“Basically, we approached every single song with the intention of making sure that Chester would be proud of it,” Grey Daze drummer and co-lyricist Sean Dowdell tells Apple Music about Amends, which captures beloved late Linkin Park vocalist Chester Bennington in his first proper band. Originally recorded in the ’90s when Bennington was 18, Amends sees the surviving members of Grey Daze—plus new guitarist Cristin Davis—re-recording all their instruments to rebuild these lost songs around the singer’s original performances. Bennington had announced Grey Daze’s revival and started working on the album prior to his death by suicide in 2017. Dowdell, Davis, and original bassist Mace Beyers spent two and a half years meticulously finishing the project—a testament to their dedication, and to Bennington’s immense talent, that features guest shots from famous friends (guitarists from Korn, Bush, and Helmet, among others) as well as family members. “You’re going to get an insight into who Chester was before Linkin Park,” Dowdell says. “And a showcase of how great a singer he really was.” Below, Dowdell discusses each song on Amends. Sickness “Page Hamilton [of Helmet] and Chester were good friends, so we brought him in to play on this track. When I look back and read the lyrics, I can't help but think that this song is about addiction. We did a bunch of interviews when Chester was alive, and I heard Chester tell the story of why he wrote the lyrics the way he did—about being a malcontent, about being empty. But when I read them, I think there's a subplot in there about addiction.” Sometimes “Chris Traynor from Bush is playing guitar on this song with Cristin. Lyrically, Chester wrote this song all by himself. I think he had just broken up with a girlfriend because he had found out that she was cheating on him with one of his best friends at the time. He was just really disappointed in the way it turned out, because he felt like he lost a really good friend and his girlfriend. I remember he just walked into the studio, grabbed the microphone, and started screaming the chorus of what would become ‘Sometimes.’ It came together so quickly.” What’s in the Eye “Chris Traynor is also on this one, and so is Marcos Curiel from P.O.D. Chester and I wrote almost all the lyrics together, and this is one that I started and brought to practice. I remember Chester grabbed my notepad and put a big X through my chorus—I still actually have the lyric sheet—and then he starts screaming, ‘Don't go too fast, my friend!’ He had lost a friend in a car accident a week or two before we wrote the track, so he adapted the lyrics to the loss of his friend. The meaning of the song was really up in the air until Chester gave it literal meaning with a really strong chorus.” The Syndrome “This is a song that my son Carston plays drums on, and Carah Faye sings backing vocals. It’s about how sometimes people disappoint you and you just need something different to make you realize that what you thought was important or people who you thought were important really weren’t in the big picture. It’s a similar theme to ‘Sometimes,’ but kind of a different perspective based on moving past a situation—and then you can look back and see things a little more clearly.” In Time “Ryan Shuck, who was a good friend of Chester and myself, plays guest guitar on this song. He was in Orgy and in a band called Dead By Sunrise with Chester. I have an incredible memory of sitting with Chester as we were working on the melodies for this song. I was sitting on a couch in our rehearsal studio and I was kind of mouthing this word to him: ‘pain.’ And he stands up, grabs the mic, and screams the lyric as loud as he possibly could. And all of a sudden it really came alive. He was literally feeling that lyric—you can hear it in his voice. It’s an unbelievable performance, and it’s one of the tracks where I think you get an insight into the beauty of Chester’s vocal range and ability. This is one of the songs I get to sing with him on, which was always very difficult because you can’t help but pale in comparison.” Just Like Heroin “Back in the ’90s, we were losing guys like Kurt Cobain and Shannon Hoon and Brad [Nowell] from Sublime. It all seemed to be from heroin, and it was bumming us out. One of the lyrics in that song that'll help you kind of understand where we were coming from is ‘Just excuses.’ It seemed like these guys were just using excuse after excuse to keep using heroin. We kept losing our idols because of that, and it sucked. Chris Traynor plays on this one as well, and it’s one of my favorite tracks on the record.” B12 “The guest guitar players on this song are Head and Munky from Korn, who were a pleasure to work with. You couldn’t pick a more relevant song as far as the state of the world right now, and it was written 20 years ago. Chester wrote 100 percent of the lyrics on this one, and it’s about the chaotic system we live in. He’s talking about governments crumbling, overbearing SWAT teams, and all the shit that’s happening around us. It’s got that angst that you know and love Chester for. You can hear it in his voice.” Soul Song “Chester’s son Jaime sings backing vocals on this, and it’s my favorite song on the record. You can hear Jaime singing on the chorus with his dad, and that’s something that us as a band were able to give back to Chester. He was never able to record anything with his children, and we were able to do that for him. It’s pretty intimidating to go in and sing along with Chester—yeah, he’s your dad, but he’s also Chester Bennington—but Jaime did a great job. I think his dad would be very proud of him.” Morei Sky “The chorus of this song says, ‘If I had a second chance I’d make amends, only to find myself losing in the end.’ As we were trying to find an album title, Cristin suggested Amends because of this lyric. Right when he said it, I knew that was it. There’s so much duality to that term with the events that transpired in losing Chester that it really just fits. A lot of people ask, ‘Is it you guys trying to make amends with Chester?’ No, it’s Chester making amends with the listener, because I really believe he regretted the decision to take his life the moment he did it. I think if he would’ve woken up the next day, he would’ve called me and said, ‘I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to do that.’” She Shines “The guest guitar players on this are Head from Korn and Jasen Rauch from Breaking Benjamin. Chester wrote the lyrics about his girlfriend telling him that she was leaving him to be with somebody else. I remember we all went on a camping trip up in Flagstaff, Arizona, and she told him in the middle of the trip that she was going to have a new boyfriend and it wasn’t going to be him. He just wrote word for word pretty much what happened in that conversation. So it’s got a lot of emotional torment, but that’s one of the gifts Chester had, if you can call it a gift: the ability to take that raw nerve emotion and pain and express it in a song.” Shouting Out “The guest vocalist on this is Laura ‘LP’ Pergolizzi. I remember taking a drive with Chester—he was the worst driver on the planet—and he wanted to play me this new song he had just heard from this girl named LP. This would’ve been 2016, and the song was called ‘Lost on You.’ He was so animated and jumping all over the car about how great her voice was. We knew we wanted a female vocalist on this track, so we reached out to her and she said yes right away. She does an amazing job. To me, the lyrics kind of sum up the idea that Chester never felt he was deserving of other people’s love. It breaks my heart, because so many people thought he was incredible, but he didn’t feel that way about himself. In my opinion, that’s the best way to sum up the tragedy of what happened: He just never loved himself.”

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