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Alice Cooper on Chester Bennington and Chris Cornell: ‘The Last People I Would Ever Guess to Commit Suicide’

Larry Busacca, Getty Images
Larry Busacca, Getty Images

Alice Cooper shared his thoughts on the recent deaths of Linkin Park‘s Chester Bennington and Soundgarden‘s Chris Cornell in a recent interview with the WAAF podcast Mistress Carrie’s Side Piece. Like most of us, Cooper was shocked at the seemingly out of nowhere deaths.

“It is really weird what’s going on right now,” Cooper said. “First of all, Chris Cornell was one of the most positive people I’d ever met in my life. He had everything going for him on every level … Same with Chester. I knew both of these guys pretty well. And they were not heavy drug guys, they were not wild, crazy, insane Keith Moon types; they were really solid, solid, solid and the last people I would ever guess to commit suicide. So I have no idea what’s going on with all of this.”

Cooper would later go onto to speak about whether or not the groups’ lyrics have any clues about their recent struggles. “That would have been true, I think, especially with Jim Morrison [of THE DOORS]. Jim Morrison… When I knew Jim, all he ever wrote about was what was on the other side. ‘The End’, ‘Break on Through [To The Other Side]’… I mean, all these songs had all this death involved in it. But if you look at Chris Cornell, ‘Black Hole Sun’ and all this stuff they did, these guys were really positive guys. I know that a lot of the lyrics were dark because of the area the music is in, but knowing these guys, they’re nothing like that.”

Whether or not he thinks there’s a level of suffering necessary for art, he says, “I think that people think that and I think that you feel that you have to be the tortured artist. I have never felt that. I came up against a battle with alcohol and drugs and I turned it to a different thing — I became Christian — and it took care of the whole thing. I haven’t had a drink in 37 years, and I’ve never been happier in my life. Other people go, ‘Well, I’ll meditate,’ or, ‘I’ll do yoga,’ or ‘I’ll do this or that.’ I don’t know. For me, it was turning to my faith and believing it’s something bigger than me, and it worked. So that’s all I can go by. But I was drinking a bottle of whisky a day, I was throwing up blood in the morning, and I was about ready to go until I really got hold of myself and decided what was important.”

We’ve seen numerous people react to Bennington’s tragic death in many different ways the past couple of weeks. Chester Bennington’s widow, Talinda Bennington issued her first public statement since the singer’s death, partially saying, “I want to let my community and the fans worldwide know that we feel your love. We feel your loss as well. My babies are so young to have lost their daddy. And I know that all of you will help keep his memory alive.”

Limp Bizkit‘s Fred Durst also commented on the loss of Bennington, saying, “I can say so many wonderful things about the Chester I knew. He had a way of making anyone he spoke to feel heard, understood and significant. His aura and spirit were contagious and empowering. Often those types of people have so much pain and torture inside that the last thing they want is to contaminate or break the spirit of others.”

You can hear the whole interview with Alice Cooper here.

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