Sean Dowdell And His Friends? (Demo Cassete Tape)

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Sean Dowdell And His Friends?
Album-Sean Dowdell And His Friends.jpg
Demo album by Sean Dowdell And His Friends?
Released 1993
Recorded 1993
Length 11:50
Producer Robert Rogers, Tony DiMaria


Since Chester Bennington learned how to talk he had been telling everybody he was gonna grow up to be a singer.[1] His brother played Foreigner records all the time and by the time Chester was two he used to run around singing their songs.

As Chester grew older, he started developing his distinctive singing style. "I did it all the wrong way. I basically went at it till it didn't hurt anymore. Its something I've been blessed with."[2] His favorite band was Ministry and he would always try to mimic Al Jourgensen's highly produced/compressed vocals the best he could, without using any effects.[3] In school, he got into musical theater, started playing music, and traveled the country with a stage production of You Are The Child.[4]

One of his friends was a pretty good guitar player and was looking for someone who could sing. Chester said "I can sing." So they both broke into the church behind a house, stole a microphone and started doing music together.[5] They learnt every The Doors song they could play and when Chester started doing his first compositions, they were very influenced by them. He said, "We liked them as they were so poetic, spacey and deep. So it was something along those lines."[6] This opened the door to some other young musicians that have been in bands and they invited Chester to be in his first band, Sean Dowdell And His Friends?, which started out as a joke.

Sean Dowdell, said, "At the time we couldn't think of a name so I shouted something stupid out and it we all laughed and used it for about a year or so as the name."[7] Sean grew up in a musical family, with roots that go back to his dad and uncle and musical influences which range from Kiss to Depeche Mode, R.E.M., U2, and Alice In Chains.

None of the members took the band very seriously, but soon they had a following and eventually recorded a 3 song self-titled demo tape. For over a year and a half, they played 50-70 shows around the Phoenix area. Some of them taking place at the Greenway High School, where Chester and bass player Jason Cekoric went to school. Robert Rogers, manager of local bands in Phoenix, worked with the band.

The photographer responsible for the demo tape cover was Sean's uncle Mike Walliser.[8]

According to Jonathan Krause, the Grey Daze song "Wake Me" was written during the Sean Dowdell And His Friends? days.[9]

In 2008, Sean said he haven't seen either Chris G. or Jason C. in at least 12 years.

Writing and Recording



Track Listing

No. Title Writer(s) Length
A1 Painted Pictures Chester Bennington 4:30
B1 Kill The Flies Chester Bennington 3:27
B2 God's Afraid Sean Dowdell 4:06


Sean Dowdell And His Friends?

  • Drums: Sean Dowdell
  • Guitar: Chris Goad
  • Bass: Jason Cekoric
  • Vocals: Chester Bennington


  • Produced by: Robert Rogers & Tony DiMaria
  • Engineered by: John Biehl & Scott Adkins
  • Photo by: Mike Wallister
  • Recorded at: Pantheon Studios Scottsdale, AZ
  • Special thanks to: Bill Rogers and Shannan Smith


  • Photo by: Mike Wallister

Live Performance

Songs Played Live



Critical Reception

SEAN DOWDELL & HIS FRIENDS? Local Demo Release Packaged very well, cover photos taken in San Diego, lyrics imprinted within the J-Card, recorded at Pantheon Studios, engineered by John Biehl and Scott Adkins, the "SD & AND FRIENDS" 3-song demo release leans more towards (ready for this one?) "Alternative-Metal"! A more "alternative look", powerful metal sound, but "new music" vocal parts and lacking the super-commercial sound of glam metal; hence, "alternative metal"! I'm not sure, but I think this may be the first release I've heard from Pantheon Studios, but I'd like to hear more as the sound quality seems pretty cool. Chester Bennington's lead vocal style does make him a little hard to understand in some areas of this tape and it can get a bit repetitious. However, in other areas I really enjoyed his unique style. Chris Goad provides listeners with some pretty decent guitar licks (a little metalish flash), some interesting effects, and some cool changes, while Jason Cekorictills with some pretty average to cool bass parts. Sean Dowdell on drums seems to have no problem holding the bottom end with Jason but I think his bass drum could have been brought up a little more. i think this band will progress with more experience together on the club scene, as I do see some potential and some very good musicianship gathered here. l look forward to seeing them live and to hearing more material on upcoming releases. Rating: 6.95

Chart Performance



External Links