Breaking Benjamin Return From Hiatus After Settling a Court Dispute

Frontman Benjamin Burnley marks the group's return.

logo
Ultimate Guitar
67

After announcing an indefinite hiatus in 2010, Breaking Benjamin frontman Benjamin Burnley started a court dispute with guitarist Aaron Fink and bassist Mark Klepaski over the rights to use band's moniker.

The trouble among the group's ranks sparkled after Finke and Klepaski gave Hollywood Records a permission to issue a "Blow Me Away" remix without frontman's consent. Such action resulted in Burnley firing the pair via email, as well as taking legal action, demanding at least $250,000 in damages, along with an exclusive ownership of the band name.

And now, the dispute is finally over. According to the official announcement, Burnley has retained the right over the group's name and will now continue with further work.

"The dispute between Benjamin Burnley, who is the sole founder, primary musician, singer and songwriter for the band Breaking Benjamin, and two of the band's ex-members has been resolved. Benjamin Burnley retains his right to use his band name and Breaking Benjamin will continue."

The frontman has also included his own comments on the entire matter, saying "I am pleased to finally put this matter behind me and focus on the future for Breaking Benjamin. I wish to express my never ending love and gratitude to the best fans in the world for their undying love and support. Words cannot express my love to you all! Thank you!"

Drummer Chad Szeliga has supposedly remained in good terms with Burnley and is still listed as a member of the band. The latest Breaking Benjamin release, "Dear Agony," came out in September 2009 via Hollywood Records, peaking at No. 4 on The Billboard 200 chart with 134,000 copies shipped in the US.

105 comments sorted by best / new / date

    SweetyBoii
    Finally! I have been waiting for this moment for a while,hopefully they will make a new album if they get some replacements. Its a shame Ben cant go over seas,me being in the UK cant see these guys live,unless i won the lottery or something,but thats not gonna happen haha! *face palm*
    tyler_j
    Anyone want to fill me in as to why he can't go overseas?
    daheck1210
    He's afraid of flying
    seventh_angel
    Among a shitload of other things...
    cjb2293
    He should just take a ship over.
    kozmo4200
    sounds like travis barker.
    whiplash944
    Well, Travis was traumatized after his accident. I don't really know why Burnley is so afraid of death though.
    kleinlem
    i could tell you the reason its a sickness(sorry for my english) since his birth hes like this sadly
    m4ss3 m/
    Hah, weird that he is not afraid of busses too then. Cliff Burton, anyone?
    Legend Jedicsc
    Actually he is, he just knows he has to deal with it. He said so in an interview a while back.
    michael.waters.
    ....hence the album Phobia, Ben in all his greatness has several phobias that restrict him from traveling internationally, flying being the main one.
    kLeft
    If I was this guy I would never ever use the same band name again. Sure if you sincerely want to continue making music that's cool, but these kinds of things tarnish band names in the long run.. Same idea for renovating a failed restaurant, while keeping the reputation that comes with the name.
    vikkyvik
    I think you win the award for random analogy of the day.
    kLeft
    I watch a lot of Bar Rescue and Kitchen Nightmares.. So naturally it was the first comparison I came up with. xP
    aaron.matthew.5
    The thing is they are not a failure, I mean they have had a very good progression from Saturate to where they became known very well with We Are Not Alone. Phobia was their peak commercially but even Dear Agony was a solid enough album for them to stay very relevant. They are anything but a failure. New blood may be what the Band needs and I am sure he has a lot of new stuff to write about considering what he has been through over the past 4 years. Finding a rhythm guitar and a bassist will be extremely easy especially considering the popularity of the band. I imagine quite a few people are in line trying to get into this band. Imagine even if it was someone who actually helped Ben with the music, then maybe they could grow even larger than they already were. They were not a failed restaurant they were a restaurant that had some employees stealing money out of the register and now they need new employees.
    Breakingpoint56
    They released a song he had rights to without his expressed consent. They broke copyright laws for money and were subsequently fired for it. (because Hollywood DID pay Mark and Aaron to re-release the song)
    Absolute Rock-O
    The band's name is Breaking BENJAMIN. The lead singer's name is BENJAMIN Burnley Everything is legit here!
    kozmo4200
    unless he did some mary poppins shit with the drum on his back while playing the guit n harmonica or whatever that dude had, he doesn't get to be an ego maniac. some crazy mustaine shit.
    dudebud
    You know, I can see where he is coming from. He is the center of BB so it really makes sense that he would be calling the shots. I think he will prove this on the next record.
    Shor-T Zero
    Loving the Breaking Benjamin puns. His reaction to all of this was so cold. We'll see what the next record is like, but if he ups the amount of slower rock songs, then I'll just stick to their backlog. Shame he was a dick about all of it, but hopefully some good music can be made. Good being subjective here (I like them, but I can see how others wouldn't).
    lg187
    Speaking of puns, I see what you did there^ (For those that don't know, So Cold is a BB song)
    cyclonus
    So it's officially the Ben Burnley show now then?
    Legend Jedicsc
    Pretty much how it's always been.
    fanA7X6661
    Yeah, Burnley is kind of a jerk but he writes good music so I don't really care. Good to see he'll be writing again.
    vppark2
    Well, I think the whole remix idea was quite lame if you ask me. And without his permission? Sounds fishy...
    breakinslash
    Much as I love him, it was a pretty dick thing to do, that to by email.
    vanklef92
    they are a band...two member gave consent to do something to HIS song (being that he's the primary writer) without HIS permission. They were the ones in the wrong. Him firing them by email was the natural reaction when your business partner screws u over. Were they friends? if they had been-they woulda ran the whole horrible remix idea by him first... Ben wasn't in the wrong-and im just glad its over and he'll get some new members and continue. Yes Aaron was a good guitar player-but nothing ridiculously stellar or technical came from them. Breaking Ben was Bens voice and good dropped tuned guitar riffs-which most of which Ben came up with anyway.. So yea he can find another guitar player to salt and pepper the songs... yea ill miss Aaron-but its not the end of them. Thankfully Chad is still there-i think his drumming is more unique then Aarons guitar playing haha. Anyways-i digress.. point being-Ben was justified in handling it all the way he did.
    fromzero
    Idk if you've ever heard Aaron's other band Lifer but if you hear the song Wake Up it pretty much sounds like any Breaking Benjamin song, if not better (production considered)
    . The reason why they decided to release the single is because Ben was hiding out at home, not answering any of them. No one had any idea if they were even still a band and probably needed more cash for hookers. Ben, being the primary writer get's the bulk of the cash which is great for the expensive habit's he has. I couldn't party with the dude, I'd die. While I've liked BB since Saturate, the dude has mental issues. Then again, don't all of the best artists?
    strat0blaster
    Loved Lifer, absolutely loved lifer. Breathless is the best song off that album, and while I love BB, I REALLY miss Lifer. It wasn't just Aaron, by the way - the bassist (I think his name is Mark?) came with him to BB from Lifer. I've listened to them since they were Strangers With Candy. Just an awesome band. A real shame they disbanded. Maybe now that the pair are out of BB we'll get a reunion and new album?
    josheehat
    Kind of, but I'm 98.7% sure that He was recovering from an illness or something. He's kind of succeptible to everything harmful ever.
    Zoltan1251
    pretty much Axl Rose syndrome.....
    Evildreamer
    Not even close, Axl was born a grade a douche bag. Although firing was a bit extreme, the bassist and guitarist should have asked. They are a band... or were.....
    Legend Jedicsc
    Yeah basically. Don't get me wrong though, I'm thrilled he's back! This was the band that got me into music!
    JohntyPython434
    this is such excellent news, i can only hope the new musicians can deliver as well as aaron and mark did!
    MikeBTE
    I know Chad Szeliga personally and he's probably the coolest guy on earth. I could see why his name wasn't involved in this dispute. He doesn't seem like the type that'd go after anyone.
    Breakingpoint56
    He didn't have a dog in the fight because he didn't have rights to the song. He wasn't even a contracted member at the time Blow Me Away was recorded wayyy back when Halo 2 came out. The whole dispute was over Mark and Aaron giving Hollywood Records to re-release Blow Me Away with Valora for like..75k apiece and they didn't write the song. Ben did. They, and HR records broke copyright laws.
    SocksAndTrees
    So, are Mark and Aaron coming back? I couldn't tell from the article.
    thrill606
    Burnley sounds like a dick
    Nero Galon
    Yeah sadly it sounds like it, loved this band few years back.
    Breakingpoint56
    Breaking Benjamin is his name sake and he didn't want anything released that would tarnish it. Nobody asked him about the Blow Me Away re-release with Valora because they knew he wouldn't go for it. He wrote that song himself, it was his. They effectively stole from him. I'd be pissed too, cause I think Valora is awful.
    kramer242
    I don't like the band, but I see Burnley's point. You do not take from the band without notifying everyone....especially not the guy who is responsible for writing nearly everything.
    ifc69
    "The trouble among the group's ranks sparkled ..." Interesting choice of words.
    goldengun443
    Looks like BB is a one-man-band now, Chad just left for Black Label Society, citing 'creative differences'. Should change the name to "Benjamin Burnley and the Hired Guns"
    zefs
    Finally, but wow, it took them 3 years? Courts working hard...
    XDrewXGuitarX
    Don't care about what happened the point is Benjamin is making music again, ive got all their albums and love all the songs the new album will surely not let me down
    Jmoarguitar
    I met Chad when I went to Black Label. Or at least I think it was this Chad. If not, awkwarrddd.
    jonnytremonti
    Fantastic news!! Ben is a legend and deserves all the credit for BB! They are in my top 10 bands and cant wait for a new album!!
    ericmcq3121
    Can Hinder, Breaking Benjamin, Three Days Grace, and Seether and Fall Out Boy all get into a boat and sail away for eternity?
    Breakingpoint56
    You just listed all bands that are popular for their own merits. Quit being elitist. Have you listened to any fall out boy that wasn't a single? Patrick Stump is a fantastic writer and great vocalist. I didn't like Fall Out Boy till tonight cause I finally stopped hating for no reason and actually listented Music is really well wrote.
    ericmcq3121
    Popular for their own merits? Are you saying they are all unique in their own way because they sound like 100 different Great vocalist? He has one of the most annoying voices I've ever heard. Fall Out Boy is awful and will always be awful. Why am I arguing with someone who is using a AIM buddy icon though? Dammmit... I failed at life today.
    Benjumanji
    I'd love that... except Breaking Benjamin is the one band in that list I halfway like.
    bearmod
    It's like Axl passed the douchebag frontman crown to Benjamin Burley.
    ibanez124
    So . . . Im confused . . . He is a douchebag for getting mad because someone sold his music without asking? Nah I don't think anyone should be upset about that (he says sarcastically)
    bearmod
    No he's a douche for basically turning the other band members into hired hands. He acts like he is in charge of the whole band and he gets the final say on everything with his band mates having no influence at all.
    bearmod
    And it's not just his music. I'm not trying to say that they weren't wrong to give the label the ok to remix the song without Ben's consent but just bc he's the singer doesn't mean he gets to make the final decision on everything.
    thejohnoparty
    You don't seem to understand how the band works. BEN is the guy that writes the majority of the songs. It IS HIS band. His bandmates help out creatively, I'm sure. But ultimately, they just add to the songs. Not write them. How would you feel if you were in a band, wrote a song, and your bandmates sold it without your consent? He wrote the song. it was his to sell. Not his bandmates.
    soulcaliber920
    Actually, ben actually writes, and also composes the music. The band members just play instruments.
    bearmod
    So you're telling me that he writes all the lyrics, and writes/records all the instrument tracks by himself? Because if that's what you're saying then you're right, he has full creative control and can do whatever he wants. Just because he writes the lyrics and the name of the band has his first name in it doesn't give him 100% creative control over anything that is ever released under the name Breaking Benjamin.
    grizzzzly_adams
    Being that I am from Wilkes-Barre.. I can't say I ever really like this band. I enjoyed the first album and the So Cold EP.. but that was about it.. I'll give anything a listen once, but I don't expect their next album to be something we haven't already heard.
    mitchgosche2011
    I really don't understand why UG doesn't auto hate Breaking Benjamin. They seem to pretty much do that with every other band of this sort.
    dash-rendar
    Fired via e-mail? Wow, what a callous way to fire someone from a band that they put years of their lives into.
    kramer242
    I can see where that sounds bad, but if you look at it closer, there is not telling where they were all located, and I'm pretty sure this guy is not going to go out of his way to take a flight to tell them
    Erok
    Bens a tool but writes epic songs. Glad there back just wish Aaron was still in the band.
    Silver77
    who effin cares.. this band is aweful, butt rock, weener music for sissies and losers. they/he are about a "rock" as miley cyrus. just a bunch of crap radio garbage.
    Breakingpoint56
    Why cause they aren't br00tal? They are rock. You just don't like their rock. That radio garbage sells platinum records. Guess you could say they have a fanbase.
    thejohnoparty
    I also find it funny that you say this music is for "losers." You're apparently 30, not married, no kids, and "still rock out". Wouldn't that make YOU a loser? Get a life, grow up, and stop being a pretentious nerd. Trying to be a hard tough guy only makes you look stupid to anyone with a functioning brain.
    swanssuper
    B.B. is "No doubt" big to the progressive band storyline (pun intended-sorry Gwenn)but all these legal theatrics muddle the R&R. Luv to see them- my 18 year old says they just shred! Like what I hear & wish 'em luck!
    headbang123
    I love Breaking Benjamin but I have to side with the other two. Seeing as they were part of the writing process of that particular song they should have just as much say in it as he does. Plus I get the impression that they're kind of "hired guns". Which I know what it's like to be on those kinda terms with the singer of your band. Nonetheless, can't wait for the album!