Defocus on Linkin Park: Why I Love

German metalcore newcomers Defocus released their debut album ‘In The Eye Of Death We Are All The Same’ on 2nd July via Arising Empire. Founded by Simon Müller, Jeffrey Uhlmann, Jonas Mahler and Marcel “Bambam” Heberling, Defocus spent time making music together before coming to light in early 2019, instantly proving their worth in the scene with their energetic live shows.

Defocus’ Simon Müller joins us to share his love of Linkin Park. A band that conquered the world several times over but have also dealt with many struggles.

(Potential trigger warning: mental health / suicide).

(Picture: Leandra Bohnet)

The band that really got me into heavy music was definitely Linkin Park. I remember having a portable CD player back then, listening to CD’s that my big sister burnt for me with music she found in the depths of the early internet (don’t think that all of this was legal!)

I am not sure whether it was the song ‘Numb’ or ‘In the End’, but one of the downloaded versions randomly had a part of a completely different song at the end. You could only hear Chester scream: “SHUT UP WHEN I’M TALKING TO YOU– SHUT UP!!” and this instantly gave me goosebumps all over my skin and made me fall in love with this amazing band. I obviously did not know that this part was from the song ‘One Step Closer’ back then and with the internet of the early 2000’s it was not that easy to find out about that.

Back in school, my friend Jonas and I couldn’t stop watching the ‘Live in Texas’ video on his iPod Nano 3g (for those who still remember those times when you had a separate music device). I have never seen a show that energetic and emotional ever before. The way Chester jumped around on the stage and screamed his lungs out of his ribcage; you could tell that he was really feeling what he was singing. This impressed me a lot.

I would even go as far to say that this was my first inspiration for doing heavy music myself later on. From this moment on, I had to get the full album ‘Hybrid Theory’ onto my own MP3 player. I listened to it over and over again. 

I was always seeking for those aggressive and more heavy parts of Linkin Park when I finally got trapped in the song ‘Given Up’, with the excessively long shout from Chester “PUT ME OUT OF MY F***ING MISERY!” I do think that this might have been the moment I wanted to learn how to scream myself. In those times I discovered so many new bands like Bullet for my Valentine, Slipknot, Bring Me The Horizon, Suicide Silence and many others that had this aggressive expression in their music, too.

Linkin Park performing Given Up at Milton Keynes Bowl, UK.

With Linkin Park developing their sound in a more pop-oriented way, I did not have the motivation to listen to the new stuff and kept spinning the first three albums. This was probably my biggest mistake in retrospect, because I never saw Linkin Park live until Chester died.

Since that day the music scene lost one of the greatest singers I have ever known. I started listening to all of the songs I never really gave a chance and fell in love with this band for the second time.

As I was experimenting with my voice singing some songs of other bands, I worked on a song that did not only catch me with its emotional singing… I really started to cry as I read the lyrics of ‘One More Light’, from the latest Linkin Park album.

You can really tell that Chester was desperately seeking help with those lyrics. Linkin Park has been a big part of my childhood, puberty and the short time I’ve spent on earth so far. I really don’t know whether I would ever have started singing without an inspiration like Chester.

Our thanks go to Defocus and to Simon Müller for his words on one of the biggest metal bands of the past twenty years or so. Chester Bennington’s death was felt throughout the music world and he is still very sadly missed.

Check out the video for Thought Of A Vision from Defocus below. You can connect with the band through their social links below the video.

Defocus: Website / Twitter / Facebook / Instagram

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