Chester Bennington on Joining Stone Temple Pilots: "We Definitely Need to Prove Ourselves"

When the members of Stone Temple Pilots invited Chester Bennington to become the band's new frontman, the Linkin Park vocalist didn't take long to decide. We're talking like maybe a few moments at most. "Almost the second after I was asked, my immediate answer was, 'Yeah, I'd fucking love to,'" he says. Then, reality began to set in.

Bennington -- a Phoenix native who divides his time between the Valley and L.A.-- told Up on the Sun during a recent phone interview that after the excitement of becoming the vocalist for one of his favorite bands, which axed its longtime singer Scott Weiland earlier this year, transformed into a realization that it wasn't "something to be taken lightly." According to the 37-year-old, he started thinking to himself, "It's a big fucking deal."

Stone Temple Pilots with Chester Bennington are scheduled to perform tonight at Marquee Theatre in Tempe.

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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.