Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda of a Chester Bennington Hologram: “I Hate the Idea…It’s Awful”

Photo by Daniel Knighton/FilmMagic
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Because our favorite rock stars mean so much to us, we often have a hard time letting them go when they die. An unfortunate byproduct of this is the emergence of musical holograms, with rock and pop’s fallen heroes being turned into 3D animations who “perform” alongside live bands, the most obvious and egregious example of these being the Ronnie James Dio hologram which recently toured. Now, Linkin Park frontman Mike Shinoda has been asked about the prospect of the band touring with a hologram — and long story short, his answer is a hard pass.

Interestingly enough, the topic came up while discussing a band who are very much alive. While speaking to the Tuna on Toast podcast, Mike and host Stryker discussed how Swedish pop sensations ABBA have decided to tour with a hologram, and Stryker wondered if Linkin Park would ever do the same. Of course, while ABBA are all alive, Linkin Park lost their much-loved vocalist Chester Bennington in 2017, and one assumes that a hologram of the band would include one of him.

Mike’s response was unequivocal: “Negative a million percent. I hate the idea of doing a Linkin Park hologram thing. It’s awful.

“For me, I’m like, okay, physically I could still tour,” continued Shinoda, acknowledging that it might make sense for ABBA due to their ages. “That part’s good. Hopefully that doesn’t change any time soon. But now is not the time [for the band’s return]…We don’t have the focus on it. We don’t have the math worked out. And I don’t mean that by financially math, I mean that like emotional and creative math.”

Look, whatever Linkin Park and Chester’s family decide to do regarding his legacy is their business. But if we can interject our own two cents here: Mike is spot-on. The hologram musician industry is a ghoulish one, and Bennington had an energy and charisma that was unmatched. Trying to capture that in a CGI cartoon feels like a stain on his incredible life.

Check out the full interview below:


Words by Chris Krovatin