Linkin Park's Mike Shinoda Explores Grief After Chester Bennington's Death on Intimate 'Post Traumatic EP'

Mike Shinoda Performance
Rich Fury/Getty Images for iHeartMedia

The songwriter released three newly self-produced songs and videos on Wednesday and also touched on the future of Linkin Park.

Mike Shinoda is still grieving.

The Linkin Park co-founder released three new, intimate solo songs on Thursday that deal with the grief he's still feeling after the death of his bandmate, Chester Bennington.

Shinoda announced the Post Traumatic EP on Twitter, describing the six months since the Linkin Park frontman committed suicide as a "roller coaster" in a hand-written note to fans that he shared on social media and his website.

"Amidst the chaos, I’ve started to feel an intense gratitude--for your tributes and messages of support, for the career you have allowed me to have, and for the simple opportunity to create," the 40-year-old musician wrote. "Today, I’m sharing three songs I wrote and produced, with visuals that I filmed, painted, and edited myself. At its core, grief is a personal, intimate experience. As such, this is not Linkin Park, nor is it Fort Minor--it’s just me."

"Art has always been the place I go when I need to sort through the complexity and confusion of the road ahead," he concluded. "I don’t know where this path goes, but I’m grateful I get to share it with you."

The three-song EP and accompanying videos are all self-produced and highly personal. In "Place to Start," Shinoda sings, "'Cause I'm tired of the fear that I can't control this. I'm tired of feeling like every next step's hopeless. I'm tired of being scared what I build might break apart. I don't want to know the end, all I want is a place to start."

The video ends with voicemail messages offering him condolences after Bennington's death. "Wanna obviously send my love and support and, um, just let you know I'm here for you," one such message says.

Shinoda's second song, "Over Again," discusses the pain before and after that show, crooning, "We rehearsed it for a month, I'm not worried about the set. I get tackled by the grief at times that I would least expect."

He ends the song saying he only wanted closure: "'Cause sometimes when you say goodbye, yeah you say it
Over and over and over and over."

After sharing the new material, Shinoda took to Twitter again to correspond directly with fans, noting that he wasn't interested in doing media interviews about the new EP.

He received an outpouring of support on social media and responded to several messages, and he wasn't afraid to answer his fans questions. During his AMA on Twitter, he admitted that "the hardest thing was just getting started in general," and he also explained that the EP is a work in progress. "I wanted to release these three today and see what the fans want me to do next. If you like these, I'll keep going."

Fans are hoping he'll perform the new tunes soon, but Shinoda isn't there yet, though he is hoping to play them live one day. "I'm not ready right now, though. Still making more music and visuals."

Shinoda and Bennington founded their popular rock band in Agoura Hills, California, in 1996. Following the lead singer's death, the group quickly canceled its One More Light tour and arranged a tribute to the vocalist at the Hollywood Bowl.

Bennington, 41, died at his home in Los Angeles in July 2017. His autopsy was released last December, which revealed that alcohol was in his system when he took his own life. In the report, a first blood test also found possible traces of MDMA (ecstasy) in Bennington's system, however, two subsequent tests came back negative, and he was not under the influence of drugs when he died, according to the report.

See a tribute to Bennington below.