Mike Shinoda has shot down the idea of LINKIN PARK peforming with a hologram of the band’s late singer Chester Bennington, saying such a move would be “awful.”
On Friday (December 15), the LINKIN PARK co-vocalist took part in an Instagram Live question-and-answer session with fans to discuss the release of the band’s “One More Light Live” album. Asked about the prospect of the surviving members of LINKIN PARK one day sharing the stage with a hologram version of Chester, Mike said: “I can’t even wrap my head around the idea of a holographic Chester. I’ve actually heard other people outside the band suggest that, and there’s absolutely no way. I cannot fuck with that.”
He later added: “I can’t do a hologram Chester; that would be the worst. For any of you guys who have lost a loved one, best friend, family member, can you imagine having a hologram of them? Ugh. [It would be] awful. I can’t do it. I don’t know what we’re gonna do, but, you know, we’ll figure it out eventually.”
LINKIN PARK has not officially announced whether the band will carry on without Bennington, who took his own life on July 20.
Ever since a 3-D projection of the late rapper Tupac Shakur performed at the 2012 Coachella festival, holographic recreations of dead entertainers have been gaining in popularity.
A re-created Ronnie James Dio made his live debut in Germany in 2016 and is now touring Europe, with plans to take it to other parts of the world in 2018.
In 2015, it was announced that Whitney Houston would go on the road in holographic form, but a leak of a duet with Christina Aguilera, which suggested the hologram was not up to scratch, led to the withdrawal of the Houston hologram by her estate.
Guitarist and composer Frank Zappa, who died in 1993, will be recreated onstage in 2018 during a hologram tour licensed by the Zappa Family Trust, which is run by his children Ahmet and Diva.
DISTURBED frontman David Draiman said in a 2016 interview that he had mixed feelings about concerts featuring the Dio hologram. He said about the prospect of seeing a holographic version of Ronnie: “It makes me sad. I’m always happy to hear any music from anybody that’s left us, that we’ve lost. But I don’t know… The hologram thing, to me, it almost isn’t letting the dead be dead.” He added, “It just seems weird… Is there a difference between a hologram and a guy dressing up like Ronnie James and doing it?”
Dio died in 2010 at the age of 67 from stomach cancer. The Dio hologram was created by a company called Eyeillusion and made its debut at the Wacken Open Air festival in August 2016 in front of more than 75,000 fans.
Draiman added: “Ronnie was Ronnie, and he was the best in the entire damn world. Whether you’re doing it with somebody like Ronnie James Dio or Michael Jackson or whomever, it just seems like, you know what? Respect the legacy. And me personally… it kind of bothers me.”
Ronnie James Dio‘s widow/manager Wendy, who is also a member of the Eyellusion team, said that the fans at Wacken Open Air “really got it, and they loved” the Ronnie hologram. She explained: “I think you have to see it, really, to know what it’s about. It’s amazing. It’s like having Ronnie back again, which is wonderful. It was very emotional. I didn’t think that I was gonna cry, but I did. I broke down. And a lot of fans were there with me, and it was comforting that they were feeling the same thing I was feeling… I mean, everyone that knew Ronnie, it was so realistic. It was just like having him back on stage again.”