Following the tragic passing of Linkin Park vocalist, Chester Bennington, a number of musicians took to social media to express their emotions on the matter, including The Amity Affliction’s leading frontman, Joel Birch, who opened up about his thoughts and personal experiences on mental health, and how fans should remember the late Linkin Park frontman, and father of six.
Birch’s full statement that was posted via the bands Facebook page earlier today read:
“We can have everything and yet nothing at all. This has become glaringly obvious to me recently with the passing of Chris Cornell and now Chester Bennington. What seems to outsiders as impenetrable success can mean absolutely nothing to someone struggling with their mental health. I can attest to that on a personal level, especially after our last record, where several people commented on my lyrics insinuating that I was taking advantage of a fragile crowd, as given our success I was merely putting on a front and not actually going through anything. The problem I find with success and the stigma surrounding it, is that problems become more insular, more damaging, more private, more internalised. It’s impossible for me to comment on what Chester was going through leading to this, only that he had just recently lost a dear friend, and was already living with life long mental health issues. No one is safe from the black dog, no matter what you or I may think, no matter how much money is in the bank, no matter how many lives out there Chester turned around for the better with his voice, it is impossible for us to see what he was living with day to day, and what ultimately led him over the edge.
I implore you, from the bottom of my heart, to not only be sensitive to Chester’s passing, but to be sensitive to those around you and really take stock of what is happening in their lives. Chester touched so many people, in such an enormous way, but he is survived by six children and his wife who held him as much more than a musical legacy or a face in a magazine. Never forget that; we are all human. We all have human struggles, human emotions, human lives. I hope you can take away from this the fragility of life, and see it as a chance to help someone to search for hope, or for you yourself to search for hope. To reach out to someone, to reach out yourself, because while many of us have teetered on the edge many times, reaching out to someone has almost always been what has brought me back, and it can help you as well. I am scared to fall victim to depression like I have seen so many creative people before me do. We get one shot at this life, please don’t waste it.