Breaking Benjamin Recruit Bendeth Again and Again and Again
“Third time’s a charm, I hope,” says Breaking Benjamin guitarist Aaron Fink of working again with producer David Bendeth on the band’s new album, ‘Dear Agony,’ out Sept. 29.
Bendeth produced Breaking Benjamin’s second album, 2004’s ‘We Are Not Alone,’ as well as the third, 2006’s ‘Phobia.’ Both have been certified platinum.
“We didn’t want to stray too much from the formula that’s been working,” explains Fink. “There’s also a comfort level, knowing everybody already and how everybody works. When you work with David, he’s really good at getting to the core of the song and the shape, and then he also has a team of engineers that do the Pro Tools. That enables us to all work in different room simultaneously.”
Since last recording Breaking Benjamin, Bendeth — whose other credits include Paramore and Red Jumpsuit Apparatus — has built a recording studio in New Jersey, which is where Fink, frontman Benjamin Burnley, bassist Mark Klepaski and drummer Chad Szeliga cut ‘Dear Agony.’
“That was new for us,” says Fink. “First time, we worked with him was in Times Square; second time was in another studio in New Jersey. But now he’s got his own place, so we just kind of moved in there for about two months.”
During that time, the band just worked on improving what was already there. “Ben’s a perfectionist, so he spent a lot of time tweaking songs and writing them and getting them the way he wants them. The sounds, everybody knows what we’re going for. We didn’t stray from the formula too much,” he reiterates.
“I think sonically, Ben’s voice sounds the best it ever has on this record,” Fink adds. “This is the first record that he’s done completely sober. So maybe that had something to do with it.”
Breaking Benjamin hasn’t toured since last April and doesn’t plan to before Dear Agony comes out. “There’s nothing in the books yet. We’d rather let the songs marinate a bit in kids’ brains before they come out, so they really want to hear those songs, instead of just playing stuff that goes by that they’ve never heard before,” says Fink.
“Also, these days with cell phones, if you play a song, it will be on YouTube before the record comes out, which isn’t the best strategic move, I think. So we’ll go out later this fall, which will be fun. It’s been a while.”