Breaking Benjamin

In addition to their three albums, 2004’s “We Are Not Alone”, 2006’s “Phobia”, and 2009’s “Dear Agony”, Benjamin Breaking became one of the most popular rock groups in the United States in 2015 with their single “Breath” and their album “Dark Before Dawn”. Originally indebted to menacing nu-metal acts like Godsmack and the grunge rockers Alice in Chains, the band developed into a more arena-friendly act, with a sound that was defined by the dark, minor chord dirges of grunge and the menacing darkness of nu-metal. Over the years, the band went through multiple lineup changes, but their impact on the early 2000s rock mainstream cannot be denied. Breaking Benjamin debuted as a hard rock outfit from Pennsylvania with a brand of alternative metal-tinged rock.

Establishing Breaking Benjamin, original guitarist Aaron Fink and bassist Mark Klepaski united with vocalist Benjamin Burnley and drummer Jeremy Hummel following their departure from the band Lifer in the latter part of 2000. Drawing inspiration from acts like Live, Bush, Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots, and Nirvana, the four-piece band began performing in the vicinity of their hometown Wilkes-Barre, embracing a commercially appealing post-grunge style. Subsequently, they embraced the low-pitched guitar tones associated with bands like Korn and Tool.

Both “So Cold” and “Sooner or Later” reached the second position on the Mainstream Rock Songs list, while three of the album’s singles made their way onto the Billboard charts. In support of their effort, the group secured a spot on tour with Evanescence. Two years later, they released We Are Not Alone, produced by David Bendeth, which featured a few collaborations with Billy Corgan. Ulrich Wild, known for his work with Static-X, Pantera, and Slipknot, served as both producer and engineer on their debut full-length album, Saturate, released in 2002, which helped the band establish a connection with Hollywood Records. That same year, they signed with Hollywood Records and later financed the recording of their self-titled debut EP. The song “Polyamorous” caught the attention of a local radio DJ named Freddie Fabbri, who was an on-air personality at alt-rock station WBSX-FM, thanks to Fabbri’s inclusion of it in rotation. Breaking Benjamin’s performances in Wilkes-Barre in 2001 also caught the attention of Freddie Fabbri, a local radio DJ.

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Szeliga left the band in 2013. Before being fired, Klepaski and Fink released a collection called The Best of Breaking Benjamin: Shallow Bay in 2011. This led to legal disputes within the group. Due to persistent health issues, Burnley announced a hiatus before touring with Nickelback and Three Days Grace, among others. In the summer of 2009, they released their first single, “I Will Not Bow,” which fueled the success of their fourth full-length album, Dear Agony. After the tour, Breaking Benjamin went back into the studio to work on their next album, alongside touring with Godsmack. Phobia, their third album, was released in August 2006 and debuted at number two on the Billboard charts. The album gained radio airplay, especially with their first single, “The Diary of Jane,” which featured new drummer Chad Szeliga.

Chamberlain Spencer, the vocalist of Underøath, and Gontier Adam, the frontman of Saint Asonia, included a list of guest artists on their collection album “Aurora”, featuring reimagined versions of their best-known songs. Later, Benjamin Breaking returned with their LP “Two” and “Wolf” and “Blood”, which included the hit singles “Red Cold River” and “Feed the Wolf”. The album debuted at number three on the charts. While still touring for their chart-topping American debut album “Dark Before Dawn”, they also cracked the Mainstream Rock Songs chart with their number one hit and made it onto the Billboard Hot 100 with their lead single “Failure”. The lineup featured Shaun Foist and Aaron Bruch on bass, Keith Wallen and Jasen Rauch as guitarists, and Scooter Ward as the frontman. After six years, they returned with their first album of new material in June 2015 and confirmed that Benjamin Breaking would continue as a quintet the following year, as Burnley had confirmed.

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