Chester Bennington, who fronted the popular Linkin Park, was a one of a kind artist who was also once in a lifetime via his talent. Not only was he able to belt extremely well, but he also was insanely kind to his fans and those around him.
In a recent episode of the Podioslave podcast, it was revealed that Chester was so happy, pleased, and humbled, to be in the project that involved him and the surviving members of Stone Temple Pilots.
In May 2013, it was announced that Bennington had joined Stone Temple Pilots as the new lead singer, following the departure of the band’s original frontman, Scott Weiland. Bennington recorded and toured with the band for two years, during which time they released an EP titled “High Rise.”
Bennington’s time with Stone Temple Pilots was met with mixed reviews. Some fans were excited to hear Bennington’s take on the band’s classic songs, while others felt that his style was too different from Weiland’s and that the band had lost its original sound.
The relationship wouldn’t last too long with Chester and Stone Temple Pilots as it was announced that they had parted ways with Bennington and were once again searching for a new lead singer. Bennington remained focused on his work with Linkin Park until his tragic death by suicide on July 20, 2017.
In the podcast, it was revealed that Chester idolized Weiland, and felt “bashful” about taking Weiland’s place in the band, and discussed his conflict as he took the gig. They also revealed that Bennington was a huge music nerd and noted Stone Temple Pilots as the band that got him into music.
Despite the brief nature of his tenure with Stone Temple Pilots, Chester Bennington’s time with the band remains an interesting footnote in his career and a testament to his versatility as a singer and his ability to adapt to different musical styles. Let’s give the album a quick look once more.
Admittedly, I like many didn’t give the album enough credit when it came out. It felt like a very quick and forced jump from Scott to Chester. No one will disagree that Chester was insanely talented, but the mourning period from Scott to Chester just wasn’t long enough, in my opinion. It all happened so fast.
Bands like Alice In Chains did it right, honestly. There was a lengthy amount of time between Layne Staley and William DuVall. Some have argued that Alice should have never kept the same name, but as a huge Alice In Chains fan, I love some of William’s work more-so than some of Layne’s work and vice-versa. Both singers are/were extremely talented and have served an incredible purpose.
With Stone Temple Pilots, it felt different at the time. It didn’t feel the same. Again, it just felt rushed and un-natural as a listener, but was it really worth panning the record?
Listening to it today, the album opens extremely strong with ‘Out Of Time,’ and if anything, I think the instrumentation slows Chester’s performance down. Chester is not the one to blame here at all for this track. Chester’s vocal performance is very Linkin Park driven and he’s himself the whole time, with your grunge vocal wobble here and there – but in this track, Chester does a great job. The rest of the instrumentation doesn’t work. It sounds too classic and less modern.
‘Black Heart’ is the next track, and I feel the same way. The instrumentation is too classic for Chester’s voice. The vocal delivery is great and the writing with the hooks are great. The song is great in the pre-chorus and chorus, it’s the verses that get me.
‘Same On The Inside’ feels like we are getting somewhere with the band clicking. It’s more spacey and modern sounding than the rest. So far, Out Of Time, is still my favorite track, but the instrumentation works the best here with Chester. As you can see, we have a theme that none of this was Chester’s fault. Also, note that this album is still much better than most current albums out. This isn’t to say that this album was horrible by any means. It’s still a very good album.
‘Cry Cry’ is the second to last track on this EP and we are back too just too classic sounding guitar work until we get to about the end of the song and then it works much better. So far, the album opened great, but has fallen off after.
The last track is ‘Tomorrow’ and this one is solid. This could be a Chester Bennington solo track if it really wanted to be. It’s worth a listen.
So, there you have it. The EP, in my opinion, was not at the destruction brought upon by Chester Bennington. It just felt like the instrumentation was much more classic than it should have been and Chester was shoe-horned into “Do what Scott Weiland would do,” rather than Chester saying “Okay, that guitar isn’t working here for me.” Given, Chester was a guest here, but maybe more collaborative talk between the group would have yielded a better representation overall. It’s still a solid EP and a cool artifact. Chester wasn’t to blame.
In this clip from Ep 162, Nate tells us about the time he got to nerd out with Chester Bennington about him fronting Stone Temple Pilots. Chester was one of a kind, a true music #legend.
— Podioslave Podcast (@Podioslave) April 18, 2023