PHOENIX — Grey Daze marks the release of Amends… Stripped (Jan. 29, Loma Vista Recordings), a five-song re-imagination of tracks originally featured on the band’s critically-acclaimed 2020 full-length album, Amends, with a one-of-a-kind global listening session that brings the stirring acoustic songs to life via internationally renowned sand artist Anna Streklova’s animated illustrations.
The special event, including an exclusive interview from the band’s first radio interview from back in the ’90s, is viewable via Grey Daze’s YouTube channel tomorrow, Jan. 28, at 1:00 PM Pacific / 4:00 PM Eastern / 9:00 PM GMT.
“We wanted to create a unique listening experience for our fans to hear this EP for the first time,” says Grey Daze co-founder and drummer Sean Dowdell. “One that was visual, moving, and something we had never seen done before. The nature of sand art as a medium is one that fits well, aesthetically, with the stripped down nature of this particular music. A fleeting form of art that aptly expresses the fragile nature of our band. The resulting illustrated film feels like a perfect metaphor, a dream sequence, an experience that sums up our new release. We hope everyone enjoys it as much as we do.”
Grey Daze returned to the studio in October, working with producer Billy Bush (Garbage, Muse) and a selection of alternate vocal tracks from Chester Bennington. The concept of an acoustic release was something Grey Daze had discussed prior to the release of Amends, knowing that the songs present an entirely new aspect to the material and spotlight Bennington’s immense talent, something they’d only been able to witness in the studio.
Amends… Stripped pre-orders are available now, with the vinyl variant of the EP set for an April 9 street date. The vinyl release includes a trio of ‘90s era interviews with the band from the new defunct Phoenix alternative radio station, KEDG. The release is also available digitally. The band released the single “Shouting Out (Stripped)” and its accompanying video.
Grey Daze releasedAmends in June of 2020 with All Music calling it “a gift for those who loved Chester,” Kerrang! proclaiming the collection “both celebratory and emotional, the record stands as a heartfelt echo of Chester Bennington’s power,” Rolling Stone describing the album “modern without sacrificing Bennington’s inherent adolescent grit” and Billboard saying it “provides some grunge-laced light in an otherwise dark hour.”
Amends’ arrival followed months of build-up for an album that serves as a tribute to Chester Bennington, the man “who was known for his piercing scream and free-flowing anguish”(New York Times) and “a human being with a huge heart and a caring soul” (Associated Press).
The people surrounding the release, his Grey Daze bandmates: Sean Dowdell, Mace Beyers, Cristin Davis, as well as Chester’s family members: Talinda Bennington, his parents, Susan and Lee, and his son Jaime all participated in the curation and storytelling that served as both catharsis and the completion of a promise to see the 11-song album through to completion. They shared stories and insight into how Amends became a reality via a documentary, an eight-part, studio driven video series titled “Making Amends”, and a Dave Navarro (Inked Master, Jane’s Addiction) hosted roundtable discussion featuring Dowdell with Amends contributors Brian “Head” Welch (Korn), Chris Traynor (Bush/Helmet), LP and producer Esjay Jones.
“When we announced that we were working on Amends our intention was always to honor Chester’s memory and to finish the work he had begun with us. Amends means so much to his family, our families and the millions of fans worldwide who embraced Chester that we feel we owe it to everyone involved to ensure that Amends receives a proper release.” – Sean Dowdell
PHOENIX – Grey Daze, Chester Bennington’s pre-Linkin Park band, in partnership with Loma Vista Recordings, have re-scheduled the release of Amends to June 26.
The 11-song album, which was created to honor both the legacy of Bennington and to see one of his final dreams, the reunion and re-recording of the band’s long out-of-print and largely undiscovered catalog, to completion.
With an abundance of concern for those that need to spend time with their loved ones over the coming weeks due to Covid-19, the band and label came to the difficult decision to postpone the album’s release.
“This album means so much to Chester’s family, and to us and our families, that we didn’t want to release it in the midst of this crisis,” explained Grey Daze co-founder, drummer Sean Dowdell. “Having said that, we know there are a lot of fans who pre-ordered the album, have been watching the various videos and behind-the-scenes footage we’ve been sharing and we didn’t want to let them down either, so we came up with the idea of an April 10 worldwide listening session.”
Amends will be live streamed in its entirety via a series of fan-hosted, worldwide listening parties on April 10, across a variety of online platforms. Tune-in times and additional information for these listening parties will be revealed over the coming weeks via the Grey Daze socials. People who previously pre-ordered the album will receive their order on, or by, June 26.
The Phoenix-based band re-launched their website this morning, offering a unique glimpse into Chester Bennington’s original band and offering fans an opportunity to get early access to downloads by signing up for the band’s newsletter, dive into the deluxe CD, LP and merch offerings and learn more about the story of Chester, Grey Daze and the making of Amends.
Since the band announced the forthcoming album release, they have released a pair of singles: “Sickness” (the accompanying video, which tells a story from Dowdell and Chester Bennington’s long-running friendship can be seen here) and “What’s In The Eye”. “Sickness” is expected to enter the top 10 on the Active Rock radio chart this week.
Amends is the origin story of one of modern rock’s most recognizable voices and also a full circle moment among friends. The album is the fulfillment of a planned Grey Daze reunion that Chester had announced prior to his untimely passing. The remaining band members – Dowdell, Mace Beyers (bass) and Cristin Davis (guitar) – along with Talinda Bennington (Chester’s widow) and his parents, made it their mission to see the project through with assistance from Tom Whalley, the founder of Loma Vista Recordings and former Warner Bros. Records Chairman during Linkin Park’s tenure at the label.
Dowdell, Beyers and Davis selected the tracks from the band’s mid-90s, but largely unknown, catalog and re-recorded the music in 2019 to accompany Chester’s re-mastered vocals. Produced by Jay Baumgardner, several musicians leant their time and talent to the album, including Korn’s Brian “Head” Welch and James “Munky” Shaffer, Page Hamilton (Helmet), Chris Traynor (Bush, Helmet, Orange 9MM), LP (Laura Pergolizzi), Jaime Bennington, Jasen Rauch (Breaking Benjamin), Marcos Curiel (P.O.D.) and Ryan Shuck (Orgy).
Amends is available in a variety of collectible formats with several iterations available exclusively via the band’s website. The CD comes as a 16-page case-bound book; a first pressing, ruby red vinyl variant exclusive to the band’s webstore; and a numbered deluxe edition featuring both a CD and LP, which includes the first ever disc tray designed for vinyl, a 60-page book with never-before-seen photos, 180g red and white splattered vinyl, and a collectible set of band memorabilia dubbed the “Grey Daze Archive.” Digital and other standard versions of the album are available here. Pre-orders include instant downloads of “What’s In The Eye” and “Sickness.”
MARCH 24, 2020 UPDATE: With an abundance of concern for those that need to spend time with their loved ones over the coming weeks due to Covid-19, the band and label came to the difficult decision to postpone the album’s release. More Info Here
PHOENIX — Grey Daze, Chester Bennington’s pre-Linkin Park band, release Amends, the Phoenix-born band’s eagerly-awaited album featuring newly recorded music with re-mastered vocals from the group’s long out-of-print, and largely undiscovered, catalog, on April 10 via Loma Vista Recordings.
New Single & Music Video for “Sickness” Released
Accompanying the album announcement, Grey Daze have simultaneously released a second single from the 11-song collection, premiering “Sickness” today via Annie Mac’s BBC Radio 1 show (“Hottest Record”). A video for the track has also been released, with band founder and drummer, Sean Dowdell, explaining: “This is loosely based on a true story from when Chester was 15-years-old. He was being bullied at school and one day suffered a real beating. That was the day I assumed a role as protector and almost older brother figure to Chester that has lasted since, even after his passing.”
Amends is the origin story of one of modern rock’s most recognizable voices and also a full circle moment among friends. The album is the fulfillment of a planned Grey Daze reunion that Chester had announced prior to his untimely passing. The remaining band members – Dowdell (drums), Mace Beyers (bass) and Cristin Davis (guitar) – along with Talinda Bennington (Chester’s widow) and his parents, made it their mission to see the project through with assistance from Tom Whalley, the founder of Loma Vista Recordings and former Warner Bros. Records Chairman during Linkin Park’s tenure at the label.
Dowdell, Beyers and Davis selected the tracks from the band’s mid-90s, but largely unknown, catalog and re-recorded the music in 2019 to accompany Chester’s re-mastered vocals. Produced by Jay Baumgardner, several musicians leant their time and talent to the album, including Korn’s Brian “Head” Welch and James “Munky” Shaffer, Paige Hamilton (Helmet), Chris Traynor (Bush, Helmet, Orange 9MM), LP, Jasen Rauch (Breaking Benjamin) and Ryan Shuck (Orgy).
Earlier this week, Dowdell and Talinda Bennington spoke with Rolling Stone about the project, discussing how it came to fruition and the emotions of sharing this album with the world.
“He wanted to do Grey Daze again because the music was awesome, he loved it back then, and he was excited to be able to create,” Talinda shared in theRolling Stonepiece. “Doing it now that he had all this experience under his belt – he had accomplished so much and come so far since then – he was excited about it. I can hear him now. He’s like, ‘F**k yeah!’”
Dowdell appears on both KROQ (Los Angeles) and KUPD (Phoenix) this afternoon to discuss Amends and how meaningful this release is to both the circle of people who were intimately involved but also to the millions of fans who have been waiting to hear Chester’s voice once again.
“We started Grey Daze in 1993, the band ended up breaking up in 1998,” explains Dowdell in a recently released documentary. “Fast forward to 2015, Chester’s on the road and says, ‘I think we should put Grey Daze back together.’ Obviously, what happened, happened and Chester was tragically taken from us. Of course, as soon as he passed, it was like ‘oh my God, I lost my friend, my friend’s wife is now a widow and my friend’s kids are now fatherless.’ There were all of these emotions. About six or seven months later, I started some conversations and said I really want to finish this album. We’re not going to accept mediocrity, we’re going to do our friend proud, we’re going to make sure Chester is proud and we’re going to make sure this is something he would have been elated to put out.“
Amends is available in a variety of collectible formats with several iterations available exclusively via the band’s website. The CD comes as a 16-page case-bound book; a first pressing, ruby red vinyl variant exclusive to the band’s webstore; and a numbered deluxe edition featuring both a CD and LP, which includes the first ever disc tray designed for vinyl, as well as a 60-page book with never-before-seen photos and 180g red and white splattered vinyl. Digital and other standard versions of the album are available here.
Pre-orders include instant downloads of “What’s In The Eye” and “Sickness.” A CD single is also available today at independent record stores nationwide, featuring both new singles “What’s In The Eye” and “Sickness,” as well as a $3 off coupon for the full album.
Amends Track Listing
What’s In The Eye
Just Like Heroine
About Grey Daze
Grey Daze formed in 1992. The Phoenix-based band went on to independently release two albums: Wake Me (1994) and no sun today (1996). Grey Daze parted ways in 1998, with Chester serendipitously auditioning for the Los Angeles band Xero, who later became Linkin Park.
In 2017, Chester announced Grey Daze’s reunion, which would see the band re-working and re-recording a collection of songs they had started two decades earlier. The project was shelved in July 2017 but with the blessing of Chester’s widow, Talinda, and his family, Grey Daze regrouped and finished the album.
Amends represents an important yet unheard chapter – the origin story of one of modern rock’s most recognizable voices – and also a full circle moment along friends.
Phoenix, AZ – Grey Daze, the ‘90s era band helmed by Chester Bennington and featuring drummer Sean Dowdell, bass player Mace Beyers and guitarist Cristin Davis, give fans an early listen to their as-of-yet untitled Loma Vista Recordings’ debut album with the release of the single, “What’s In the Eye”. Listen here:
“An honest voice of pain and anger for a generation” – Rolling Stone
Before he sang, screamed, and serenaded audiences of millions throughout his storied career in Linkin Park and a host of other projects, Chestercut his teeth in Grey Daze. The mid-‘90s band released a pair of albums (Wake Me and No Sun Today), but unsurprisingly, the young Phoenix-based band was lacking the expertise and financial resources to fulfill their vision.
Prior to his untimely passing, Chesterpersonally announced a 2017 Grey Daze reunion on social media —which would see the band members, now with those previously lacking resources, re-working and re-recording a collection of songs from those early releases. The resulting music represents an important, yet unheard chapter—the origin story of one of modern rock’s most recognizable voices—and also a full circle moment among friends.
As he never got the chance to launch the reunion himself, his bandmates, friends, family, and various collaborators stepped up to give the music the second chance it deserved, finishing what the late singer started.
“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,” explained the band in an open letter posted to their social media channels in December. “By February 2017 we started recording and in June, Chesterand Seanannounced the reunion, with a live performance planned for that Fall. Unfortunately, as we all know, that never happened.”
Originally recorded in 1993 and 1996, “What’s In the Eye” was re-written and modernized by Grey Daze under the guidance of producers Chris Traynor (Bush, Helmet, Orange 9MM), Kyle Hoffman, and Jay Baumgardner. Using Chester’s original vocals, the song showcases that, even at the age of 17, Chester was already “delivering intense, almost physically palpable emotion” (New York Times).
“What’s In The Eye” was written lyrically in different phases by both Seanand Chestercollaboratively. The song focuses on a friend’s premature death in a car accident and trying to understand the loss, relaying an emotional intensity that every listener will not only understand, but instantly connect with. The beauty of Chester’s gifts were that he made others able to understand and cope with their own emotional pain, simply by listening to Chester’s vocal expression.
“As a teenager, when these recordings were done, he had this incredible raw and somewhat undeveloped voice that had an incredible tone. He had this ability to sing great rock melodies punctuated by that unmistakable guttural scream.Chester’s voice had a personality that made you a believer,” said Loma Vista Recordings founder and President Tom Whalley. “Listening to the new versions of these tracks, I think it represents everything that the band members and the family told me that Chesterwanted to achieve with re-recording this body of work.”
“One of the finest male voices of a generation” – NME
Additional details about the album will be revealed in the coming weeks. A series of letters about the project and passion behind its release were posted on various social media channels in December. Aside from his Grey Daze bandmates, Chester’s widow, Talinda Bennington, his mother, Susan Eubanks, and his son Jamie Bennington, shared their thoughts about the forthcoming release:
Open Letter from Talinda Bennington (Chester’s Widow):
“One of Chester’s greatest gifts was music. The only thing he took more pride in was being a father to his children. Given how much he cared, he wanted fans to hear everything he did, and his musical journey started with Grey Daze.
“In February 2017, Chester and his bandmates began re-recording their music for a planned re-release of the band’s early music and by June, he announced that Grey Daze was reuniting and would be playing a 20th-anniversary reunion show that fall. He was so enthusiastic about doing this, and he was eager to play rock music with messages that he knew would be meaningful to fans. It also meant a lot to him to be working with his Grey Daze bandmates, Sean Dowdell (with whom he had a very special friendship, and was a business partner in Club Tattoo), along with Mace Beyers, and Cristin Davis. He’d knownthem more than half of his life.
“When Chester passed away, Grey Daze’s reunion seemed like an afterthought to everyone involved; they were suffering, I was suffering, and there were way too many emotions to work through before we could even think about what would happen to that project. Once the clouds lifted a bit, once we could focus on what Chester would want us to do, we looked for a way to continue what Chester was working on—the things he was proud of and wanted to share with his fans. The Grey Daze project is one of the ways we can continue to tell Chester’s story and connect with his fans.
“Through our foundation, 320, I endeavor every day making sure Chester’s legacy shines a light for positive change. For us, releasing a new Grey Daze album will shine a light on where my husband started and hopefully give his fans a better understanding of his art and a more full picture of his journey through this incredible music”.
Open Letter from Susan Eubanks (Chester’s Mom):
“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.“
Open Letter from Jamie Bennington (Chester’s Son):
“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.“
Open Letter from Grey Daze:
“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.”