Wake Me

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Wake Me
Album-Wake Me.jpg
Studio album by Grey Daze
Released 1994
Recorded 1994
Length 51:34
Producer David Knauer
Grey Daze studio album chronology

Wake Me (1994) ...No Sun Today (1997)

Wake Me is the debut album by Grey Daze.

Background

From "Grey Daze story by Jonathan Krause": "Jonathan Krause and Sean Dowdell started the band back in 1993. Chester didn't join until a couple of months later. We tried out several singers. The first guitar player was not even Jason Barnes, it was a guy named Steve. Steve actually played 1 show live with us. Jason joined us after we decided to part ways with Steve. We were together for 4 months or so when Jason joined us.

Once established Jonathan, Sean, Chester, and Jason played together for almost 2 years. They also completed their first full length album "Wake Me" at the end of 94'."

Shortly after the split up of Sean Dowdell And His Friends?, Sean met a bassist named Jonathan Krause through Sean's brother and they decided to form a new band. They put up an ad on Phoenix New Times to find a guitar player and vocalist and found a guitarist named Steve Mitchell. They tried out a few different singers, but it didn't work out. After listening to the Sean Dowdell And His Friends recording, Steve suggested to try and ask Chester to come back and audition for this new band as well, so the band invited him and Chester joined the band right away.

On April 25, 2003, during a chat with Linkin Park World, Sean Dowdell explained why they chose the name "Grey Daze" for the band: "we had a list of names and originally we were going to call ourselves lovelies bleeding but we changed it to grey daze, Chester and I love to write about philosophical questions and dark emotions"

According to Jonathan, Gray Daze is the spelling that they went with at first, before finally changing it to Grey a few months later, around the time that Steve left the band.

The band's first show took place on January 22, 1994 at Thunder & Lightning Bar & Grill in Scottsdale, AZ, and sometime after the debut show, in early-to-mid 1994, they recorded their first professional demo at the Conservatory Of Recording Arts & Sciences, a school for audio engineering and production education in Arizona. At the time, the school usually invited music bands to record them with a help of students. This way, the bands got a free recording and the students had a project to learn on.

According to Sean, Steve was only in the band for about 5 months before he was fired for being "very temperamental and a bit unstable." After he left, they had a show booked at the Mason Jar and Jonathan's old guitarist from a past band he played with filled in for that show. His name was David Engelhardt and he didn't like the band. Eventually they put up another ad on Phoenix New Times and tried out many other guitarists until they found Jason Barnes.

Sometime in the middle of the year, Grey Daze recorded another demo at Scott Crowley’s apartment studio. He was a friend of Sean from a band called "Nihil". Speaking to LPLive in 2015, Jonathan Krause said, "He had a digital recording studio. I thought the drums sounded cheesy they were way to electronic. But it was free so who's complaining?" Sean Dowdell added, "It wasn't a studio. It was his apartment and he and I recorded it on a very small recording program on a computer. Home recording though, not studio."

The recording sessions for Wake Me began in October 1994, shortly after Kerry Rose became the band's manager. He was the owner of a Seafood restaurant where Jonathan Krause worked at and liked the band after hearing the demos from the Conservatory Of Recording Arts & Sciences. They went into a local recording studio and started to work on the album. Kerry financed the recording sessions and CD printing, paying out $10,000. He was able to get the CD in local record stores, and get the band a little air play on a local radio station.

The cover for Wake Me was done by Sean's uncle Mike Walliser, who is the same photographer responsible for Sean Dowdell And His Friends? demo tape cover. According to Mike, that picture is a compilation of three photos all done by him: 1) a close up of a snail; 2) a photo of a beach in La Jolla, California; 3) a photo of Mike's friend Audreia. Mike also used Audreia's photo for the cover of Tod Howarth's Silhouette. Artwork (layouts and graphics) for Wake Me was done by Jason Barnes.

Writing and Recording

On the very first day of working on Wake Me, David Knauer recorded the band playing live in his studio to see what the band had in store. He recorded their performance straight to DAT tape and had Chester say the name of every song so it was on tape as well:

It was the band playing live. It had the songs that made it to the record, songs that didn't. And a few ideas that weren't songs yet.

With Wake Me they had never been in the studio before other than Chester and Sean with SDAHF, so they were very new to the process. I worked with them a lot as the projects producer. I started in their practice room hearing the songs and discussing what works and what doesn't. Then we did the pre-production at my studio and I took a week to listen to that and decide what songs are working and what needed to change. I went back to the rehearsal studio with them and we worked on the songs. From that I helped them choose what songs should go on the CD.

Both "Believe Me" and "Holding You" were performed three times in a row. According to David, these songs were so new at the time, the band had to play them a few times to get them right.

Composition

In the end, the creative team decided to leave out the songs "Commit", "Come On" and "Painted" from the album. The other known songs that existed at the time, but weren't considered to appear on the album from the start are "My Bluest Day", "Smoke Mouth", "Everybody's Falling To Pieces", "Piece Of My Mind", "The Endless Highway", "How Would You Be" and "Beyond Warm".

In 2015, Jonathan Krause talked to LPLive about the creative process of the band: "Writing was allot of fun. I remember an idea would be started by either Steve/Jason or I and within seconds the rest of the band would find the notes and rhythm. Not long after Chester would spew out the verse or chorus to the new material. We would be like Holy shit, that was awesome!. Writing was incredibly easy with this band. We didn't force it. Plus, it really was not that complicated, but more of a formula."

According to Jonathan Krause, the song "Wake Me" was taken from Chester and Sean’s old band, Sean Dowdell And His Friends?.

Steve Mitchell, Grey Daze's very first guitarist, contributed to a few songs from the album: "I did some recordings with Chester and the band at the Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences in Tempe at that time, but I don't have them anymore. I wrote the guitar part for "What's in the Eye?" and a few other songs at the time, and some experimental rock opera stuff with Chester and Jonathan."

Guitar parts of both "What's In The Eye?" and "Holding You" were writen by Steve Mitchell before Chester Bennington was in the band, making them two of Grey Daze's earliest songs, but they were eventually changed when Steve was replaced by the self-taught guitarist Jason Barnes, who Jonathan called "a 16 year old prodigy at that time". Sean wrote the lyrics to the verses of "What's In The Eye?" while Chester wrote the chorus.

The recordings done at the Conservatory Of Recording Arts & Sciences with Steve Mitchell was the band's first ever professional demo, recorded with the help of students and featured two takes of the song "Starting To Fly". This means Steve also contributed to the song, although some of the guitar parts and solos were changed in the final product.

Jonathan Krause came up with the musical ideas for "Hole", "Spin", "Painted", "Shouting Out", "Morei Sky" and "Come On", while Jason Barnes came up with "Sometimes", "Everybody's Falling To Pieces" and "Piece Of My Mind". During a 2010 interview with LPLive, Jonathan talked about Sean and Chester's contributions to the music: "Sean worked with Chester on the lyrics and put the beats to our songs. If you want to call suggesting notation whether or not putting an "A" or "A" minor, I suppose you could say Sean and Chester helped create the notation as well." In 2006, he also said: "Every once and a while Chester would come in with an idea such as the song "Commit", (which I love) and we would write something around that." According to Chester, who wrote all the lyrics to this song, "Commit" "is a song about love."

Chester Bennington also wrote all the lyrics for "Sometimes", which he explained during an interview for KEDG The Edge radio station around early 1995: "Basically it's just about, I don't know. It's kind of self explanatory. It's just basically about just somebody realizing that, you know, sometimes things just don't happen to work out the way you always plan them to work out. And it's kind of hard to think straight when that happens."

When questioned who the song "She Shines" is about during a 2003 chat with LPAssociation, Sean Dowdell said: "I think her name was katie but I am not sure if he meant it to be about her or not, he wrote all of the lyrics for that one." Jonathan Krause also spoke about the song in 2006: "The song "She Shines' almost didn't make the album. Here is a video from one of our shows, notice how Chester points out this a brand new song. After the response we were certain to put it on the album." The show he was referencing to happened in September 1994 at the Rally Kap Sports Bar in Phoenix, Arizona. At this same show, Chester also talked about the meaning behind the unreleased song "Painted": "This next song is about a boy. The boy who thinks that nobody understands the way he lives, you know? The boy who thinks that everybody's after him. And nobody wants to be his friend."

During a Linkin Park show on June 18, 2014 at the iHeartRadio Theater in Burbank, California, Chester Bennington said "I'd recently left a band back in Phoenix where our bass player had recorded his parts for an EP while out of tune, then demanded that the rest of the band re-record everything we'd done to match the tune he was playing in." In 2015, Jonathan Krause spoke to LPLive about the incident: "I'm not sure what Chester was initially talking about, but I was referring to the ending of "She Shines". The bass line is a little off it was such a new song that I wanted to rerecord it. If I recorded the whole thing out of tune, then why does it sound in tune? Just saying."

The original demo of "Shouting Out", recorded with producer Scott Crowley, featured vocals by Mindy Nilson of Lemon Krayola who had also performed the song live with the band. Her vocals were replaced by another female singer's, named Kimberly Rogers, on the album. Sean Dowdell told LPAssociation in 2003 she was "a friend of mine from a long time ago." The track also features a hidden track, a version of "Morei Sky", which producer David Knauer explained to LPLive in 2015: "Yes, that was headphone bleed. During the tracking of Wake Me, as we were recording basic tracks, Chester was sitting on the couch in the back of the studio and sang along so the band could hear him in the headphones. That track you hear is what was recorded on his handheld mike which included the music in the control room, the click track for tempo, him singing, and him talking to his girlfriend who was sitting with him."

"Sometimes" received local radio airplay. According to Sean Dowdell, "Hole" would become one of Grey Daze's biggest hits. Jonathan Krause also said that, during his time with the band, "Spin", "Hole", "She Shines" and "Sometimes" were crowd favorites.

Releases

Track Listing

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1 What's In The Eye? Chester Bennington, Sean Dowdell 4:26
2 Spin Chester Bennington 2:43
3 Morei Sky Chester Bennington, Sean Dowdell 4:49
4 Wake Me Chester Bennington 2:52
5 Starting To Fly Chester Bennington, Sean Dowdell 4:38
6 Sometimes Chester Bennington 3:34
7 Holding You Chester Bennington 3:28
8 Hole Chester Bennington 3:39
9 Believe Me Chester Bennington 3:19
10 Here, Nearby Chester Bennington 3:37
11 She Shines Chester Bennington 4:11
12 Shouting Out Chester Bennington 10:12
  • Note: "Shouting Out" contains a hidden track, a version of "Morei Sky".

Personnel

Additional Musicians

  • We would like to give extra special thanks to God, and to Kimberly Rogers for singing back-up vocals on Shouting Out

Production

  • Recorded and mixed by: David Knauer
  • Produced by: David Knauer and Grey Daze
  • Mixed at Anthem Recording
  • Assisted by Billy Spoon and Dan Manriquez

Management

  • Managed by: Kerry Rose of Rose Management 493-0703 and Rob Rogers

Artwork

  • Photo by: Mike Walliser of San Diego Photographics
  • Printed at Buzz Print
  • Artwork by Jason Barnes

Music

  • All music writen by Grey Daze
  • Lyrics by Chester Bennington and Sean Dowdell
  • Copyrights 1994 all rights reserved
  • Mastered at - SAE by Roger Siedel

Grey Daze is:

  • Jason Barnes - Guitar
  • Chester Bennington - Vocals
  • Sean Dowdell - Drums
  • Jonathon Krause - Bass

Live Performance

Songs Played Live

  • What's In The Eye?
  • Spin
  • Morei Sky
  • Wake Me
  • Starting To Fly
  • Sometimes
  • Holding You
  • Hole
  • Believe Me
  • Here, Nearby
  • She Shines
  • Shouting Out

Tours

Reception

A February 5th, 1998 issue of The Arizona Republic wrote: "Wake Me, Grey Daze's debut recording, has sold more than 2,000 copies."

Critical Reception

Music Voice Magazine published a review of the album in August 1995: "GD's cd opens with a mellower rock number ("What's In The Eye?"). The tune is adorned with passionate vocals, good arragements and compentent musicianship.

The commendable work doesn't stop at the first track, however. Throughout this presentation Grey Daze keeps repeating their winning formula. Though all the songs aren't as strong as the next, there is plenty of substance here to quench anyone's local music thrist (for mollower rock-based material). Don't misunderstand, there's several tunes that rock- but don't come a'looking if you need your ears blown out to enjoy music."

Chart Performance

Awards

Trivia

External Links

References