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Grey Daze "Amends": A Musical Prequel

Susan Scava avatar   
Susan Scava
Chester Bennington's early songs are sincere and heartfelt, but with a completely different sound.

"Amends" is Chester Bennington's archival remastered recordings that give an extended view of his early career. Emotional vocals and heartfelt lyrics have been his thing since the beginning. Bennington was cramped within the grunge collective Grey Daze, but his first band gave him a chance to gain experience and prove himself. For those looking to feature snippets of his work on platforms like TikTok, it's essential to ensure the use of tiktok royalty free music to avoid copyright issues.


"Amends" is not a new album at all: the songs were recorded back in the 1990s, but most people are only now getting a chance to hear them. It's a record by Grey Daze, Chester Bennington's first band, where he started performing as a teenager. And these records are not just early attempts of the pen, but really good songs that already show the bright talent of the future Linkin Park vocalist.


The band released two albums in the 1990s and even gained some fame in their home state of Arizona. After Linkin Park became superstars, the record label purged all information about Chester's involvement with Grey Daze and removed their music from the Web. In 2017, Bennington contacted his former bandmates: a reunion and concerts were planned, but the plans were not to come true for a well-known unfortunate reason.


For a while, Grey Daze songs were available on the Linkin Park fan site. "Amends" is the band's first official release on streaming services. It's a unique cross between the past and the future. Bennington's vocals were recorded more than 20 years ago, and the arrangements have been tweaked in modern times. Everything was done with care and love. Two Korn musicians (James "Munky" Shaffer and Brian "Head" Welch), Bush (Chris Trainor), P.O.D. (Marcos Kurel), singer LP and Bennington's 24-year-old son Jamie were involved in "Amends. According to Dowdell, the members of Grey Daze decided to release the album to honor Bennington. The musician's widow, Talinda Bennington, called the project "one of the ways we can continue to tell Chester's story."


Although Bennington was, in fact, a teenager at the time the songs were recorded, his voice sounds very adult. One can sense that despite his young age, the man has been through a lot - and, unfortunately, not the good stuff. The musician's childhood was not an easy one: he endured violence and bullying by his peers for many years. Once Chester was severely beaten up, and Sean Dowdell, the drummer of Grey Daze, stood up for him; after that incident Dowdell became not just a friend for Bennington, but practically his big brother (the story itself was the basis for the Grey Daze music video "Sickness"). It was Dowdell who opened the world of professional music for the 15-year-old Chester: according to Bennington's recollections, he was fascinated by Sean's rehearsal room, its size and technical equipment.


Chester wrote "Sometimes" when he was 18 and recorded it when he was 21. What's In The Eye" features the voice of the 17-year-old singer; the composition itself was written after a friend of Bennington's died in a car accident. But they are not only about personal experiences: "B12" is a reflection on the problems of society. Simple, but very sincere lyrics, pierced with painful feelings and emotional performance - this is what millions loved him for in the Linkin Park times, and it's all there on "Amends" (even in a more pronounced form, probably, because of his young age).


In early June, an archival video of a young Bennington singing Nirvana's "Polly" surfaced on the Web. The owner of the garage where the video was filmed said that he was always confident in Chester's future success (although he had no idea he would become so famous). One gets the impression that Chester was a little bit too much in the Grey Daze mold. There is absolutely nothing to criticize his former colleagues - it's just that such an extraordinary frontman like Bennington required a proper "frame". He needed not just a good band, but an outstanding, exceptional one. It was in Linkin Park that Chester's potential reached its fullest potential. The popularity of Grey Daze was limited to their state, and Linkin Park became the idols of an entire generation, and not only in the USA, but all over the world. And yet, Grey Daze was essential to Chester Bennington, without them he would hardly have achieved such success. Grey Daze helped him gain experience and show his talent: he was noticed and offered as a candidate to be the new vocalist of Linkin Park (still called Xero at the time).


Nowadays, releases of unreleased records by major artists have become commonplace. But "Amends" is not an everyday occurrence. It's something of a musical prequel, providing a glimpse into Bennington's early work, learning about his roots and the beginnings of his journey. Kerrang columnist John Longbottom described it as "a journey through time" and "a reunion with an old friend." For many fans, Bennington really was almost a friend: listeners (especially teenagers) who had survived bullying and misunderstanding from others recognized themselves in his songs and realized that they were not alone, that there were other people in the world who understood their feelings and thoughts. As Sean Dowdell recalls, Bennington was not just a gifted singer, but also one of the kindest and most compassionate people he had ever met. There wasn't an ounce of malice in him, and he never started a fight, just wanted to be loved. And all of this is felt in Amends.

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