Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington influenced many in the Singapore music scene

Members of local band group The Summer State (from left) Edwin Waliman, Bryan Ulric Santa Maria, Shaykh Akbar, Victoria Chew and Ritz Ang.
Members of local band group The Summer State (from left) Edwin Waliman, Bryan Ulric Santa Maria, Shaykh Akbar, Victoria Chew and Ritz Ang.PHOTO: NOISE SINGAPORE

SINGAPORE - Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington was an inspiration to many in the Singapore music scene.

Mr Edwin Waliman, 26, bassist in pop-rock band The Summer State, hails him as a "true icon and the voice of a generation".

"I hope people remember Chester as a warrior. He didn't shy away from talking about his past that includes alcohol drug abuse and being abused as a child. In fact, he wore it proudly on his sleeve to raise awareness so more people can seek help."

Mr Waliman, who is also the label manager in music company Secret Signals and co-founder of event organisers Look Ma, No Hands!, adds: "I hope this incident shines more light on how real depression is and how important one's mental health is."

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Just last month, he helped organise a Linkin Park-themed night at nightclub Refuge in Chijmes. It was part of party series, EMONIGHTSG: The B-Sides, which also donates parts of its proceeds to charity organisations that deal with suicide and depression such as Samaritans Of Singapore.

"The crowd's reactions at the party were a testament to Chester's impact on music. He wrote songs that touched so many hearts, and anthems that became a coping mechanism in their own lives," Mr Waliman says.


Syahadi Samad, drummer of bands sub:shaman and Paris In The Making. PHOTO: FACEBOOK/SYAHADI SAMAD

Drummer Syahadi Samad, 26, who plays in bands such as sub:shaman and Paris In The Making, says that Linkin Park's music helped him through a dark period. "Songs like Iridescent and Numb helped me overcome depression. Linkin Park are one of the bands that push me to be not just a better musician through their songwriting, but to also be a better person through their lyrics."


Post-hardcore quartet Boxchild. PHOTO: BOXCHILD

The frontman of alternative rock band Boxchild, Jeevan Kularetnam, 25, says Bennington "expressed my complicated adolescent emotions and frustrations in a simple way".

"He helped me make sense of growing up. Even now, Linkin Park remain an intensely cathartic experience and the key element is and will always be his voice."

For The Summer State's guitarist, Victoria Chew, Bennington and the band opened her eyes to heavier music genres such as metal. "I was not a fan of rap or metal when I was younger, but Linkin Park's music introduced me to both genres and the world of rock, which accompanied me through my teenage angst," says the 25-year-old.


Members of local band group The Summer State (from left) Edwin Waliman, Bryan Ulric Santa Maria, Shaykh Akbar, Victoria Chew and Ritz Ang. PHOTO: NOISE SINGAPORE

Bennington's work with Linkin Park is timeless, says Ms Sarah Sim, 28, a digital and promotions manager at Warner Music Group who is also part of music company House Of Riot, which has managed home-grown artistes such as Charlie Lim, Inch and The Great Spy Experiment.

"Chester's screams were always a source of comfort and seemed to understand and resonate with the teen angst I was feeling. Even in adult life, songs like Numb and In The End are still what we could relate to and talk about forever."