July 20, 2024
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Breaking Benjamin Interview – Unplugged Tour 2016


Faygoluvers.net’s very own Chad Thomas Carsten had the chance to discuss with modern rock legend Benjamin Burnley about his bands current  unplugged tour!  Yes! Right now, Breaking Benjamin is on tour selling out unplugged shows across the states with Starset! For those who are deep into Breaking Benjamin, do not miss your chance on seeing them live unplugged! From what we understand the fans have been loving it and shows have been selling out rather quickly.  Big thank you to Benjamin Burnley for agreeing to do this interview and shout out to Crystal Blount of Hollywood Records for setting up this exclusive!

Benjamin Burnley: How are you?

Chad Thomas Carsten: Pretty good! Today you have an off date, what do you do with your free time when not making music?

BB: Right now I’m still on my way to where I’m going to be. So we’re moving on the bus, on down the road.

CTC: You’ve been in Texas the last 3 days, what do you like most about the state and how have the fans within Texas reacted to the unplugged sets?

BB: Everybody’s been great man. It’s been an amazing time. I love Texas. Great food! Great people. Beautiful cities. Beautiful state. We had a great time. It was a great way to kick off the acoustic run. And every time we go there, it just gets better and better. We’re really really stoked to be able to say the same thing for everywhere else we’re gonna go. we’re really looking forward to a good run.

CTC: It must be an incredible feeling that the unplugged shows have been selling out. First thoughts that usually rush through your mind when finding out that a show has sold out?

BB: We like to do the acoustic stuff just because it’s a little different take on what we do when we do our electric shows. So it’s awesome that people want to see that/want to be apart of that. So that’s kind of what crosses all of our minds, is that we’re just really stoked that people want to join us on something that is a little bit different then what we normally do. Our fans are amazing and we’re grateful to have every single one of them. We strive our best to give them an amazing experience whether it’s acoustic or electric. It’s just been amazing!

CTC: What sparked the main decision on why Breaking Benjamin decided to play an unplugged tour in the first place?

BB: We have a lot of touring with the electric full band thing. We like to do these small acoustic tours just to kinda break it up a little bit for us, to kinda keep our chops up, because we can’t rely on any effects or anything. We have to keep our meter right/our chords right and all that stuff, because it really comes through if you make a mistake. It keeps us tight as a band. It’s different for us to do and fun! It’s something that the fans to seem to really enjoy, which is the most important thing.

CTC: Musically, what one word best describes a live acoustic set?

BB: Energetic. We still keep the energy high. We all stand up. We don’t do that typical laid back acoustic thing. It’s still very much a rock show. We’re just playing acoustic guitars. We don’t change the tempos or the structures of any song, we still play them the way there played electric. We just play them on acoustic guitar instead.

CTC: For those who haven’t had the chance to see Breaking Benjamin’s acoustic set live, can you break down the differences between a regular live set vs an unplugged set?

BB: Yea! The regular live set full on electric is more structured. I don’t wanna say choreographed, but I would just say more structured. Where the acoustic set is way more free, so like if I wanna stop in-between every song and talk or tell a joke, I’ll do that. And I’ll do that on the electric sets too, if I want to. But we keep our electric sets more like a show-show where it’s got a lot more structure to it. And we keep the acoustic show just more like, we’re all just here hanging out. That’s why we make sure that even tho we could play in a larger venue for some of these shows, we’re intentionally kinda keeping it scaled back, so we that we can keep that intimate vibe with each and every fan that’s in there. We’re still playing large rooms, but we don’t want to get too out of hand, because then you lose that intimacy.

CTC: What’s the first song you learned on acoustic?

BB: So I learned how to play guitar in general on acoustic guitar and almost a hundred percent of every Breaking Benjamin song can be on an acoustic guitar. Acoustic guitar is just something I’ve always used, because you can just pick it up and it’s ready to go and you can write. As far as that’s concerned, the staple of what I do starts on acoustic song. As far as the first song the I ever learned I think it was (short pause)Floyd The Barber” by Nirvana.

CTC: What is the most influential unplugged record for you personally and how has it influenced you as a recording artist today?

BB: Again, I harken back to Nirvana. That’s probably my favorite acoustic album is their unplugged album. I’ve listened to it so many times, it’s permanently burned in my brain. Whenever I listen to it, I know every little squeak/every little thing that’s gonna happen. Nirvana made me wanna do what I do so, I would say that’s my favorite.

CTC: Would Nirvana be your main choice for a band to see live acoustically? As in the main choice for a band you never had the chance to see live acoustically in-person, but always wanted to?

BB: Yea! Absolutely!

CTC: That would be an amazing experience! When can fans expect a full on Breaking Benjamin unplugged album or a live DVD release of the unplugged tour?

BB: Talking about it. It’s definitely gonna happen, it’s just a matter of when. At least I can say that. There definitely will be one when the stars align for it to be right.

CTC: Should every band do an unplugged tour at least once in their career?

BB: That’s I guess a personal question. If it’s something they were interested in, then yea. I think It’s a preference. Some bands don’t want to play acoustic, but if they wanted to, then absolutely.

CTC: Does the opening band have to play unplugged too?

BB: Well the opening band is Starset. They don’t have to play acoustic, but it’d be kinda weird if they didn’t, I think we all know that. We’re on an acoustic tour. I wouldn’t force a band to play acoustic, but I would definitely, (before I even brought a band on)  probably find a band that wanted to play acoustic. Starset did. They’re a great band and great people And we’re dear friends with them. So yea, we would never force a band to play acoustic, but we would just try to find a band that did want to play acoustic before we book.

CTC: When your’re meeting a fan and they tell you the music of Breaking Benjamin has saved their lives, how do you approach that situation?

BB: To me, I look at it as I’m the grateful one. That I was able to do that with my life to help somebody and give a new purpose and meaning to my life. I’m more grateful for them for that, then they are for me.

CTC: Is there anything you want to accomplish with Breaking Benjamin that you haven’t had the chance too, but want to?

BB: Yea! I wanna win a Grammy. I wanna sell out Madison Square Garden. And I would like a Moon Man. That’s it. Once I do those things, I’ve done everything I want to do.

CTC: What would you say is your greatest accomplish thus far?

BB: Again, It would be helping people. Saving somebody’s life someway or the other. Making somebody at least feel like I’ve saved their life. That’s real! That’s the stuff that’s real in this life. Who cares about a plaque that you can hang on a wall, Whatever. I believe you only get one life, if you can help somebody in their’s, that’s better than any gold or platinum album you can hang on your wall.

CTC: Deep answer! Any Advice for young musicians just starting out?

BB: Well, I give the same advice to every musician starting out, whether they’re touring or whatever they’re doing. I’ll tell people basically to learn from the mistakes that I and countless other musicians have made. That is to know what your’re signing, know what you’re getting into. Make sure your’re not doing anything that’s gonna bite you in the ass down the road. Take accountability and ownership of things that you contribute/things that you do. Know your station in the band. Know what you’re supposed to be responsible for. Make sure that everybody is on the same page. Those are the things that really start a lot of conflict and confusion. The less clear things are, the more confused people become, as far as what their station is or what they’ve done or what they’ve contributed or how much money they should be making or whatever the case may be. Establish all of those things right away! It’s awkward. It’s awkward to do those things especially when you’re in a band with your friends. But you gotta get over that awkward moment and work through those little details so that you’re smooth sailing down the road and there is absolutely no question about how things are supposed to work. It’s worth going through that awkward moment to establish the perimeter  of how the whole thing is gonna run, so that when you run into things down the road you already have a protocol set in place. Or when it’s time for people to get their money or get whatever it is, they know what what they’re supposed to be getting based on what they do or however it’s layed out. There’s no question in doubt of why it is the way it is. That goes for touring, writing, publishing, mechanical royalties, you name it, the whole nine yards. There is no school that teaches you this stuff. You gotta go through it, which really stinks. There’s a couple of books out there, but they’re really not that helpful, because the music industry is always changing.

CTC: The future of Breaking Benjamin

BB: We have a lot of touring, we’re going to be on the road for a really long time. The band now, unlike before are very amazing song writers. We’re doing a lot of writing and passing ideas back forth. But the main item on the agenda right now is that we’re touring our asses off!

CTC: Any final shout outs you would like to give?

BB: Again, every little bit of success that Breaking Benjamin has had/continues to have we owe it all to our fans. We’re just grateful for every single thing that they do for us and all the support that they show us. We want to just keep giving them a hundred-fifty percent and we’re just grateful for everything they’ve allowed us to accomplish.

CTC: The fans get you to where you need to be, that’s for sure. Thank you for taking the time out of your day to do this interview with Faygoluvers.net

BB: Absolutely man! Thank you for having me!


Please purchase Breaking Benjamin’s latest album “Dark Before Dawn” here: https://breakingbenjamin.com/music/

Remaining Breaking Benjamin 2016 Unplugged Tour Dates

1/23 — Tuscaloosa, Ala. @ Druid City Music Hall *
1/24 — Nashville, Tenn. @ Ryman Auditorium *
1/25 — Charlotte, N.C. @ The Fillmore *
1/27 — Raleigh, N.C. @ The RItz *
1/29 — Philadelphia, Pa. @ The Fillmore *
1/30 — Wallingford, Conn. @ The Dome at Oakdale *
1/31 — Montclair, N.J. @ Wellmont Theater *
2/1 — Portland, Maine @ State Theatre *
2/4 — New York, N.Y. @ Irving Plaza *
2/5 — Cleveland, Ohio @ House of Blues *
2/6 — Milwaukee, Wis. @ Eagles Ballroom
2/8 — Detroit, Mich. @ St Andrews Hall *
2/9 — Grand Rapids, Mich. @ Orbit Room *
2/10 — Louisville, Ky. @ Mercury Ballroom *

* Breaking Benjamin with special guest Starset

Breaking Benjamin 2016 Electric Tour Dates

2/18 — Atlanta, Ga. @ The Tabernacle
2/26 — Cherokee, N.C. @ Harrah’s Cherokee – Event Center
2/27 — Biloxi, Miss. @ Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
2/29 — Jonesboro, Ark. @ASU Convocation Center *
3/1 — Tulsa, Okla. @ Brady Theater *
3/2 — Springfieldl Mo. @ Shrine Mosque *
3/4 — Austin, Texas @ ACL Live at the Moody Theater *
3/5 — Amarillo, Texas @ Azteca Music Hall *
3/7 — Tempe, Ariz. @ The Marquee *
3/8 — San Diego, Calif. @ House of Blues *
3/9 — Anaheim, Calif. @ House of Blues *
3/11 — Modesto, Calif. @ Modesto Center Plaza *
3/12 — Reno, Nev. @ Grand Sierra Resort & Casino *
3/13 — Chico, Calif. @ Senator Theatre *
3/15 — Eugene, Ore. @ McDonald Theatre *
3/17 — Portland, Ore. @ Roseland Theater *
3/18 — Spokane, Wash. @ Knitting Factory Concert House *
3/19 — Boise, Idaho @ Knitting Factory *
3/21 — Billings, Mont. @ Shrine Auditorium *
3/22 — Minot, N.D. @ City Auditorium *
3/24 — Davenport, Iowa @ Adler Theatre *
3/25 — Madison, Wis. @ Orpheum Theater *
3/26 — Fort Wayne, Ind. @ Piere’s Entertainment Center
4/20 — Baltimore, Md. @ Rams Head Live
4/21 — Richmond, Va. @ The National



Interviewer: Chad Thomas Carsten



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