Mike Shinoda wrote many Linkin Park hits with Chester Bennington, but one of the songs in their catalog had a special meaning for him. In a recent appearance on the Howard Stern Show, Shinoda revealed that he wrote the song in a moment of despair, yet it ended up helping Bennington achieve his purpose in life.
Sometimes, the inspiration comes when you least expect it. When Mike Shinoda wrote ‘In the End,’ he didn’t know the song would be a Linkin Park hit. He was not supposed to stay overnight in the studio but wanted to spend more time making music. Shinoda then started playing the song’s intro on piano, and by the end of the night, he had the chorus written.
So, the musician wrote ‘In the End’ in just one night and had no idea it would become a hit. Speaking to Howard Stern, Shinoda admitted that he was too young to know what a hit felt like, and all he felt was despondency when he wrote the song. He felt they were trying to get a grip on the meaning of life, but it wasn’t working.
The guitarist then said there was a misconception that Chester Bennington hated ‘In the End,’ but he actually liked the song. As Shinoda recalled, the singer didn’t believe the song was good enough to become a single. However, ‘In the End’ helped Chester fulfill his purpose in life: getting on stage and singing in front of the fans.
Here is what Mike Shinoda said about ‘In the End’:
“It didn’t feel big to me. It didn’t feel like a hit song. I wouldn’t know what a hit song felt like. I was too young; I was feeling despondent. I was feeling like, ‘We’re doing all this stuff, we’re trying to realize some kind of identity or meaning, and it’s not working.’ There was a despondence in it.”
When Howard Stern asked whether Chester told him it wasn’t a good song, Shinoda responded:
“Chester didn’t hate it. No, no. That’s actually a misconception. Some people think that he hated the song. He liked the song; he just loved really heavy stuff. So, when people were like, ‘This should be a single,’ he was like, ‘Oh, whatever, that’s fine.’ It wasn’t the one he would have chosen.”
Revealing what he feels like listening to the song now, Shinoda continued:
“He was born for this. I feel like him singing vocals on albums and on stage was as happy as it got. That was as good as it f*cking got. So, I feel good. I always feel good about that.”
So, Mike Shinoda’s despair when writing ‘In the End’ resulted in serving a good thing — it helped Chester Bennington find the meaning of his life. According to Shinoda, he felt Chester was born for getting up the stage and singing when he saw him perform ‘In the End.’