Breaking Benjamin

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Breaking Benjamin
Breaking Benjamin 2-14-15.jpg
Breaking Benjamin performing in 2015. From left to right, Keith Wallen, Shaun Foist, Benjamin Burnley, Aaron Bruch, and Jasen Rauch.
Background information
Also known as Plan 9
Origin Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, United States
Genres Hard rock, post-grunge, alternative metal
Years active 1999–2010, 2014–present
Labels Hollywood
Website www.breakingbenjamin.com
Members
Past members

Breaking Benjamin is an American rock band from Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania founded in 1999 by lead singer and guitarist Benjamin Burnley and drummer Jeremy Hummel. The original incarnation of the band also included guitarist Aaron Fink and bassist Mark Klepaski. This lineup released two studio albums, Saturate (2002) and We Are Not Alone (2004), before Hummel was replaced by Chad Szeliga in 2005. The group released two more studio albums, Phobia (2006) and Dear Agony (2009), before entering an extended hiatus in early 2010 due to Burnley's recurring illnesses.

The release of a compilation album amid the hiatus, Shallow Bay: The Best of Breaking Benjamin (2011), unauthorized by Burnley, brought about legal trouble within the band resulting in the dismissal of Fink and Klepaski. When Szeliga announced his departure in 2013, citing creative differences, Burnley became the sole member of the band. However, in late 2014, the band announced a new lineup including bassist and backing vocalist Aaron Bruch, guitarist and backing vocalist Keith Wallen, guitarist Jasen Rauch, and drummer Shaun Foist. The group afterward released Dark Before Dawn in 2015.

Despite significant lineup changes, the band's musical style and lyrical content has remained consistent with Burnley serving as the primary composer and lead vocalist since the band's inception. The group is noted for its formulaic hard rock tendencies, with angst-heavy lyrics, swelling choruses, and "crunching" guitars. In the United States alone, the band has sold more than 7 million units[1] and yielded two platinum records, one gold record, one gold single, and one Billboard 200 number one.

History

Formation and Saturate (1998–2003)

Benjamin Burnley first received the moniker Breaking Benjamin in 1998 after breaking a microphone while covering a Nirvana song, prompting the sound man to retort, "Thanks to Benjamin for breaking my fucking mic."[2] Additional personnel included guitarist Aaron Fink, bassist Nick Hoover, and drummer Chris Lightcap.[3] This group played "softer music" such as Weezer and The Beatles,[4] but soon disbanded when Burnley moved to California.[3] The remaining members formed Strangers With Candy, and achieved local success, winning MTV's "Ultimate Cover Band" contest and shortly thereafter signed with Universal Records under the name of Lifer.[5] Burnley later returned to Pennsylvania with drummer Jeremy Hummel, and the two formed Plan 9, which also included bassist Jason Davoli.[6] Plan 9, a reference to Plan 9 from Outer Space, was continually erroneously referred to as "planet 9", therefore the group reclaimed the name Breaking Benjamin from the previous band, as Burnley had promotional stickers with that name.[4]

Sample of the EP version of "Polyamorous", as first heard on Fabbri's radio station in 2001.

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The three-piece first gained attention when Freddie Fabbri, a DJ for active rock radio station WBSX, put the group's track "Polyamorous" in rotation.[7] After it became the number one requested track on the station,[7] Fabbri financed the recording of the group's eponymous EP, which sold all 2,000 copies that were printed in 2001.[8] Jonathan "Bug" Price was credited on bass, replacing Davoli.[9] After growing dissatisfied with Lifer, Fink and bassist Mark Klepaski exited the band to join Breaking Benjamin.[5] In early 2002, over a dozen record companies visited a two-night showcase where Breaking Benjamin was playing, and the group subsequently signed with Hollywood Records.[7] Shortly afterward, Breaking Benjamin began recording their first full-length major-label record, Saturate, which was released on August 7, 2002 and produced by Ulrich Wild.[8] It peaked at No. 136 on the Billboard 200,[10] and in early 2003, Breaking Benjamin participated in the Jägermeister Music Tour,[11] then toured as a supporting act for Godsmack.[12]

Of the little media coverage, Saturate garnered positive reception, Jason Taylor from AllMusic stating that the album "has serious potential to become one of 2002's most successful debuts," feeling that "although it is repetitive and generic, it is undeniably addictive" and adding "Saturate is accessible and slightly heavier than much music suitable for excessive radio play, yet allows the listener to identify with the themes present on the disc." Ultimately scoring the album 2.5 out of 5, Taylor maintained, "The only noticeable dilemma apparent here is that the album drags once it hits 'Next to Nothing' and never quite picks back up."[13] The disc received a favorable review from Schwegweb's Vin Cherubino, who noted, "The music has just as much quality as any popular artist in the same genre. Influences from bands such as Tool can be heard, making the music seem all so familiar and palatable."[14]

We Are Not Alone (2003–2005)

In October 2003, Breaking Benjamin began recording their second studio album We Are Not Alone for release on June 29, 2004.[15] Two weeks before the record's debut, the group began a tour to "generate pre-release buzz,"[16] later co-headlining a tour with Evanescence, Seether, and Three Days Grace.[17] Produced by David Bendeth,[18] the disc sold 48,000 copies in its first week[19] and peaked at No. 20 on the Billboard 200.[10] On October 21, 2004, We Are Not Alone was certified gold, then platinum on June 13, 2005.[20] The record features singles such as "So Cold" and "Sooner or Later", both of which peaked at No. 2 on the Mainstream Rock Songs chart.[21] The songs "Rain", "Forget It" and "Follow" were co-written by Burnley and The Smashing Pumpkins front man Billy Corgan over the course of six days in December 2003. Burnley expressed his initial anxiety in working with Corgan, admitting "At first, I was so nervous," but later feeling it was one of the highlights of his career, saying "After a while, I got more comfortable, and then he just became Billy. I'd come in every day, we'd order soup, eat and then we'd get to work. It was great."[16]

Breaking Benjamin performing at the Minnesota State Fair on August 25, 2005.

We Are Not Alone garnered mixed reviews. It was met with high acclaim from IGN's Colin Moriarty, who felt "extremely satisfied," saying "safely and confidently" that it "might be my personal favorite album of the year," giving it a score of 9.3 out of 10.[22] Conversely, Exclaim! writer Amber Authier felt that, "On first listen its simply generic sound did nothing for me," though later admitted, "I listened to Breaking Benjamin several times over a week and several elements of the disc started to grow on me, even appeal to me." The writer concluded, "Breaking Benjamin created a standard of quality for themselves [with Saturate] that they simply couldn't meet on the entire disc."[23] On November 23, 2004, Breaking Benjamin released the So Cold EP, which features live versions of the songs "Away" and "Breakdown", a live acoustic version of "So Cold", and studio acoustic recordings of "Blow Me Away" and "Lady Bug".[24]

In late 2005, Hummel filed a federal lawsuit against Breaking Benjamin. According to the lawsuit, Hummel requested earlier that year to take a paternity leave to be with his wife during the birth of their first child, to which all members of the band agreed and hired Kevin Soffera as a temporary substitute. However, Burnley later called Hummel and terminated him, citing chemistry issues. In the lawsuit, Hummel contended wrongful termination and lack of compensation for profits accrued by We Are Not Alone and other non-album tracks that appeared in Halo 2 and National Treasure 2. The band's manager, Larry Mazer (who was also named in the lawsuit), asserted that the lawsuit was "totally frivolous" and his termination had "nothing to do with the paternity leave." Mazer said the band received no payment for the Halo 2 appearance, adding that the song was included for promotional reasons and Burnley was happy to have it in the video game. The band received minimal payment for the National Treasure 2 appearance, and Mazer stated that otherwise, "[Hummel] is 100 per cent current."[25] The lawsuit was settled for an undisclosed amount in April 2006.[3] Ben "B.C." Vaught served as a sit-in drummer for the band,[3] and they later toured with 3 Doors Down and Staind in November 2005.[26]

Phobia (2005–2007)

After the departure of Jeremy Hummel, Breaking Benjamin auditioned fifteen drummers, of whom Chad Szeliga stood out. Burnley stated that he felt Szeliga "would be a good stage performer and not just some robot", among showing that he could play the songs and had "serious problem-solving skills."[27] Szeliga was subsequently hired in 2005 before the recording of their third studio album, Phobia, which was released on August 8, 2006[28] and again produced by Bendeth.[18] Phobia sold more than 131,000 copies in its first week of sales[29] and peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard 200.[10] It went gold on November 8, 2006, then platinum on May 21, 2009.[20] Its lead single, "Diary of Jane", peaked at No. 2 on the Mainstream Rock Songs chart and was the fastest single added to radio playlists in the history of Hollywood Records. "Breath", the record's second single, spent seven weeks at No. 1 on the Mainstream Rock Songs chart.[3] "Until the End" peaked at No. 6 on the Mainstream Rock Songs chart,[30] and became a gold single on February 11, 2014.[20]

Sample of Phobia's "Intro", featuring sound effects alluding to the artist's fear of air travel.

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The concept of Phobia is dedicated to Burnley's various phobias. The cover of the album depicts a winged man suspended over a runway, which represents the singer's fear of flying. Burnley also has death anxiety, a fear of the dark, driving anxiety,[31] and suffers from hypochondriasis.[6] Burnley cites his fear of flying for why he did not perform overseas, saying, "I'll go as far as a boat will take me", though at the time the band's record label had not facilitated travel by boat.[31] Phobia's "Intro" and "Outro" tracks feature sound effects of an airport intercom, airplane turbulence, car doors, and crowd panic.[32]

In support for Phobia, AXS TV (then known as HDNet) aired a one-hour Breaking Benjamin concert from Stabler Arena in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania in February 2007. The broadcast recording was included on the re-released Phobia DVD in April, billed as "The Homecoming".[29] A music video was created for "Breath" which was made from footage of the song's performance at the show.[33] Breaking Benjamin followed with Spring and Fall tours alongside Three Days Grace, accompanied by Puddle of Mudd during the Spring tour,[34] and Seether, Skillet, and Red during the Fall tour.[35]

Phobia received moderate to positive critical reception. AllMusic found the album "nothing if not consistent," and while generally regarding the disc with positive sentiments, noted a lack of distinguishment from the "rest of the post-grunge/alt-metal pack" aside from "a certain charm". The website noted that the acoustic version of "Diary of Jane", featuring Dropping Daylight's Sebastion Davin, "sounds natural and not just like a strained bonus novelty", adding that "the version may even be better than the original."[28] IGN's editor-in-chief Spence D. gave the disc a negative review, citing tedium and lack of vocal distinction, feeling that the group's "intersection of hard rock and emo-oriented introspection" is "not a bad thing, but also not a terribly memorable or earth-shattering one, either." However, Spence praised the musicianship of Fink, Klepaski, and Szeliga, ultimately giving the album a score of 5.7 out of 10.[36] Entertainment Weekly graded the album C+, saying, "as pathological angst goes, it's expertly done, with expansive choruses and epic riffs — not that that matters, when, like, we're all going to die cold and alone anyway."[37]

Dear Agony (2009–2010)

Breaking Benjamin performing in Fort Wayne, Indiana in January 2010.

The band's fourth studio effort, Dear Agony, was released on September 9, 2009. It peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard 200.[10] The disc initially outsold its predecessor in its first week, moving more than 134,000 copies.[29] It ultimately achieved gold status on February 16, 2010.[20] The album's lead single "I Will Not Bow" reached No. 1 on the Mainstream Rock Songs chart,[38] while the other two singles, "Lights Out" and "Give Me a Sign", peaked at No. 9[39] and No. 6,[40] respectively.

Breaking Benjamin toured in late 2009 and early 2010, first with Three Days Grace and Flyleaf.[41] After touring with Red, Chevelle, and Thousand Foot Krutch,[42] the band toured with Nickelback, Shinedown, and Sick Puppies on their Dark Horse Tour.[43] Prior to the last show of the Dark Horse Tour, Burnley stated he was ill and thereby no longer able to tour in support of Dear Agony, placing the band on hiatus. After internet rumors began to circulate that the band had broken up, Burnley issued a statement "officially letting everyone know that Breaking Benjamin has not broken up."[3]

Dear Agony is the first album that Burnley wrote while completely sober. The album cover features Burnley's brain scan, representing the recurrent themes on Dear Agony related to the singer's chronic illnesses caused by alcohol consumption. Burnley said of the cover, "All the tests and hospital visits stick with you, so I thought the scan was an effective image to use. It was a dangerous situation to be in. Thankfully, I was able to reflect what was going on in my life within the music."[44] Burnley collaborated with then-Red guitarist Jasen Rauch on various tracks for Dear Agony. The two equally wrote together the songs "Without You" and "Hopeless", and Rauch wrote the outro for "I Will Not Bow", also helping write "Lights Out". Burnley commented on the collaboration, saying, "I love writing with him because he does stuff exactly like I would've done," feeling that, "writing-wise, we're like the same person. It's really, really relieving because I never worked with anybody like that."[45]

Dear Agony received moderate critical reception, many reviews holding sentiments similar to Phobia, AllMusic's James Monger stating the album "feels a lot like their first three."[46] The disc received a negative review from Consequence of Sound, who complained of over-production and the disc's sell-out nature at the hands of three-time Breaking Benjamin producer David Bendeth: "Dear Agony is the unfortunate side effect of a trend in 'producer' David Bendeth’s world, training wild chimpanzees to be more tasteful whilst handling silverware", ultimately giving the record "a half-star for succeeding in teaching Breaking Benjamin's peers who not to hire for production credit."[47] About Entertainment gave the record a mixed review, feeling "Dear Agony demonstrates Breaking Benjamin's craftsmanship if not their brilliant creativity. Though it lacks the breakthrough singles of Phobia, Dear Agony does have its moments," adding that, "frustratingly, Dear Agony never reaches greatness, settling for an admirable competency that's still the envy of many of their contemporaries."[48]

Hiatus and Shallow Bay (2010–2013)

Sample of the remixed version of "Blow Me Away" featuring Sydnee Duran of Valora.

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In March 2010, Hollywood Records requested that the band produce two new master recordings, sought permission to release a new version of the hit song "Blow Me Away", featuring Sydnee Duran of Valora, and requested the production of a greatest hits album.[3] In May 2011, Aaron Fink and Mark Klepaski granted the record company's requests after they were offered a $100,000 payment. Burnley, alleging that Fink and Klepaski acted unilaterally and did not inform him or the band's management, fired the two via email, demanding at least $250,000 in compensatory and punitive damages, as well as the exclusive right to the name Breaking Benjamin. Fink and Klepaski's attorneys stated the two "dispute and strictly deny" Burnley's allegations, instead asserting that a January 2009 agreement (allowing Burnley to dismiss them for "just cause") was no longer valid because of the singer's status of indefinite hiatus. The case was ordered by a judge to arbitration.[49] Burnley's attorney, Brian Caplan, told the Associated Press, "The relationship between Mr. Burnley and the two other members of the band has ended ... Mr. Burnley intends on moving forward using the name Breaking Benjamin and the band will continue. It just won't continue in its prior configuration. He's not retiring."[50]

In August 2011, Hollywood Records scheduled the release of the Shallow Bay: The Best of Breaking Benjamin compilation album, featuring every single from the band's catalog, including the remix of "Blow Me Away". A two-disc deluxe edition was released alongside it, with the second disc containing altered versions of b-sides and rarities. Burnley publicly opposed the album's release, saying content had been altered without his consent and did not meet his standards.[51] Burnley would later elaborate, saying that the rarities were taken off of his laptop without his consent, and were intended for in-studio reference and not public release, but that he was otherwise content with previously-released tracks on Shallow Bay.[52] The album was released on August 16, 2011, peaking at No. 22 on the Billboard 200 and topping the Hard Rock Albums chart in three consecutive years from 2011 to 2013.[53] The disc received positive critical reception, The Daily Trojan praising it for balance and a progressive retrospective history, concluding with, "For the first-timers, welcome to Breaking Benjamin."[54] AllMusic's Gregory Heaney felt similarly, saying, "Shallow Bay is a great jumping-on point for new fans, capturing the band at their height delivering some of their best moments in one convenient package. For older fans, this collection may just serve as a reminder of a crucial turning point in Breaking Benjamin's career."[53]

Reformation and Dark Before Dawn (2014–present)

Sample of "Failure" (2015), the band's first original studio recording released since 2009.

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In April 2013, Burnley announced that the dispute Fink, Klepaski, and himself was resolved and that he would retain the right to continue the band under the name Breaking Benjamin.[55] Three days later, Szeliga announced his departure from Breaking Benjamin, citing creative differences.[56] In August 2014, Breaking Benjamin announced via Facebook that the band reformed as a quintet with, except for Burnley, all new members, including: Dear Agony co-writer Jasen Rauch (guitar, originally from Red); Keith Wallen (guitar and backing vocals, originally from Adelitas Way); Aaron Bruch (bass and backing vocals); and Shaun Foist (drums, originally from Picture Me Broken). Burnley said of the lineup, "Everybody that's in the band now is deliberately handpicked," noting that "Keith [Wallen] and Aaron [Bruch] are really, really amazing singers. That's kind of what the band always needed."[57] On March 18, 2015, a new single entitled "Failure" as well as a new album, Dark Before Dawn, were announced for release on March 23 and June 23, respectively.[58]

Burnley stated that Dark Before Dawn took shape towards the end of the hiatus. After growing frustrated with the lack of answers regarding his health condition, he decided to focus on writing music, saying on That Metal Show, "I literally took my medical records and slammed them down like, 'You know what, forget this, I'm not getting anywhere with this.' So I just decided to stop trying to find out whatever it was and just focus on our music, and that's when Dark Before Dawn really started to take shape."[59] Recorded and produced at a personal studio of Burnley's,[60] Dark Before Dawn is the first album with the front man credited as the producer. The singer stated that "I would say that I did the same amount of producing on this album as I've done on other albums, just never had my name [on it]", adding, "You know, I'm not doing anything different here than I have done in the past. Why shouldn't I be known to be doing it?"[61]

The new lineup began with a set of debut acoustic shows in late 2014,[62] as well as a four-venue winter tour in north-eastern United States.[63] The band afterward announced 2015 spring,[63] summer,[64] and fall[65] tour dates in support of the album, supported by bands such as Young Guns and Starset. In August 2015, the band announced a U.S. tour with Shinedown.[66] Within an hour of pre-order availability, Dark Before Dawn reached No. 1 on the rock albums chart on iTunes and No. 3 on the overall album chart.[67] It sold 135,000 pure album units and 141,000 equivalent album units, and debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, making the comeback debut the group's heretofore most successful sales effort.[68] The disc's lead single spent nine weeks at No. 1 on the Mainstream Rock Songs chart as well.[69]

Billboard's Jason Lipshutz felt the album's success was "eyebrow-raising", noting that, in addition to the band's lineup change, "135,000 in pure album sales is a hefty number in 2015 — it's a bigger number than the respective bows of recent Madonna, ASAP Rocky, and Kelly Clarkson albums". But Joe DeTomaso, program director of active rock station WAQX-FM, added that, "They've always been a top-level band for the format, but not quite on the level of Disturbed or Shinedown or bands like that. They always seem to put out hit records without getting the kind of recognition that they deserved."[70] Forbes' Hugh McIntyre writes that runner-up Tori Kelly's 75,000 copies "puts Breaking Benjamin's figures into perspective" and that despite "a pretty extensive lineup change, it looks like fans were awaiting their return with open arms."[71] Following aforesaid success, the band's first overseas performance was announced, in which they will headline a four-day cruise venue in February 2016 along with Yngwie Malmsteen, Zakk Wylde, Flyleaf, et al.[72]

The album was met with mostly positive critical reception, many critics praising the album for staying true to the group's sound, while others criticized it for sounding too similar to previous material. Dan Marsicano from About Entertainment stated, "Burnley could have made his creation just another dose of the glitzy, overproduced crap that is heard on every rock radio station in the world. Instead, Breaking Benjamin hardly deviate from the hooky jams that were present on Dear Agony."[60] Conversely, AllMusic's James Monger felt that "it's hard to conceal the fact that most of these songs are nearly interchangeable with the band's older material."[73] Revolver's Jeremy Borjon felt that "the music's true force only becomes apparent through deeper and repeated listenings, as the songs, on the surface, have a tendency to blend into one another."[74]

Characteristics

Musical style

"Follow" (We Are Not Alone) is an example of the band's formulaic, hard rock musical style, with vocals leading into harder guitar riffs throughout each verse, followed by a pre-chorus ending that builds up the suspense into a harder chorus.[22]

"Into the Nothing" (Dear Agony) is an example of the band's recurrent formula involving "crunchy" guitars, swelling choruses, angst-heavy vocals, and tight construction.[48]

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Breaking Benjamin's musical style is primarily described as hard rock[75] and alternative rock,[76] more specifically post-grunge[77] and alternative metal,[78][a] and has commonly been noted for its consistency. AllMusic's Corey Apar stated, "Breaking Benjamin are nothing if not consistent. Phobia finds them picking up exactly where they left off with 2004's We Are Not Alone, mixing heavy hard rock dynamics with a moody demeanor that never slips into full-on dejection."[28] IGN's Spence D. felt similarly, saying, "Breaking Benjamin persists in delivering crunching guitars topped off with somewhat generic, angst-ridden vocals that waffle between being plaintive and aggressive. Front man Ben Burnley has one of those somewhat innocuous voices that is crystal clear, delivers just the right amount of emotion, fluctuating between contemplative subjectivity and growling anger."[36]

Consequence of Sound's Alex Young said in an otherwise unenthusiastic review of Dear Agony, "Breaking Benjamin is one of the few modern rock bands on the radio that, if you have heard any song in its catalog prior, could be immediately recognized. The band's sound is indicative of early '00s modern rock, while also now and then being more Filter-esque or technically proficient, primarily on guitar during 2002's Saturate, and from then on with bass and drums."[47] Despite a complete lineup change prior to the release of Dark Before Dawn, About Entertainment stated, "Breaking Benjamin hardly deviate from the hooky jams that were present on Dear Agony. They have had an established sound since their breakout We Are Not Alone — hard-edged riffs with emotional upheaval — and that isn't tampered with on Dark Before Dawn."[60]

Composition

Burnley is the primary songwriter in the band.[79] Music industry attorney and author Martin Frascogna writes that "it's unmistakably clear that Burnley started the group, is the creative force behind the group and essentially dictates the group's decisions."[80] Bands such as Nirvana, Live, Bush, Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots, and The Beatles have been cited as influences.[81] Burnley remarked in 2009 that while the other band members did contribute, it was "always left up to me to put all the pieces together and make it so that it's even anything at all." However, Burnley expressed how he considered Rauch to be his "writing partner" during Dear Agony, and that he looked forward to writing with him in the future.[45] After joining the band in 2014 as part of the new lineup, Rauch provided writing contributions on Dark Before Dawn, writing the intro and outro tracks as well as riffs on two other tracks. In a 2015 interview with About Entertainment, Burnley revealed that the whole band would write songs for Breaking Benjamin in the future, and that "It just so happens that when they came on board for this album, I was already 95 percent done", adding, "I'm really looking forward to writing the next one all together."[82]

Breaking Benjamin's lyrical content evolved as a product of Burnley's sobriety, the front man noting that the lyricism in Dear Agony is more thought out.[83] Rito Asilo of the Inquirer writes that Burnley "owes the improved clarity and coherence in Breaking Benjamin's music to sobriety."[84] Burnley has said that before sobriety, anything that made sense thematically was a coincidence, and that he would take shots if he were dissatisfied with a lyric.[85] Breaking Benjamin's lyrics have been noted for their vague, angst-heavy themes,[86] Burnley saying that "I try to keep my writing vague so people can draw their own conclusions."[83]

Live performance

Breaking Benjamin's live sound has varied historically, corresponding with lineup arrangements. The band originally lacked backing vocalists and tertiary instrumentation, requiring them to rely on pre-recorded tracks during live performances.[87] However, the band was noted for a change in such respects with the second iteration of the band assembled in 2014.[88] Bruch and Wallen were selected in part for their ability as singers, providing backing vocals on both new studio recordings and during live shows.[88] Gene Axton of The Times Leader felt, "This group effort transcends the studio and has direct impact on the band's live show."[89] Burnley has noted that it was important to add two new singers in order to replicate vocal techniques such as three-part harmonies, octave range, and layered vocals.[52] Rauch, acting as a third guitarist, provides the band with "more freedom while simultaneously thickening up their live sound", as some songs feature three guitar parts, layered guitars, or are meant to feature Burnley only performing vocals, such as "I Will Not Bow" and "Lights Out".[89] Foist utilizes Roland V-Kit electronic drums during live performances and triggers certain sounds as heard in studio recordings, such as the piano notes in "Breakdown".[52] Additionally, Rauch is equipped with a Roland GR-55 guitar synthesizer allowing him to play orchestral strings and choir sound effects, further eliminating any reliance on pre-recorded tracks.[32]

Members

Current members
  • Benjamin Burnley – lead vocals, rhythm guitar (1999–present)
  • Aaron Bruch – bass, backing vocals (2014–present)
  • Keith Wallen – rhythm guitar, backing vocals (2014–present)
  • Jasen Rauch – lead guitar, electronic strings, programming (2014–present)
  • Shaun Foist – drums, electronic percussion, programming (2014–present)
Former members
  • Aaron Fink – lead guitar 2002–2011)
  • Jeremy Hummel – drums, percussion (1999–2004)
  • Jason Davoli – bass guitar (1999)
  • Jonathan "Bug" Price – bass guitar (2001)
  • Mark Klepaski – bass guitar (2002–2011)
  • Chad Szeliga – drums, percussion (2005–2013)
Touring members
  • Kevin Soffera – drums, percussion (2004)
  • Ben "BC" Vaught – drums, percussion (2004–2005)

Timeline

Discography

Studio albums

References

Citations
  1. ^ Monacelli, Emily (July 13, 2015). "Godsmack, Breaking Benjamin coming to Kellogg Arena in September". Kalamazoo Gazette. Advance Publications. Archived from the original on July 16, 2015. 
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  7. ^ a b c Anon. n.d.(b).
  8. ^ a b c Henderson n.d.
  9. ^ Breaking Benjamin 2001.
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  14. ^ Cherubino 2002.
  15. ^ Loftus 2004a.
  16. ^ a b Wiederhorn 2004.
  17. ^ Moss 2004.
  18. ^ a b Ruhlmann n.d.
  19. ^ Billboard 2004, p. 49.
  20. ^ a b c d Anon. n.d.(e).
  21. ^ Anon. n.d.(f), pp. 1–2.
  22. ^ a b Moriarty 2004.
  23. ^ Authier 2004.
  24. ^ Loftus 2004b.
  25. ^ Amerman 2005, p. 1a.
  26. ^ Anon. 2005.
  27. ^ Anon. 2010a.
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  29. ^ a b c Bishop 2014.
  30. ^ Anon. n.d.(f).
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  32. ^ a b Lello 2015.
  33. ^ Anon. 2007c.
  34. ^ Anon. 2007a.
  35. ^ Anon. 2007b.
  36. ^ a b D. 2006.
  37. ^ Greenblatt 2006.
  38. ^ Anon. 2009b.
  39. ^ Anon. 2010c.
  40. ^ Anon. 2010d.
  41. ^ Anon. 2009a.
  42. ^ Anon. 2010b.
  43. ^ Morentin 2010.
  44. ^ Lipshutz 2009.
  45. ^ a b Lello 2009.
  46. ^ Monger 2009.
  47. ^ a b Young 2009.
  48. ^ a b Grierson 2009.
  49. ^ Sisak & Gaydos 2011b.
  50. ^ Rubinkam 2011.
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  52. ^ a b c Rosen 2015b.
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  54. ^ Jetti 2011.
  55. ^ Childers 2013.
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  57. ^ Hargis 2014.
  58. ^ Anon. 2015b.
  59. ^ Trunk 2015, event occurs at 13:12.
  60. ^ a b c Marsicano 2015.
  61. ^ Trunk 2015, event occurs at 19:03.
  62. ^ Schoof 2014.
  63. ^ a b Zadrozny 2015.
  64. ^ Hoyle 2015.
  65. ^ Anon. 2015d.
  66. ^ Childers 2015.
  67. ^ Anon. 2015c.
  68. ^ Caulfield 2015.
  69. ^ Anon. n.d.(f), p. 1.
  70. ^ Lipshutz 2015.
  71. ^ McIntyre 2015.
  72. ^ Titus 2015.
  73. ^ Monger 2015.
  74. ^ Borjon 2015.
  75. ^ Lipshutz 2015; Wiederhorn 2015; Mansfield 2015; Childers 2015; D. 2006; Greenblatt 2006; Marsicano 2015; Titus 2015.
  76. ^ Henderson n.d; Sisak & Gaydos 2011b; Miller 2004; Lipshutz 2009; Cox 2014.
  77. ^ Henderson n.d; Young 2009; Lipshutz 2009; Greene 2006; Apar 2006.
  78. ^ Grierson 2009; Leroy 2004; Apar 2006; Saincome 2015; Marsicano 2015.
  79. ^ Frederick 2015b.
  80. ^ Frascogna 2011.
  81. ^ Henderson n.d; Miranda & Holmquest 2004.
  82. ^ Bowar 2015.
  83. ^ a b Florino 2010.
  84. ^ Asilo 2015.
  85. ^ Brayton n.d.
  86. ^ Grierson 2009; Greenblatt 2006; D. 2006.
  87. ^ Trunk 2015, event occurs at 26:30.
  88. ^ a b Trunk 2015; Axton 2015; Rosen 2015a; Rosen 2015b; Kielich 2015; Hahn 2014
  89. ^ a b Axton 2015.
Notes
  1. ^ However, the band's recurrent online biography written by AllMusic's Alex Henderson states of the alternative metal label, "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 alternative metal — hard alternative rock, certainly, but not quite alternative metal."[8]

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