PAPA ROACH's JACOBY SHADDIX Reflects On His Friendship With CHESTER BENNINGTON: 'He Just Had A Heart Of Gold'

January 23, 2024

In a new interview with Canada's iHeartRadio, PAPA ROACH singer Jacoby Shaddix reflected on his friendship with late LINKIN PARK frontman Chester Bennington. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Oh, man. What an amazing man, amazing creator, great human. He just had a heart of gold.

"I met him way back. This was, like — shoot — maybe 2000 or '99. It was 2000. I heard some of their music when they were [called] HYBRID THEORY before they popped off. And then I met him in Atlanta. They did a show, and I went and watched them on stage. I was, like, 'Oh my God. These guys, they're the business.' And we hit it off, and we had a good old time. We did Ozzfest together. We took 'em out on tour in America, and we really clicked up. We were trying to get our wives pregnant at the same time. We had babies, like, a month apart from each other. And so Draven, his son, and my son Makaile are just like a month apart from each other. And so that really solidified a solid bond between me and that cat. And through the years, we'd just check in on each other and see how each other was doing and know that we both had our struggles. I think honestly, for a little while, early on in 2000, I was running amok and he was out there running amok with me, just partying. And we both knew at some point that that life was over. And we both overcame those demons through the years and I commend him for that."

Jacoby added: "It just hurts my heart to know how he went out and just the loss from the fans, but most importantly for his son. God, it hurts my heart.

"But what an amazing dude that had such a massive impact on music and creativity and rock. And he will echo through the ages through his music."

Shaddix previously talked about Bennington's suicide in a December 2017 interview with Meltdown of Detroit's WRIF radio station. At the time, Jacoby said: "I knew him quite well. I went out to dinner with him about a month before all that went down. He just had great advice to give me and was just super friendly and I just thought everything was cool. But the reality is I've struggled with a lot of the same demons he's struggled with, and I understand the darkness.

"For anybody out there that's walking through that themselves or has somebody in their lives that are in that dark place, my heart goes out to 'em, 'cause it's not easy," he continued. "And sometimes it just feels like everything is just way too heavy and you just can't handle life. And it's tough sometimes. I'm just glad I'm still breathing, 'cause that really just hit me hard. It made me go, 'Ugh. That's just too heavy.'"

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.

Bennington's friends told Rolling Stone that he fell off the wagon for three days in August 2016 and drank until he blacked out, adding that he had been consuming alcohol again as recently as October 2016. Bennington's longtime friend Ryan Shuck, who played with the singer in DEAD BY SUNRISE, thought Bennington may have had "a couple of drinks" before hanging himself on July 20, 2017.

Investigators found no illegal drugs or prescription drugs while searching Bennington's home following his passing, although a partially consumed bottle of alcohol was found in the bedroom where the 41-year-old singer’s body was discovered.

Bennington's private funeral service took place on July 29, 2017 near his home in Palos Verdes. It was attended by five hundred guests, including members of all three bands Bennington sang in: LINKIN PARK, STONE TEMPLE PILOTS and DEAD BY SUNRISE.

LINKIN PARK paid tribute to Bennington in October 2017 with an emotional three-hour show that featured numerous guests joining the band onstage in Los Angeles.

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

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