Prior to Breaking Benjamin’s performance at the House of Blues in Cleveland last Saturday, I had the pleasure of sitting down with bassist Aaron Bruch to talk about various subjects including Shiprocked, ‘Dark Before Dawn’ and the band’s future. The following is the compete interview.
TRBC: I know you’re new to the band, how did that come about
AB: I started playing with Ben back in 2010 when we played some acoustic shows together. But I’ve known Ben since well before the band became anything. A good friend of mine, Jonathon Price, we call him “Bug”, he was the bass player for Breaking Benjamin at the time, he said ‘you got to come down and check out my new band’ so I did and that’s when I met Ben and we’ve been friends ever since.
TRBC: Speaking of the band; Breaking Benjamin was a four-piece band before the four year hiatus. The new collaboration has grown by one. What was the reasoning behind the move?
AB: So, a lot of bands out there, what they’ll do is go out and perform their album and sometimes there’s part of the album that you can’t perform because you just don’t have enough people in the band. So what they’ll do is use a laptop or a program called Pro Tools to supplement their show with tracks of other parts that are playing that they can’t do because they don’t have the manpower for it.
What was very important to bringing the band together here was making sure that we had people to sing all of the backups for once, because there was never anybody singing backups in the band before. That was all played out on tracks previously. We wanted to make sure that the performance that fans were getting from us was, everything you hear on stage coming out to you, is being performed by a person. So the necessity was there for a third guitar player to add those parts in that needed to be there and to have more singers in the band. Obviously Ben is an incredible talent, his voice is iconic. I do a lot of background singing and I sing a few songs in the set as does Keith (Wallen) our other guitar player. So expanding the band was a necessity.
TRBC: I’ve been a fan of Breaking Benjamin since way back when “Saturate” came out. The thing that I find amazing is the fact that what you hear on your albums is the sound that you hear when taking in a live show.
AB: I was also a fan back then. We knew as new guys coming into the band that we had a really high bar to meet, especially coming from that pedigree. The band has always put on a fantastic live show. The band has always sounded great live. And we have absolutely best fans, so we wanted to make sure that we gave them everything that we have so when they come to a show their going to get the very best show we can give them.
TRBC: ‘Dark Before Dawn’ is an absolutely an amazing piece of work in my opinion. What are your thoughts on the success of the album?
AB: From the perspective as a new member of the band you’re never really sure what’s going to happen especially with the turnover. When something like that happens the next outing can go either way with the fans. Plus with the long break there, the fans could have very easily said ‘okay we’re done with Breaking Benjamin, we’re going to move on to the next thing’. But they were so receptive and so ready to have Ben back and the band back, it was just incredible. All of the amazing achievements that our fans have allowed us to have with the album is a 100 percent testament to them.
TRBC: I was on Shiprocked last week and you guys along with all of the other bands were amazing. It’s awesome to me to see the bands interact with the fans. What’s that like for the guys in the bands?
AB: It’s a really cool thing that you don’t necessarily get to get every day. Like, every band nowadays sell VIP packages where you can meet the band or whatever. But it’s typically, like you know, you get a handshake, and a picture or sign something. Shiprocked is one of those special things where you really get a chance to connect with your fans. And we absolutely loved every second of it!
TRBC: What’s next for Breaking Benjamin?
AB: Well we’re on this short run here. We basically played our way down to the boat, went on the boat and now we’re playing our way home, tonight’s our last show of the run. Now we’re going to take a little break and then we’re going back into the studio to record album number six.
TRBC: So do you already have the material that you’re going to be recording?
AB: Oh yeah, absolutely. You know for the first time really, it’s been very much a collaborative effort. You know it’s mostly been on Ben in the past to do most of the writing. But there’s parts being contributed by everybody on this one. And it’s very exciting.
TRBC: I look forward to that as I’m sure all of your fans will be as well. Is there anything that you would like to say to your fans in closing?
AB: Just thank you so much for all of your support. Thank you for everything that you have allowed this band to accomplish. Every one of our achievements is because of you and we love you!
Before finishing up, I would like to thank Aaron Bruch for taking the time to sit down with me for this interview. I also like want to give a shout out to John Phillips, Breaking Benjamin’s tour manager, for all of his help. It was greatly appreciated.
Until next time this is Big L saying, ‘keep those horns up and rock on’!! \m/ \m/
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