Idioma disponible: inglésIn the early '90s, as grunge hit its mainstream peak, a young Phoenix-based band inspired by that Seattle sound held auditions for a lead singer. A teenaged Chester Bennington answered the call, impressing drummer Sean Dowdell with his take on Pearl Jam's "Alive." Together they formed the post-grunge outfit Grey Daze. Influenced by the pain and gloom heard in the music of Alice in Chains, Nirvana, and Soundgarden, Grey Daze's distinct grunge flavor was a far cry from the hip-hop and electronic-influenced sounds of Bennington's later work with hybrid rock band Linkin Park, instead taking cues from the scene's minor chords, sludgy execution, and dour lyrics. After recording a pair of albums in 1994 and 1997, the group went their separate ways and Bennington would become the inimitable voice of Linkin Park and, later, Stone Temple Pilots and Dead by Sunrise. Two decades after their debut, the group scheduled a reunion, but plans were cut short by Bennington's death in July 2017. To honor the late vocalist and his legacy, the surviving members of Grey Daze forged ahead with the help of some famous friends, delivering the re-recorded compilation Amends in 2020. After nailing that audition in 1992, Bennington -- just 15 at the time -- got permission from his father to join the band and the guys began recording their first effort. Arriving in 1994, their debut, Wake Me, featured early versions of "Sometimes," "She Shines," and "Morei Sky." Playing live around Arizona, Grey Daze steadily built an underground following, filling clubs and even sharing the stage with Bush and No Doubt in 1996. In between albums, founding bassist Jonathan Krause and guitarist Jason Barnes left the group and their slots were filled by Mace Beyers and Bobby Benish, respectively. This incarnation of the band went on to record Grey Daze's sophomore album, ...No Sun Today. Released in 1997, the set included the singles "B12" and "Anything, Anything," a cover of the 1985 Dramarama song. However, despite the local radio airplay and increased touring, the group split up in 1998. The next year, Bennington had another successful audition, this time with a Los Angeles-based act called Xero. That group later renamed themselves Linkin Park and the rest is history. Over the years, Bennington and Dowdell remained in touch, rekindling their friendship both as neighbors and as business partners backing Dowdell's Club Tattoo. In 2017, for the 20th anniversary of their sophomore LP, the pair decided to get Grey Daze back on track, going so far as to announce a show that October with Beyers and guitarist Cristin Davis (filling the slot of Benish, who passed away in 2004). However, on July 20, Bennington was found dead in his home and plans came to a halt. As Bennington's friends, family, and fans grieved his passing, Dowdell decided to proceed with the original plans, honoring Bennington's wishes to reactivate Grey Daze. Along with producer Jay Baumgardner (Helmet, Sevendust, P.O.D.), Dowdell, Beyers, and Davis re-recorded previously released Grey Daze tracks with the help of a team of musicians who included Page Hamilton (Helmet), Brian Welch and James Shaffer (Korn), Jasen Rauch (Breaking Benjamin), Chris Traynor (Bush), Marcos Curiel (P.O.D.), Ryan Shuck (Bennington's bandmate in Dead by Sunrise), and Chester's son, Jaime Bennington. The results became 2020's Amends, a modernized reworking of the band's '90s material that retained Bennington's original vocal recordings. Taking its title from a lyric on "Morei Sky" ("If I had a second chance/I'd make amends"), the album brought the late vocalist's past and present full circle.
© Neil Z. Yeung /TiVo
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