In a 99WNRR exclusive interview with Sean Dowdell from Grey Daze, Sean sits down for a one-on-one personal, detailed interview to our own Sarah Marie. Check our social pages Friday for the part of the interview that will appear in Total Order Magazine July 1st. Check out the latest release with Chester on vocals and directed by his son Jamie Bennington.
Sean explains how the creation of “Amends” began and came together with the writing of Chester Bennington.
At first it was painful. We started listening to the isolated vocal tracks and you start realizing Chester was in a lot more pain than I ever realized he was in, even 20 years ago. He and I wrote a lot of these lyrics together but I approached it from more of a philosophical perspective. I was a philosophy major in college and it was cool in the 90's to be writing these songs about sadness, melancholy, pain, drug addiction, and , love. In the 80’s you had all of these songs written about partying and getting crazy. In the 90’s, you had the repercussions from that party and you had sadness, drug addiction, pain, loneliness, emptiness. All of those things became almost like a flag for the 90's bands to bear in their writing style. After he passed and I'm listening to these lyrics, I realized this is exactly how he felt. There's a lot of pain in these lyrics, and he believes every word of it. Something odd happened about 3 months into recording it, it started to become fun. We started laughing and telling stories about Chester and we really started to enjoy ourselves reliving our memories with him and telling each other great stories. For us, I believe it was a cathartic healing experience for us, I truly do.
Sarah inquires about a memory Sean might have to share about his time with Chester.
There’s a great memory I have. He and I used to go down to Puerto Penasco, Mexico. We call it Rocky Point. It's about a four hour drive from our houses in Arizona. We’d go down there and rent a little hotel room or house on the beach and this time would have been 1993. And we're sitting on the beach watching a sunset and he and I charted down the lyrics for the song “More Sky” together, back and forth, handing each other the page, back and forth. And then we brought the lyrics back to band practice the following week and created that song. So that was a great memory I have just sitting on the back of a truck drinking Corona with him.
Sean speaks on Soul Song and Chester's son, Jaime Bennington
We had Chester's son, Jaime, come in and sing backing vocals on that song, and then when the label decided that was going to be the next single they asked if we had any video ideas. Jaime’s been asking me to direct a video. That’s what he does is video production. Why don’t we just give it to him and let him do what he wants? We didn’t really have any input on it or anything, we just let him do it. We were in the middle of our third or fourth session in LA when it just hit me like a thunderbolt. Kristen was standing to my right and I said “Chester never got to record with his kids. That's something we can give back to him”. He would have absolutely wanted to, he just didn’t get around to it. This is something we can do for him. I reached out to all of his children, but Talinda had thought that Tyler and Lily and Lila were a little too young, which is totally understandable. Then I reached out to Draven and he was just a little apprehensive. Jaime said yes right away! THE FULL INTERVIEW IN JULY 1st RELEASE OF TOTAL ORDER MAGAZINE!