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24.02.2011 - Linkin Park’s frontman


Chester Bennington talks to The Rebel Yell at his Vegas tattoo parlor.

Before performing at the MGM Grand on Saturday night, Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington made a stop at his tattoo parlor, Club Tattoo, where he and his Linkin Park bandmates signed autographs for hundreds of anxious fans.

Co-owner of the tattoo hot spot inside the Miracle Mile Shops, Bennington became business partners with longtime friends Sean and Thora Dowdell. As ink machines buzzed and a DJ spun beats, Bennington and Dowdell spoke with The Rebel Yell about why everybody should get a tattoo … except their kids.

The Rebel Yell: You’ve had to cancel the last three Linkin Park shows due to an illness. How are you feeling now?
Chester Bennington: I’m doing OK. I feel good. I feel like a normal person again today for the first time in the last couple of weeks, so it’s kind of nice.

RY: Why do you think tattoos are synonymous with rock and roll?
CB: I think people automatically tie rock and roll with a little bit of rebellion, with a little bit of sex, with a little bit of cool and fashion. When you grow up looking at rock stars and movie stars who are edgy, you see them with tattoos and piercings. It goes hand in hand.
RY: Why was it important to have a location in Las Vegas?
Sean Dowdell: There was room to have another one up here. We had the demand for it. Las Vegas is an awesome international market.

RY: Michelle Branch tweeted that she gets a new tattoo every time she’s working on a new album. Do you have any rituals like that?
CB: Not when it comes to tattoos. I’m usually pretty spontaneous when it comes to tattoos. [But] good for Michelle. People use tattoos in so many different ways. For her to want to get one to mark the celebration of every new album is pretty rad. I didn’t know that about her.
SD: She needs to come here to get her next one.

RY: Are there any tattoos that you regret?
CB: Yeah. Most people have a tattoo that they regret. I think that’s part of the fun of tattoos. There are tattoos that I was super excited about when I got them. Then, I’d go get another tattoo from another artist who’s way better and far superior in their technique and their execution of their work. You go, “God, I wish I would have just waited a little longer.” Tattoos are a lot like life. You get some. You love them. You move on.
SD: That’s one of the reasons we decided not to tattoo minors. Because when you’re 16 and 17 years old, you haven’t really mentally developed into the adult that you’re going to be. You will make bad choices along with many other things in your life. I got some tattoos when I was 16 that I absolutely regretted.

RY: When will you allow your kids to get tattoos?
SD: Never. [Laughs]
CB: I love tattoos. I want everybody to get a tattoo and I want them all to come to Club Tattoo to get them. It is a decision that you have to be an adult to make. It’s a lifelong choice. It’s a commitment. None of my kids are allowed to come home with a tattoo before they turn 18.

RY: What’s next for Linkin Park musically?
CB: We’re working on a new album. Even though we’re touring now, we’ve started working on the next record already. We’ve found that music kind of takes on its own thing and it’s not done until it’s done. The sooner, the better is what I say. We want to make sure our work is quality work and that we’re all happy with it.

RY: Are you working on the soundtrack for Transformers: Dark of the Moon?
CB: I don’t know if I’m at liberty to tell you yet [winks]. But it looks promising. I think we go hand in hand with those films. A lot of our younger fans call us the Transformers band. - February 24, 2011


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