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When Chester joined Linkin Park/Radio Alice transcript.

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So Geki posted this Radio Alice interview with Chester and Ryan earlier and Skipees wanted a transcript so I did a quick one.


Making a new topic so it doesn't clog up the old one because it's a bit long, but it's a great interview. This is only the Linkin Park part because 38mins is too long to type, and it's the most relevant bit.


RA for radio Alice, CB for Chester, and RS for Ryan. If it seems choppy it's because Chester likes to start a sentence and not finish it lol. Also the dialogue Chester does in the past is in italics.


Radio Alice Transcript from 11:46 to 12:24


RA: And so Linkin Park is maybe 99, 2000?


CB: And I joined Linkin Park in early 1999. And we released our first album


RA: You joined Linkin Park

CB: And we released our album in 2000. So before that I released two albums in a band in Arizona with a band called Grey Daze. And we'd just done that independently ourselves. That's my personal life [before he was discusses his marriages and children] and then as this all was going on I was trying to become a musician and tried to make music for a living.


***Talking about Grey Daze and Club Tattoo***

Starting again at 13:25-23:22.


CB: So I ended up moving out to California and joining this band called Xero. I knew right away when I got the tape, I listened to the instrumental side and I sang over it, and it was easy to come up with melodies to the songs. So I was like something's telling me this is it. So I quit my job. I got it on Friday and I quit my job on Monday, went to LA.


RA: How do you get this tape from some band called Xero?


CB: Because I was in Grey Daze. We played for hundreds of national acts, we actually drew like two thousand people a week to a local venue. So we were actually a pretty big band even though we hadn't ever gotten signed. So like in our area we were like huge. We ended up getting an entertainment lawyer in LA who tried to get us a record deal, and that didn't work out very well.

What ended up happening was that I kinda made myself a name in the industry and when Xero which is basically Linkin Park without me, had a different singer, that singer didn't work out. They were looking for a new singer and there was a lot of hype about this band. They had a huge multi-label thing where everybody came down to watch them play and the vocalist just kind of tanked.


But the band was very talented. So the guy, they had signed a publishing deal, and the guy that signed them knew that there was promise with this band and that they needed a new singer. So he was in South by Southwest in Texas talking to Xero's lawyer who happened to be partners with the guy that represented Grey Daze and he was like "I know the guy!" And so he found me, I hadn't talked to him for 8 or 9 months. He called and say "Hey are you still doing music?" and I was like, "Um no. It pretty much sucks and I hate everyone in Arizona. And no one's ever gonna come out here, so I now have a real job and I hate my life."


RA: What were you doing?


CB: I was scanning maps


RA: Oh


CB: It was a horrible thing


RA: Oh


CB: The great thing was that one of my friends and neighbors was my boss. So at least I had someone there to keep me from literally going insane. But uh it was tough and I was like "I'm not doing anything right now." And he's like, "Well I know this band and I think they could really go somewhere." And I was like, "Ok, well how old are these guys?" And he said, "Well they're kinda like little teenagers". And I was like "DUDE". You know I had two homes at that time and was married and I had a job and I was like, "I don't know man. You know this sounds like it's gonna be a waste of my time". And he's like, "Just check it out."


RA: So he's talking you into just listening to it.


CB: That was Thursday. And I was like, this better not be a waste of my time. I was actually really cocky about it. Which is the first time I was ever really a jerk about anything. And I was like, "Ugh I don't know". So he sent it to me, and one side had vocals on it, the other side just had the band. I listened to the band side first with no vocalist and I was like this stuff is like really cool. It was very different and I hadn't heard anything like it. This is awesome. I looked at my wife at the time and said, "I think this is the one". And she was like, "really"? And I was like "yeah" and she was like "I don't know." So we flipped the tape over and listened to it with the vocals. And I was like "Hmm". Cause I was never really, I loved hip hop music but I was never into Limp Bizkit or anything like that. And they were just kinda blowing up at that time. And I was like "I don't know".


RA: Because that was the direction they were looking to go?


CB: But it was different though. It wasn't like that. It actually was very intelligent. It wasn't like Limp Bizkit which was why I could see how this could work. So I turned it back over to the other side, and I started singing the parts and I was like "I can do this." I threw a birthday party for myself the next day and I left and said, "Have a good time at the party" and went and recorded the demo of my vocal of their songs over the music.

On Sunday I called up the number of this guy named Jeff Blue who was their representative at the publishing company and said, "Hey you guys sent me, I'm Chester, you sent me a demo and I'm finished with it." And he said, "What do you mean you're finished with it? I sent that thing two days ago!" And I was like, "Yeah I got it, did my recording of it, and I'm finished with it." And he's like, "Whatever". And I was like, "No seriously" because he didn't believe I had actually done it, cause he had sent stuff out and it had taken months to get stuff back from other guys.


RA: Did you have a home studio?


CB: No I had friends who had studios. I called up a friend and was like, "Hey I need to use your studio can you book me in? And I don't have much money." And he was like, a hundred buck an hour. We were there for three hours, payed 300 bucks and was in and out.

RA: Wow


CB: Then I was like, "I wanna know when I can come out." Talking to Jeff. "When can I come out and do this thing?" He was like, "I have to hear it first so why don't you send it out here?" And I was like, "I am not sending this tape blindly to you not know if your even going to listen to it, so I'm telling you when do you want me out there? I can be there Monday morning." He's like,"I need to listen to it first". And I was just like, "You know what hold on." I walked up, I put the tape in my stereo, pressed play and held the phone up, played about 30 secs, came back down and was like, "Is that good enough?" And he was like, "When can you be here?"


RA: *Cheering* Oh my God that was an awesome story.


CB: I was like, I'll be there Monday morning. So I drive to California and I'm there. And I'm thinking because I had a real job, people get to work at like 9oclock in the morning. So I'm there at 8:30 on the steps of the Nine Thousand building on Sunset Blvd, and I'm like, "There is no one here. And is this how LA is? Like everyone's out doing something, but no one's actually working So how does this work? How is this like a huge economy here? I don't understand." So around 11oclock, is when they open the doors and I was like….


RA: Oh my God


CB: I was already really pissed off. That's how it started. I got into the office and met Jeff. And he starts calling up label guys, "Listen I got a new singer" and he's playing all this stuff, and he was already setting up showcases.


RA: And you haven't even met the band.


CB: I haven't met the band yet. And then the guys from the band were really, overly, like they examined me and tested me. They were very inquisitive, constantly questioning everything "Who are you, where are you from, what are you doing?"


RA: They're dickish a little bit.


CB: Well no, it was just very thorough. In the beginning it felt dickish, but now I just know this is just how these guys are and I actually appreciate it. But it was very strange to be doing, you know here I am rehearsing with the band and then, "Hold on. Wait" and another guy would come in and audition. And I'd sit there and watch. I'd just kinda laugh and be like. I was looking at these guys going like. And the thing is when I talked to Jeff on the phone I was like, "You guys better not be fucking wasting my time, cause if I show up there and I. You guys need me, I'm not the one who needs you guys."


RA: Right


CB: And I was really dicky about it. I was like, "You called me. I didn't come searching you guys out. I've got an offer from Michael Schenker to go to Japan. I don't need to be dicking around with you guys."


RA: Oh really?


CB: Which I wasn't going to take, but it was true.


RA: So they were bringing in other singer to audition while you were sitting there?

CB: Well they had already had booked appointments


RA: Oh so they had booked it, ok.


CB: So in their mind they have to, we have to


RA and RS: Honor our agreements. Due diligence. Honor our commitments. I get that they would want to see you shine above anyone, any competition they could bring in.


RS: The funny thing is they're still the same. They're picky. They're thorough. They're actually great business men.


RA: Are you like that?


CB: I'm very guts guy. I'm in there watching these other guys like I can't believe we're playing multiple songs with this guy because one he sucks, he looks like an idiot, and I'm way better than that guy. Then at one point we're rehearsing and we're rocking out up there, and this guy comes up and knocks on the door for an audition, and at this point I'm like, "Yeah come on in dude. Go ahead, take the microphone". And he just grabs the microphone and goes, "I'm just gonna say this right now. If you guys don't take this guy then you're fucking idiots." And he hands back the microphone and goes, "See you later" and he walks out the door.


RA: Oh he knew you from?


RS: No he heard him outside the studio.


RA: Oh my God! That's hilarious.


CB: I walk down stairs and I'm like, "hold on I'll be right back." I walk downstairs and catch up with the guy. "Hey dude that was, you should go back up there. These guys haven't made up their mind you should go up there." And he's like, "There's no fucking way I'm going back into that room. Singing after hearing you sing, there no way! If they don't take you call me up we should start a band."

RA: That's so funny.


CB: And I was like "Ok. Thanks. That was really nice of you to say that."


RA: So you crushed his dream that day


CB: No I don't think I crushed his dream. I think he walked in, and was like. He was the voice I couldn't have and it must have been something else. He came in and was basically. I wanted to say because I'd actually gone home and come back another week and then gone home and come back. And I was at the point where I was like I'm not fucking coming back. I'm not doing this with these guys anymore. And he comes in and says what he says and I'm like thank you, cause I'm the new guy. It's not my band you know? So that's how it all started.

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I just see shitloads of hate and dread from Chester way back in '99, his life was shit back then, I get it, but lol.

he's talking about it too:

I was actually really cocky about it. Which is the first time I was ever really a jerk about anything.

Edited by Skipees
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  • 3 years later...

That just shows that no one in this band knows what they're talking about, ever.


Surprisingly, Chester seems to know the most about the history of the band. Mike is the worst at it, he is always mislabeling dates on tracks and getting the years messed up in interviews and speeches, etc. Not sure about the rest of the band about that kind of stuff. Anyways, I totally forgot about this thread. This is possibly one of the best interviews ever done about the early years of the band, and it was from a Dead By Sunrise interview (technically). Awesome. Lol.

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  • 2 years later...

Just re-listened to this. I have a feeling that what Samantha Bennington and Tobi Bennington are saying about how Mike treated Chester like just a business partner is talked about in here.


Chester said at first he was really cocky and Mike and the band examined him and tested him by asking him questions, etc. And the interviewer said ‘’so kind of dickish’’? And Chester said no, at first it felt dickish, but he learned eventually that’s just how the guys are, and he learned to love that about them. Listen to the interview though cuz there is more he elaborated on. This was back in 1999, keep in mind. So by 2017 they were already such great friends. Chester met Talinda in 2004 and they were inseparable after that and Anna recently said that her and Mike were with Chester and Talinda like 14 hours of the day. So Samantha and Tobi are stupid. And jealous. Not to mention that I can remember Chester at one point saying he wasn’t that close with his half sister (which is Tobi) and we all know how much Chester hated Samantha, especially after the divorce in 2005. I have no doubt this is what she’s referring to and she’s just trying to hurt Mike and LP fans. But this quote was in 1999 keep in mind. Long time in between there huh Samantha? 

Edited by Garret
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