Bennington, 41, was found in his home in Palos Verdes Estates, California last July after an apparent suicide. At the time of his death, his band, Linkin Park, posted an open letter in mourning of their colleague and friend.
"We're trying to remind ourselves that the demons who took you away from us were always part of the deal," read part of the message, addressed to Bennington. "After all, it was the way you sang about those demons that made everyone fall in love with you in the first place."
"Well, I feel like the bottom line with that is that we knew the guy," he said, reportedly glancing around the room and choosing his words carefully. "Like, we knew what we were dealing with. He knew what he was dealing with. That's all. That's all that means. It was an ongoing... just like anybody who deals with that stuff, you know, it's an ongoing thing."
Bennington's death was closely associated with that of Chris Cornell, lead singer of Soundgarden and Audioslave. Cornell's death took place in May of 2017 and was also ruled a suicide. Bennington was found dead on what would have been Cornell's 53rd birthday. The two singers were extremely close -- Bennington was even the godfather of Cornell's son.
Both sudden losses rocked the industry and the community that Shinoda is a part of. In his interview, he admitted that he feels like he has been watched more closely for signs of depression.
"One of the harder things I've gone through this year is that everything I do gets read through the lens of the year," he told reporters.
Shinoda is an accomplished visual artist in addition to a musician, and said that he has worked through his feelings in painting recently.
"What I've been doing has been a little less figurative and a little more abstract," he said. "If everybody knows that you're going through a rough time and you just draw a stick figure, they'll over-analyze it."
In addition to discussing Bennington, Shinoda sat down with Rolling Stone to talk about his new solo album Post-Traumatic. It is the rapper's first solo album ever, reportedly comprised of some music he had intended to bring to Linkin Park's 2017 album One More Light. The band had to cut that tour short after Bennington's passing.