Breaking Benjamin is set to released their highly anticipated, sixth studio album, Ember on Today, Friday, April 13th, 2018 featuring singles “Red Cold River,” “Feed The Wolf,” and “Blood.” We had the chance to sit down and discuss the new forthcoming album with Breaking Benjamin frontman Benjamin Burnley on the eve of their album release and we discussed the new album Ember, touring with Avenged Sevenfold, The 10th year anniversary of their fourth studio album Dear Agony, and their 20th year anniversary as a band, the inspiration behind the “Torn In Two” music video, and Ben’s coffee preference.
Read our entire interview with Burnley below and get excited for the released of Ember in April!
We recently saw you guys performing on the road with Avenged Sevenfold and Bullet For My Valentine, where you actually revealed your new album art in the backdrop which was awesome, you guys put on an amazing show. how did that tour go for you guys and what was the biggest highlight of the tour?
I wouldn’t really say there was just one highlight, the whole thing was just really great. It was one of the best tours I have ever done, it is definitley up there with some of the best tours that I have ever done. We all just had a really good time, everyone was just great to one another and that is all we really want when we tour is to have everyone be cool and we all in it for the same reasons, Everything was fair and equal and that tour was all of that.
You’re new album Ember comes out tomorrow (Friday, April 13). What inspired the name of this album?
You know, an Ember could be the end of something but it could also be the start of it too. We like to keep everything sort of vague and keep it open to interpretation and stuff. I also mention the word Ember in a song, and it just kind of took on a meaning of its own when we got it by itself.
The album artwork for Ember is very unique, What inspired the album art and fans have been wondering who’s eye is that within the album art?
It kind of represents life in a way, and as far as who’s eye it is, it is just an eye that was available to use, I mean somebody’s eye is just somebody’s eye. You can’t really see the actually eye anymore as we altered it and stuff but it doesn’t really matter who’s eye it is but with our artwork and with our songs, we are the kind of band where we really like to leave those type of things open to interpretation. It is kind of the fun of it.
What was the writing, recording, and production process like on Ember? Did it differ from your previous release of Dark Before Dawn?
No the process itself was no different but the writing aspect was very different as the rest of the band have written a lot more on Ember. They actually wrote a lot of it. Most or half of the record, actually maybe around half was written by the band and I added my touches to it.
Out of the 12 songs on the new record, what song would you say is the most meaningful to you lyrically and what song would you say is the darkest song on the record?
Again, my interpretation of dark is different then somebody else’s, as far as lyrics are concerned. They are all the same to me as I put the same effort into every single one of them, so there is none that are more meaningful then others.
Is there a standout track on this new record for you?
No, like I said man I put 100% into everything and I have to enjoy everything equally to even have it be on the album to begin with. They are all on the same sort of edge for me.
With Ember, Fans wanted to know if the album tells a story throughout all 12 of the tracks on the album, or is this album just individual songs done with a general concept?
They are all individually written by different people, so there isn’t really commonality. We don’t really do concepts intentionally, we like to just have that happen naturally. Something like that, when you put the songs together and they just blend and mix and they do tell a story as a whole. That usually always happens naturally, which is really cool cause if you have to try to do something like that you’re kind of forcing it, I think.
You have already released 5 promotional songs prior to Ember‘s release, including the lead single “Red Cold River” (Jan 5th), and “Feed the Wolf” (Jan 26th), “Blood” (Feb 22nd), “Psycho” (March 24th), and “Save Yourself” (April 6th). What was the reasoning for releasing so many songs prior to the release of the album and do you feel these 5 songs best showcase the album?
No they are just songs that are just basically, you buy the album and you get these songs. It is as simple as that, I don’t really want to put anymore into it then what it is. That is just simply what it is.
On the topic of songs being released prior to the album, you also had your track “Torn In Two” featured recently on NHL’s Season Recap. How does it feel to have recognition from the NHL and how did that opportunity come about?
I think it is a business thing, I really don’t get concerned with anything like that. I think that it is really cool and we are grateful for the opportunity with it but as far as anything like that goes, like anything like that goes, I think that is more of like a franchise would be interested in it and they’ll listen to it and be like man that is perfect for this and were just like cool lets do it.
In 2019, it will be coming up on the 10th Anniversary of Breaking Benjamin’s fourth studio, Dear Agony and the bands 20th year anniversary as a band. Can fans expect any fun celebration tours or shows in honor of one or both of these anniversaries?
Well sh-t man, I didn’t really think about that till you mentioned it so we’ll have to plan something there. *laughs* I’m getting old man, I didn’t even realize I was that old. *laughs*
Your music video for “Torn In Two” drops tomorrow(April 13th), as well as the new album, EMBER. What inspired the music video for “Torn In Two”?
As far as inspiration, I don’t really know. It is a continuation from the “Red Cold River” music video. We have a three part story that we are trying to tell with that. So I don’t want to spoil anything, I like people to just watch it and enjoy it. That kind of thing, I don’t like to get to into it but it is really story driven as we are telling a three part story. It is really cool cause, we have never done anything like that before.
Fans have seen references to past music videos in this music video and want to know is the girl in this music video Jane from your Diary Of Jane music video and the mysterious blue liquid from your “Never Again” music video and were these references intentional?
Yes, they are, It is too much of a coincidence for that not to be. The concept of the video is, which I think when people watch they will sort of see what it is about. I don’t really want to say too much about it as I like people to sort of watch it and get their interpretation on it. I don’t want to ruin it, That is fun for me anyway. I like to watch things and come to my own conclusion. I don’t like for people to spoil that for me, so I don’t want to do that.
The girl in the video that you mention, I honestly don’t know if it is the same girl from Diary Of Jane’s music video. I don’t know to tell you the truth. The director that I work with is amazing and I put complete trust in him. He is the one you need to ask cause I honestly don’t know. I just deliver the concept to him and I tell him the story that I want to tell and he brings it to life and he does it all on his own. Like I don’t have to hold his hand or anything cause he is amazing and that question is really for him.
On the topic of the song “Torn In Two,” that song is actually being added to Rock Band DLC this week. how does it feel to have a song featured in Rock Band?
It is cool man, I love to have that kind of stuff as it is really really awesome. Fans and people will get to enjoy the game that way.
Where did the concept for the “Red Cold River” music video come from and did you know that the girl (Carmen Magdalena Mares) missing in the video is an actual missing person in Texas? Was that done on purpose, if so how did you go about choosing her?
No man, I didn’t know that. That is another question for the director.
You have a massive co-headlining tour with Five Finger Death Punch and special guests Nothing More and Bad Wolves coming up this summer as part of the ‘Ticket To Rock‘ package and you are on a ton of festivals including Welcome To Rockville, Fort Rock Festival, Carolina Rebellion, Northern Invasion, and Rock On The Range and possibly a few others. What can fans expect from Breaking Benjamin on this tour and will you be playing lots of new songs off of Ember? What are you most looking forward to at these shows/festival dates?
Yes, I mean we will only play the new songs that people know. We don’t like to let people discover new music when we play live cause we like the crowd. We want the crowd to be apart of our show, so it is really hard to be apart of it when you really don’t know what you’re hearing yet. So as far as new material is concerned, we are just going to play songs that are known that are new. The rest of it is there is going to be some production things that are different but the overall show of the core of what we do is the same as fans have always seen. We just try to get everybody involved and do it as one. Instead of being a band that is just up there being spectated, we like everybody to sort of take part in it.
Note: Breaking Benjamin has partnered with Prevent Child Abuse America to donate 25 cents from each ticket sold to their summer co-headline tour with Five Finger Death Punch to the organization.
Any overseas tours coming up?
I don’t really know anything more than what you know at this point, I kind of just get on the bus and go. I am not the right person to come to for information when it comes to that. I am just a go with the flow kind of person when it comes to that.
Breaking Benjamin now offers a VIP Package, which allows fans to hang with you on the tour bus and have a Death Wish Coffee break with you. How did that VIP opportunity arise and are you an avid coffee drinker?
Oh yeah, all I do is drink coffee all day long. We all like that coffee so it was just an opportunity that just works for everybody.
Whats your goto coffee preference? Starbucks or Dunkin?
I will take any coffee really, I just like coffee black. I do like the Starbucks things every now and then, you know the fancy ones and sh-t. For the most part though, I just drink black coffee and I am not really a coffee snob, I will drink just about any coffee.
It just depends on what I want that day, so I don’t really have a preference in place.
Out of Breaking Benjamin’s entire discography, what one song would you choose to debut to a new fan who has not yet heard Breaking Benjamin and why did you choose that song?
Well, I mean that is actually what we do. When we release a song for the first time, that is the song we want people to hear first. So for this time around that song is “Red Cold River,” you want people to really listen to it cause we thought that this song was really powerful. We thought it was a good intro to what the rest of the album would be. You know all songs, well they’re not all the same but it just had a little bit of everything in it, it had the softer verse, the harder chorus, it is a very catchy awesome chorus. I didn’t write the chorus, I wrote like half of it but yeah we do that, we kind of let people listen to something we want them to listen to first, with each first single we release.
What can we expect next from Breaking Benjamin after the release of this new album?
We are just going to tour, I think that anything else that is coming up. I don’t even know, I just know that I am going to get on the bus and tour my butt off and that’s it.
We know in the past your health hasn’t been to great but how have you been doing health wise lately?
As far as my health is concerned, it’s not any different of what I had to deal with all this time. But my will has changed in how I approach what I have to deal with, as I don’t have any choice in being sick, it is just something that I have to live with. But I do have a choice on how I deal with that and so I’m just giving it my all and pushing through and living my life.
Pick up Breaking Benjamin’s new album, Ember, HERE.
Pick up a Ticket or VIP Package to see Breaking Benjamin, HERE.
BREAKING BENJAMIN TOUR DATES:
04/25 – Richmond, VA @ The National^
04/26 – North Myrtle Beach, SC @ House of Blues^
04/28 – Jacksonville, FL @ Welcome to Rockville*
04/29 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL @ Fort Rock*
05/03 – Chattanooga, TN @ The Signal^
05/05 – Concord, NC @ Carolina Rebellion*
05/07 – Nashville, TN @ Marathon Music Works^
05/09 – Springfield, MO @ Shrine Mosque^
05/11 – Sioux Falls, SD @ The District^
05/12 – Somerset, WI @ Northern Invasion*
05/15 – Kansas City, MO @ Uptown Theatre
05/16 – Clive, IA @ 7 Flags Event Center^
05/18 – Columbus, OH @ Rock on the Range*
^ indicates with openers 10 Years
* Indicates Festival Date
Breaking Benjamin + Five Finger Death Punch Summer Tour Dates
** – 5fdp, Breaking Benjamin & Bad Wolves only
07/16 – White River Amphitheatre @ Seattle, WA **
07/18 – Spokane Arena @ Spokane, WA **
07/20 – Taco Bell Arena @ Boise, ID
07/21 – USANA Amphitheatre @ Salt Lake City, UT
07/24 – Shoreline Amphitheatre @ San Francisco, CA
07/25 – Mattress Firm Arena @ San Diego, CA
07/27 – FivePoint Amphitheatre @ Irvine, CA
07/29 – Isleta Amphitheater @ Albuquerque, NM **
08/01 – Austin 360 Amphitheatre @ Austin, TX
08/03 – Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion @ Houston, TX **
08/04 – Starplex Pavilion @ Dallas, TX
08/06 – BankPlus Amphitheater at Snowden Grove @ Southaven, MS
08/07 – Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre @ St. Louis, MO
08/09 – Heritage Park Amphitheatre @ Simpsonville, SC
08/11 – MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre @ Tampa, FL
08/12 – Verizon Amphitheatre @ Atlanta, GA
08/14 – Keybank Pavilion @ Pittsburgh, PA
08/15 – BB&T Pavilion @ Camden, NJ
08/17 – The Pavilion Montage Mountain @ Scranton, PA
08/18 – Xfinity Center @ Boston, MA
08/20 – Budweiser Stage @ Toronto, ON
08/22 – Lakeview Amphitheater @ Syracuse, NY **
08/24 – Jiffy Lube Live @ Bristow, VA
08/25 – PNC Bank Arts Center @ Holmdel, NJ **
08/28 – Riverbend Music Center @ Cincinnati, OH
08/29 – Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre @ Chicago, IL
08/31 – Ruoff Home Mortgage Music Center @ Indianapolis, IN **
09/01 – DTE Energy Music Theatre @ Detroit, MI
09/03 – Darien Lakes Amphitheater @ Darien Lakes, NY
09/06 – Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater @ Wantagh, NY **
09/07 – XFINITY Theatre @ Hartford, CT
09/09 – Blossom Music Center @ Cleveland, OH **