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Sean Dowdell: "Chester was so bummed out" about "One More Light" criticism

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In a new interview with Finland's Kaaos TV, Sean Dowdell of Grey Daze describes Chester's reaction to criticism of Linkin Park's "One More Light" album.

 

Sean said, "I'm gonna say a few things here. It may not be very popular, but it's the truth. And not that I wanna bring the Linkin Park guys into the conversation, but I think they would agree with this. When they did the 'One More Light' album [which came out in May 2017, just two months before Chester's death], it wasn't received the way they thought it was gonna be received, or at least the way Chester thought it was gonna be received, and he got a lot of negativity from fans, and it really bothered him. And we talked about that a lot. He would just be so bummed out and he would blast people on Twitter, and he would get upset. And I would tell him: 'Dude, don't let these people bring you down. It's not worth it. The music is good, man. Don't worry about this kind of crap.'

 

For those guys, they worked so hard on putting those records together, and they're so used to having these accolades and this adulation from their fanbase. And then when they put out an album like 'One More Light', and still 95 percent of the people like the music. But it's that five percent of people that just [complain], and they spend so much time — these losers in their basement, I like to call 'em — where all they have is just time to sit there and write on a keyboard about what a loser you are. It's, like, what have you done with your life?

 

I don't understand what makes somebody be a fan of Chester's, and you love everything he did, or most everything he did, and then he does a song that you don't like, that you feel like you have to badmouth him or tell him he sucks and all this kind of crap. And that stuff really weighed on him. So I think that really contributed to part of his head spot. He had some sexual abuse as a child, and that always weighed on him, and that kind of culminated into this thought process where Chester never felt good enough or never felt appreciated or never felt like he was worth it. He had this emptiness inside that I don't think he could really explain to a lot of people.

 

I got to know this side of him quite well. He could have a thousand people, after a show, wanting to meet him and tell him how great he is and how much he touched their life in a profoundly emotionally positive way, gave them an outlet for their own pain and their own distress, and internally, Chester would not hear that. He would say, 'Thank you,' and he would still feel like he wasn't enough. We'd have this conversation, and he'd be, like, 'I just don't feel like I'm smart enough. I don't feel like I'm good enough.' And I'd go, 'Chester, you are such a good person. Forget the singing. I don't care about you as a singer; I care about you as a human being. I don't care that you are a great singer. I care that you are such a good person.' He was one of the best friends you could ever have."


Check out the full interview here.

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Great interview, as we all know Chester got really upset about OML criticism. People should always learn to separate music from human beings, like, you don’t like the album ? Fine, you don’t have to spend months talking shit about the band. 

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Posted (edited)

I think this subject is like an elephant in the room with LP fanbase...

The OML criticism could be one of the reasons that culminated on what we all know. Those guys heard so many shit about their music since day 1, anything they did was never enough.
But with OML things were different, the criticism was way more personal. The songs were personal for the band, they worked hard on them.

And i remember Chaz being really offended when some people said "OML sounds lazy, you didn't even worked or tried to do something". 

 

The band and the family will never blame any part of his death on the criticism, but we all can figure out that it had some impact on his ill mind.

 

That's why i personally don't accept someone talking shit about OML nowadays. It's okay to not enjoy it, but respect all the burden it carries.

Edited by vinifeijo
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15 minutes ago, vinifeijo said:

I think this subject is like an elephant in the room with LP fanbase...

The OML criticism could be one of the reasons that culminated on what we all know. Those guys heard so many shit about their music since day 1, anything they did was never enough.
But with OML things were different, the criticism was way more personal. The sons were personal for the band, they worked hard on them.

And i remember Chaz being really offended when some people said "OML sounds lazy, you didn't even worked or tried to do something". 

 

The band and the family will never blame any part of his death on the criticism, but we all can figure out that it had some impact on his ill mind.

 

That's why i personally don't accept someone talking shit about OML nowadays. It's okay to not enjoy it, but respect all the burden it carries.

Agree on this, I get really aggressive on the theme too because: 

1 I really liked the album from day 1

2 it had an (even if small) impact  on the tragedy occurred. I can’t stand to see it on the list of worst albums of all time Getting 1/5 stars by the same motherfuckers who act like every Kendrick Lamar song is a 

a masterpiece or give 4/5 to Cardi B including some of her songs in the best of the past decade (with no offense to both Cardi and KENDRICK obviously) 

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Posted (edited)

I was lying awake yesterday and thought about the last few months before Chesters passing. Two things were striking: Firstly, his outspokenness about his depression and thought processes that go along with it. In a short period of time he gave incredibly insightful interviews about all of that. Secondly, his frustration with fan reactions about OML on Twitter and such. These two factors were so unusual to me and in hindsight I would classify them as warning signs of his mental well being during that time.

Edited by Trumtram

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Posted (edited)

I think speculation is a dangerous road when it comes to something like this, and I don’t think any of us should take speculation or assumptions as something akin to truth. There are any number of factors that go into things like depression. 
 

With that said, the OML reaction (at least the online one) is 100% the elephant in the room as said above. We cannot say that it was the “cause” or anything like that, but we also can’t ignore it. Anyone who follows the band, watches the videos, attended or watched or listened to live recordings, we all knew how Chester was, and he always very hard on himself. Sean is absolutely correct here, it wouldn’t matter that OML was a number one album, Heavy was a huge single in plenty of places, the band was playing the biggest shows of their entire careers and selling out Europe, adding shows to the UK, selling out South America, about to play stadiums in the US - you don’t see any of the positive stuff when you’re in that state of mind. You only see the negative.

 

Chester was pretty active on social media, and as we all know, any kind of real online criticism (or even praise!) gets drowned out by the countless and tireless trolls and, as Sean says, people who have nothing better to do. All Chester is going to see are insults toward his music and even personal attacks. We know how bad it is online. Look at how people to react to movies or other innocent entertainment that they don’t like. So you have Chester seeing all of this and ignoring all of the positive stuff. He sees a few people booing Heavy at festivals and focuses on them instead of the thousands of people singing every word of all the new songs on tour.

 

The OML songs were very personal, even by LP standards. Chester had just gone through one of the toughest periods in his life, 2015-2016, and all of the music has heavily influenced by that. He openly talks about this in 2017 interviews. He really really cared about the songs, maybe more than ever, and that’s saying something. So to have art that you just poured your heart and soul into, that you’re proud of and excited to share, and to have the reaction be - in your mind - people hating it and insulting you and your band mates and your entire career....that’s something that none of us can ever really understand or even comprehend.

 

I remember back when Dead By Sunrise didn’t end up being as commercially successful as Chester hoped it would, and how he got on Twitter and asked if he had just made a bad record. That hurt. His art was always extremely personal for him, it was his life’s work, it was his passion. 
 

Again, we’ll never really know. There are too many things that go into things like this. He had to quit Stone Temple Pilots, had just lost close friends of his; just way too many things happened to him in way too short of a span of time. We’ll never actually know what he was thinking, and there are plenty of factors that we have no business knowing anyway. 
 

What we can take away from this realization is this: We can all be kinder, we can all show more empathy, and we all need to be more aware of the words we use and who we say them to. Reach out to your loved ones, be there for them, check in on them. And if you’re suffering, don’t be afraid to let others know. Don’t be ashamed of what bothers you and how it makes you feel. We can choose openness and kindness every time. 

 

 

Edited by ChuckCheese

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I remember this. This is garbage, I hope no other bands will experience this. Trying to injury someone just because you don’t like a song. This is a miserable Human being.

Chester would have probably done what he did even if OML was well received by fanS, but this makes me sad and angry 

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While the negativity surrounding OML sucks, and could easily be taken personally, I'm at least thankful Chester (and the band) got to do a little bit of touring in 2017. It's great to see the crowd embrace the new songs, jumping up and down for "Talking To Myself", or singing parts of "Heavy" and "Good Goodbye". That hopefully gave LP some assurance that despite what critics or the minority of internet trolls said, the fans paying money for tickets and traveling to shows enjoyed OML for what it was.

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The reception for Heavy was like 99% negative 

 

The reviews were awful 

We trashed it so hard 

 

OML sucks balls

 

Too bad that Chester took the criticism so personal he barely wrote anything for it..

 

I remember Chester replying constantly on Instagram to criticism

 

Awful times.. By far OML their worst work to date, it will sound so outdated very soon. 

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25 minutes ago, JZLP-AmendsUltimateFan said:

The reception for Heavy was like 99% negative 

 

The reviews were awful 

We trashed it so hard 

 

OML sucks balls

 

Too bad that Chester took the criticism so personal he barely wrote anything for it..

 

I remember Chester replying constantly on Instagram to criticism

 

Awful times.. By far OML their worst work to date, it will sound so outdated very soon. 

Man, why so negative ? “Sucks balls”, like, we are talking about harsh/rude criticism having a negative effect on Chester and you make this comment. I mean, I know you didn’t like the album and it’s super ok, but, less is better in this case IMO 😊 peace 

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Just now, PurpleFlinstoneVitamins92 said:

Man, why so negative ? “Sucks balls”, like, we are talking about harsh/rude criticism having a negative effect on Chester and you make this comment. I mean, I know you didn’t like the album and it’s super ok, but, less is better in this case IMO 😊 peace 

 

I'm on topic this time. 

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1 hour ago, JZLP-AmendsUltimateFan said:

The reception for Heavy was like 99% negative 

 

The reviews were awful 

We trashed it so hard 

 

OML sucks balls

 

Too bad that Chester took the criticism so personal he barely wrote anything for it..

 

I remember Chester replying constantly on Instagram to criticism

 

Awful times.. By far OML their worst work to date, it will sound so outdated very soon. 

Reception from who? reviews from who?

Metalheads that expected metal, or popheads that do not want a new band in their pink bubbly world.

OML is far better, musically and production wise than many pop records of its year.

I also think Sean is not really the right person to talk about all those personal details bout Chester... like why is that necessary right no? idk

Its not their best work, sure, but it was deeply personal to them. If you (i mean people in general) dont like it, then dont listen. But nobody is entitled to shit on somebodys work. Its called respect

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2 minutes ago, Cesar656 said:

Reception from who? reviews from who?

Metalheads that expected metal, or popheads that do not want a new band in their pink bubbly world.

OML is far better, musically and production wise than many pop records of its year.

I also think Sean is not really the right person to talk about all those personal details bout Chester... like why is that necessary right no? idk

Its not their best work, sure, but it was deeply personal to them. If you (i mean people in general) dont like it, then dont listen. But nobody is entitled to shit on somebodys work. Its called respect

Agree on the rest, but Sean was super close to Chester 

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1 minute ago, Cesar656 said:

Reception from who? reviews from who?

Metalheads that expected metal, or popheads that do not want a new band in their pink bubbly world.

OML is far better, musically and production wise than many pop records of its year.

I also think Sean is not really the right person to talk about all those personal details bout Chester... like why is that necessary right no? idk

Its not their best work, sure, but it was deeply personal to them. If you (i mean people in general) dont like it, then dont listen. But nobody is entitled to shit on somebodys work. Its called respect

Reception and reviews from critics and fans. If something is released, it will have reception and reviews. You cannot just expect people to not talk about what they don't like. If they follow a certain artist, they will talk about it. Agreed that it can be more respectful instead of constant trolling. As for Sean talking about Chester, he was his friend. If he is asked about him, of course Sean will answer. Why is he not the person to talk about it?

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21 minutes ago, Cesar656 said:

Reception from who? reviews from who?

Metalheads that expected metal, or popheads that do not want a new band in their pink bubbly world.

OML is far better, musically and production wise than many pop records of its year.

I also think Sean is not really the right person to talk about all those personal details bout Chester... like why is that necessary right no? idk

Its not their best work, sure, but it was deeply personal to them. If you (i mean people in general) dont like it, then dont listen. But nobody is entitled to shit on somebodys work. Its called respect

 

I would love to read the thread of OML release or leak. I wonder what we actually said 3 years ago. 

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I have had this personal theory that a lot of what led to the suicide has to do with trajectory, and expectations of trajectory... If you look at the timeline:
 

- Releasing the niche record The Hunting Party in 2014, with (expected) low commercial success

- breaking his ancle mid-tour 2015, halting all their plans that Chester was allegedly super pumped and in the shape of his life to do

- Chester subsequently falling into a “low” or depression because he was unable to do what he loved, or do anything for that matter.

- I remember him talking during the OML press cycle, that he hated 2015-2016. “This time last year, I was a mess”. A close relative had died in this period as well, and it was a big part of it. 
- The band writing the super personal OML, which IMO was in part sort of an internal reaction the band had to the low sales of The Hunting Party, leading them to wanting to do a Coldplay, Fallout Boy, etc... i.e. become relevant in the big league again. There’s a pre release video on LPTV pre-OML where Mike talks about them wanting to modernize the sound, and discussing if LP fans would be on board or not. 
- All of this leading to Chester and the band believing that 2017 would be their year, and the year where Chester belived he would be truly back, and maybe even relevant in the mainstream again, after a couple of really dark years.

- 2017 instead being: poor reception by fans, harsh critics, no big mainstream impact, and then to top it off: Chris Cornell dying by suicide, maybe really triggering those dark thoughts.

 

I think Chester really believed that things would get better in 2017, but it just ended up being one thing after another. But how would I know, this is just what I’ve pieced together from interviews through the years. I also think his voice troubles might have played a part, it’s never good to not

feel adequate at your job/talent.

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4 hours ago, Cesar656 said:

Reception from who? reviews from who?

 

One More Light has a 46/100 on Metacritic (which for anybody who doesn't know is an aggregate site that collects scores from several reviewers and averages them out). It's fair to say that it was critically received very poorly.

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Correlation is not causation. I see the speculation and implications that the reception of OML was the last straw, but we don’t know that and we never will.

 

Chester attempted in 2016, before anybody had heard anything from OML.

 

We do know Chester had issues with confidence in himself, and he acknowledged that he struggled with that. He also lost Chris Cornell, who is someone Chester was close to and I believe they relied on each other because they both had similar issues. Seeing what Chris did may have instilled a sense of hopelessness. I don’t know. We never will know. Speculating on it is normal, but it can never end because there will never be a definitive answer.

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Posted (edited)

Chester tried killing himself November 2016, many months before anything OML-related was released. I think it's very far-fetched that the OML criticism had anything to do with his death, at all. But ultimately, we cannot see into a person's mind and it's useless to discuss about it. I just think it's unlikely that this played any (major) role in Chester's mental problems. I feel like they received a decent amount of criticism for every album after Meteora, but yes, maybe the most for OML.

 

Edit: Oops, Justin had already written the same xD

Edited by eyesburning

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55 minutes ago, eyesburning said:

I feel like they received a decent amount of criticism for every album after Meteora, but yes, maybe the most for OML.

They were always hated for their work. When HT came out they were called "manufactured" and "fake" because they came practically out of nowhere and rose up incredibly fast. LP were never a band for the "cool" kids after "Crawling" got released. Even other bands were shitting on them in 2001. When "Meteora" came out it was just "more of the same formula" which is ironic as this album counts as one of their best if you ask people out there today.

Things got really out of hand when M2M dropped because it was even more "not heavy" and after ATS the majority of casual old-school listeners were lost. Every album had some form of backlash as is natural with a band of LP's magnitude. In a way it's something they just have to accept because of their frequent changes in styles. When THP came out, it was far too late to get lost listeners to care again while OML was the confirmation for many that LP were finally admitting to their "sell out status" with an album full of generic mid tempo boredom.

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On 7/28/2020 at 5:01 PM, PurpleFlinstoneVitamins92 said:

I remember this. This is garbage, I hope no other bands will experience this. Trying to injury someone just because you don’t like a song. This is a miserable Human being.

Chester would have probably done what he did even if OML was well received by fanS, but this makes me sad and angry 

Oh no, WTF is this? I will FLY if I got the chance to see LP at the front. I hate seeing someone wasting opportunity like this. Not to mention this kind of crap.

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Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, ChesterGTR said:

Oh no, WTF is this? I will FLY if I got the chance to see LP at the front. I hate seeing someone wasting opportunity like this. Not to mention this kind of crap.

This is fucking garbage. I don’t know how this guy felt when July 20 happened, but those are the people who ruin music. 
Idiots who think musicians are puppets in the hands of their fans, you don’t like the toy ? You throw it away. Behind music there are always people making it, you have the right to criticize it but acting like an idiot insulting and being phisically aggressive ? Hell NO. 
I have been pretty critic with Mike’s solo music in terms of quality and even pretty aggressive in terms of opinions on some songs, but I would NEVER attack Mike, even if he would drop a full solo album and I wouldn’t like a single song on it, I’d never attack his person 

Edited by PurpleFlinstoneVitamins92

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I was disgusted when i saw that video back then. The level of disrespect.. i mean i get it it was a metal music festival whatsoever and metalheads didnt want to listen to pop but they should just stand and wait for the band they will enjoy eventually. I mean when you attend a festival there are chances that there will be an act you will not enjoy but that doesnt mean you will throw things at him lol. 

 

i dont know. Linkin Park was always criticized like since day 1. So he should be used to it somehow. Also reading the negative comments is literally the worst thing somebody can do. Like Sean has said there will always be losers who literally have achieved nothing but will say the worst things in the internet. A person with a healthy mind will not take it as personal as a person with mental health issues so maybe yes it was a little step for what happened 3 years ago. 

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