Chester Bennington's unexpected death in July 2017 hit the metal world hard, and left his fans, friends, family and bandmates reeling. Part of Linkin Park co-vocalist Mike Shinoda's grieving process included channeling his pain into music, which ultimately resulted in his debut solo effort Post Traumatic — an emotional tribute to his late musical collaborator that was release on June 15, 2018. Around that time Shinoda gave an interview to Zane Lowe on his Beats 1 show "World Record" where the singer deflected questions about Linkin Park's future plans minus the late Bennington.
On a recent episode of Germany's "Whole Lotta Talk," Shinoda revisited the topic of the band reforming with a new singer, explaining, "That's not my goal right now. I think it has to happen naturally and if we find somebody that's like, a great person that we think is a good personality fit and a good style fit, then I could see trying to do some stuff with somebody." He assures fans it won't be some cheap shot at extending their fame or a cash grab, though, stressing, "Not for the sake of like, replacing – I wouldn't want to ever feel like we were replacing Chester."
"I'm keeping things open to experiences and conversations," Shinoda says of his overall perspective. "I've been writing all the time, getting in the studio and writing with some other people, too ... I see the other [Linkin Park] guys here and there, not all together usually —usually it's just one on one. But I'm sure we're gonna get together soon and just hang out and see what's up."
Shinoda goes on to discuss what a profound influence Bennington had on music fans for the two decades of his career, and how the duo's partnership evolved into something symbiotic that fueled each's desire to make memorable and relatable work. "For me, he was always such a magical relationship because I could write something that I knew he could bring these things to life. Like I could write anything, as crazy as it was, and he was so versatile that I could just give him just about anything [and] he could sing it well."
Hear the full episode above, and catch Mike Shinoda on his upcoming European tour at one of these dates.