Chester Interviewed About Linkin Park, Stone Temple Pilots and His Broken AnkleChester did his first interview since breaking his ankle, with music website, Altwire. In the interview he talks about Linkin Park and Stone Temple Pilots. Read the interview here!
AW: First off, how have you been doing? How has the recovery been and how are you feeling now?
CB: I’m doing pretty well. I started walking on my foot a couple of days ago, so that’s been pretty awesome. It’s still super sore, but I should be ready to go. I should be ready to play my first show in a couple of weeks, and see how it feels… but not go too crazy.
AW: If I understand correctly because there have been a few conflicting stories: you tripped over a bottle, was it? How did this happen?
CB: No, if I tripped I would not have broken my ankle. [laughs] I probably would have probably just kicked the bottle over, or tripped. I actually was playing basketball and went up for a lay-up and came down on top of the water bottle.
AW: That sounds painful, but I’m glad to hear you’re doing better! Now, something I want to ask: you obviously had your first tour with Stone Temple Pilots in 2013. Going into this upcoming tour next month, what are some of the changes you’re planning to make from that tour versus this one, and what are some of the things the fans can expect?
CB: Well, we’ll be playing some new songs that we haven’t played before. Clearly, STP has played so many songs before. But together with me we haven’t played too many of those songs. So we’re adding some new songs to the set, and we’re going to do an acoustic breakdown to give me a chance to sit down for a bit [laughs]. There will be some new interesting song choices that we’ll pick to play live. I’m not sure if we’ll have any new music ready by then or not, but we’ll definitely be having some different songs.
AW: The new music you’re talking about…I know it’s pretty early now, but how do you feel the style of the record compares to High Rise? Is it sounding similar, or do you feel it’s sounding a lot different?
CB: I think it’s a lot different. I really don’t like talking about music that people aren’t hearing because it’s hard to describe what the music sounds like, but it’s super energetic. The riffs are really cool and the playing has been really insane. So, I think there’s going to be a lot of our STP fans out there that are super happy. Every guitar player in the world is going to want to learn how to play these riffs, whether it’s guitar or bass. Eric has done amazing too. Really it’s now coming down to making great melodies and coming up with some good lyrics.
AW: One thing I thought that was cool was that with The Hunting Party, you basically wrote the majority of “War.” You came in with the guitar riff and the lyrics if I understand correctly. With STP, have there been any songs that you brought in that you wrote all of it or has this been more of a collaborative experience?
CB: These guys are actually very interested in the songs that I write. I bring songs in all the time and these guys want to work on them. They’re super eager. Clearly, we just try to go with songs that are the best songs. That’s all that matters to me. I don’t care if they’re my songs or somebody else’s. It doesn’t matter to me. Typically in Linkin Park, writing the musical side of is not really what I need to be worrying about. I mean, Mike and Brad are writing great songs. So, I write music too – and the ones that come in and sound good and go with what the other guys are making…still work fine. And if they don’t, then, well, whatever. [laughs] Yeah, but there’s always music I’m bringing in that we work on, and in both bands it’s always a collaborative effort. I bring in an idea, whether it’s Mike and Brad, or Robert and Dean, they take that idea and do their own thing to it. Ultimately, it’s always collaborative.
AW: Being that the two bands have such a different sound, when you go to write a song for Linkin Park or go to write a song for Stone Temple Pilots, have you ever found yourself, especially recently, being influenced by some of the ideas from the other band and bringing them into Linkin Park? Do you find yourself sprinkling some Linkin Park influences in Stone Temple Pilots, and STP in Linkin Park?
CB: I actually don’t write music specifically for any purpose. I don’t sit down and go, “Okay, I’m going to write a Linkin Park song today,” and then… I don’t even write songs necessarily for my bands. I just write the songs and I can only write the songs that I’m inspired to write. So, sometimes the songs are not a good fit for either band. Most of the time, I would say, they’re probably different from either band. And, I think for the reasons why I like to step out and do something different? Because there is something in music that I write that I think is interesting and there’s like a style to it that is uniquely my thing. And so, you know, I write hundreds and hundreds…I’ve written thousands of songs that no one will ever hear, probably, because they just get lost in the noise of the other thousands of songs that I’ve written because I like to create songs. So, I just kind of write what I’m inspired to write, and I don’t worry about where it’s put. If I’m with STP and I go, “Oh man I have a riff that might work cool, check this out,” I’ll pull it out. But I never intentionally write anything for any specific purpose. I try to stay out of the way of my creativity.
AW: Thank you for the great answer! In a recent interview, Dean said there was one Stone Temple Pilots concert in particular that changed your life and completely changed the way you looked at things from that point forward. Can you tell us a bit about that concert, and how that changed your life?
CB: Well, if I recall correctly the moment he’s talking about, there was a performance that they did in a place called Compton Terrace in Arizona…it’s like a place that’s literally out in the middle of nowhere. Now it’s in the middle of a more robust area, but at the time it was in the middle of nowhere. And they did like these Outdoor Festivals, and Jane’s Addiction was playing and Stone Temple Pilots was playing. It was stormy and it was crazy, and they weren’t sure if the bands were going to play or not, and it was kind of sketchy. It was pretty windy. Rain is whatever, but wind is typically what us professionals worry about because we don’t like our gear being blown over and landing on people. [laughs] That typically equals ‘really bad’. It was pretty sketchy, and I just remember STP finally came on, and it was like they came out and just crushed it. And their sound was so good and it was just like…I was on acid and it was like this whole moment of the force of nature, the force of their music, and the tension from the crowd. Had they not come out and performed great, it would have been horrible. It would have been horrible for them. But they came out and crushed it, and it was like, the skies opened up – you know what I mean? It was one of those moments where I was like, “Dude, this is what I want” like, I want to do that. Not necessarily, “I want to be in Stone Temple Pilots.” [laughs] “I want to do that. I want to be on stage and make music and play music.”
So I would say seeing STP live certainly inspired me to want to be on stage and be good at it. I started my first band when I was 13 and made my first record when I was 16. I’ve been making music for a long time and I’ve been performing for a long time, and there are only a few bands out there that I would say…when I see them they make me go, “That’s what live shows are supposed to be like.” This particular show, and STP in general…which I’ve seen probably twenty times when I was kid. You know, I got to see consistently a great band perform amazing shows over and over again. And that’s something where as a budding performer…you take little things. You learn from watching the people that you admire. When they do both better live – when they play live and the sound is better than the record and it’s better than you imagined…it’s like the greatest, coolest thing ever.
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