Before Breaking Benjamin existed, Benjamin Burnley was a soloist. The band owes its name to an incident when Burnley, who used to cover Nirvana in nightclubs, casually dropped the microphone to the floor at the end of a song, breaking it. The person who owns the microphone on stage arrived and said: I want to thank Benjamin for breaking my damn microphone.
In 1998, Burnley and the exguitarista Aaron Fink, met with Nick Hoover and Chris Lightcap and started the band Breaking Benjamin. Eventually Burnley wanted to try something different and went to California to try to do it. Benjamin Burnley returned to Pennsylvania and started a band called Plan 9 with drummer Jeremy Hummel. Originally the band was going to be three members (Benjamin Burnley on vocals and guitar, Jeremy Hummel on drums, and Jason Davoli on bass). Plan 9 opened the concerts of the band Lifer. During a Burnley concert, he said: “Thank you, we’re Breaking Benjamin,” and so they regained their name in 1998. In 1999 he returned to Wilkes-Barre to form “Plan 9” with drummer Jeremy Hummel and bassist Jason Davoli. of Burnley re-baptized the band as Breaking Benjamin, Fincke returned, along with his Lifer partner Mark Klepaski who replaced Davoli on the bass.
According to the band, the logo that identifies them, a variation of the celloid knot, was suggested by a fan who found it in a tattoo book. This can be seen tattooed on the left wrist of Benjamin Burnley, Aaron Fink and Mark James Klepaski, and on the right of Chad Szeliga.
The quartet first gained attention when Freddie Fabbri, a local DJ, played the track “Polyamorous” on his station and financed the recording of the EP of the same name of the group, from which all 2,000 copies that were printed in 2001 were sold. Breaking Benjamin signed with Hollywood Records in early 2002 after the success of his EP (Breaking Benjamin EP), which sold all 2,000 copies that were made and in April 2002 began recording his long-lasting debut on a major label. The band made their music debut with their album Saturate released on August 27, 2002. This album, produced by Wild Ulrich, came to number # 2 on the Billboard Top Heatseekers and # 136 on the Billboard Top 200.
The first single of the album was “Polyamorous”, which received good approval on the radio and reached # 19 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock and # 31 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks in 2002. The video was released in three different versions : In the first one, the band played live, in the second there were images of the game Run Like Hell, and the third one was similar to the second, but instead of scenes of Run Like Hell this has scenes of people with flirty acts. There is a fourth version that was not published, but in 2011 the video was filtered, this is similar to the second but instead of game scenes Run Like Hell this contains scenes from the videogame Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy. This song was included in the game Smackdown vs Raw and also appears in WWE Day of Reckoning and in some games of Jak And Daxter: The Legacy Of The Precursors can be heard in the credits.
Saturate’s second single was “Skin”, this song was almost not played live, but when it was played Burnley let the audience sing it all, reached # 24 on the Mainstream Rock list and # 37 on the Modern list rock. The third single was never released, but according to Hollywood Records the band chose it to be the song “Medicate” which was released on September 13, 2003.
The album obtained a generally moderate to positive critical reception, AllMusic indicated that the album “has serious possibilities of becoming one of the most successful debuts of 2002” and gives the feeling that “although it is repetitive and generic, it is undeniable that it is Addictive, “but stated the concern that” the album creeps once it reaches “almost nothing” and never stays in your mouth “, ultimately, which gives it a rating of 2.5 / 5. Songs from the album appear in video games and movies. “Polyamorous” was included in the WWE SmackDown games! vs. Raw and WWE Day of Reckoning. “Wish I May” can be heard during the final credits of the 2003 film Wrong Turn .
He had planned to release a studio version of his cover of “Enjoy the Silence” along with “Lady Bug” in the European version of Saturate; however, the European version was never released. “Lady Bug” was presented on So Cold EP and in the Japanese version of We Are Not Alone.
In October 2003, Breaking Benjamin began recording his second studio album We Are Not Alone., 13 releasing it on June 29, 2004. It was produced by David Bendeth, who would eventually produce each Breaking Benjamin album in the future.14 The album reached # 20 on the Billboard 200, and its singles managed to succeed.
The album, like its predecessor, achieved commercial success and the band made appearances in the media. On October 21, 2004, We Are Not Alone was certified gold, while it was platinum on June 13, 2005, which led the band to publish the platinum edition, which included the 2005 version of the song “Rain”, in which the whole band plays. The song “Firefly” was included in the WWE SmackDown video game! vs. Raw, as Saturate’s “Polyamorous.” In 2004, Breaking Benjamin made appearances on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, Last Call with Carson Daly, and in 2005 on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
In 2004 the first single, “So Cold”, reached # 3 on the Modern Rock list and # 2 on the Mainstream Rock list, spending 37 weeks in the top 20 and 62 in total. The band had made two music videos for “So Cold,” one of which was a promotional video for the movie Hellboy, and also appeared as a downloadable track for the Rock Band and Rock Band 2 games. The song can be heard in some video games of Jak II.
In 2005, “Sooner or Later” came # 7 on the Modern Rock Songs chart and # 2 on the Mainstream Rock list. A music video for “Sooner or Later” was made, since it had good approval on the radio and thus reached # 2 on the Mainstream Rock list. The song was also played live on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. In addition “Sooner or later” appeared as a downloadable track in Guitar Hero 5.
The single 2005 edition of “Rain” (a new version with the whole band), which later replaced the original song in later editions of the album, reached # 39 on the Modern Rock list and # 23 on the Mainstream list Rock chart
In the summer of 2010, Breaking Benjamin announced an indefinite break, due to recurring illnesses of Burnley. The guitarist (Aaron Fink) and the bassist (Mark Klepaski) rejoined their former band, Lifer and the drummer (Chad Szeliga) returns with his other band, OurAfter. On June 7, 2011, a remixed version of “Blow Me Away”, with Valora, was released. An animated music video for the remix was released on August 24. On June 30, 2011, Roca Access published the song list of the band’s greatest hits album, Shallow Bay: The Best Of Breaking Benjamin., And for its “deluxe edition” It was released on August 16, as a single disc “standard edition” and one of two discs “luxury edition” (with B faces and rarities). Burnley publicly opposed the publication of the album, saying that the content had been altered and released without his consent, and that he did not comply with its rules.
In May of 2011, Burnley fired his colleagues Fink and Klepaski. Soon after, a dispute over the new version of “Blow Me Away” became public. Burnley gave his version of the dispute of a June court appearance saying Fink and Klepaski make unilateral and unauthorized decisions on behalf of the band; how to give permission in May for the remix of “Blow Me Away”. Burnley seeks at least $ 250,000 and the exclusive right to the name of “Breaking Benjamin.” Burnley said he plans to revive the band when the lawsuit is resolved. Little was heard about the band throughout 2012, with the only exception of an interview in February 2012 with Szeliga, where he assured that fans of the band was still together, and that he hopes to work on a new record in the future . On April 19, 2013, Burnley announced that the legal issues had finally ended, with Burnley winning the rights to the band’s name. However, Szeliga posted an ad on his Facebook page on April 22 that left the band due to differences.
On August 19, 2014, the band announced that they had been reformed through their official Facebook page. The band re-emerged as a quintet, formed by Burnley as vocalist and four new members. The new members include guitarist Jasen Rauch, formerly of the band RED, who had previously collaborated with the band on four tracks of Dear Agony, guitarist Keith Wallen, previously of Adelitas Way, bassist Aaron Bruch, who accompanied on two acoustic shows to Burnley and former drummer Shaun Foist of Picture Me Broken.
On September 13, 2014, band members upload new photos of the band working in the studio. On September 19 and 20, 2014, the band played the first two shows with the new lineup at Gators Pub & Restaurant in Luzerne, Pennsylvania. Both shows were sold On September 30, 2014, the band announced a series of acoustic performances called “Unplugged tour 2014” during the month of October. On October 11, drummer Shaun Foist revealed in an interview that the band is writing new songs for their next album
On March 12, 2015, the band uploaded a 15-second clip of the new single “Failure” that was released on March 23, 2015.
The new album with the title Dark Before Dawn was released on June 23, 2015. The album sold 141,000 units in total in its first week (of which 135,000 were the sales of pure albums) and debuted at number 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, making it the most successful effort group so far.
In an interview made to the band by KFMA Benjamin Burnley was asked if he could give the name of some songs or his new album to which he said that the name would be Ember, he also said that the original name was going to be Ass-End but the label did not agree with the name so he asked to be changed. On January 5, 2018, the band released the single Red Cold River and on January 18 of the same year they released their music video.
In 2019 Breaking Benjamin tour has a lot of concerts in the USA.