I drafted an article last month about how I was using music to help me create. I didn’t finish it, but one of the artists who have been inspiring me while I create are Linkin Park. I wish I’d put it out there sooner.
Linkin Park have been a part of my life since my teens. Although I didn’t struggle with many of the situations and issues spoken about in their songs, their lyrics and music have had a profound effect on me. Whether singing in that raw, effortless way or screaming like a banshee, Chester Bennington’s vocals are instantly recognisable.
I can chart parts of my life through Linkin Park songs. Generally I prefer more from their later albums. They seemed to be growing, developing and evolving, and I could resonate with that too.
Living Things is probably my favourite album. I bought it for my trip to Glastonbury, Avebury and Stonehenge in 2013. I can still remember our last day, driving away with the Tor fading from view as Castle of Glass was a playing through my headphones. Glastonbury was known as Ynis Witrin (the Isle of Glass) – a fitting piece of synchronicity. A few months ago the song took on a whole new meaning for me as I was trying to find myself again.
Bring me home from this blinding dream,
Through the secrets that I have seen.
Wash the sorrow from off my skin
And teach me how to be whole again.
– Linkin Park, Castle of Glass
Linkin Park’s songs pull on strings within me in ways I can’t explain. And it isn’t always the lyrics either – in March I bought instrumental versions of their music to paint and create to. When I’m doing this work I can’t be distracted by lyrics, so stick to music only. I was delighted when I stumbled across the instrumental albums. I wish they’d release Meteora and Minutes to Midnight too.
Something in their music reaches into me. It pulls out that creative energy and transfers it into the outer world; from energy, thought and feeling into action. It pulls on strands that need to be woven into a greater whole. It calls to that part of me that needs to express with all of its being.
I also can’t listen to Burn It Down without thinking of Loki – those lyrics just seem to suit Him so much. Rather a lot of their songs do, actually. So Linkin Park contribute to my Polytheist mindset too.
I am grateful, and forever thankful, to Chester Bennington for putting his heart and soul into lyrics and music. I’m grateful for a man whose lyrics, music and voice inspired so many. He and Linkin Park have left an indelible footprint on my life. That legacy will live on for many years to come.
I can only hope that his death further raises awareness of the need for better help for those with depression and mental health disorders, and the need for a more caring, understanding society. I also hope it will make it easier to speak for the loved ones of those who have taken their own lives. At the time I found I couldn’t talk to friends, and even some family members, about the loss of loved ones because of their discomfort on the subject of suicide.
I hope for a kinder, more understanding future. Bright lights that get snuffed out leave a hole in the sky, but those who twinkled are missed even more by those who know where to look.
And the shadow of the day
Will embrace the world in grey,
And the sun will set for you.
– Linkin Park, Shadow of the Day