Breaking Benjamin comeback possible
Published: Thursday, April 25, 2013
Updated: Friday, August 23, 2013 16:08
The alternative metal band, Breaking Benjamin, has returned from a lengthy hiatus. The band has been absent from the music scene since their 2010 hit album “Dear Agony” due to a string of unusual circumstances.
During the band’s 2010 tour to promote its recently released album, frontman and band namesake Benjamin Burnley was forced to cancel all planned tour dates due to health concerns. The band went on an indefinite hiatus while he dealt with an illness. Burnley, a recovering alcoholic, has publically admitted to being afflicted with Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome, better known as “Wet Brain.” This is an alcoholism-related brain disorder that leaves him in near-constant pain and discomfort.
Breaking Benjamin was already on hiatus when legal concerns came into play for the band. Shortly after the announcement, the band’s label, Hollywood Records, decided to release a greatest hits album, entitled “Shallow Bay: The Best of Breaking Benjamin.” The album featured a number of previously unreleased tracks, as well as some of the band’s hits.
This album also contained a remix of Breaking Benjamin’s song “Blow Me Away,” which was released for the 2004 Microsoft blockbuster game “Halo 2.” The remix featured the namesake and lead singer of a hard rock band called Valora. The remix was unauthorized. Guitarist Aaron Fink and bassist Mark Klepaski had gone behind Burnley’s back to approve the track.
Burnley fired Klepaski and Fink from the band almost immediately, leading to a lengthy courtroom battle. Burnley sued the duo for the exclusive rights to the Breaking Benjamin name, as well as $250,000 in damages.
Burnley would later win this court battle and solely retain the band’s name. He announced his victory on the band’s website, shallowbay.com, on April 19. Burnley says that Breaking Benjamin will continue.
“I am pleased to finally put this matter behind me and focus on the future for Breaking Benjamin. I wish to express my never-ending love and gratitude to the best fans in the world for their undying love and support. Words cannot express my love to you all! Thank you,” Burnley said via shallowbay.com.
On April 22, the only other remaining member of the band, drummer Chad Szeliga, announced that he had left Breaking Benjamin due to creative differences. If Burnley means to continue the band, he will need to assemble a completely new group of bandmates.
“I’m not sure how I feel about new members being added to the band, but it’s obviously a necessity. I’d be really happy to hear new music from them soon though,” said Brian Sheehan, a fourth semester Eurotech major.
“I’m very excited about Breaking Benjamin’s return. I’ve been listening to them since “Saturate,” their first album,” said Nick Cuff, an eighth semester communication disorders major. “I thought what happened to them was awful—it was essentially like they had broken up. Just knowing that they wouldn’t be putting out any new material for awhile was a disappointing thought. Now there’s legitimate hope that the band’s story won’t end here,” he said.