Breaking Benjamin has broken up as a result of a bitter feud
I live in Northeastern Pennsylvania (NEPA) and around these parts, bands don’t get any more popular than Breaking Benjamin. The band was formed in Wilkes-Barre (about 30 minutes from Scranton) and the people around these parts (myself included) love the group and its music. So when I learned that the band has seemingly broken up, I was more than a little upset. Breaking Benjamin was an amazing musical talent and the world of alt-rock has suffered a real loss with this news.
As sad as the news is, however, it’s not exactly unexpected. It’s no secret that the members of Breaking Benjamin were feuding, bitterly, and that lead singer Ben Burnley was suffering from all sorts of alcohol-related medical conditions. Things hit a breaking point a few months ago when Burnley shot off an email to two members of Breaking Benjamin, lead guitarist Aaron Fincke and bassist Mark Klepaski, informing them that he was kicking both out of the band. This, according to court papers filed in June, was a result of Fincke and Kelpaski negotiating a deal for a re-mixed version of the band’s song “Blow Me Away” to appear on a Breaking Benjamin greatest hits album. According to Ben Burnley, who claims exclusive control over all of the band’s music, the two did this without his permission and without informing him or the band’s management about the $100,000 deal.
For his part, Ben Burnley is a wreck. He hasn’t been able to perform a show since 2010, something he attributes to nerve damage and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. He says both of these conditions are a direct result of years of alcohol abuse. And while this is apparently the end of Breaking Benjamin, there may still be a glimmer of hope for a return (or sorts) in the future. Burnley has filed court papers asserting that he, and he alone, owns full rights to the name “Breaking Benjamin”. Assuming he’s able to get his medical issues under control, and after all the legal bullshit from this current band feud settles down, it’s possible that he may re-form the group and start cranking out some new music. Considering everything that’s going on, though, that’s a possibility that exists in the distant future, at best.
Breaking Benjamin formed in 2001 and from almost the very start, the band had won over a cult-following of loyal fans. For the past ten years, the band represented the musical heart of the NEPA region and was able to fill stadiums each time they returned to the area to play shows. As I sit here writing this, I’m listening to their Dear Agony album. So long, Breaking Benjamin. Thanks for the decade of music and best of luck with everything. You will be missed.
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