Breaking Benjamin comes to Rupp with Three Days Grace


Lead singer Benjamin Burnley of Breaking Benjamin performs at Rupp Arena on Monday night, Feb. 1, 2010. Photo by Scott Hannigan

Getting over the rock star lifestyle can be just as rewarding as having achieved that lifestyle in the first place. Just ask Breaking Benjamin front-man Benjamin Burnley.

Since their inception in 1998, the post-grunge act has seen evolving lineups and constant tours that correlated with its growing success. Burnley said the lifestyle definitely began to take a toll on him, and ultimately led him to a realization that he needed to sober up.

Having been sober for the last three years, Burnley said sobriety led to clarity on the band’s latest album, “Dear Agony.”

“Lyrically this album is more thought out. I would let things slide when I was drunk,” Burnley said. “None of that is happening here. In the past I would get a song most of the way done and just throw something in to finish it off. It’s a lot more clear here.”

With a sober frontman, Breaking Benjamin kicked off its latest tour in January, hitting the road with Three Days Grace and Flyleaf.  Breaking Benjamin is no stranger to Three Days Grace nor Kentucky as Burnley’s girlfriend was raised in Florence.

“We hit up the Cincinnati and Kentucky areas pretty often,” Burnley said. “As far as Three Days Grace, we’ve done a lot of touring with them so it’s pretty cool because we are really familiar with one another. We’re really comfortable and have a mutual respect for each other.”

When it comes to the routine for touring, Burnley said he is the kind of person that thrives on being in a specific mindset. While on the road he doesn’t work on new material so he can instead focus on touring. He said singing can be extremely demanding, especially with the intense vocal style of Breaking Benjamin.

“A lot of people don’t understand that singing is hard enough on its own,” Burnley said. “ I drink a lot of herbal stuff with honey and use a throat spray. Like any other muscle, you just have to warm your throat up each time before you use it.”

Being sober on the road has been a new experience for Brunley, who said he feels like his life is beginning to shift. He sees the band as more of a business than a lifestyle at this stage in his career.

“Any time you’re doing something bigger than yourself, it’s really cool, but you’re forced to (grow up quick),” Burnley said. “I’m really glad I got to live that ‘rock star’ lifestyle, but I’m even more glad to be done living that way.”