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Breaking Benjamin is an American alternative metal, post-grunge, and commercial rock band founded by Benjamin Burnley. The band currently only consists of its founder who acts as the rhythm guitarist and primary songwriter. The band has released four studio albums including Saturate in 2002, We Are Not Alone in 2004, Phobia in 2006, and Dear Agony in 2009, selling over five million albums in the United States alone.[1] They released a greatest hits album in 2011 titled Shallow Bay: The Best of Breaking Benjamin.

The band has been on hiatus since 2010 due to Burnley's recurring illnesses and inability to tour. Further complications arose in 2011 after the release of the greatest hits album when guitarist Aaron Fink and bassist Mark Klepaski were fired from the band. In April 2013 Burnley announced he would press forward with the band name in the future without any of the other original members, and drummer Chad Szeliga announced his departure from the band.

HistoryEdit

Formation (1998–2001)Edit

In 1998, Burnley, guitarist Aaron Fink, Nick Hoover, and Christ Lightcap formed a band named "Breaking Benjamin". Later, Burnley moved to California to experiment musically where he wrote the song "Shallow Bay". When he moved back to Pennsylvania, he started a band called "Plan 9", playing guitar and singing, alongside drummer Jeremy Hummel, bassist Andy Seal (who was subsequently replaced by Jason Davoli in 2000), and Jonathan Price in 2001. Plan 9 occasionally opened for the band Lifer at home shows. During one show, Burnley said, "Thank you, we are Breaking Benjamin", thus reclaiming the former name of "Breaking Benjamin".

Saturate (2002–2003)Edit

After a successful independently released self-titled EP (which sold all 2,000 printed copies), Breaking Benjamin signed with Hollywood Records in early 2002. They then released their full-length major-label debut, Saturate, in August 27, 2002. It peaked at number two on the Billboard Top Heatseekers Chart, and at number 136 on the Billboard Top 200.

Its first single, "Polyamorous", received moderate radio play but failed to reach mainstream audiences. Three versions of a video for "Polyamorous" were released—one purely live-action footage, one with footage of the video game Run Like Hell, and one with scenes of people committing flirtatious acts with the band intermittently appearing while playing their respective instruments. This song was featured in the games WWE SmackDown! vs. Raw and WWE Day of Reckoning.

The second single was "Skin", which fared worse than "Polyamorous". Burnley has stated his disdain for the song during performances, and encourages the crowd to sing while the band plays. The disdain is because Hollywood Records chose it as the main single instead of the band's choice, "Medicate".

We Are Not Alone (2004–2005)Edit

Breaking Benjamin released their second album, We Are Not Alone, on June 29, 2004. It featured the lead single "So Cold", which reached #2 on the United States Billboard Mainstream Rock chart. Two music videos were made for "So Cold", one a promotional video for the movie Hellboy. "So Cold" spent 37 weeks in the Top 20 of the Billboard charts.

Other singles from the album were "Sooner or Later" and a re-recorded, full band version of "Rain" (only on later pressings of the album). "Sooner or Later" received significant radio play, reaching #2 on the Mainstream Rock Charts. A music video for the song was released. The song was performed live on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno".

The songs "Rain", "Forget It" and "Follow" were co-written by The Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan and Burnley over six days in December 2003. Burnley stated he was initially nervous about working with Corgan, but later felt comfortable. He called the experience one of the highlights of his career.

Jeremy Hummel temporarily left the band in August 2004 to spend time with his newborn child, and was replaced by Kevin Soffera, who played with the band on Late Night with Conan O'Brien and The Carson Daly Show. He performed the songs "Away" and "Breakdown" on the So Cold EP. Hummel returned to the band in September 2004 and was later fired. On September 28, 2005, Hummel filed a federal lawsuit against Breaking Benjamin and its management, claiming he was owed money for songs he helped write. The suit sought over $8 million in damages. Hummel did not receive any money for We Are Not Alone, which he co-authored. The band took Ben "B.C." Vaught as its new drummer, until early 2005, when he was replaced by Chad Szeliga.

The song "Firefly" was featured in the WWE SmackDown! vs. Raw video game, released November 2004.

The song "Blow Me Away" was written for and featured in the game Halo 2, released in November 2004. It was later on Halo 2 Original Soundtrack Volume 1, and on the So Cold EP.

We Are Not Alone went platinum in mid-2005. A "platinum edition" of We Are Not Alone was then released, including the full-band version of "Rain".

Phobia (2006-2009)Edit

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Dear Agony (2009-2010Edit

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Hiatus, greatest hits album and legal issues (2010–2013)Edit

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Return (2013-present)Edit

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ReferencesEdit

  1. , Ultimate-guitar.com. "Breaking Benjamin Singer Fires Band Over Email | News @" (). Retrieved 2011-10-18
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