Breaking Benjamin frontman Ben Burnley issued a statement on Tuesday (June 29th) denying that the band had broken up. Tunelab Music reported on Monday (June 28th), citing unofficial sources, that the group in its current incarnation had split, with sources saying that Burnley had told the other members of the band that he was "quitting music" and that they should seek other jobs.
Burnley's statement says, "I am officially letting everyone know that Breaking Benjamin has NOT broken up! This is just a false rumor that, through the miracle of modern technology, has unfortunately spread. I am currently taking some time off from touring to further address some health issues that I have been dealing with for some years now . . . I am performing two solo acoustic shows in July but this in no way means that I have left, or am ever going to leave, Breaking Benjamin."
Tunelab Music stands by its original story, while the band's label publicist has also adamantly denied that the band has split.
Tunelab wrote that the official Breaking Benjamin website, shallowbay.com, will shut down later this year.
The Tunelab administrators also told us that whether Burnley returns to music or not, if he uses the Breaking Benjamin name it will not be with the same musicians who are in the band now.
The only official word on all this is Ben Burnley's statement, although more details are likely to emerge over the summer.
Burnley, who does not like to travel, told us a while back that the group was being more selective about touring: "You know, it's our fourth album. We're all getting a little older, you know, and because (of) my illness, we've chosen to just be more selective with our touring. We basically did it simply for no other reason but that we can. We would do so many shows that it was just ridiculous and, you know, we're just getting to the point now in our lives where we wanna be a little more selective."
Burnley's two solo acoustic shows, on July 9th in Hampton Beach, New Hampshire and July 10th in Atlantic City, New Jersey, are still on, while guitarist Aaron Fink and bassist Mark Klepaski may do a reunion show with their previous band, Lifer.
OFF THE RECORD
It's well-known that Ben Burnley has a lot of phobias, among them a fear of flying, and his dislike of traveling is not exactly convenient for a touring rock band. Whatever his issues are, it's clear that if he does continue making music it will be on his own peculiar terms, while the rest of Breaking Benjamin want to keep working. Expect to see those guys start a new project, and don't be surprised if Burnley resurfaces at some point with a new version of Breaking Benjamin -- one more tailored to his lifestyle.
Breaking Benjamin was formed in Pennsylvania in 1998 and has released four studio albums, starting with 2002's Saturate.
The band's latest effort, 2009's Dear Agony, has sold nearly 600,000 copies since coming out last fall.
The quartet's several Top 10 rock hits include "I Will Not Bow," "Breath," "The Diary Of Jane," "So Cold" and "Sooner Or Later."
ASK YOUR LISTENERS
Do you think the band is done but the label and management want to protect the "brand"?
What should Burnley do? Should he take a break and come back with a new lineup?
Do you think he'll retire from music completely?
INTERNET COMMENTS at Tunelab Music -- agree or not?
Katie Elizabeth Goodling wrote: "He'll at least quit performing/touring. He obviously hates it. Hence the cancellations, treating fans like crap (canceled meet and greets, etc.), stuff like that. I am hoping for good things for Mark, Aaron and Chad. They deserve it."
Alex wrote: "I couldn't care less if he stops touring as long as he keeps recording. But I guess that might not be happening either... at least for a while."
ParalyzedShadow wrote: "this is terrible. i can understand ben not liking to tour. he may not feel comfortable doing so. doesn't like being in front of thousands of people. shy. heck, i could go on. if he continues to make music, whether it's recorded or not. i'll be fine. ben has one of the voices i love."
TIMMAH wrote: "Breaking Benjamin will never be 'broken up' for the same reason Smashing Pumpkins and Everclear are never 'broken up'. Ben considers himself BB so therefore when he runs out of money down the road, he will surround himself with whatever muscians he deems fit and call it a BB reunion just like Billy Corgan has done and just like Art Alexakis has done."