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Limp Bizkit’s Fred Durst Remembers Chester Bennington: “He Had a Way of Making Anyone He Spoke to Feel Heard”

As their bands came up as peers on the early-2000s nu-metal scene, Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit and Chester Bennington of Linkin Park also became personal friends. Bennington died last week at age 41, and today, Durst spoke to Variety with a thoughtful remembrance of his late colleague.

Durst’s first memory of Bennington is from a European tour, where Linkin Park opened for Limp Bizkit. As Durst recalls, Bennington and his band “so excited and so shy” to hang out with Bizkit, who rewarded them with a champagne shower. He went on to remember Bennington as a man whose inner “pain and torture” inspired warmth and empathy towards others:

I can say so many wonderful things about the Chester I knew. He had a way of making anyone he spoke to feel heard, understood and significant. His aura and spirit were contagious and empowering. Often those types of people have so much pain and torture inside that the last thing they want is to contaminate or break the spirit of others.

He would go out of his way to make sure you knew he truly cares. As real and transparent as our conversations would be, he was always the one projecting light on the shadows. In my last conversation with him, he was holding his two cute puppies and giving me the most selfless and motivational compliments in regards to Limp Bizkit and myself and thanking me for paving the path for bands like Linkin Park.

In return, I told him if it weren’t for him and his voice and his words, this genre would never have reached the masses and affected so many lives. I thanked him for being so courageous and humble and for always being such a gentleman. We laughed and hugged and told jokes as if there would always be a tomorrow for us to meet again.

Read more Fred Durst’s memories of Chester Bennington here, then revisit SPIN’s obituary and our appreciation of Linkin Park’s Hybrid Theory.