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Breaking Benjamin express gratitude toward fans,
discuss re-forming and Dark Before Dawn album
Benjamin Burnley (Lead Vocals, Guitar)
Aaron Bruch (Bass, Backing Vocals)
Keith Wallen (Guitar, Backing Vocals)
Jasen Raunch (Lead Guitar)
Shaun Foist (Drums)
Hometown: Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania
Genre: Hard Rock Formation: 1999
Reuniting Breaking Benjamin and getting a new team of musicians behind you, how did everything work out as far as
recording and the process behind it and what made you want to bring back the band?
Ben: Through the whole hiatus I’ve gotten a lot of messages from fans wanting the band to come back. I’m glad that
justice was able to prevail and that I’m able to continue with what I started. As far as the writing process is concerned,
it’s been no different. I’ve always been the main writer of the band, that’s why I felt so strongly that I really wanted to
continue with what I started and be able to continue with my band name and continue playing songs that I wrote.
Bringing these guys on, they stay true to the old material for the old stuff and for the new stuff they’re playing their
asses off on the album live, everybody’s doing great.
Returning from the hiatus, was there any major changes you’ve seen in the music industry or challenges you’ve had?
Ben: There’s a lot of really little things, like the rock format is changing on the radio and little things like “this isn’t like
that anymore.” Also, the social media presence was there when I stopped in 2010, but now it’s as big as it’s ever been,
so it’s awesome to be a part of that with this new lineup and coming out of the gate. It helps us stay in touch with the
fans, we’re a very fan driven band so that’s really important to us.
What’s a song from the new album Dark Before Dawn that stand out for each of you?
Jasen: I think for me, it’s “Defeated.” It’s one of the tunes that we worked on together, because a lot of it was finished
before we came on board. I can speak for myself that the contribution I made for that I didn’t like at all! (laughs) At first,
I thought “man, I could have made that so much better!” (laughs) But, I’ve been getting a lot of compliments on it, so I
really like it now, it’s actually grown on me. (band laughs). But, that’s a really cool tune and I’m excited to play it live.
Aaron: I don’t know that I even have just one favorite on the album, I’m just really proud of the collective effort that
everyone put into recording it. Ben wrote some fantastic songs and it was an honor to just be a part of that and I really
look forward to bringing that to the fans each night.
Keith: I’m pretty high on “Failure” right now. It’s fun to play live and the fans response to it is great and everyone sings
along so it’s really fun.
Shaun: I’m digging “Angels Fall” for a few reasons, but for one in particular it’s one of the first tracks that Ben had sent
me to try to put drums on.
Ben: I’m going to go with Keith and I’m going to say “Failure” for all the reasons he said, but also too, it showcases
Keith and Aaron. They are amazing singers and it was a very conscious effort to bring them in. They’re both lead
singers in their own projects before Breaking Benjamin, so they’re not just musicians that sing background vocals,
they’re singers. “Failure” showcases a lot of their talents, especially at the end with the call and response vocals and
that’s all them in the studio, and that’s the first time that’s happened for Breaking Benjamin; all of the past albums I did
all of my own background vocals, I would always sing the mains and then sing the background vocals over myself with
tracking layers. So, this album it’s Aaron and Keith doing all of the background vocals and they did an amazing job.
For each of you, what inspired your drive to achieve a career in music?
Shaun: For me it was really early on, my dad was a drummer so I was always sitting on his lap with drum sticks and
hitting a cardboard box. When I was about 10 I had my first school talent show and I played in front of all these people
and got a standing ovation and that’s when I said that’s what I wanted, so it was early.
Keith: I pretty much just sucked at everything else (band laughs). No, I just always loved the idea of being able to
perform for a living as a career and it’s been incredible. I’m really lucky.
Aaron: Yeah, anytime I’ve ever tried to do anything other than music, I’ve either hurt myself or broken it, so music is
really all that I can do and I’m really thankful that it managed to become a viable way to support my family.
Jasen: I just remember being influenced by my dad’s records. We’d have our family Sunday night cleaning ritual and
he would always have everything from Genesis to Nugent just blaring. I started playing guitar about that time.
Ben: In the 80s my brother would always watch MTV and with the exception of like Michael Jackson and a few other
pop bands, I really hated it. I hated all that music, so I really didn’t like music at all. Then the 90s came around and
bands like Nirvana hit it really big and it just changed my whole world around. I really started listening to music instead
of just hearing it, I literally wanted to be Kurt Cobain so bad; I used to dress like him, I learned all of his songs, that’s
what started me on the path of the musician that I am now. Since then, it’s evolved to: get into Metallica, get into Tool,
get into Korn, get into all that stuff, but Nirvana definitely started the whole thing for me.
You’ve been hitting the road pretty hard, looking ahead what’s some of the band’s plans?
Ben: The best way that we can reciprocate to the fans is to actually go there and see everybody face to face. We’re
going to try to hit every place that there is to hit touring wise and we’re not going to stop until the ball stops rolling and
then we’ll recuperate and get back in the studio to put out another album, we’ll just keep putting them out until we die.
In closing, we just want to express how grateful we are for all the support that we’re getting. Not only from the fans, but
from the media as well. To have the fans support means the world to us and as long as they want us to be out, we’re
going to be out doing it for them. We’re just absolutely grateful.
Breaking Benjamin perform tonight at The LC Pavilion in Columbus, Ohio with 10 Years and Starset.
Tickets are $48.10.
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|Out Of The Blue
Publications Association, LLC
Dark Before Dawn (2015)
Dear Agony (2009)
We Are Not Alone (2004)