SPR: So man its been awhile, what have you been up to the past few years?
Ben Burnley: Well you know living life. We’re stoked to be back it’s not like this whole time we were writing, there are things that happen between things, just going with the flow living life, things started and happy to be here.
SPR: How has the rock scene changed? You guys were standouts and apart from everything that was going on and now there are tons of bands who stand out such as Islander, Nothing More, Starset, Red, and crossovers like Of Mice & Men, Motionless In White and A Day To Remember. How are you going to cut out that niche for you guys or does it matter at all?
BB: I think like those bands have their sound we have our sound too. Just from what I’ve heard somone will hear a Breaking Benjamin song and know it’s a Breaking Benjamin song. We contribute that to that I’ve been the primary song writer since it’s conception so nothing has changed and I’ll continue to do that. Im a fan of all those bands you mentioned and I’m stoked to be among them and thankful for the fans out there supporting us. We are ready to show our gratitude by hopping on our bus and playing shows for everyone.
SPR: What does it mean to see so many people still care about the band and the music, still supporting you guys and buying your music, what does that mean to you?
BB: Oh it’s awesome, like I said I’m nothing but grateful for it. I think its amazing fans are still connecting with the band and I’m doing what I can to give myself to whoever listens to the band and I’ll never stop doing that as long as I’m making music and as long as there are people wanting me to continue.
SPR: Dark Before Dawn has to be one of the most anticipated releases worldwide, what is this record about lyrically and do you feel pressure with this release?
BB: I dont feel any pressure because all I can do is the best I can do and Ive done my best to do that. Every album I give it the best I’ve got and this is not different. All the other stuff of concern that to me just shows how amazing Breaking Benjamin fans are across the world. The band and I are stoked to have it back and the other stuff you said goes back to the fans wanting us back into their lives and I’m doing the best I can to give them my best.
SPR: Why were Failure and Angels Fall the two singles that you decided to put out?
BB: Angels Falls isn’t a single yet, we didnt go to radio with it, we’re still on Failure. It was released for those who preordered the album on itunes. So if you preorder on itunes you get Failure and Angels Fall
(Ben comments on how someone is weed wacking at his house distracting him for a moment, SPR comments on how much traffic is around during that time)
SPR: Are there any suprises we may see that Breaking Benjamin has incorporated? For example Diary Of Jane as a breakdown in it which is the only song i believe that does.
BB: With every album I do there’s certainly some new ground I cover, with things sonically going on. With the new members we have I’m able to do more things vocally like at the end of Failure there’s a lot of layers of vocals going on and we can sing that live because we have two guys who can sing and the band has never had that before, when you listen to a lot of the other stuff like Diary of Jane there’s a lot of background vocals going on in that song and in tons of others. We could never do it justice live because I was the only one who could sing. Now with bringing new people on board I made it a point to have guys who were singers, not backup singers, in their old bands come on board to actually help carry the load. I don’t want someone who can sing good enough to do the background vocals I want an actual singer. Not only live can we do that we can on the album, along with structual things. I like to stay in my familiarities, I love bands that dont change. I love signature sounds of certain bands and if they change I wouldnt like it. Who wouldnt want 5 albums of Nevermind (Nirvana)
There isnt because they wanted to evolve, for me I would like 5 albums of nevermind. I dont want to reinvent the wheel with our band I like our songs and our sounds. I make our songs try to stand the test of time and I feel like I get the best results from that familiarity. I dont have too much interest in changing that.
SPR: Summer is coming up and you guys are road dogging it for these festivals, what are you looking forward to the most?
BB: They are all awesome, it’s the same mentality of who’s your favortie kid
they have their own identieis to them one isnt better than the others. I have a guitar player from Red (Jason) in the band and from Adelitas Way (Keith). These guys have done all these festivals before, it’s cool because we are back as BB and they have had those experiences in their own bands too. It feels like coming to see family, thats what BB is, we are fan oriented and people orientened. None of that too cool for school bullshit. We love what we do and we give it right back, we would be nothing without our fans. The only way we know how to do that is get on a bus and get out there.
SPR: We have a couple fun ones before we wrap it up so here we go! Growing up, what is your best and worst summer vacation?
BB: My family and I didnt go on many, we went to Florida a few times and got sunburnt, that was pretty awful, the best one was the same one because we had an amazing time!
SPR: What is the most awkward or memorable thing you have signed?
BB: I dont know, I think the weirdest thing in uniqueness not weirdness, I’ve never signed one since or before but it was like a metal gauntlet.
SPR: Oh wow!
BB: Yeah! We have fans God bless them go get our logo tattoo and comeback and have us sign it and get our signature tattooed on it too. That’s something amazing, probably the coolest thing. No awkwardness except for a guy who asked me to sign his chicks breasts right in front of him, that’s a little uncomfortable but hey if he’s ok with it you know, he asked!
SPR: Anything you wsnt to say to the fans reading this?
BB: The main thing I wanna let them know is we are greatful for the support. We cant wait to get out there and play for ya’ll!
This has been Southeast Pit Report talking to Ben Burnley of Breaking Benjamin