In 1998, Benjamin Burnley, along with Aaron Fink, Nick Hoover and Chris Lightcap, started a band named Breaking Benjamin. Burnley wanted to try new material, so he travelled to California. He later moved back to Pennsylvania and started another band, called Plan 9, with Jeremy Hummel, a drummer. Jason Davoli joined later and played bass. Plan 9 would sometimes open shows for Lifer. After opening one show, Burnley said, "Thank you, we're Breaking Benjamin.", reclaiming his previous band's name.
Breaking Benjamin EP and SaturateEdit
Breaking Benjamin began working on material a self-titled EP. It was released in 2001 and sold in and around Wilkes-Barre. All 2,000 copies that were made were sold. Afterwards, Breaking Benjamin was signed to Hollywood Records. They worked on material for their first full-length album, Saturate, released on August 27, 2002. The name was taken from a lyric in the first song, "Wish I May". Saturate peaked at 2 on the Top Heatseekers chart and 136 on the Billboard 200. The first single "Polyamorous" peaked at 31 and 19 on the Alternative Songs and Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks, respectively. For the second single, the band wanted the second track, "Medicate", to be released, but Hollywood Records wanted "Skin" to be released. Eventually, the band gave in, and "Skin" was released as the second single off the album. Early pressings of Saturate have a bonus song, called "Forever". Later pressings do not remove the song, but embed it with the previous song, "Shallow Bay". The song "Wish I May" was played in the credits of the movie Wrong Turn.
So Cold EP and We Are Not AloneEdit
The band released the So Cold EP on November 23, 2004. It contained 5 tracks, 3 of which are recorded live: "So Cold (Live acoustic)", "Away", and "Breakdown". The remaining two, "Blow Me Away" and "Lady Bug" were studio recorded.
Breaking Benjamin then released their second studio album, We Are Not Alone, on June 29, 2004. The first single, "So Cold", reached 2 on the US Billboard Mainstream Rock Chart. As of February 3, 2005, "So Cold" stayed in the top 20 in the Billboard charts for 37 weeks. Two music videos were released for "So Cold". One was used to promote the movie Hellboy, the other was an official music video. The second single, "Sooner or Later", reached 2 on the Mainstream Rock Charts. The third single, "Rain", was re-recorded on later version of the album. The single was released as "Rain (2005 Version)". The three tracks "Rain", "Forget It", and "Follow" were co-written by Billy Corgan, guitar and vocalist of The Smashing Pumpkins. Burnley and Corgan worked for six days, and Burnley stated that it was a highlight of his career.
Jeremy Hummel was unable to play from August - September of 2004, due to the birth of his child. He was granted leave of absence and the band replaced him with Kevin Soffera. He appears on recordings of the band's live performances on The Conan O'Brien Show and The Carson Daily Show. Soffera also appears on the So Cold EP in the songs "Away" and "Breakdown". Hummel returned in September 2004 and was fired. He filed a lawsuit in 2005, claiming that he was not paid for the songs he wrote. In 2006, an article was released, stating that Hummel was not paid for his co-authoring of We Are Not Alone. The band then hired Ben Vaught as drummer. He was later replaced by Chad Szeliga, the current drummer. The album reached platinum status in mid-2005.
The single "Blow Me Away" was in the game Halo 2 and was featured on Volume 1 of the game's soundtrack.
Breaking Benjamin released their third studio album, Phobia, on August 8, 2006. The first single, "The Diary of Jane", reached 4 on the US Modern Rock Charts. On the bonus edition of the album, an acoustic version of the song appears as the last track. "The Diary of Jane" was also used in NASCAR '07. The second single, "Breath", was the band's first number 1 hit on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. Breath was performed live twice, once on June 29, 2007, on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and again on July 6, 2007, on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.
On February 11, 2007, an hour-long show, featuring Breaking Benjamin's performance at Stabler Arena in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, was released by HDNet. This was featured on the rerelease of Phobia, released after the band completed a tour with Three Days Grace. The rerelease reached 38 on the Billboard 100.
On October 23, 2007, a set called "Nightmares" was released on iTunes. It contained all of Breaking Benjamin's music videos up to that point. On May 21, 2009, the album reached platinum status, selling over 1 million units in the US alone.
Dear Agony, the band's fourth and final studio album, was released on September 29, 2009. Dear Agony was confirmed by Burnley to be the first Breaking Benjamin album he has written while not under the influence of alcohol. It was also the last album to feature Aaron Fink and Mark Klepaski. The first single, "I Will Not Bow", was originally going to be released on the band's MySpace page at midnight on August 12, 2009, the day before it was going to be played on St. Louis radio station 105.7 The Point. However, it was leaked and played by Wilkes-Barre radio station 97.9X. The single was then added to Breaking Benjamin's MySpace page at 8 P.M. EST on August 11, 2009. "I Will Not Bow" become one of the top ten selling songs on iTunes.
The guitarist for the band Red, Jasen Rauch, co-wrote four songs from Dear Agony: "I Will Not Bow", "Hopeless", "Lights Out", and "Without You".
Breaking Benjamin co-headlined a January-February 2009 tour with Flyleaf and Three Days Grace.
"Give Me A Sign" was released as the second single on January 5, 2010. The music video was released on Breakin Benjamin's MySpace page on March 10, 2010, which was Ben Burnley's 32nd birthday. The third single, "Lights Out", was released on June 15, 2010.
The album is certified gold status by the RIAA, as of February 16, 2010.
Shallow Bay: The Best of Breaking Benjamin and HiatusEdit
In the summer of 2010, Breaking Benjamin went on hiatus, due to Burnley's recurring illnesses and inability to tour with the band. Fink and Klepaski rejoined Lifer and Szeliga started touring with his band OurAfter.
A remix of "Blow Me Away", featuring Valora, was released on June 7, 2011. The music video was released on August 24, 2011.
The tracklist for the greatest hits album, Shallow Bay, was released on June 30, 2011. The album was released on August 16, 2011. It was available as both a normal disc and a deluxe two disc set. Burnley strongly opposed the releasing of the album, saying that the music was remixed without his consent.
In May of 2011, Burnley fired Aaron Fink and Mark Klepaski, sparking a dispute over the remix of "Blow Me Away". The issue was taken to court in June. Bunrley said that Fink and Klepaski made decisions regarding the band without his consent. Burnley wants $250,000 and rights to name "Breaking Benjamin". He plans to continue the band's work after the lawsuit is over.
Benjamin Burnley - lead vocals, rythym guitar
Chad Szeliga - drums, percussion
Aaron Fink - lead guitar (1998, 2001 - 2011)
Mark Klepaski - bass guitar (2001- 2011)
Chris Lightcap - drums, percussion (1998 - 1999)
Nick Hoover - bass guitar (1998 - 1999)
Jason Davoli - guitar (1998 - 1999)
Jonathan Price - bass guitar, backing vocals (1999 - 2001)
Jeremy Hummel - drums, percussion (2001 - 2004)