Chester Bennington’s early band Grey Daze were previously working on an album of re-recorded tracks before the Linkin Park frontman’s tragic death and the effort has since been completed with some help from various guests. The first single from the record, “What’s In The Eye,” can be heard below. The track features vocals Bennington recorded when he was just 17-years-old.
Grey Daze said the following about the upcoming album:
“We met Chester when he was a scrappy 15-year-old and we were “seasoned” 17-year-olds. We’ve been friends, bandmates, and in Sean’s case, business partners (via Club Tattoo), ever since.
We were present for the highs, and witness to the lows. Chester was the heart and soul of Grey Daze, it was his enthusiasm, lyrical prowess and emotional integrity that propelled us to record and release two albums and a demo and it was with great pride that we watched the magic we knew was in him shared with the world.
Reuniting Grey Daze was something that we’d been kicking around for years, but because of work and family commitments, we hadn’t had a chance to turn the idea into reality until early 2017.
Over the years we’d become more knowledgeable, more experienced, and had more resources, so we decided to pick a selection of songs from our previously released albums and re-record them the way they deserved to have been treated back in the ‘90s when we initially wrote and released them.
By February 2017 we started recording and in June, Chester and Sean announced the reunion, with a live performance planned for that Fall. Unfortunately, as we all know, that never happened.
When Talinda, Chester’s widow, and his parents, gave us their blessing to move forward with the project, we did so with the utmost care, making sure to honor his legacy as well as handle the music we had written together with the utmost care.
We all wanted to fulfill Chester’s dream of people hearing Grey Daze music as he always envisioned it.
We also wanted to make sure we had the proper steward for this. We reached out to Tom Whalley, the person who had been the head of Warner Bros. Records for the first nine years of Linkin Park’s existence and someone who knew Chester well, with hopes he’d be interested in doing this release via his Loma Vista Recordings.
Executive Producer Jay Baumgardner and Tom helped us to see our vision through, re-recording the music but keeping Chester’s vocals intact. The fact that we got to re-track and rewrite the music around his vocals was an amazing experience. This is what our good friend wanted.
He wanted the music to feel fresh and relevant, so people who knew his music but not his original band, could relate to it. That’s what we’ve tried to do with this Grey Daze record now.
We cannot wait for his fans and the world to hear this new album, we hope we made him, and you, proud.”
Bennington‘s mother Susan Eubanks also commented:
“It’s hard for me to remember a time when Chester didn’t tell me he was going to be a rock star. He had discovered music at a very young age, and I can even recall the first time I saw him sing: a two-year-old mimicking the songs to “Grease!” he loved to sing Olivia Newton John’s!
Music was a constant for him. He was always listening to bands, but it was when he was 13 that he began to tell me that he was going to be a singer. He was trying out for local bands, playing with friends, and doing what normal teenage boys do when they dream about becoming a “rock star.” I was encouraging, but obviously wanted him to keep his feet firmly planted on the ground and focused on his education.
At 15, he came home with his slightly older friend, who seemed immensely older to me in comparison to Chester, Sean Dowdell. I laugh now when I think that Sean was a mere 17 at the time. Sean was forming a local band that was in need of a singer, and Chester was eager to fill that role.
That band would become Grey Daze. As any parent would be, I was reluctant to have my 15-year-old son going to clubs but I cautiously gave my permission once I saw how Sean treated Chester, not just as a new bandmate, but as a protective older brother. Over the past 25 years, Sean has become a part of our family.
Missing Chester is now a part of my daily life but of course, grief comes in waves, so most of the time I try to remember the joy he brought to me, and the happiness his music brought to so many people.
It was in that mindset that I gave Sean my blessing to continue the work he and Chester had begun on reimagining the Grey Daze music. A year later, Sean very proudly played me the results of his, Mace, and Cristin’s work, allowing me to be one of the first people to hear it.
When that voice rang out, I remembered the teenage Chester and Sean and thought of how remarkable they would have found all of this. I am grateful that because of Sean’s efforts Chester’s fans have the opportunity to hear his music again.”
Bennington’s son Jamie Bennington added:
“To be honest, I didn’t know that Grey Daze was coming back. My dad was the type to keep his work private if it wasn’t finished, so I never heard about his reunion with Sean Dowdell and Mace Beyers to revitalize his first ever rock band.
All that I knew was that my dad was looking, once again, to reinvent himself as an artist. Something that was far from unusual considering he was, and always will be, one of the most amoebic vocal talents to ever live.
With that being said, to say that getting a call from Sean nearly two years after his death concerning an album they had been working on together in secret was a surprise is an understatement.
Sean asked me to come down and record some backup vocals at NRG. I said yes. Of course, I said yes. And what an experience it was. In a lot of ways, I got to meet the teenage version of my father. I got to reconnect with my own childhood friends. And I got to pilgrimage to the very place that Linkin Park got their start.
Most importantly though I got to work on one of the last things my dad ever made. Something I had so many questions about, like:
How were they going to continue to work on an album when the lead vocalist was no longer in the picture?
I had been told that there were no plans to bring in another vocalist to replace my dad on the album, but I didn’t understand at the time what that actually meant. It was only when I stepped into the studio that I saw the magic being performed.
And by magic, I mean magic. Sean Dowdell, Esjay Jones, and Lucas D’Angelo are miracle workers who not only had massive holes to fill in the production of album but had rather limited means of filling them. But they did it. They did it with only masters of old Grey Daze recordings and the goodwill of friends and family.
Thank you so much for having me and congratulations on accomplishing the impossible.”
In addition to Jamie, the record will feature Korn’s Brian “Head” Welch and James “Munky” Shaffer, P.O.D.’s Marcos Curiel, Bush’s Chris Traynor, and Chester’s Dead By Sunrise bandmate Ryan Shuck. A spring release is being planned via Loma Vista Recordings.