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Interview:
Hiatus worked in Breaking Benjamin's favor
 

By GARY GRAFF
Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

» See more SOUND CHECK

Ben Burnley's formula for success is unique, to say the least.

Since 2010 the founder and frontman of the hard rock band Breaking Benjamin split with the rest of the band, acrimoniously, assembled an entirely new behind-the-scenes team and battled some severe physical and emotional health issues. Then he brought the band back this year with a new lineup and its first new album in six years, "Dark Before Dawn," and it debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200.

Suffering for one's art apparently has its rewards.

"Yeah, it seemed to work pretty well, but I definitely would try to avoid those in the future," the New Jersey-based Burnley, 37, says by phone from a tour stop in northeastern Pennsylvania. Nevertheless, he acknowledges "there's some sort of relief" with how well things are going for the quintet at this point.

"I think more than anything else it's just gratitude towards our fans, that they're still so amazing to us and that they're there for us and supporting us. We're just really grateful and humbled by that. I've always strived to give fans literally every last bit of everything that I have, and I think that they notice that and they appreciate that, and in turn I appreciate them and their support."

Burnley says there were some moments of despair during that interim, but he also saw some light at the end of the tunnel, especially as he started putting together Breaking Benjamin's current lineup. "It's no secret I was extremely unhappy in that other situation," he says. "I'm in a much better place and I love the people I'm playing with. I've known the guys, singularly, and I've always wanted to do something with them. We were always trying o find a project to do, but when they opportunity came to do Breaking Benjamin we all kind of jumped on it and hoped the chemistry worked.

"And it did. When we got together as a band it was just magic from the get-go, and it's been over a year now."

The band's new world order also lets Burnley get full credit for being Breaking Benjamin's chief creative force as well as the acknowledged producer on "Dark Before Dawn."

"I wrote all if not most of those other albums as well, so the whole process for me was exactly the same," Burnley explains. "The only difference is I'm credited as being the producer -- which isn't that different from before. I've definitely done things on past albums that would fall into the workload that a producer does, although I'm not credited for it.

"So this time I basically just set everything right. I made everything the way it was supposed to be and just did the same thing on this album that I did on every single other album but without anybody else trying to take credit for it. So if it sounds like Breaking Benjamin should it's because it's me doing what I've done all along, you know?"

Breaking Benjamin, 10 Years and Starset

Friday, Sept. 25. Doors open at 7 p.m.

Fillmore Detroit, 2115 Woodward Ave.

Tickets are $49.50 and $35.

Call 313-961-5451 or visit thefillmoredetroit.com.

Web Site: www.thefillmoredetroit.com

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff

 



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