After several years of being on an “indefinite hiatus,” the rock band known as Breaking Benjamin has blasted back on to the music scene. Benjamin Burnley, lead singer and head of the group, has overcome illness and legal issues to put together a new lineup of talent and move the band forward.
With their new album, “Dark Before Dawn,” garnering major success since its debut in late June, Breaking Benjamin now turn their focus to the tour season, with Columbus as one of their first and most anticipated stops.
The Lantern: How has the tour season gone so far? What have been some of the highlights since you’ve come back on scene?
Benjamin Burnley: The fans have been just absolutely incredible and just amazing every step of the way. So we’re just really grateful to them and grateful to our media that have been supporting Breaking Benjamin for all these years. And we’re just out here trying to do our best to rock as hard as we can. And the reception has been really great. I guess we’re doing something right here!
We put a lot of work into the band. We want to give fans a sincere part of us and not let it be like, “Oh, you know, this is the show” and that’s it. We want to be able to play the songs for them as people, live, with absolutely no tracks. So we’re really proud of that. We want to give fans the “full on” experience.
TL: You guys are coming into your Ohio section of the tour season. Are you excited to be playing in Columbus? Do you have any special memories or experiences from past venues here?
BB: Oh we are super excited to be playing in Columbus. Columbus has always been a really strong rock town for us. Everyone has always been absolutely amazing, and we are just really stoked to get back there. We can’t wait!
TL: Now I know you guys were on hiatus for some time and you were running into some issues with illness and drama. How have you guys pulled together as a band and moved forward from that? Have there been any lasting struggles with that?
BB: There are always going to be people that are crummy, you know? But we don’t let it affect us. We just move on and do our thing. Hopefully people will move on and do their thing. I’m going to come out and I’m going to tell the truth about things. And people can tell their version all they want. And I’ll tell the truth. And there’s nothing in this world that is going to stop me from telling the truth. And if that bothers people, that’s on them.
I’m just really stoked to be out with who I’m out with. The band is better than it has ever been. And anyone who comes to see the band will see that there. And we’re just really stoked to have the support of the fans and be able to continue what we do. Because it’s in our blood and it’s what we love to do.
TL: And despite the issues, you guys have really blasted back, with “Dark Before Dawn” being one of your more successful releases to date. 140,000 pure album units. I mean, that’s incredible! What does that feel like? How are you guys reacting to that success?
BB: It feels incredible. I mean, we’re just humbled by it, really. We’re just floored that people are so amazing to us. I think it’s just a simple case that people really dig the music. And we love to make the music. And I love to write it! If you pour your heart 100% into something, I think people really attach to that.
TL: So do you guys have anything new in the works? Anything you can hint about or clue us into for the coming months?
BB: As far as singles are concerned, I’m not really sure what we are going to do. Now that the album is out, we’re really just going to be touring and supporting that. And we’re just really, really grateful to be able to tour and play for fans. So that’s where our focus is right now. To tour the whole world, really. To get out there and perform for people.
TL: So let’s talk about Monday’s show a bit. Do you guys have a song lineup that will be running mostly new material? Or will it be a cross between new material and some of the songs from the past?
BB: We do a little bit of everything. We try to keep a good balance. We try to do covers that we really like, stuff from every album, and try to keep it a well-rounded set. One that people seem to really like.
We’re always changing the set, trying to do a different set every few days. We’ll change it around and we’ll put something new in there. I mean, we don’t like to play the same set list for months and months. We like to change it up.