In a recent interview with Metal Hammer, Asking Alexandria guitarist Ben Bruce suggests that the late Chester Bennington, formerly the singer of Linkin Park, was killed by a music industry driven by greed. As Alternative Nation reports, this greed is what Bruce believes ultimately pushed Bennington to take his life back in July 2017.
Bruce claims that the music industry is not interested in the well-being of its artists. Instead, he suggests that it is designed to make as much money as possible, which means keeping bands on the road as much as possible to get more attention. In addition, Bruce claims that alcohol and drug use help keep artists on the road, which continues to feed the cycle of press, attention, and profit. After this, he suggests that there is always another band waiting to take the place of a popular band that has reached their peak or begun to succumb to their hard lifestyle.
“It’s a never-ending cycle, and it’s sad because you see people like Chester Bennington…ultimately, I believe that’s what killed him. A life-long career in the music industry. It’s depressing, and people don’t realize. People always say, ‘Thank you for saving me with your music,’ but I think people don’t realize where that music comes from.”
Thank you @RockSound for honoring @ChesterBe as the Icon Of The Year at the 2017 Rock Sound Awards. Support the #OneMoreLight Fund and pick up the latest issue of Rock Sound magazine here: https://t.co/kOxQVI6jSa pic.twitter.com/FQ5NHYcBo6
— LINKIN PARK (@linkinpark) December 1, 2017
It’s not the first time that the music industry has come under fire for exploiting artists. For example, Unilad recently highlighted its tendency to glamorize the crime that artists like Tekashi 6ix9ine thrive off of but inevitably succumb to. In an interview with the publication, behavioral psychologist Clare Scivier — who has 20 years of experience working with A&R at major labels — suggested that the industry needs to take responsibility for their “over-promotion” of criminal behavior.
“[Tekashi69] came from a very vulnerable place, into the music industry, a very sophisticated machine with highly protected people who can afford to send their kids to private school.”
Scivier also suggests that the music industry markets music by taking advantage of vulnerable artists while failing to provide the support needed to build a sustainable career. She points to the fact that if a music label knows that a musician is mentally ill, likely to overdose, or get shot, they are likely to leave behind a legacy of unreleased music that will sell well. And if this problem is not addressed, Scivier believes that things are only going to get worse and more young or vulnerable artists that need help are going to get spit out by the industry.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741. For readers outside the U.S., visit Suicide.org or Befrienders Worldwide for international resources you can use to find help.