die that you don't really know but meant a lot to you because part of me is, like, what right do I have to talk about this person?" Sykes continued. "I didn't know them. Just because their musical, whatever they did, did so much for me… It's weird. I get it's kind of like imposter syndrome. I feel like a piece of me has died, but also like I didn't really know this person. So it's a really hard thing to process.

"I definitely felt like a part of my childhood died when [Chester] died, of my innocence," Oli added. "I don't know. But I didn't cry because I didn't know him as a person. [I felt] a kind of disbelief, I guess. And the same when we played the gig. It was almost like you're not doing what you're actually doing; you're not actually thinking about it like what it really is. Like I'm here, stood up… It's basically his funeral; I'm playing his funeral. You don't think about it like that. You just do it. I don't know. Grief's weird."

Sykes sang LINKIN PARK's song "Crawling" at the 2017 concert, which was billed as "Linkin Park And Friends Celebrate Life In Honor Of Chester Bennington". Proceeds from the event went to Music For Relief's One More Light Fund in memory of Bennington.

Among the other artists who appeared at the show were Jonathan Davis of KORN, M. Shadows and Synyster Gates from AVENGED SEVENFOLD, all the members of SYSTEM OF A DOWN except Serj Tankian, members of BLINK-182, Machine Gun Kelly, ex-YELLOWCARD singer Ryan Key, pop singer and LINKIN PARK collaborator Kiiara and more.

Bennington's passing was ruled a suicide soon after his body was found in July 2017 at his home in Palos Verdes Estates, California.

Chester had been candid about mental-health battles in numerous interviews over the years, saying he grappled with depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts and substance abuse. His struggles with drugs and alcohol landed him in rehab twice around 2006.

LINKIN PARK released a concert album titled "One More Light Live" in December 2017.

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