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My 2019 Chester Playlist


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The past few years, I have made a playlist to honor Chester. But this year, the one I made was a bit different. I wanted to take every song that he ever wrote or contributed a large part of the song. Surprisingly, there aren't many. I know he probably worked on most songs with LP and Grey Daze and what not, but that doesn't mean that he wrote the song or contributed a lot to the song's form. Mike and Sean both wrote a lot for those bands while Chester wrote basically all of the songs for DBS and High Rise. Also, a lot of his guest spots were cover songs (stuff like Wonderful, System, Riders On The Storm, etc.) and Slow Ya Roll was already written by Young Buck and he just asked Chester to sing the part, same as Karma Killer, it was already written but Chester provided background vocals. Songs like Cry To Yourself or Walking Dead, he did actually contribute, even if the writing for Cry To Yourself was only an hour. LOL. Cross Off, he also contributed a lot. Anyways, here is my list. Took me a few months. I compiled quotes for it all. I have slightly edited some of the quotes to get down to the part where it talks about Chester’s contributions. Otherwise they would be too big and there’s no need IMO.


Commit: Jonathan Krause talked about the song during an interview. ‘'Every once and a while, Chester would come in with an idea such as the song "Commit", which I love, and we would write something around that."


Sometimes: According to Jason Barnes, Chester wrote all the lyrics to this song. Chester revealed some info behind the lyrics during an interview. ‘'Basically, it's just about, I don't know, it's kind of self explanatory. It's just basically about somebody realizing that, you know, sometimes things just don't happen to work out the way you always plan them to work out. And it's kind of hard to think straight when that happens."


She Shines: According to Sean Dowdell, Chester wrote all the lyrics to the song. ''I think her name was Katie, but I am not sure if he meant it to be about her or not.''


B12: During an interview, Sean Dowdell gave some information about the song. ‘’Chester wrote the lyrics to that when he was 12. It was his first lyrically complete song. Mace and I were screwing around with the music and Chester just came in and started singing the parts, it just fit. The chorus we couldn't find words to put there so Chester just started saying hooray hoorah and we loved it.’’


Forever: Sean Dowdell had a brief statement about the song when it surfaced online in 2017. Taken from his Facebook page, he had this to say. ‘'This was one of my favorite songs we ever wrote (as far as choruses go), but we never had the chance to record it in the studio. I think it is one of his most brilliant lyrical writings.''


Crawling: Chester spoke about the meaning behind the song during an interview in 2009. ''Crawling'', for example, is probably the most literal song lyrically I'd ever written for Linkin Park and that's about feeling like I had no control over myself in terms of drugs and alcohol.''


Cry To Yourself: In 2009, LPLive obtained the full version of the track. Fans starting asking questions about the origins of the track, and Chester said this when asked about the track on his Twitter page. "We never finished the song. I spent an hour writing and recording the track, it's basically a demo."


Somewhere I Belong: Info about the song was revealed in the Meteora booklet that came with the album. "Originally, this started out as a sample of Chester playing acoustic guitar. Mike took the sample, replayed it, effected it, flipped it backwards, and cut it up into four pieces, creating the main sample of the song.''


Hit The Floor: Info about the song was revealed in the Meteora booklet that came with the album. "The band wanted to make a heavy song with a hip hop bounce - this is what came out. Mike and Chester tried numerous singing-style choruses, but when Chester brought the screaming hook into the studio, everyone knew it was going to work.


Easier To Run: Info about the song was revealed in the Meteora booklet that came with the album. ''The verse lyrics emerged from a free-writing exercise performed by Chester: He wrote them to no music, no beat. Mike and Don liked them a lot, and the three guys decided that this was the song to work them into.''


Walking Dead: Z-Trip spoke about the track in depth during an interview. "The biggest point obviously with he and I — and this is something a lot of people don't know — but with that track in particular and the collaboration, he's from Phoenix, and I'm from Phoenix. So it was sort of like the whole vibe of two Phoenix guys, like getting down on a track...not just two Phoenix guys, but two Phoenix underdogs. There was a time when he was in a band, Grey Daze, and I was in my thing with Bombshelter, and it's like people were sort of... It was brewing. It could have went either way. People could have been like, 'Yeah, both of those guys suck, and they're going to fall off.' or 'They could have totally done well.' And we ended up doing well and it's sort of a testament to Phoenix guys doing good."


Walking In Circles: Chester revealed what the song was about during an interview with Rockline in 2009. He said the song was about ''not being a sheep in society, and having your own thoughts and your own views, and feeling separated from the rest of society because of this.''


Into You: Into You was written about the experience that Chester had meeting and falling in love with Talinda. It has been talked about in depth in numerous interviews, but I can't seem to find the one that I am looking for at the moment. I think it was with Revolver magazine in 2009. If I find the quote, I will edit it in here.


Fire: The song originally had much different lyrics, but Chester ended up changing them for the final version. "That song took a few different lyrical changes. It started out one way that was really like a sad story using interesting metaphors and that’s where the name ‘Fire’ came from. The lyric that inspired the title was, ‘There’s a fire in our hearts that’s the reason why the tears keep falling, to put out the fires that our hearts are starting.’ That’s where it came from, but the melodies didn’t quite seem to fit. So I started over, and kind of just ran with that, and went with a more spiritual path of getting through the tougher times. Some people may look at that song and just say, ‘Oh he must have wrote that about someone who passed on.’ Or, ‘Wow that’s really sad.’ Or some people may see it as a spiritual thing, looking up at the heavens, and you know that there is something greater than yourself that’s with you all the time.’’


Morning After: At a few shows in 2001, Chester performed the song acoustically during Linkin Park shows. During one of those performances, he said ''This song is called The Morning After, it's a song, a song I wrote, about the anticipation of one day maybe making it in the music business and being able to do what I love doing.’’


My Suffering: During an interview with SPIN in 2009, Chester spoke about the meaning behind the song. ‘’It’s literally about how being an alcoholic and a drug addict has paid off for me in many ways. I have been able to tap into all the negative things that can happen to me throughout my life by numbing myself to the pain so to speak and kind of being able to vent it through my music.''


Let Down: Chester revealed the meaning behind the song during an interview with KROQ in 2009. ‘’Oh fuck, I'm getting divorced from this person that I hate, and she has all my money, all my stuff, and I'm living in a 700 square foot apartment and fucking, I think I'm falling in love, but I don't wanna repeat the same fucking thing over again, there's Let Down.''


Give Me Your Name: The song was written by Chester as a song that him and Talinda could dance to at their wedding. ‘’Give Me Your Name was even further outside the box because it was a song my wife asked me to write for our wedding. She looked at me one day and said, ''You should write a song for our wedding that we can dance to''.


Crawl Back In: Chester spoke about the meaning behind the song during an interview in 2009. ‘’It’s a song about feeling as if I don’t have my own identity, and at the same time, feeling like you wish you were never born. That song came out of the despair you feel being addicted to something.”


Too Late: The song originally had more spiritual lyrics, but they were changed for the final version of the song. "I don't want to preach to anybody because I know that not everybody believes what I believe in. In "Too Late," there are times I feel like I want to be closer to God but wonder if I will ever be able to get there, because at times I've been so far down the other road. The reality is that I know in my heart that's completely ridiculous, because if I want that I can have it. Sometimes people lack the confidence to have that. That's what that song is about."


Inside Of Me: During an interview with KROQ in 2009, Chester spoke a little on the background of the song. ''Holy crap, I'm 600/700 miles away from my wife, all the time, and all I wanna do is get drunk and sit in my underwear in my hotel room. Ok, there's Inside Of Me.''


Condemned: During an interview with KROQ in 2009, Chester spoke about the meaning behind the song. ''Why do I like feeling like shit all the time? Ok, let's start writing about that, bam, there's Condemned.''


End Of The World: It originally had different lyrics that seemed more spiritual, like Too Late originally had, evidently. In some of the behind the scenes videos for Dead By Sunrise, lyrics from an unknown song were shown. When a fan asked Ryan Shuck on Facebook about the origin of the lyrics, he said that they were from an early version of End Of The World. The lyrics were ‘’Do you believe in life after death, without any pain or disease? Do you believe that faith is a test, the greatest truth can't be seen? Do you believe those who suffer are blessed, they know the true meaning of life?"


In The Darkness: In The Darkness was written about Chester's relationship with Talinda. ‘'In The Darkness was more up my alley in that it was kind of a love song but it was dark and twisted at the same time. I don't know if anybody else finds it romantic, but when I sing 'I want to cut through my skin and pull you within,' I find it sexy, the idea of wanting somebody so badly that you want to become one with them; you want to inhabit their body and vice-versa.’’


Given Up: During an interview, Chester said that he wrote Given Up right after he got back from rehab. ‘’I’d just gotten back from rehab when I wrote that and the guys were like ‘this is fucking good, dude’. They were letting me just vomit lyrics.’’


Shadow Of The Day: Chester spoke a little about the song during an interview in 2009. "There are moments during a Linkin Park session where I'll say, hey, can we change this part? On Shadow Of The Day, there is a guitar part that's at the end of the song. I walked into the studio, and Brad had been there for two days straight. I said, how are you doing? He said, I can't do this. I can't break the code on this one. I said, play it for me. I want to hear what you're working on. He played it and I go, I've got an idea. I go in the other room, played the part on the piano, and I go, play this. He played it, and that's what we kept.''


In Pieces: During an interview with Kerrang in 2007, Chester talked a bit about the song. ‘’I got divorced recently and that was very difficult. I also got remarried so there was a big contrast in my life. For a while I couldn’t be completely happy with the new life I was starting and I couldn’t end the last one. This is a song about all of that. The music has a kind of reggae vibe to it, almost. It’s really cool watching how the song goes from that, through pop and emerges as a full-on rock song at the end."


The Little Things Give You Away: During an interview with MTV, Chester spoke in depth about the meaning behind the song. ‘’We were writing these harmonies before we went down to New Orleans on the first anniversary of the Katrina disaster. And when we were down there, we were talking to these people who lived in the Ninth Ward. One of the lines, about ’water gray, coming through the windows,’ was taken from what one older gentleman told me. The feeling I got down there was not a good one. For my whole life, I was spoon-fed what a great country this is, and I just didn’t get that feeling from that trip. I didn’t understand how we could spend $120 billion a year on killing people in other countries, but we only allocated $1 billion to rebuilding lives here. It really bothered me. … I felt sick about it. So I wrote the lyrics. Mike and I had a discussion, and he said, ’Why don’t you go write about Katrina?’ So I did … and I put it to the melody we had been working on, and it just fit perfectly."


Waiting For The End: During a Mike Shinoda show, Mike spoke about the background of the song. ‘’We were listening to the album version of this next song before the show and as we were listening to it, we were kind of singing along a little bit and I was just really just enjoying the sound of Chester's voice on it. It's just so good. And I remember - this is actually the song, the way we do it here is a mashup so it's two different songs - but the first thing you'll hear is the Linkin Park song, and I remember what happened was when we were working on the song that this part that we play here was the track. That was the beat that I had made on my laptop and I had a cool rap verse over it that I really liked it, but it wasn't a song, it wasn't really the thing. And sometimes there were these moments. A lot of times he would bring me things and he would be like, you know, 'What do you think of this? What do you think of this?' And he was really deferring to me. He was waiting for me to say 'Oh yeah, that's the one, that's really good' And because a lot of times it was like I bring him stuff, I'd be like 'That's great,' you know. 'Sing it.' And once in a while he would bring something in that was really cool. I was playing the beat and he was like 'Oh man, I had this thing that I recorded the other day.' He pulls out his phone and he's flipping through little things that he recorded on his phone. And the moment he pressed play I was like 'Oh wow! That's the song!' Like 'That's what this song is missing!'’


Blackout:  Mike explained during an interview that the track originally started as nothing but "Chester... screaming gibberish over this crazy dance-style track, and there were no words. And every time we tried to put words to it, the lyrics felt like too left-brained, we were thinking too hard and it didn’t feel like a gut spill to use Rick’s words." He told them to try automatic writing, a technique that he used with Johnny Cash and Neil Young, which basically means you get up on the mic and let the words flow. Going in there and actually doing it was terrifying at first but then the words just started coming out of nowhere, it was really surreal. It added a certain soul to the record and without that, I think it would have been really rigid and digital."


The Messenger: Chester said during an interview that the vocals of the song came to him immediately as he heard the first chords, which is rare for him. The opening lines of the demo were "You are a child with so many choices, The hardest always make us cry," which made Chester decide to write the song as a message to his kids.


Lies Greed Misery: Chester spoke about the background of the song during an interview. "This song was one of the rare kinds that just came out of nowhere. Mike told me to scream anything, just let out my anger and I did just that. Before we realized it, we had a song on our hands. In the beginning it seemed too pop, like a tune you could dance to. We had to take out the party vibe and add a darker ‘I’m enjoying your destruction’ element to it. I think this song represents the kind of emotions that arise from standing up to a bully, or when a tyrant is taken down and the people are celebrating around his grave. Like I said, it’s a really dark song, but it also has a weird ‘pizza party’ kind of feel to it. Maybe the combination of crazy style and symphony has something to do with that. You’re at a party outdoors, drinking margaritas, hanging with tanned people, maybe swimming… then you play this song. I mean, it is a party song after all. But that’s not all, you start screaming out loud. I hope you choke on your lies, swallow up your greed, suffer all alone in your misery. And well... it’s a terrible thing to say to someone. This song is incredibly complicated, mentally unstable maybe, but brilliant at the same time."


Victimized: Chester spoke about the background of the song during an interview. ‘’This is one of these songs that Mike came in with this kick-ass beat and I loved it, it was like, it by the way felt really heavy, it felt in your face, it felt like metal but it didn’t feel predictable. It was so cool. And we looked at each other and we know exactly what the song needs. And so I think I started yelling something like “Fuck” or something over it, and we were sort of laughing about how funny it would be if that was like the chorus, and then I think it was Mike or maybe Brad, but someone in the band was like, “Just pick like one word, that could be like one really good word,” and I think someone threw out “victimized” and I was like, “That’s great.” And I just ran in the studio and just kind of screamed “victimized” over it. And then kind of the most obvious line to come after screaming victimized is “never again.” And then that was it. It was pretty much that simple. I mean that song kind of was done at that point in terms of what I needed to contribute to the song. And I think the verses are some of Mike’s best. I think the rapping on this record for Mike is the best that he’s ever done. I mean, there’s a swagger to his whole vibe and a confidence that I don’t think I’ve seen from him before. So I think that also adds to the heaviness of the song, too, the vibe that Mike is sending out. And so, but it’s a pretty complex (Indiscernible) track, and I really like it, it’s one of my favorites."


Out Of Time: During a track by track of the EP with Suicidegirls in 2013, Chester spoke about the song. ''The message of the song is really: it's your choice to decide what kind of life you want to live because all this shit's going to happen anyways. And you can either be pissed about it, or you can find the positive things in it that help make you into a really good person. All the best times of our life didn't do anything for our personalities. That great birthday that you had when you were eight did nothing for you as a human being. What did it teach you? That you were the center of the universe and everyone should give you gifts? It's the time your girlfriend cheated on you the day you lost that job you had in that company that you helped create, or your dog gets hit by a car the same day that your wife tells you to go fuck yourself and then your kids never want to talk to you again. I mean, all these things happen to people. And for me, it's like I always try to ask the universe to help me see the good side of that shit, rather than the other side. Because the easy way to go is to be pissed.’’


Black Heart: During a track by track of the EP with Suicidegirls in 2013, Chester spoke about the song. ‘'Loud rock & roll, that's what I was thinking. I wanted it to be loud, I wanted it to be rock & roll, I kind of wanted it to be sexy, and I kind of wanted it to be disturbing at the same time. That's what I was shooting for.’’


Same On The Inside: During a track by track of the EP with Suicidegirls in 2013, Chester spoke about the song. ‘’I kept hearing the "when do we start pretending" part. I kept hearing that over and over and over again in my head before the words started coming. And I kept hearing "all the same on the inside’’. You're saying one thing, and then the catch phrase sounds like something positive, you know, "we're all the same on the inside." Like if you catch the end of the song, and you never heard it before, you'd probably be thinking, oh yeah, we're all the same, yay! Your brain's going to tell you to stop listening. But really, when you listen to the song, it's talking about not being happy and not finding what you want and not knowing what to say. Come on, admit it, we are not the fucking same. I’m nothing like you kind of a thing. So yeah, it was a fun exercise lyrically to pull that off.’’


Cry Cry: During a track by track of the EP with Suicidegirls in 2013, Chester spoke in depth about the song. ‘'Sometimes when I write on my own, I kind of get right to the point, which is where working with Mike Shinoda comes in handy, because then he comes in, he's like, "Yeah, it's pretty on the nose, let's go this way." I'll say, OK, have fun doing that. Then he walks away with it and come back with something great. Or vice versa, what I do with some of the words that he writes or whatever. When you are by yourself, I've found that in the other bands that I've ever been in were I'm the singer and I'm writing the stuff, it was always just kind of like I show up and sing stuff. People are like, Oh, OK, cool, that's what you came up with. It's somewhere in between those two processes with STP. They kind of just let me do my thing to a certain degree, but then I know that if I don't let them know what I'm doing, they're going to be asking and want to hear it all the time. So I kind of find the balance between asking where should I go, as opposed to, what do you think of this melody, or whatever. So I kind of channeled Mike Shinoda in a little bit throughout this processes to have another voice criticizing my work...It was imagined Mike. I was summing up the Star Wars' version of Yoda after he died. You know, when he's just the green ghost shadow thing in the forest. I was doing that with Mike Shinoda. I was envisioning him as a Jedi master after becoming one with the force, and he would guide me. And it worked. I think that I wrote better lyrics because if it. I would go, "Mike would not like this," and so I'd rewrite it. And sometimes I would say, "Mike wouldn't like this, but I like it, so let's keep it."


Tomorrow: During a track by track of the EP with Suicidegirls in 2013, Chester spoke about the song. ‘'Well, I do work a lot, so I'm alone a lot. When I'm on the road, I don't really get to spend time with people that I care to spend time with a lot. I'm with my band members, but it can get lonely out there sometimes. I knew the song was going to be about that last day before I go home, you know, when I've been gone for four weeks or something like that. That always seems to be the longest time. Because the first week and a half on tour goes like lightning speed. Then it slows down to normal speed where a day is 24 hours instead of 15 minutes. And then that last day seems to drag on for like a week it feels like, and that's kind of the intent of the words.’’


Keys To The Kingdom: ‘’Chester's vocals in the chorus were stream of consciousness, as in Chester didn't write anything down. He simply sang what came to mind.’’ This was revealed by Mike on his Twitter page in 2014.


War: During a now deleted interview with ScuzzTV in 2014, Chester spoke about the song. He said that during the making of album, Mike had asked him if he had any punk sounding songs lying around that he wanted to bring in. Chester said he came up with War in about 5 minutes and brought it in to the band and they loved it.


Talking To Myself: Talking to Kerrang about the song in 2017, Chester said, "It's about relating to how my wife must have felt when I was battling my demons. Seeing it going down and not being able to do something must have sucked." While Chester was not credited as a writer on the song, he must have written the lyrics or at least contributed in some way to the meaning behind the song, judging by his quote.


Heavy: Chester spoke a little about the meaning behind the song during an interview in 2017. ‘’When we were making the record, we would start the songs off with these really interesting conversations, and we'd all relate to them in different ways. There's always something in my head either going, 'what are you doing?' or just mocking me. Typically when I'm inside my head like that, that's when I find myself in a bad, heavy situation.’’ Chester had writing credits on the song alongside Julia Michaels and Justin Tranter.


Halfway Right: In an interview with news.com.au in 2017, Chester spoke about the meaning behind the song. ‘’I was strung out on some really fucking heavy drugs and I was really young and I was driving my car and I blacked out. I woke up driving in a field, down a dirt road, in the middle of a farm. I didn’t know how I got there. It was crazy. I was remembering this constant fucking battle I have with myself, this constant cycle I couldn’t see at that time where these choices and these behaviors and where this journey would take me in my life. But when I was a guy in my 20s getting out of it, I didn’t realize I’d have these problems for my whole life. I didn’t think I’d be in one of the biggest bands in the world with a beautiful family at 41 going ‘Fuck, I could have easily have blacked out driving my car again two months ago’. It’s a dark song, it’s a reality check for me. The chorus is the insanity of my situation — ‘I scream at myself when there’s nobody else to fight’. It’s fucking crazy.” Chester had writing credits on the song alongside Ross Golan.


Cross Off: Chester wrote and recorded the song with Mark Morton in mid April of 2017, making it one of the last songs, if not the last song, that he personally contributed a large part to. Mark Morton said that he composed the base of the song and Chester added his own lyrics and ideas. Mark Morton spoke further about the song during an interview. ''Bennington and I both really loved the song from it's inception and everyone that worked on it put a lot of energy and emotion into it. I feel like you can really hear that in the track, and absolutely in Chester's performance.''

Edited by Garret
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6 minutes ago, xxHybridXeroxx said:

Dude. This is awesome! I love how you put the quotes about each song. The one for WFTE is what Mike said at the Vienna show last year. 


Thank you man. I worked hard on getting all the quotes. A lot is from Linkinpedia but a lot of it isn't, either. For example, the quote about Forever from Sean Dowdell was from when he posted the video to his FB page back in late 2017. But there are many other quotes from other places. The WFTE quote is really cool. 

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1 minute ago, Garret said:


Thank you man. I worked hard on getting all the quotes. A lot is from Linkinpedia but a lot of it isn't, either. For example, the quote about Forever from Sean Dowdell was from when he posted the video to his FB page back in late 2017. But there are many other quotes from other places. The WFTE quote is really cool. 

Yeah it is, seems like you worked very hard on it... I wouldn’t have the patience to find everything! Lol

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Just now, xxHybridXeroxx said:

Yeah it is, seems like you worked very hard on it... I wouldn’t have the patience to find everything! Lol


Lol I mostly did it late at night when I was bored and what not. The challenge also was picking through each track he was ever featured on and it deeming if it made the list or not.

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20 hours ago, lpliveusername said:

Can you link Sean's post about Forever? Couldn't find it anywhere.


Yeah, I’ll have to find it on his FB. Hold on. I’ll edit when I find it.


Idk how to link it. I can post a screenshot of it. Maybe you can find it on his page if you look back now that you’ll have to exact post in my screenshot. F2CE1163-62F9-43A7-AC4F-6BAC7F447AA5.thumb.png.d7ecac1fbb79e4cb845b88ccf87406ff.png

Edited by Garret
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