It was right at the end of my work day when I found out that Chester Bennington, lead singer for the band Linkin Park, had committed suicide. My initial reaction was disbelief, but this soon gave way to heartbreak.
I have been listening to Linkin Park for almost a decade. I discovered them in eighth grade and, as a new writer just barely starting down a path of creativity and dedication to the arts, their music was one of the single most inspiring influences I had. I acquired whole albums at a time; Meteora, Hybrid Theory, Minutes to Midnight and in later years, songs from A Thousand Suns and Living Things. It seemed they couldn't make music I didn't like. I dumped it all into my many novel playlists, and I wrote crazy-fast whenever one of their grungy/screamo songs came on, and with passion whenever one of their softer/electronica songs would play.
Linkin Park music makes up a large part of the playlist for one of the novels dearest to my heart, my science fiction book Blue 15, which I have been writing since 2013. Back when I had graduation and freshman year of college to face, songs like Somewhere I Belong, Easier to Run, Nobody's Listening and Figure 0.9 were helping drive my characters. It gave me something steady and reliable. I remember plugging away at this huge, mysterious project and just falling in love with it more and more each day, partially thanks to its soundtrack.
Without Chester Bennington's voice and Linkin Park's love for music, I don't believe I would write science fiction. I don't believe books like Blue 15 would have ever gotten past Chapter 1. I don't believe my identity as a writer would be anything like it is today. I owe much of my creative growth to this amazing band, and in many ways, to Chester Bennington. The world is a dimmer place without him.