In a brand new interview with Meltdown Of Detroit’s WRIF radio station, FOZZY frontman and WWE wrestling superstar Chris Jericho was asked for his opinion on the recent passings of LINKIN PARK‘s Chester Bennington and SOUNDGARDEN‘s Chris Cornell. He responded: “I didn’t really have much of a connection to Chester; I never met him and I wasn’t a LINKIN PARK fan. No reason other than it just wasn’t my vibe. [I’m] always sad to hear [about] one of the brothers kind of going out that way. But I will say that Cornell [was] one of my favorite singers of all time. I had the pleasure of meeting him. Actually, I saw him, I think, two days before he passed away at a festival in Minnesota somewhere.”
He continued: “I will say this: it really makes me made when I read people going, ‘The way that he took himself out was disgusting,’ and this, that and other thing. It’s, like, I’ve known two people now who have had suicides that had this immense depression. And I really find that that’s a disease, just like cancer or a heart attack would be. And when you’re saying to somebody, ‘Oh, yeah, he killed himself,’ I think you should use it in the same mindset and vibe as if you say he died of cancer. I don’t think it’s something you can really help doing… [People say] ‘Chester had six kids. How can he do this? What a coward!’ I think he had about as much choice as you or I would have if we dropped dead of a heart attack right now. So that’s the way I feel about it.”
Jericho added: “I never met Chester, I’m not a LINKIN PARK fan — no disrespect — but anytime somebody is in this business and that happens to, I feel for them, because I’ll tell you this: to be in show business and to be always… to have to be in front of a crowd and always have to be ‘on,’ so to speak, when you go downstairs to have breakfast or have a coffee, it’s not easy. And I can see a lot of people kind of having issues with that. Maybe they’re private people, maybe… I don’t know… We don’t know what happened in his mind. But I just wanna say that anybody out there, if you’re feeling that, please reach out. And anybody who’s judging, don’t, because I really find that depression is a true disease — a mental disease — that’s just as serious as a physical disease can be.”
Bennington was found dead in his home in Palos Verdes by one of his employees shortly before 9:00 a.m. on July 20. A Los Angeles County coroner confirmed that the cause of death was “suicide by hanging.”
In a 2013 interview with HardDrive Radio, Bennington advised kids who are having a tough time with life to avoid taking such a drastic step. “The thing about life is like, you can’t predict the future but the future’s there,” he said. “You just have to wait out. Life gets better, so don’t make those in-the-moment rash choices like suicide. Talk to your parents, you know, talk to the counselor at school. They’re there for you. They’re the people that are gonna care about you and they are gonna care about your feelings.”
Cornell struggled with substance addiction since his teen years, but had been sober since 2003 and, according to his wife, had not relapsed since 2009.
The coroner’s report revealed that Chris had the sleep aid Ativan, a mild sedative called Butalbital found in migraine medication, a decongestant and caffeine in his system when he was found dead on May 18, along with an anti-opioid called Narcan that was administered by EMTs on the scene.
FOZZY‘s new album, “Judas”, is tentatively due this fall via Century Media.