Before doing an interview with someone you have no clue how it will go. But, you do have a choice: ask the same mundane questions others have asked or get your facts, make it your own, and just have fun with it. That is how sitting down to talk with Breaking Benjamin was, serious when needed and funny as hell when not. Have fun with this, I sure did.
Shockwave Magazine: Hey, this is Tiffany from Shockwave Magazine. I have Breaking Benjamin with me here. Everybody introduce yourselves please?
Benjamin Burnley: Hi! I’m Ben.
Jasen Rauch: I’m Jason.
Aaron Bruch: I’m Aaron.
Keith Wallen: I’m Keith.
Today is the first day of this tour and I noticed all the dates are East coast.
Ben: It’s on the way to the ShipRocked Tour.
Awe, we aren’t supposed to talk about that yet.
Ben: But, that’s what we’re here for.
Is that why?
My boss wanted me to ask that question, so I might as well get to that.
Ben: Well, it worked its way in.
Aaron: We’re premature.
Ben: I wouldn’t say premature. Where’s the rule book? Let me see it.
There is none, you make your own.
Keith: What was the question?
Aaron: We’ve got a guy in the band who doesn’t fly. So, we take the bus down. If we are gonna have a bus, we might as well play some shows on the way, and on the way home.
Ben: And we missed everybody. We missed our fans.
This will be your second time on the boat, because you went to London?
Ben: Actually, third time.
Third? Where did you go the second time?
Ben: We did Axes & Anchors. It’s the fourth, really, because I took a boat and I took a boat home.
Aaron: World traveler over here.
Fourth time, so you’re like a pro now. You’ve conquered that shit now.
Ben: I’m kind of over it [laughing]. Yeah, it’s going to be fun.
There was a comment you made that you were going to record your next album in London?
Are you sticking to that?
Ben: Probably not.
You were just so in awe at that moment, you were like, “Let’s just do it?”
Ben: I would do something like that there. I love it in Europe, I love London. So, it’s not out of the realm of possibility for the future, but I think this album, because of time issues, we’ll probably do it in the states just so we can get it done sooner.
That makes sense. Are you working on that now?
Ben: Yeah, it’s done.
Ben: No, but we’re working on it. We’re really, really, stoked about it. Except Keith doesn’t really care for it.
Ben: It sucks Keith couldn’t show up for the interview.
Ben [to Keith]: We’re waiting for Shaun to tell us what to do.
Is he joking?
Keith: Yeah, I’m Keith, I love the new album. I’m pumped.
If you were to sum up the Dark Before Dawn album. What would be the one song that stands out to you? Whether you’re thinking about it emotionally or lyrically, what would be the one song that would come to your mind?
Ben: I did most of them. Jasen wrote the intro and outro and those are actually my favorite tracks.
[To Jasen] He’s putting it on you.
Ben: No, there’s a few songs on there that we all have a little something with. “Never Again” is actually pretty cool because we were all together for that song. We did it together and everybody contributed to it. So, that song is pretty cool in that aspect. I think that’s the only song on the album everyone kind of did something with. There’s other ones, riffs and little pieces here and there, but I had about 95% done before the guys came on board and they filled in what needed to be filled in. But the next one is from the ground up everyone, so it’s pretty cool.
I read somewhere that when you are writing a song, you say, “If you can do it with just a guitar and it sounds great acoustically, then you know it’s a good song.” Would you think about doing a whole acoustic album like Dark Before Dawn? Because that would be awesome.
Ben: Yeah, we actually have something really, really, cool like that coming out, hopefully, after this album that I can’t really talk about it. It’s along those lines, but not exactly that.
All of you guys can sing?
Ben: Just Aaron and Keith.
Are you guys going to have any parts coming up in the new album?
Keith: I’ll try my best.
Ben: They all sing background vocals in what we have now and they even sing some of the main lines in some songs; because they’re very talented, and they need to, they are singers. Yeah, I don’t want to be up there making it the Ben show. If there’s other talent there, then it needs to be seen. On the next album, I think they will be doing some main stuff on there too. Whether they like it or not. I mean, they basically do what they’re told.
Aaron: [Impersonating Ben] You will do it now. You will sing or you will not eat.
Ben: I didn’t say do your best, I told you to do it right.
Keith: But Ben, I’m hungry, I haven’t eaten.
Ben [to Keith]: Then do it right and you will eat.
You’re throwing me off track here.
Aaron: We’re sorry. We apologize. This is why they don’t let us all interview together. We convolute it.
Ben: I don’t even know what that word means, but I’m gonna rock with it.
Was that the big difference between the lineup changes from then to now, everybody contributes, is that what made it better?
Ben: Yeah, well before there wasn’t really anybody that was like a singer. I was the only singer. There really wasn’t any background vocals and what ones were there, they just weren’t the same kind of tambour.
Aaron: Timber, temper, tambour.
I don’t even know what that is.
Ben: What’s that other stupid ass word? Cadence.
I hate that word too.
Ben: But, it’s a beautiful name. Anyway, that’s a major difference, adding more singers, we’re able to do the songs we do on the album. They’re really talented, they are great front-men. Keith used to be the front man for a band called Copper, and they are very, very cool.
Now, I’m gonna have to look it up, because he told me. He snitched on you.
Ben: He was doing the whole thing, like he was doing it to it. I have pictures. Yeah, he pretty much was the lead looker.
What is the lead looker?
Ben: He was the most beautiful one.
Oh, one of those.
Ben [showing Aaron’s phone]: Here is Keith in his Copper days.
Keith: Awe, you’re a fucker. You fucker.
Aaron [to Keith]: You looks great.
[To Keith]:Your hair looks better now.
Keith: Are we friends? I’m deleting that shit off the internet.
Aaron: It’s on my phone, not on the internet.
Ben: Keith is like fine wine, he gets better with age. Aaron was the singer of a lot of local bands that were very big in that area. You know people in those situations, they have other jobs and they weren’t really dedicated enough.
Where did you find everybody? Is everybody from P.A.? I know you’re from Jersey, right?
Aaron: [Holds his phone up showing me a picture] “Look at that.”
What? Who is that?
Ben: That’s our drummer.
Aaron: Look at him shine. She’s like, “Ooh, send me that.”
[Everyone is laughing and Jasen throws grapes at Aaron’s head from the fruit tray on the table].
I’m going to screenshot that. It’s going to be my screensaver.
Ben: I’ve known them for a really long time. I met Keith when we toured with Adelita’s Way. Yeah, Keith used to be in that band. I know Jasen because we toured a lot with Red. He was the main guy, the main writer.
Jasen: The mastermind.
Ben: And Shaun was a friend of a friend that Aaron and I sort of hunted down.
Aaron: Let’s have a look at him.
Ben: We saw him and were like, “He’s too pretty to be good.” Then, he sang something and he was pretty and good. So, were like, “This is a no brainer.”
Jasen: He was pretty good.
Ben: Yeah, it’s mainly for the looks.
After Shiprocked and this tour, what’s next?
Ben: Then we’re going to work on that album I was telling you about.
Yeah, do you have a date set for that?
Ben: We have to deliver it by May.
That’s around my birthday.
Ben: That’s just when it has to be done by.
Aaron: Once the label has it, then they decide.
Ben: They’ll figure it out.
Sweet. Any plugs you want to give?
Ben: What kind of plugs?
Anyone that doesn’t know Breaking Benjamin, if they live under a rock, where they can find you?
Ben: That’s a lot of people. Let’s make them know. Will you tell them for me?
I can tell them when I write my review where to go to find you and your music.
Ben: Just be nice.
I’m always nice in my reviews and how could it not be nice, you’re Breaking Benjamin.
These guys have gone from small town to stadium and from underground to mainstream. Everyone who is anyone knows BB. If you don’t, please educate yourself with one of the links below. Enjoy my friends.
Find Breaking Benjamin’s latest album and stay informed on everything that’s happening in their lives (well, as much as they allow).
Check out their website here- http://www.breakingbenjamin.com/
Youtube-Dark Before Dawn Full Album Stream– Please still go buy the cd and support the band.