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Breaking Benjamin

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 departedLifer (which was originally called Strangers with Candy) so that they could join forces with singer Ben Burnley and drummerJeremy Hummel and form Breaking Benjamin. Why would Fink and Klepaski leave a band that had a contract with Universal toform a new alternative rock band that, at the time, was unsigned? According to Breaking Benjamin's press releas ...read more

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 departedLifer (which was originally called Strangers with Candy) so that they could join forces with singer Ben Burnley and drummerJeremy Hummel and form Breaking Benjamin. Why would Fink and Klepaski leave a band that had a contract with Universal toform a new alternative 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 uprootthemselves. So in late 2000, Breaking Benjamin got started with a four-man lineup that consisted of Burnley on lead vocalsand rhythm guitar, Fink on lead guitar, Klepaski on bass, and Hummel on drums. Breaking Benjamin wasn't the first time thatFink 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. (Philadelphia and its suburbs are considered southeastern Pennsylvania..

When Breaking Benjamin started playing around Wilkes-Barre, they were far from a carbon copy of Lifer -- instead, theyfavored a radio-friendly post-grunge approach that was aggressive and forceful yet melodic. The band's various influencesinclude, among others, Live, Bush, Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots, and Nirvana. Burnley has been quoted as saying that atage 14, he taught himself to play guitar by listening to Nirvana's seminal 1991 release Nevermind over and over. Korn and Toolhave also been cited as influences, but unlike Korn, Breaking Benjamin doesn't have strong hip-hop leanings and isn't quitealternative metal -- hard alternative rock, certainly, but not quite alternative metal. However, that isn't to say that BreakingBenjamin hasn'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 alterna-metal, and even though Breaking Benjamin has a lot in common withpost-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 alterna-rock station WBSX-FM. Fabbri put their song "Polyamorous" in rotation, and he also financed therecording of their self-titled debut EP -- which, in 2001, ended up selling about 2,000 copies in and around Wilkes-Barre. Itwas also in 2001 that Breaking Benjamin signed with Hollywood Records, which united the band with Ulrich Wild (a busyproducer/engineer who has worked with Powerman 5000, Stabbing Westward, White Zombie, Static-X, Pantera, Slipknot, andquite a few others). Wild serves as both producer and engineer on Breaking Benjamin's first full-length album, Saturate, whichHollywood released in August 2002. We Are Not Alone followed two years later, complete with a few collaborations with BillyCorgan; the band landed a primo spot on the Evanescence tour in support of the effort, as three of the album's singles madetheir 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 withEvans 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 thetour, Breaking Benjamin dove back into the studio to begin work on their fourth full-length. The resulting Dear Agony, fueledby the first single "I Will Not Bow," arrived in the summer 2009. « hide

Similar Bands: Staind, Trapt, Seether, Chevelle, Three Days Grace

LPs
Dear Agony
2009

3.2
909 Votes
Phobia
2006

3.5
1,337 Votes
We Are Not Alone
2004

3.4
1,114 Votes
Saturate
2002

3.4
807 Votes
EPs
So Cold
2004

3.5
139 Votes
Breaking Benjamin
2001

3.6
31 Votes
Live Albums
Live
2004

3.4
17 Votes
Compilations
Shallow Bay: The Best Of Breaking Benjamin
2011

3.2
74 Votes

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