Chester Bennington Didn’t Look Like A Rock Star, Sean Dowdell Says


Grey Daze drummer Sean Dowdell recently appeared on the new issue of Metal Hammer for an interview in which he picked three of his favorite Chester Bennington performances. The drummer also recalled his first reaction when he heard Bennington sing.

Chester Bennington gained wider recognition as the lead singer of Linkin Park, yet his musical journey started much before. One of his earliest professional acts was a band called Sean Dowdell and His Friends? Thus, his friendship with Dowdell began and continued until his tragic passing due to suicide by hanging in 2017.

The late rocker released an eponymous three-track cassette in 1993 with the band. The group disbanded quickly, but Bennington and Dowdell stayed in touch in the following years. They formed a new band named Grey Daze and released two studio albums, 1994’s ‘Wake Me’ and 1997’s ‘…No Sun Today.’ However, the late singer departed from the band to move on to his remarkable career with Linkin Park.

As a person who knew him well owing to their long-term friendship, Sean Dowdell looked back on Bennington’s early years in the music industry and chose the three greatest Bennington songs. The drummer revealed that when he first met the late singer, he didn’t seem like a rock star due to his appearance, which was incompatible with a classic rocker image. However, Dowdell was mesmerized by his powerful voice when he started singing.

Sean Dowdell’s words on hearing Bennington sing for the first time:

He didn’t look like a lead singer or rock star to me. He was a young, nerdy kid. He had glasses; he had really short hair. Then he went up and sang, and I shut my mouth. We were all floored.”

Why ‘Lying From You’ is his favorite Linkin Park song in Sean Dowdell’s words:

“It developed my appreciation for what those guys were doing at the time. I’m not a big rap or hip-hop guy, but I love the lyrics to it; I love the groove. I like the way the band kicks it up and crushes the chorus. I think it’s their best song.”

Dowdell’s two other favorite Bennington performances are ‘Let Down,’ featuring in the only studio album of Dead by Sunrise, ‘Out of Ashes,’ and Grey Daze’s ‘In Time’ from ‘…No Sun Today.’