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Interview:
Breaking Benjamin leader doesn't try to complicate success
 

By GARY GRAFF
Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

» See more SOUND CHECK

Breaking Benjamin frontman Ben Burnley is still stoked about the chart-topping debut of his band's latest album, "Dark Before Dawn," last June -- especially since it had been six years since the group's last release.

But he's not interested in analyzing why it happened.

"I look at it in a very simple way," Burnley, 37, says by phone from a tour stop in northeastern Pennsylvania. "I love to write music, I love to play music, and that's all I do. And people can gravitate towards that or not, and I'm just grateful that they do.

"I just write what I like and people, our fans, like the same things I like and that's why we're so supportive of each other. We're friends in that sense; you're friends with people because you have common interests and you like the same things and you dislike the same things. I think it's as simple as that in that we all like the same kind of stuff and we all appreciate each other's taste."

"Dark Before Dawn" came after a, well, dark period in Breaking Benjamin's history. During the interim Burnley parted ways with the other band members, acrimoniously, and battled some severe emotional and physical health issues. But he tapped his trials for inspiration in songs such as "Failure" and "Angel's Fall" -- both of which hit No. 1 on the Active Rock airplay charts.

He also assembled a new version of Breaking Benjamin that includes former members of Adelitas Way, Red and Picture Me Broken and, Burnley says, is much more functional than the former lineup had become, capable of playing not only full-on electric concerts but also acoustic shows, as the group is currently doing..

"I'm in a much better place now and I love the people that I'm playing with and everything," he says. "I had know the guys singularly but we hadn't played together collectively, so we got together as a band and it was just magic from the get-go. When we got together it just worked out perfect and the music was great and it was exactly how it should have been.

"And it's gone really fast 'cause things are not only going great but they keep going better and better 'cause everybody's where they belong and we're all really, really happy to be doing what we're doing. It's like a dream come true, especially after all the (bad) stuff that I went through to get here."

Breaking Beanjamin "Unplugged" and Starset

Monday, Feb. 8. Doors open at 7 p.m.

Saint Andrews Hall, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit.

Tickets are $37.50

Call 313-961-8961 or visit saintandrewsdetroit.com.


Web Site: www.saintandrewsdetroit.com

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff

 



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