Did Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington Really Hate ‘In the End’? Mike Shinoda Weighs in
“In the End” is one of Linkin Park’s biggest songs, yet the story has frequently been that late frontman Chester Bennington strongly disliked it. In a recent chat with Howard Stern, however, vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Mike Shinoda challenged the rumor, stating that it’s “a misconception” based on Bennington’s preference for other kinds of Linkin Park tunes.
The fourth single released from 2000’s Hybrid Theory, “In the End” was instantly and universally beloved by critics and fans. Since then, it’s been covered in 20 different styles, and its music video passed one billion views on YouTube back in 2020.
It was quite surprising, then, when Bennington told V Music around 2013: “I was never a fan of 'In The End' and I didn't even want it to be on the record, honestly.” To be fair, he immediately admitted that he was “wrong,” continuing:
I basically decided at that point I don't know what the fuck I'm talking about, so I leave that to other people who are actually talented at somehow picking songs that people are going to like the most. It also gave me a good lesson, as an artist, that I don't necessarily have to only make music, in my band, that I want to listen to. . . . But, you know, now I love 'In The End' and I think it's such a great song. I actually see how good of a song it is, it was just hard for me to see it at the time.
On that note, Shinoda told Stern on a February 2023 episode of The Howard Stern Show:
[Bennington] didn’t hate it. No, no, no, no. That’s actually a misconception. Some people think that he hated the song, [but] he liked the song. He just loved really heavy stuff, and so when we were like – when people were like, "This should be a single," he was like, "Uh, whatever. Like, that’s fine." It’s not the one he would’ve chosen.
Shinoda added that Bennington was “born for” the song, and we have to agree!
You can watch the full interview clip below. Also, check out this drastically different demo version of “In the End”!
In related news, Shinoda recently co-produced Demi Lovato’s latest rock song, “Still Alive,” and he even starred in the Scream-inspired music video alongside Ice Nine Kills vocalist Spencer Charnas. As for Linkin Park, their previously unreleased Meteora-era track, “Lost,” debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Rock & Alternative Airplay chart.