R.I.P Chester Bennington

Many posts and news articles have been written about Chester Bennington’s death but this won’t be one of them. I will acknowledge for any who had yet to know that the frontman for rock band Linkin Park passed away on July 20th 2017. The reason this post is being written a few weeks after his death is because I wanted it to be a remembrance post more than an announcement. So, if you’re here for the details of his death you will have to find another blog because the purpose of this post is to look back on the life of a musically talented man who was gone too soon.

Although I wouldn’t class myself as a hard-core Linkin Park fan their music is part of the soundtrack of my childhood that followed me into my adult life. To learn of Chester’s passing hit me with a personal pain as if I had lost a friend. Chester was also known for being the lead singer of both Dead by Sunrise and fronted Stone Temple Pilots from 2013 to 2015 but was, of course, most known for his music with Linkin Park. Chester’s career and recognition as a promising vocalist began with the band’s debut album, Hybrid Theory, in 2000, two of their most popular songs (‘One Step Closer’ and ‘In The End’) being from that album.

However Linkin Park was not his first band. Much like any young hopeful Chester first started testing his musical ability in 1993 when he released a three-track cassette named Sean Dowdell and Friends? after the band who recorded it. Later he moved onto form a new band, Grey Daze, and found larger success with the post-grunge band from Phoenix recording three albums (Demo, Wake/Me, …no sun today) from 1993 to 1997 until 1998 where Chester left to pursue something more. The road to Linkin Park nearly proved too much for Chester, almost pushing him to give up on music altogether. Until the vice president of A&R at Zomba Music in LA offered him an audition that would lead to the creation of classic and brilliant music we all associate Chester with today. Quitting his job and putting aside his own personal life Chester managed to record a song for the band (initially named Xero) in a single day. The band faced much rejection until the previous president of A&R at Zomba Music used his new vice president position and Warner Bros. to get the band sighed to their record label. With this helping hand the band were able to get off their feet and jump head first into a sea of success.

Linkin Park’s first album caused them to stand out in the alternative music world as something different that would refuse to fade into the background. Chester admitted in an interview in 2002 that some lyrics from particular songs on the album were personal to him allowing him to give such soulful performances during live shows. The album has proved to be one of the band’s most successful as Hybrid Theory has since been named the best modern classic of the last fifteen years in 2012. With Loudwire ranking it number 10 on its Best Hard Rock Albums list. The band exploded on the alternative music scene and continued to release numerous albums: Meteora (2003), Minutes to Midnight (2007), A Thousand Suns (2010), Living Things (2012), The Hunting Party (2014) and One More Light in May this year which the band were currently touring to support.

Chester’s insanely successful career as a music artist was not his only achievements in life however. On May 12th 1996, Chester welcomed his first child into the world with then-partner Elka Brand and adopting Brand’s other son in 2006. He had another son in 2002 with his first wife Samantha Marie Olit before divorcing in 2005 to lead to his second marriage in 2006 with Talinda Ann Bentley and had three more children. Chester was also a tattoo enthusiast which can been seen by pictures of his own body art and did work to promote with Club Tattoo, a tattoo parlour in Arizona.

Chester’s love of music began at an early age when he listened to bands like Depeche Mode and Stone Temple Pilots and would later achieve his dream of becoming a member of the latter. In his early life Chester struggled with drug addiction but was able to overcome this and focus his energy into his musical career allowing him to soar high in the music wold. Throughout his career Chester was plagued with poor health, falling ill many times during touring leaving for some shows to be cancelled and others postponed. Still, Chester prevailed in his career and continued to provide us with the music we have all come to know and love.

My personal relationship with Linkin Park and Chester’s music will remain in my memories, immortalised as part of the reason my love for music has only continued to grow throughout my life. Out of respect for his family and friends details of his death will not be discussed but I feel I am able to say, along with an uncountable number of fans, that Chester will be greatly missed. The music world becoming just a little quieter without him. We have lost many music legends in recent time and Chester has now been added to the stars who will continue to shine.

 

By Skye W. Winwood

Travel on a sonic odyssey with John Dylan and his new single ‘Get Beyond’

Music has proven to be something close to a religion for many musicians, going so far as to be deemed a form of free therapy. One artist this is true for is multi-instrumentalist John Dylan now coming out with his new single ‘Get Beyond’ from the to-be-released album Peripheral Drift Illusion. Album artwork being created by John Lennon’s band mate, Klaus Voormann, who designed the cover of The Beatles’ classic record Revolver.

Watch the psychedelic music video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zpy8NH6g228

John has been floating through the music world for some time being involved with underground math-rock band Mars Accelerator in the mid-90s, who played alongside Modest Mouse and released an album with the help of Steve Fisk – known for his work with Nirvana. With knowledge in producing John has broken from the genre-defying band Terrence to go solo and carry on blurring musical lines by pushing his talents as a songwriter. A tough task for any musician but John was born into music with his parents listening to the likes of Elvis Costello, Bob Marley and Stevie Ray Vaughn. Combined with John, himself, taking inspiration from bands like Nirvana and The Beatles it’s no wonder his music seems to transport the listener to another era.

‘Get Beyond’ at first can seem like an overwhelming combination of sounds before blending into dreamy vocals with a bouncing guitar riff drifting over a wah-fuelled bass line. The transition is a perfect example of how the song takes the listener on a sonic odyssey that makes a stop at many genre styles along the way. Due to this it would be criminal to confine John to one single band or artist in comparison even as it’s obvious where his inspiration shines from. Although considered a ‘rock artist’ John challenges the style as well as taking advantage of the alternative themes the genre provides, not pigeonholing himself to any single sound by using a completely digital workflow. For each single John is breaking out of the rock genre to explore hip-hop, dance and electronic by holding a ‘remix competition’ where aspiring DJs and electronic artists can sample and rework his songs with the chance to appear on the widely released version of the single.

John reacts to some remix works here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-vIY83NTbOg

Pushing the boundaries of music is not the only challenge John faces as a musician as he has recently been diagnosed with a chronic anxiety disorder. However instead of letting this beat him he deals with his issues in his work as a songwriter, creating passionate music that has the ability to connect with many listeners. John has also been very open about his struggles in the past explaining how there are moments when he has to encourage himself to get out of bed and stop hiding from the world. Overcoming losing his job and house after being robbed John proves to truly be an inspirational musician and I personally look forward to his work in the future.

 

Links:

https://www.facebook.com/johndylanaudio/

https://twitter.com/johndylanaudio

https://www.instagram.com/johndylanaudio/

https://johndylanaudio.tumblr.com/

http://john.audio/

 

Review by Skye W.Winwood

‘These Walls’ by Atticus

A lot of people seem to think that electronic music is easy to make and inferior to that of other genres; just pushing buttons and repeating samples, but this is quite clearly a view of naivety, only reinforced by the craftsmanship behind Atticus’ new single, ‘These Walls’.

The young singer-songwriter creates a brand of indie-electro with a haunting ambient vibe resonating in the background.’These Walls’ exemplifies this perfectly, exhibiting some highly considered beats with warped synth-esque bass lines, all alongside Atticus’ almost indescribable, uniquely-timbred vocals.

Atticus takes influence from the likes of Chet Faker and Bon Iver, but lyrically, his personal relationships and experiences have a profound effect on his music, including the passing of his Mother when he was just 16.

In the past, Atticus has gained support from BBC introducing and has even performed at the 02 Arena.

2017 is set for the emergence of Atticus’ sound and he’ll be breaking down ‘These Walls’ in order to do so.

‘These Walls’ is out 24th March 2017.

Links:

https://soundcloud.com/officialatticus

https://www.facebook.com/officialATTICUS

‘Live by Design’ by Ivy Nations

After supporting the likes of Kodaline, The Academic and The Strypes, Irish indie quartet Ivy Nations return with ‘Live By Design’, exploring the pace of modern life and technology. With a driving beat and addictive chorus, ‘Live By Design’ is set to be released April 7th via Reckless Records.

 

Ivy Nations have been praised for their refined sound, which is easily comparable to Two Door Cinema Club, one of their primary influences. They have developed this unique, yet contemporary sound with producer Phil Magee who has worked with The Script and Kodaline in the past.

As well as Two Door Cinema Club, the quartet take inspiration from other homegrown acts such as Foals and Vampire Weekend, yet they have picked the best elements of these bands to form their own style.

The video for ‘Live By Design’, directed and produced by Blacktooth Films, touches on our inability to keep up with modern technology. The single holds faithful to the energetic, dreamy sensibilities of the band’s previous releases but pushes forward with more of the quality songwriting that holds so much promise for them as a band.

You can listen to some of the band’s previous work here:

Links:

https://soundcloud.com/ivynationsofficial

https://www.facebook.com/IvyNationsOfficial/

https://twitter.com/IvyNations

https://www.instagram.com/ivynationsofficial/

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