Chester Bennington's former bandmates in his first group, the Phoenix, Arizona-based post-grunge act GREY DAZE, recently re-recorded their old material with the help of the late LINKIN PARK frontman's friends and family. Among the guest musicians set to appear on the recordings are Chester's 23-year-old son Jaime Bennington, KORN's Brian "Head" Welch and James "Munky" Shaffer, P.O.D.'s Marcos Curiel, BUSH's Chris Traynor, as well as Ryan Shuck, Chester's bandmate in DEAD BY SUNRISE. The resulting album will be released via Loma Vista Recordings.
In a new interview with Kerrang!, GREY DAZE drummer Sean Dowdell spoke about how the band formed in the first place and his first impressions of the frontman.
"He and I had a connection in writing music together," Sean said. "We loved to write lyrics because we both have a talent to express emotional intent. I just got him on that level. I could tell what he was trying to convey and I could help shape it. He was a genius in the ability to express his emotions into metaphor."
Regarding what fans can expect from GREY DAZE's forthcoming album, Sean said: "There is a depth in the lyrics on this record. Chester sings every word like he believes every single emotion attached. It's bittersweet for me. There's that big, obvious looming thing that he's not here to share this with me. But I'm very proud in how we curated this music. We took almost three years to make this record after he passed. I think he'd be quite proud of what we did."
Last month, Chester's widow, Talinda Bennington, explained that releasing the GREY DAZE album will help "shine a light on" where her "husband started and hopefully give fans a better understanding of his art and a more full picture of his journey through this incredible music."
In a 2001 interview with Revolver magazine, Chester described GREY DAZE's musical style as "early-'90s -style rock. It wasn't pop rock, it wasn't heavy metal. It was in between grunge and good rock. We didn't know what we were doing. We were just writing songs and singing. It was a four-piece band. Some of our songs were more rock. Others were more, I don't know, alternative? I've always been into punk and classic rock. The first few years of being a musician, it was all cover band stuff, and we'd throw in a few originals. The last band I was in, I was in it for almost eight years. We made two albums, and tried really hard."
He added: "I definitely know why it didn't go anywhere: We all wanted to make it, but we all wanted to make it for different reasons. It wasn't all about making good songs, where anything else that comes from that is a fringe benefit."
Bennington was found dead in his Los Angeles-area home in July 2017 after hanging himself.
LINKIN PARK headlined an all-star tribute concert for Bennington in October 2017 in Los Angeles but has not announced any future plans for recording or touring.