Bandmate Reveals Why Chester Bennington Sounded ‘Just Like Eddie Vedder’


Late Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington’s former Grey Daze bandmate Sean Dowdell discussed the first time he met and played with him at a recent tribute event.

“I can still very much remember the day that I met him. He was 15 years old, he was a sophomore in high school. I had just gotten into college, I was a freshman, and we had just recently formed a band, and we were looking for a new singer to join the group. One of our band members had mentioned that he knew a kid who sounded just like Eddie Vedder from Pearl Jam. At the time, this is 1992, that was cool. Eddie Vedder was like- if you had a singer that sounded like Eddie Vedder, you couldn’t do anything better than that, right.

He said he sounded like Eddie Vedder when he sang, and he’d probably be a good singer for the band. The only issue was that he was 2 years younger than the rest of the guys in the band. So he asked him to come in, and when he came in for his audition, all of us were hoping basically that he might sound good enough to be in the band. He walked into the rehearsal space, and he was not at all what I was expecting.”

He added, “I remember thinking to myself, quite arrogantly actually, and being disappointed with what I saw. I thought, this guy doesn’t look like a typical rock star at all. But then again, looking back, it’s so funny that I have to remind myself of this, he was anything but typical. That was a good thing, I just didn’t see it at the time. He was maybe 90 pounds soaking wet, he had this really tight curly hair, he was wearing these really nerdy glasses.

I thought to myself, oh man, I don’t think this kid is what we’re looking for at all. He’s laughing now at me by the way, and he’s telling me to fuck off. But then he began to sing, and my heart dropped into my stomach, my throat dried up, it’s drying up even talking about it at this moment, I remember it very vividly. Every note, every word, was beautiful. It was at that very moment I thought to myself, wow, this kid is unbelievable. He has it. Whatever it is, this kid has it.”