By Sol Pérez-Pelayo
l would be lying if I said that I was a huge fan, or that I had been thinking about that band or him or prophesying his death for the last couple of days. Even so, I do not condemn those who do, or those who suddenly camefans of the band or singer after his death. I'm not one of those people who criticize others because "they become fans" overnight of somethingthat becomes a trending topic because of a sudden Unfortunately we as artists are worth more dead than alive. I'm talking about the recent suicide of Chester Bennington, the lead singer of LINKIN PARK.
A famous person’s suicide is always news, it is not the first time even this year, (remembering the great Chris Cornell) that Facebook newsfeeds are invaded by the suicide or death of a singer or musician that somehow marked my life at a certain point. The first time I felt this particular pain that ached in my whore body but at the same time without a real location, it was with Kurt Cobain. I found that I could feel closer to these people whom I had never met in person than with the people I talked to on a daily basis. This is because the connection we share comes directly from that unrivaled feeling that a song has, when it touches you, as something ancient, as if it read something inside you that nothing and no one else can.
Since I was very young I have enjoyed listening to music, especially rock and metal. When I was growing up at the beginning of the millennium, a lot of things were changing, and although I spent all of my allowance on CDs, MP3s began to take over the music industry. Even though I was a fan of old school metal like Thrash, Black and American or European Death Metal, I began to take this new kind of music into my esteem. NÜ METAL was not only part of my formation and influence playing bass in my band but also in my development as a teenage girl with very different tastes in a world with a society that lives for stereotypes.
Thismusic genre differed from everything I had heard so far because it combined different styles. These were undoubtedly influenced by Heavy Metal, the guitar riffs were repetitive and sticky the virtuoso solos of old Heavy Metal disappeared. The voices were a composition of clean vocals, combined with elements of hip hop, rap and even a little guttural screams. At the time I had not analyzed it so thoroughly. I was 14 years old in a world where I wanted to find my way, playing bass, in athletism or writing poems. But it was in music where I discovered a special sanctuary. I think that many of us participate in this almost psychopathic melomania, that exact moment where the world stops, when it breaks into a thousand pieces and each of them outlines a fraction of our personal soundtrack that forges our life and professes a context that illuminates that very moment, which is unique and will never again exist.
For those of us who were born in the last half of the 80s, became teenagers just as the millennium was about to crash it’s way into our lives like a hurricane. It's true that we had our whole life talking about this, we guessed that there would be flying cars and robots with a keen sense of humor as in the Jetsons, but as the date approached, it all seemed like a hallucination. I also remember during that this time, I discoveredgerman philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, someone who would stay with me the rest of my life. I read about nihilism and felt some sort of confort knownig that, like me, others had already felt this strange rage that perhaps was part of my development. A newly acquired hormonal behavior, of a type of adolescent angst without an specific justification, but that conformed a great part of my personality.
In a world where Rick Rubin was the producer of the greatest alternative bands of the world, I longed to find sense in my life through music everyday. I has already identified with musical lyrics before, when I discovered grunge. But Nü metal and Nietzsche came into my life just at the perfect moment. We clicked, iracound lyrics, frustration and the entering a millennium that becameless and less human, and dedicated to the earthly matters was part of what fashioned me.
Although I have always been more inclined towards the heavy, the brutal, the acidic kind of music, I found out one day that my unconditional love of Nordic Black Metal, Metallica and Sepultura and more recently acquired of Korn and Slipknot there was room for something that had never existed until then in my musical tastes. It was my weekly habit to go to the record stores and spend my last dime on records that I discovered on the radio program “El Despeñadero” or on “Metalmorfosis” in the radio of University of Guadalajara. On one of these trips I stumbled over with HYBRID THEORY. One shouldn´t judge a book by its cover right? I couldn´t agree more. Because despite the cover being absolutley hideous someonethings told me to check this band out, a band that I had never heard of but read about in Hit Parader.
I didn´t have to listen to it for long when the record became one of my favorite of the moment. It didn’t take long for me to look up more information about them and found a photo that reminds as one of the most intense memories I have of my teenage years. It was a photo that promoted Hybrid Theory; Chester Bennington´s arms tattooed with flames, just that without a face, and they framed a microphone. The photograph immediately enchanted my eyes. In my last year of middle school this photo became the cover of my English Lit notebook. Only in the United States this record sold 10 million copies,, whether we consider ourselves fans of the band or not, we would have to be diluted by not accepting that they were an influence of cardinal scale, at least in their genre. I would be a hypocrite to say that they did not mark my life in a way, at least with that album. It is true as I said at the beginning, that the band was no longer a one of my favorites, I didn´t listed to them or even knew that they had a new album. I had moved away a lot NÜ Metal and I am now where I love it most forever in Death and Black metal, genres that I have always listened to with singular joy and enthusiasm, so Linkin Park and Nü Metal did not last in my life.
When I speak about transcendence, the most valuable thing left to us by an artist or writer after their death is their legacy. One of my most conspicuous obsessions in both my life and in my writings is the idea of iving eternally through a work of art or literature that achieves transcendence defing time. It is the only way to live beyond the ethereal life we ave, to continue in this world even after or last breath.
With the news of Chester Bennington’s alleged suicide, which I found lamentable, the old ideas of suicide resurfaced in me. Suicide was a subject that obsessed me as a teenage, the idea of having control of your life to the point of being able to decide when to end it and not so much as a last or easy way out of a life which you can no longer deal with and you make the choice to depart from. Both points are reasons by which people may cease with their lives, but I was really intrigued by the idea of hy so many people that I admired committed suicide?
One of them most known Nietzschean theories is the Eternal Return; The same thing is repeated forever. But in a physical idea o nature, not involving things like reincarnation. But to someone who suffers a great deal, why would they want to repeat it all when death could end it? The idea of epeating the same thing involves the idea of Amor Fati or love for your fate. There is a will to live, but this would also mean that there is a will to die. The Will to Power also affirmed by Nietzsche creates the Übermensch who after announcing the death of God enters inevitable nihilism. The idea of he Eternal Return is perhaps a little frightening, since we know that the end of it all is death, but we often do no know the time, place or cause. If we put ourselves against infinity, time, space and the universe we would realize our own triviality, our existence is going to be reduced to living 70 something years and this against the eternity is an insignificance. Should we then decide to live a fuller life because of this, or we could decide to live intensely? Live thinking that everyday can be our last?
Perhaps it´s even unfair that Chester Bennington and Linkin Park were quite successful in their golden times, but it also true that they no longer enjoyed of total support from their so-called fans as it was at begining. Now that he has died, his fans may be collecting regrets, many of having abandoned him in his human and artistic journey, have resurfaced from the depths of their computers or perchance many are new. As I said, I do not condemn this, everyone knows what they do and what they say. The death of someone else opens up in us humans a certain feeling of guilt and trepidation, because we see in it our own death, our impotence to be able to do something, given that it is too late. It is at present too late for Chester, for all the people who called him poser or sellout or for those who stopped admiring him at their own convenience. It is already late for all of them who still love him and that his death has left a gap in their lives, whether they were close to him personally or not. Nevertheless, it is only late in some way in this life, given the fact that t´s now imposible to to be able to do something more with it. Chester's suicide aroused in me these nihilistic feelings that I stumbled upon alongside his band and my intellectual guide. Philosophy and music will always be part of my life and leverage the way I see and analyze it
In any case, our Mexican idiosyncrasies of dealing with death in a humeours take or as a joke allows us to make pranks about tragedies as soon as possible. The memes or mockeries of something that started out as is something aberrant come sooner thatn ever. I am not sure if it is already something that conforms our Mexican geist or if we are already insensitive to the pain of others, which terrifies me. There are thousands of opinions about Chester´s suicide: if he was a selfish, that he was so famous, what about his family?, etc. The truth is that we can not and do not have the right to judge anyone, but I forget that in the networks we have all been like that, despotic judges of situations that are not of our concern, that everyone online feels that they are experts in all areas even if they have not studied the topic at all.
Until yesterday I hadn´t listened to the band ina long time, possibly and as many do it was because of thenostalgia I felt. I can honestly say that I shifted to my adolescence I was 15 years old again, back then when I unveiled many things in my life and I returned to those years where I began to strengthen the roots that until now have kept me true myself. Nietzsche says: "The individual has always fought not to be absorbed by the tribe. If you try, you will often be alone, and sometimes scared. But no price is too high for the privilege of being oneself. "