Chester Bennington was a powerhouse whose stunning voice almost broke a microphone, a record producer has revealed. According to Don Gilmore, the late Linkin Park vocalist was a "dream" to work with and always delivered in the studio.
Speaking to Billboard, Gilmore recalled a particular session in 2000 when they worked on Linkin Park's debut album Hybrid Theory. He revealed that there was no denying Bennington's talent while recording the track One Step Closer.
''He knocked the walls down in the little fort. When he sang it, he just literally destroyed the whole thing and almost broke the microphone. He was just out of his mind. And the rest is history," Gilmore said.
''For a record producer, he was just a dream come true. He could go to that point that was, like, beyond – it's just crazy how hard he could go with such precision. And even when he sings softly, the precision [was there]. So yeah, he was a super, special guy.''
Bennington was found dead at his home in Palos Verdes Estates, California, on 20 July. His death was officially ruled as suicide by hanging by the LA County Coroner's Office.
Gilmore said that although he was aware of the demons that Bennington had been fighting for most of his adult life, he was still shocked by news of the 41-year-old's tragic passing. "The thing that is so disturbing about this – and granted, I haven't been in touch with him in a long time – he was a guy who maybe had a few problems, but he would kind of talk about them.
'''Oh, this and that. My wife is doing this. Oh, I've got to go do this.' Just normal stuff that we all do. And he liked to laugh, he had an amazing sense of humour.
Touching on the solace Bennington found in music, he said: ''He set up this little ProTools rig out in the lounge and he would write these little funny punk rock songs and record them and bring them in and play them for us" before adding:"He just was a funny guy, it was awesome. It's just, boy, such a sad, sad thing.''
Meanwhile, Linkin Park's surviving members have broken their silence on their death of Bennington's death in an open letter. Mike Shinoda, Brad Delson, Dave Farrell, Joe Hahn and Rob Dourdan, described their bandmate as having the "biggest heart" adding: "Your absence leaves a void that can never be filled – a boisterous, funny, ambitious, creative, kind, generous voice in the room is missing."