Entertainment Weekly

For all the pop pomp and circumstance that the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards rolled out, some of MTV's rock stars felt a bit left out. "Where were Foo Fighters and Nickelback?" says Linkin' Park's Chester Bennington. "Or even a band like Three Days Grace, who had a pretty big year? There was no Vampire Weekend or Daughtry. It was very one-sided." The singer describes Sunday's extravaganza as "raising the bar of confusion and disarray. The VMAs are consistently cluster-f---s, and this year set a new standard." Part of the problem, he says, was the that the main room had "more seat fillers in there than celebrities, and you had people who were invited sitting out in the streets. Plus, everybody was texting, no one was watching the show. I got super bummed out."

Carrying the torch for MTV's rock veterans has always been a difficult task, but never as much as this year, says Bennington. "I think the VMAs have completely lost touch with a broad scope of music. It was very bubble gum and Disney, which is why bands like Foo Fighters, and everybody else in my group weren't there. Honestly I didn't think we were going to win, because we literally felt like we were too old." But Linkin Park did nab a moonman for "Shadow of the Day" (off of the double-platinum album Minutes to Midnight) as Best Rock Video. And Bennington reveals that before his band's next album, due out next year, he'll release one of his own. "It's going to kick ass. I started working on it in 2005 when we took a seven-month break. I wanted to do something creative in that time off and I had songs that I knew weren't Linkin Park songs, but I thought were good. Then we started working on Minutes to Midnight and that's all I've been doing for the last two years. Now that we're done, I've got this body of work that is strong — very moody, very dark and melodic."

The album will be released by Linkin Park's label, Warner Bros., sometime in 2009. As for whether it's a solo effort or a side project, Bennington admits he's been kicking around some band names: "We were called Snow White Tan for a while, and then I changed the name to Dead By Sunrise, but I really just like Chester Bennington." As for Linkin Park, they head to China next month for the second time, where they'll be playing to crowds as large as 40,000 as part of the Music For Relief tour. "China is booming," he says. "they have as many millionaires as we have people." But when it comes to the music business, things don't work quite the same way. Bennington explains: "For every hundred thousands records sold legitimately, there are probably a million of that same album sold illegally. It doesn't feel much different than New York."



  1. love the comment about the VMA's being "bubble gum and Disney"... that's so awesome. and the exaact reason i haven't watched them in like 5 years.

    keep rockin' out, man! we all love it.

    [LPST] cleveland, oh

  2. I have to agree with you Chester. The only reason I even watched any of it was because I wanted to see you guys win a moon man. The host was horrible and it felt like a staged show to resurrect Brittney Spears career. What ever happened to just seeing videos on MTV? It should be called RTV for Reality TV because that’s all it is.
    I think you should use your influence to come up with an all-rock video music awards show. Can’t wait to hear the new album and I’m looking forward to your next body of work with LP!

  3. you are sooo right chester! i was really looking forward to watching the vmas but when i did, i was extremely disapointed! i mean, what the hell were the jonas brothers and hannah montana or miley cyrus, whatever her name is, doing there? i totaly agree with chester when he says that it was too disney channel. and it makes me mad that a great night for linkin park was ruined with all that fruity tuity comercialism! there were definatley some great bands missing from the awards. i was happy to see linkin park, slipknot and tokio hotel but i reeaaly wish artists like nickle back, foo fighters, my chemical romance, evanescence, and other great rock bands got more credit i would have been estaticly happy if fort minor had gotten some credit in the hiphop genre. the vmas was about show business and making money rather than the real reason i wanted to watch it, the music. music is my life and i was personaly offended by the whole charrade. you guys deserved way better than that! well ive already taken up like a page on the message boared so ill say goodbye now. love you forever chester!

  4. Thank God someone finally came out and said something. With all the love and respect in the world I have for you Chester, you just made my day. I'm sick to death of seeing these teeny boppers trying to be "Rock Stars". I want to see real Rock Stars like you, Julien-K, Foo Fighters, Nickelback, etc. The VMAs used to be exciting to watch just to catch my favorite artists. Now I can't stand to watch. The only reason I caught it Sunday was to catch LP win a moonman. After I saw you win, I turned it off.

    I'm excited as hell for your album release and can't wait to see more from you and LP. Much love and best wishes to you.


  5. I didn't watch the VMAs for that very reason... little pop whores- erm, princesses- and their Disney fanclub have done a fine job of taking over any awards ceremony they could, putting everyone who really deserves the thing out. Really, Disney needs to have its own awards shows and stay out of something that should be something more than a teeniebopper madhouse.
    Way to go Chester (And the rest of LP) for winning, and hopefully changes can be made so that "real" rock bands can be appreciated without having the Mickey Mouse House surrounding them.

  6. I feel the same way. But to say "Honestly I didn't think we would win because I felt to old". You won because you asked your fans to VOTE and that's just what we did. We believe Linkin Park is the best. And for being old.... No way... SEXY SEXY SEXY!!!

    Diana ~ Columbus, Ohio

  7. i love lp for ever...

  8. Hello, I'm from Taiwan.

    Um...I'm not good at Eng,
    but I really love your music very much!

    Whatever what you do,
    I'll love LP forever!

    I don't know I wrote it right or not...Hope you can understand!

    from your fan in Taiwan

  9. Chester, I applaud your honesty and straightforwardness. Way to go man!


  10. i agree with you chester. i only watched it because i wanted to see the band walking away with a moonman. i also like the comment with "bubble gum and disney"...and the performance from the jonas brother was not even good..
    i noticed that a lot of people only watched it because they wanted to see LINKIN PARK win a award. i turned the vma´s of after i saw it. but still congrats...and you are not too old... fans voted because they love you and they really feel the music and what you trying to give them. you guys deserved the award more than anyone else....

    looking forward to the new LP record and also to dead by sunrise...and to the nexr germany tour..ca´t wait to rock again.

    love yall..

    Laura (from Germany)

  11. Seriously...Tokyo Hotel, Paramore?!

    Both are pretty good bands but had no reason being in the "Rock" category

    If you ever get bored, I have a video on youtube, with you singing "The Outsider" with Ashes Divide in KC this summer that I think you might like.


  12. william i agree with you. i dont even think tokio hotel is a good band but i´ve got a different (better (LINKIN PARK)) taste, so i dont mind them. but i dont think they should have been there at all.... chester brought it on the point..good job..i believe loads are thinking the same.

    we want REAL Rockstars...no "Disney"fakes.... but i believe the problem is, there are too many little teenage girls and boys who think they are great and they vote for them.... And i dont think they would watch it without them being there, so they are trying to earn more money with putting such fakes on a "used to be" good and exciting show....

    Linkin Park 4ever!!!!!
    much love Laura