The loss of Chester Bennington is still felt in the rock world years after his tragic July 2017 death by suicide, and it’s a loss that some friends of the singer were not expecting.
In an interview with Audio Ink Radio, Sean Dowdell, the guitarist for Bennington’s pre-Linkin Park band Grey Daze, was seemingly blindsided by his friend’s death.
“In the weeks and months leading up to his life-ending choice, I guess, is the best way I can put that, I did not sense anything,” said Dowdell. “I talked to him two nights before he passed, and he was on top of the world. He was excited about starting rehearsals. He was excited about a lot of things. We were working on a new business location together. I didn’t sense anything.”
Dowdell continued, “Now, eight or nine months before that, my wife sensed something in him, and said, ‘Chester’s not right. Something’s off.’ And I said, ‘No, no, he’s just trying to go for a new look for whatever,’ and she said, ‘No. I can see something in his eyes,’ and she literally said that to me. And I just blew it off, like no, I don’t think so. And then, of course, what happened, happened. It’s easy to look back and go, oh, yeah, she saw it. But, you never truly know what’s happening in someone’s mind.”
Dowdell added, “Had Chester been thinking rationally, I don’t think he would have done what he did at all. I just think that’s what depression does. It removes the rational thought processes from the moment that you take that choice, and sometimes there’s somebody there to help talk you out of it or to guide you in a different way or to distract you away from it, but the way this happened, it didn’t. There was nobody else there. When that hit him at that specific moment, there was nobody else for him to lean on at the time, and that’s the most unfortunate thing, I think.”
Grey Daze released Amends in June 2020. The album was a re-recording of select songs from the band’s two studio albums, 1994’s Wake Me and 1997’s …No Sun Today. Bennington was originally set to take part in the project before his untimely death.