Hey Ben, How Have you been?
I’m good man, Thanks for asking.
So Lets start by chatting about the new album titled Dark Before Dawn coming out on June 23rd, 2015 which is less then 2 months away. What is the meaning behind this album title, Dark Before Dawn?
Well, It’s the overall theme of things having to get worse before they get better and then on the album there is an intro and an outro. The intro is called Dark and the outro is Dawn so obviously its actually Dark Before Dawn.
Thats a great explanation, What inspired the albums artwork which appears to be an ultrasound within a setting/rising sun?
Yea, well Its my sons ultrasound in there. So it cannot get anymore uplifting then that. So it just kind of felt right, He’s now a big part of my life obviously. He influences me just as much as joy influences me or just as much as tragedy or bad things. All of it is influential in the music if it is a part of my life.
What can fans expect from this new album, Dark Before Dawn? (Preorder The Album)
Well I think that with the release of “Failure”, and there is another song called “Angels Fall” that is available now for anyone who preorders the album on iTunes and I think listening to those songs, Fans are assured now that Breaking Benjamin’s sound really hasn’t changed and that is because I’ve always been the primary writer of the band and so I mean my writing process for all of my albums really hasn’t changed except for maturing and refinding it but for the actual songs themselves sound like Breaking Benjamin songs and I think that is what fans what and that is what I want I’m not interested the wheel, I just want to make good music that’ll stand the test of time and I do my best to do that and hopefully fans will enjoy it!
We have heard the two newest songs “Failure” & “Angels Fall” and they are still Breaking Benjamin’s rather impressive unique sound. Lets talk about How long it has taken Breaking Benjamin to Write, Record, and Produce this new album, Dark Before Dawn? Did you work with any producers, If so who?
Thank you for that I appreciate it, This one I produced myself and I really did have a big hand in producing other albums of mine, I just really didn’t get credited for it. It’s a little disappointing but it is what it is and it’s apart of the music industry that unfortunately you get sort of shoved into, if you’re not careful. There is a lot of things that aren’t ideal in the music industry and if you’re not careful you will get taken advantage of in that aspect. In the past, I would record a song in its entirety and the finished product would be about 98-100% of what my pre-recorded thing was. So, there really was no difference between the two except for audio quality. Like we recorded it with better Microphones and things like that. So that to me doesn’t really fall under the category of being produced. It is just rerecorded with better mic’s but I mean I kind of didn’t get credited for producing it but to me I would say that I did. It wasn’t with everything it was just with certain things, There is definitely somethings that producers have brought to the table in the past but there is definitely somethings that I have produced myself and didn’t get credit for as well. So I finally just kind of chose to not partake in any of the unsavory things that I have experienced in the past and I just recorded the album on my own, Produced it myself and Recorded it myself and the process for me on my end was pretty much the same because I did the same work that I did on any other Breaking Benjamin songs and any other Breaking Benjamin albums. I just did it and there was nobody around to kind of try to get there hands into it. So we turned it in and Failure and Angels Fall are just like a small glimpse of a better album and its being received really well and so I am pleased with how the process of it was and pleased with the album which is the most important. I’m really looking forward to producing other things too because I have my own studio now so I am really looking forward to kind of doing the same thing with my own band with other bands and all of my stuff in the future too. Well it is kind of hard to say how long it has taken to create it as I kind of relaxed doing it, I didn’t really bare down too hard and I would just work on it here and there but If I had to put a time together I would say maybe like 4 months from beginning to end and the full recording was probably 2 months and then 2 months of what we call post-production which is like the mixing and the adding all of the little effects and stuff like that.
Wow that is a quite impressive time frame to complete an entire album, I really look forward to its release on June 23rd, 2015! This being the first studio recorded album with the new band lineup (Shaun Foist on Drums, Aaron Bruch on Bass, Jasen Rauch on Lead Guitar & Keith Wallen on Guitars) How do you feel this album will differ from previous releases?
Well again I have been the primary writer for the band, So really there isn’t much difference with the exception of our live set. Live it is different but as far as our studio time is concerned, I’ve always had a big hand in doing a lot of the parts or editing a lot of the parts to where they needed to be and the good thing is about this time around and I guess that’s different is that I didn’t really have to edit much. Everybody in the band was on the same page and they knew and did what was best for each song instead of just laying down ideas that I’d have to chop up and try to make work. Also, I have other guys in the band now that are accomplished like singers, They are really good singers in their own bands at one point in time. Keith Wallen was the singer in a band called Copper and backing vocals in Adelita’s Way, Aaron Bruch who is our bass player and backing vocalist, He is also the singer in a local band. So now like on “Failure” & “Angels Fall” and everything else to be released. I am not doing my own background vocals so they are now doing the backing vocals. On every other Breaking Benjamin album, I was the only singer in the band. So I had to do my own background vocals to my own like voice. You pre-record your voice then you go over and sing over your own voice again. I would do my own backing vocals on the other albums just because there was literally no one else that could do it. Now I have those other singers so all the backing vocals you’ll hear are them singing. They did great, They sound like they need to, I guess they kind of have to sound like me to do it but they also do an amazing job live at it as well. It is really cool to have other singers in the band finally. Other guys that know how hard it is to sing and also more importantly the music itself sounds better. You know we have a lot of background vocals not only on this album but on all of Breaking Benjamin albums. Every Breaking Benjamin album has a lot of backing vocals. We were never really able to imitate them live and now we really are and it just really brings the songs to life.
Yea, I agree the music is great live we actually seen you guys live a few times since the return of Breaking Benjamin. Well, Why did Breaking Benjamin decide to use “Failure” & “Angels Fall” as the two debut songs off this new album, Dark Before Dawn? Do you feel these songs are the best showcases for the album? (First Sold Out Return Show Photos – 09/19/2014)
Well I think that we go through and listen to the entire album, then we just try to decide what is the best to come out first with and those were the two. These would be the ones to sort of represent the band the best because there is heavier stuff on the album. We listen to the fans and I did put some pretty hefty things on there and there is also lighter songs on there too. Its like you cant really please everybody but I do try to my best to. The Breaking Benjamin fans out there that like a lot of the lighter side of Breaking Benjamin, Then there is Breaking Benjamin fans out there that like the heavier stuff from Breaking Benjamin. So there is those two things that are on the album and also songs that just go right up the middle. So these two songs we chose are right up the middle, they’re heavy enough to please the heavier fans but light enough to please the lighter fans and Radio sort of likes the middle grounds too. There is other songs on the new album that are to the extreme and those two are kind of like nicely set in the middle.
Yes, They’re both great songs so I would say you did a great job picking the two to showcase the album. Fans would like to know if this is the farewell album of Breaking Benjamin or can we expect more albums in the future after this release of Dark Before Dawn?
No for the contrary, This the just the start of a new beginning for Breaking Benjamin. We are really looking forward to just staying out there as long as fans want us to be and were back and we have no plans as of yet to go anywhere anytime soon and as far as I know I will just keep creating albums until I am dead.
That is great to hear. If you had to choose one song off Dark Before Dawn, What song would you say holds the most meaning to you?
Hmm.. They all have there own importance to me, So it’s hard to say which one holds the most importance. It’s very hard to choose which importance is more important. They all have their own vibes to me and they all have their own purpose to me. So I can’t really prioritize the purpose. To me they are like people, they all have their own identity and their own life to them and I wouldn’t be able to prioritize a person over another person as far as their importance in the world so I can’t do the same thing for the songs.
Yea I understand, This next questions seems very cliche but do you feel that this album, Dark Before Dawn is going to be the BEST Breaking Benjamin Record to date?
Well, I think that every time I make an album that is the goal. That is really the only thing I can really answer to and is that whether it is or not, I definitely don’t try to not best myself, I try to best the last album that I did, I try to beat the last album that I did. So, It is always the goal to try to outdo yourself. It is always my goal to try and outdo myself. I hope that it is and all I can do and say is that I can only try to do the best that I possibly can in this world and I did the best that I could on this album and I wouldn’t put it out if I wasn’t pleased with it but as far as it being the best It is the best to me because of all the love and the care that went into it. I wont be able to really speak for anybody else and that is really what the end determining factor is. Really at the end of the day it doesn’t really matter what I think about it, It’s what the fans think about it. All I can say is that I have done the absolute best to bring fans what they want.
As we mentioned in a previous interview with you, There is a petition out to get Breaking Benjamin to tour worldwide which is currently at 5,006 and counting signatures. How many signatures do you need before bringing this up to your record label or have you already mentioned it to them? (SIGN IT HERE)
Oh I have been mentioning it for years to all of the powers. The same sort of approach with the album I guess I will just take with that. I will just go and wont care what anybody says. So we have plans to go we just need to launch the album and make it a success here in the United States and as soon as that happens or hopefully that will happen. Then I absolutely plan to get on a boat and head overseas. Before it was just trying to get the support from all of the powers that be and I kind of just find the way to really do things is to just say F*** it to everybody and do what you want to do and I will just go on my own, well Ill bring the band. I just won’t ask ill just go and just do it. So we already got it in the back of our minds that we are going to be hitching a boat and heading overseas.
That is Great news for the fans overseas, So recently on Facebook you started a hashtag #itsOKtoFAIL where fans are asked share their stories of how a failure has led to success or positively shaped their life using the hashtag. What inspired you to began this?
Well I think that it kind of just a call to the song “Failure”, It’s one the many messages that the song portrays and it just seems very fitting for us to do that. In the song its saying I’m tired of this and I’m tired of that and at the end of the song your basically bidding farewell to failure and saying so long to failure. It follows the tracks of the songs meaning but you know my song meanings are never just transparent or one specific meaning. So it follows on the strongest point of the song. So it made sense for us to put it out there and get the fans feedback.
Thats awesome, Two final questions for you before we end this interview. How has fatherhood hindered or changed your life as a musician?
Well it definitely hasn’t hindered anything, It has just definitely made my life more worth living and it gives me more purpose beyond anything I thought I would have purpose to do in this world and its just the greatest thing that has honestly ever happened to me in my life.
What can we expect from Breaking Benjamin after the release of your new album other then the obvious of multiple summer festivals your on the lineup for like the MMRBQ, Rockville, Rock On The Range, etc.?
Yea, I mean that is pretty much just the gist of it as a band we just go release an album and go out and play it for our fans. It’s is no secret Breaking Benjamin is a fan driven entity. We are not like too commercial so we are apart from our fans. I feel like our fans drive us and they’re the whole reason we do what we do. So the best way to kind of give back and acknowledge fans is to go out on our bus and perform for them and literally play songs for them and literally be there for them. So that is what we are going to be spending our time doing from this point forward.
Okay, Is there anything you wish to say to your current or future fans?
Thank you all for all of your love and support, We are nothing but grateful for all the support that we are getting and its really encouraging us to go out and be there for each and every one of you. Just thank you so much from the bottom of our hearts we are just so absolutely grateful.
Well, Thank you so much for taking the time to sit down with us and have an interview. We really do appreciate it. Thank you man, It was my pleasure. Thank you for having me!
Album Preorders: http://smarturl.it/bba1
Tour Dates & Info: https://www.BreakingBenjamin.com
Breaking Benjamin Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BreakingBenjamin
Twitter: @BreakingBenj & Instagram: @BenjaminBurnleyBB
Record Label: www.HollywoodRecords.com