July 22, 2016

LINKIN PARK's Mike Shinoda has defended Chester Bennington's comment that the band's debut album "kept metal alive."

In a recent interview with Metal Hammer, the LINKIN PARK singer talked about fans approaching him to gush about his influence on them: "I met a kid a few days ago who said, 'You were the first rock band I ever listened to' and I hear that all the time. Every one of them was either, 'Your band was my first record.' Or, 'Your band is the reason I'm playing music.'"

Bennington went on, saying that when the band played the Vans Warped Tour in 2014, they invited other artists to perform, every single artists "was either, 'Your band was my first record.' Or, 'Your band is the reason I'm playing music.'"

He said that experience made him realize that "we were the band that people looked at in the way that I look at DEFTONES, METALLICA and STONE TEMPLE PILOTS."

Bennington added: "In my opinion we actually kept metal alive."

After a number of web sites, including BLABBERMOUTH.NET, reported on Chester's comments, Shinoda took to his Twitter account to chime in. He wrote: "Bunch of rock outlets taking Chester's 'kept metal alive' quote out of context today. So dumb. Its click bait, don't fall for it. He basically said that pop music was ruling the world, and we made a case for (commercially) viable heavy music. NBD [No Big Deal] Maybe not the best choice of words, but the sentiment wasn't as outrageous as today's rock news would have you think."

Both Bennington and Shinoda have said that the band's return to heavier sounds on their last studio album, "The Hunting Party", was partially a reaction to the more subdued music being played on Modern Rock radio.

LINKIN PARK is currently working on the follow-up to "The Hunting Party" for a 2017 release.

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