ABC/Randy HolmesChester Bennington struggled with drug and alcohol addiction throughout his life. In an interview with Rolling Stone, friends of the Linkin Park frontman reveal that Bennington had relapsed with alcohol last August, and had been drinking as recently as last October.
Ryan Shuck, who played guitar in Bennington’s band Dead by Sunrise, says that Bennington told him he was six months sober a month before his July 20 death. Shuck has also battled alcoholism, and he remembers Bennington texting him about his own struggles with addiction.
“He was describing an hour-by-hour battle with addiction,” Shuck says. “When I look at it now, it’s horrifying. He was telling me, down to the detail, what he would do in the first hour he wanted to drink: ‘I basically just take it hour-by-hour every day.'”
Shuck thinks Bennignton could’ve “had a couple of drinks” before he died. “It doesn’t take much when you’re that advanced an alcoholic and an addict…to lose your mind for a minute,” Shuck says.
Like much of the music world, Bennington’s friends were simply shocked that his death was a suicide. His Stone Temple Pilots band mate Robert DeLeo remembers Bennington texting him “loving, positive, looking-forward-to-the-future, growing-old kinds of things” just a few days before his death.
Bennington was close friends with Chris Cornell, who died by suicide just two months prior on May 18. Chester actually died on what would’ve been Cornell’s 53rd birthday, which Shuck feels is mostly coincidence.
“It could be a part of it, but it’s a small part of it,” Shuck says. “I think that it’s just another horrible event that gets put in your subconscious. It’s kindling, but the fire was already burning.”
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