CHESTER BENNINGTON's Pre-LINKIN PARK Band GREY DAZE Returns With 'The Phoenix' Album
April 15, 2022
GREY DAZE, Chester Bennington's pre-LINKIN PARK band, will release a new album, "The Phoenix", on June 17 via Loma Vista Recordings. It is the follow-up to 2020's "Amends", which featured newly recorded music with remastered vocals from the group's long out-of-print and largely undiscovered catalog.
"'Amends' was more emotional and reflective," explains drummer and songwriter Sean Dowdell of the different mood and feel displayed on "The Phoenix", which also sees contributions from JANE'S ADDICTION's Dave Navarro, FILTER's Richard Patrick and Bennington's daughters, Lily and Lila Bennington. "We felt sad when we were writing it. Now that we're a couple of years removed, it's very clear what we were going through. We were at a different stage of grief. We went through the shock and the sadness. Now, we're back to gratitude. So, 'The Phoenix' is more of a celebration of our friend, his talent, and the music. It captures Chester's angst and energy that people fell in love with. It's much more aggressive. If you love Chester's scream, you'll love this record."
A preview of "The Phoenix" arrives with today's release of "Saturation (Strange Love)" and its Marc Silverstein-directed video. The track, evocative of the shift in energy between "Amends" and "The Phoenix", showcases a younger Chester and the raw, astounding talent was already in possession of, as Dowdell notes: "It's going to surprise a lot of people because it gets back to Chester's core. One of the things that people love about him was his unique ability to scream in key… and this song brings you back to everything you love about that scream. You feel that angst and raw emotion he brought to everything he did."
Over the course of GREY DAZE's first incarnation, which ran 1994 to 1997, the group recorded and released two albums. It is those albums that serve as a foundation for both "Amends" and "The Phoenix". Prior to Bennington's passing, he publicly announced GREY DAZE's return, which included re-recording the band's largely undiscovered discography. With Chester's widow Talinda Bennington's blessing, and working with producer Esjay Jones, the surviving bandmembers — Dowdell, bass player Mace Beyers and guitar player Cristin Davis — moved forward, as both a way to pay tribute to their fallen brother and bandmate, but also to expose his fans to another dimension of the dynamic singer. "Amends" arrived in 2020, with Rolling Stone, Revolver, Billboard and Kerrang! praising the collection. NME summed it up best as "a great modern rock record fronted by one of the best vocalists in the game." In late 2020, the trio reconvened with Jones re-recording, and re-working the remaining 10 tracks that would become "The Phoenix".
"The Phoenix" track listing:
01. Saturation (Strange Love) 02. Starting To Fly 03. Be Your Man 04. Holding You (featuring Dave Navarro) 05. Hole (featuring Lily & Lila Bennington) 06. Drag 07. Believe Me (featuring Richard Patrick) 08. Anything, Anything 09. Spin 10. Wake Me
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.