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Breaking Benjamin

Pennsylvania natives Breaking Benjamin, named after founder and lead singer Ben Burnley, play a brand of metal-tinged alternative rock that came to define the sound of mainstream rock in the early 2000s. Indebted equally to the minor-chord dirges of first-wave grunge rockers like Alice in Chains and the pyrotechnic bombast of vintage arena rock, Breaking Benjamin became one of the most popular rock bands in the United States, scoring a number one with the single "Breath" in 2007. Two of their albums, 2004's We Are Not Alone and 2006's Phobia, have been certified platinum in the U.S.

In late 2000, guitarist Aaron Fink and bassist Mark James Klepaski made a surprising and unexpected decision: they left Lifer, an alternative metal band that was signed to Universal and was gaining commercial acceptance. Fink and Klepaski departed Lifer (which was originally called Strangers with Candy) so that they could join forces with singer Ben Burnley and drummer Jeremy Hummel and form Breaking Benjamin. Why would Fink and Klepaski leave a band that had a contract with Universal to form a new alt-rock band that, at the time, was unsigned? According to Breaking Benjamin's press releases, the ex-members of Lifer had so much faith in Burnley's songwriting talents that they were willing to take a gamble and uproot themselves. So in late 2000, Breaking Benjamin got started with a four-man lineup that consisted of Burnley on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, Fink on lead guitar, Klepaski on bass, and Hummel on drums. Breaking Benjamin wasn't the first time that Fink had worked with Burnley; he had known the singer since high school. All four members of the band are from Wilkes-Barre, a small town in northeastern Pennsylvania.

When Breaking Benjamin started playing around Wilkes-Barre, they were far from a carbon copy of Lifer -- instead, they favored a radio-friendly post-grunge approach that was aggressive and forceful yet melodic. The band's various influences included, among others, Live, Bush, Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots, and Nirvana. Burnley has been quoted as saying that at age 14 he taught himself to play guitar by listening to Nirvana's seminal 1991 release Nevermind over and over. Korn and Tool have also been cited as influences, but unlike Korn, Breaking Benjamin doesn't have strong hip-hop leanings and isn't quite alt-metal -- hard alt-rock, certainly, but not quite alt-metal. That isn't to say that Breaking Benjamin haven't been influenced by certain aspects of Korn's sound. The Pennsylvanians do incorporate the sort of choppy, downtuned guitars that are quite prevalent in alt-metal, and even though Breaking Benjamin have a lot in common with post-grunge bands like Creed, Default, Cinema8, and Third Eye Blind, they tend to be a bit heavier.

In 2001, Breaking Benjamin's Wilkes-Barre gigs caught the attention of a local radio DJ named Freddie Fabbri, who was an on-air personality at alt-rock station WBSX-FM. Fabbri put their song "Polyamorous" in rotation, and he also financed the recording of their self-titled debut EP -- which, in 2001, ended up selling about 2,000 copies in and around Wilkes-Barre. It was also in 2001 that Breaking Benjamin signed with Hollywood Records, which united the band with Ulrich Wild (a busy producer/engineer who had worked with Powerman 5000, Stabbing Westward, White Zombie, Static-X, Pantera, Slipknot, and quite a few others). Wild served as both producer and engineer on Breaking Benjamin's first full-length album, Saturate, which Hollywood released in August 2002. We Are Not Alone followed two years later, complete with a few collaborations with Billy Corgan; the band landed a primo spot on the Evanescence tour in support of the effort, as three of the album's singles made their way onto the Billboard charts ("So Cold" and "Sooner or Later" both peaked at number two in Mainstream Rock).

Breaking Benjamin issued their third album, Phobia, in August 2006 before heading out on nationwide headlining dates with Evans Blue and Dropping Daylight in tow. The album featured new drummer Chad Szeliga and was spearheaded by the single "The Diary of Jane," which quickly heated up airwaves and helped the album debut at number two on the Billboard charts. Phobia was reissued that fall with additional bonus tracks, while the band continued touring alongside Godsmack. After the tour, Breaking Benjamin dove back into the studio to begin work on their fourth full-length. The resulting Dear Agony, fueled by the first single "I Will Not Bow," arrived in the summer of 2009. More touring followed, including legs with Three Days Grace and Nickelback, before Burnley announced a hiatus due to alcoholism-related health issues. Ensuing legal disputes within the band led to Fink and Klepaski being fired just before a collection, Shallow Bay: The Best of Breaking Benjamin, was released in 2011. Szeliga exited the band in 2013. The following year, Burnley confirmed that Breaking Benjamin would continue as a quintet, and in June of 2015 they released their first album of new material in six years, Dark Before Dawn, with Burnley (who also produced), guitarists Jasen Rauch and Keith Wallen, bassist Aaron Bruch, and drummer Shaun Foist. With a notably similar sound to prior releases, its lead single, "Failure," cracked the Billboard Hot 100 and hit number one on the Mainstream Rock Songs chart. The album became their first American chart-topper. ~ Alex Henderson
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Dark Before Dawn

1. Dark

2. Failure

3. Angels Fall

4. Breaking The Silence

5. Hollow

6. Close To Heaven

7. Bury Me Alive

8. Never Again

9. The Great Divide

10. Ashes Of Eden

11. Defeated

12. Dawn

x

Track List: Shallow Bay: The Best Of Breaking Benjamin

x

Track List: Dear Agony

1. Fade Away

2. I Will Not Bow

3. Crawl

4. Give Me A Sign

5. Hopeless

6. What Lies Beneath

7. Anthem Of The Angels

8. Lights Out

9. Dear Agony

10. Into The Nothing

11. Without You

x

Track List: Phobia (Explicit)

1. Intro

2. The Diary Of Jane

3. Breath

4. You

5. Evil Angel

6. Until The End

7. Dance With The Devil

8. Topless

9. Here We Are

10. Unknown Soldier

11. Had Enough

12. You Fight Me

13. Outro

x

Track List: So Cold EP

x

Track List: We Are Not Alone

1. So Cold

2. Simple Design

3. Follow

4. Firefly

5. Break My Fall

6. Forget It

7. Sooner Or Later

8. Breakdown

9. Away

10. Believe

11. Rain

12. Data Track

x

Track List: Saturate

1. Wish I May

2. Medicate

3. Polyamorous

4. Skin

5. Natural Life

6. Next To Nothing

7. Water

8. Home

9. Phase

10. No Games

11. Sugarcoat

12. Shallow Bay

x

Track List: Failure (Single)

1. Failure

Comments

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hey waz up? i love your band? b..b.r.t.y.2 0 1 6 ? your friend: j.a.k.c.?
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I just luv it they make me feel pumped
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Best band ever
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jayfortier here reaching out to y' all just looking friend
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All of you people with this ( don't read this ),jump off something real high. Hanks;)
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Don't read this. You will be kissed on the nearest possible Friday by the love of your life. Don't stop this is freaky! But if your read this and ignore it you will get bad luck. Put this on 15 songs in 143 minutes. When you are done press the space bar and your crushes name will appear in big letters on the screen.
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Mnlnmmncvlbb l l m n l n b
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Far off than just kind of" good! I LOVE them!
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This band is kinda good
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I always thought Mr. Burley was swag, he also has awesome hair.
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S**tty band
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allynorris62 8 0 3
-_- I should go now...I have to clleeaaaannn n n n
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the chain comments are like cancer of the internet.
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Saw them this past weekend... amazing show! Ben came right into the crowd and sang with us... Love these guys!!
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The rotten core inside
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Dont read this. u will be hugged on the nearest friday by ur crush. Tommorrow u will have the best day of ur life. now you havestarted but dont stop if u read this andignore it u will have bad luck. Put this on 15 other songs in 143 min. then press the space bar and ur crushes name will appear.
Report as inappropriate
Dont read this. u will be hugged on the nearest friday by ur crush. Tommorrow u will have the best day of ur life. now you havestarted but dont stop if u read this andignore it u will have bad luck. Put this on 15 other songs in 143 min. then press the space bar and ur crushes name will appear.
Report as inappropriate
Dont read this. u will be hugged on the nearest friday by ur crush. Tommorrow u will have the best day of ur life. now you havestarted but dont stop if u read this andignore it u will have bad luck. Put this on 15 other songs in 143 min. then press the space bar and ur crushes name will appear.
Dont read this. u will be hugged on the nearest friday by ur crush. Tommorrow u will have the best day of ur life. now you havestarted but dont stop if u read this andignore it u will have bad luck. Put
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I will shut the world away...
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yedidaadvanc e d
Hopeless great jam.. .... ... ...ROAWERRRR R R R R R R
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Dont read this. u will be hugged on the nearest friday by ur crush. Tommorrow u will have the best day of ur life. now you havestarted but dont stop if u read this andignore it u will have bad luck. Put this on 15 other songs in 143 min. then press the space bar and ur crushes name will appear.
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Love This Band and have since "Cold" Rock on my Brothers����
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❤❤❤❤❤
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mulchwood77
Break , no the feeling
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Going to see them in August
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I remember this playing on NASCAR 06
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.Dont read this. U will be hugged on rye nearest Friday by ur crush. Tomorrow u will have the best day of ur life. Now you have started but dont stop If u read and ignore this it will give u bad luck. Put this 15 other songs in 143 min then press and ur crush's name will appear in big letters on the screen. U guys it actually work!!
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Say iPhone 5 times
Say a color
Post this on 5 songs
Look under your pillow
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Failure was a great preview song for the album. They absolutely killed is with this one
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Getting to see them Tues night for an Unplugged show in Birmingham! Cant wait. saw them last April and the show was Phenomenal
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bad a** lyrics
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You're sick twisted smile..
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cant stop listening to these guys!!! they r a awesome poison!!! they r a good poison also by teh way!
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l)
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l
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l
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Just stumbled across them in a Pandora station, now I can't get enough Breaking Benjamin. They're just awesome.
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breaking benjamin is amazing

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jonastewart4 1
It's sad he got wet brain such talent.
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I'll follow you, you'll follow me
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I love them sooooooooooo o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o much
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I will not fall I will not fake I will take your breath away
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Jvjr
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until the end is so beautiful?? i??
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I love Breaking Benjamin! They are amazing!
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awesome
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awesome music
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BB are amazing I should have went to their concert in Chattanooga, GA
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Seen them in concert and they put on a great show!
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cummingsjare d
Seen BB in concert last month in Madison WI. Man what an awesome show. One of the best I have ever been to. Will definitely see them again.
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