Breaking Benjamin frontman fires bandmates over remix lawsuit

Breaking-Benjamin

Breaking Benjamin, the Pennsylvania hard-rock combo who have scored a number of underdog hits on rock radio (most notably “The Diary of Jane”), have splintered thanks to a lawsuit and band infighting.

According to The Citizens’ Voice of Wilkes-Barre, frontman and founder Benjamin Burnley fired guitarist Aaron Fincke and bassist Mark Klepaski via e-mail as a result of a dispute over a remix of the song “Blow Me Away.”

Court documents state that Klepaski and Fincke made a deal┬áregarding the track with the band’s label, Hollywood Records, without Burnley’s consent. As a result, Burnley is seeking $250,000 and the exclusive rights to the band’s name. The parties have arbitration to look forward to.

Things have been rocky for Breaking Benjamin over the past few years; the band has been unable to perform live for a year thanks to Burnley’s unspecified health issues, and rumors of the band’s breakup have been floating around for a while. Incidentally, they are about to release their greatest-hits album, which was to include the new remix of “Blow Me Away.”

More importantly, is Breaking Benjamin’s implosion the first to come via e-mail? The Pixies still live in infamy thanks to the fact that Frank Black dissolved his band via fax back in the day. Are Breaking Benjamin blazing a new trail in band break-ups? And will you miss the fired members? Sound off in the comments below.

Read more on EW.com:
Review: Breaking Benjamin, Phobia
Rilo Kiley break up; guitarist Blake Sennett blames ‘deception, disloyalty, and greed’

Comments (150 total) Add your comment
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  • Zanny the Nanny

    Who?

    • MetalmorphosisChic

      DUH!!!!!

      • the song

        diary of jane rules

    • Tory

      Really? Do you live under a rock?

      • Fred

        No, Zanny just listens to good music.

  • Bryce

    You have not lived until you have heard this band!!!

    • Terry

      Yeah, I’m sure they would have been the next Beatles or Led Zeppelin.

      • Tyler

        I don’t know whether that was supposed to be sarcastic or serious, but either way it was true.

    • Jen

      I miss them!!!!!!

  • Bryce

    This is so depressing this is my favorite band in the history of forever!!!!!

    • Ben

      That, in and of itself, is depressing.

      • Reed

        It really is.

      • MultiPass

        L. O. L. …too true!

      • mike

        This band is phenomenal and very talented. You cannot judge them for they are better than you will ever be. shut up

    • Jeremy

      Ditto

    • Brian

      Ya man me and my current best friend had our first conversation over this band.

  • Jennifer

    No way! This cannot be happening – I’ve only seen them once live and had hoped to do so again! No more new music to look forward to :-(

    • ash

      not necessarily. he could just press on and replace mark and aaron. he did it with jeremy and the transition was all but flawless.
      he seems to have an affinity for firing bandmates. =/

      • mike

        Thats true but mark was an insane bass player, and their tuning style is really low, it will take a while (if it happens) to replace those two members.

      • Tina Coslow

        So true! Ben is Breaking BENjamin! Saw them in Odessa TX, and he is the writer, guitarist, front man, full on true artist of the band! He’ll be back. What we should all be doing is praying for Ben to get well and get back on tour soon.

  • Bryce

    I’m an idiot and also have terrible taste in music.

    • Tyler

      Wow. Really good strategy there, using the guy’s name to insult him via impersonation

  • Jennifer

    Me too! Let’s get married!

  • sly

    noooooo! I was looking forward to new music from this fantastic band!

  • MetalmorphosisChic

    This is a real shame. It sucks when disagreements can get in the way of a great band. Met them and saw them twice and wish them all the best. Just find the lawsuit ridiculous. Come on guys -you are all great so just get back together.

    • MetalmorphosisChic

      I’m sorry, I thought Breaking Benjamin was a good band. I’m so sorry for my last comment.

      • Jake

        …I don’t get it…was that a joke?

  • Laundry

    I don’t know if I’Ll ever get over this situation.

    A proposal for arbitration: Benjamin can adopt the name “Breakup Benjamin” and the others can call themselves “Broken-Up Benjamin.”

    I look forward to receiving my retainer soon.

  • ifool

    Its pretty sad when it comes down to firing your bandmates/friends but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. They had no right going behind anyones back to do business in the name of the whole band. It should be equal all the way around. But hey, who knows how they do it in that band. Every band has their own style.

    • Fred

      Cool story bro.

    • Tyler

      Yeah I really hope Ben keeps going. I can’t belive Aaron and Mark did that but I think Ben can do just fine without them.

      • Nicky

        Yeah :D after all the band name is Breaking “Benjamin” :D

    • Eric

      friends, lol they were never friends with Ben

    • Tommy

      I agree that it is wrong to go behind the bands back, however Ben has been plenty busy doing solo acoustic shows the last 3 years…playing BB songs. He even has a hired lead guitarist come with him on some shows to playt Aarons part(youtube BB live acoustic). The lamest part of the whole thing is Ben was set to get plenty of royalties from the greatest hit cd with the remix on there.

      • Raiza

        I agree with you. It isn’t right to go behind someone’s back like that, but what if that’s your only way to get that person’s attention, like, “Hello, we’d like some recognition for our part in helping bring this band to it’s current status.” I mean the band carries his namesake, his name is in the band’s name! how much more notoriety do you need? I think someone’s just getting a little greedy, and it seems like this isn’t the first time, remember Jeremy? >:(

      • chris

        But dude, breaking Benjamin is essentially just Ben. He rights everything. Therefore he has the right to play acoustic shows of HIS songs. And he also has the right to choose the band members as he pleases

      • ash

        yeah but the thing is, aaron and mark had gone back to lifer in the mean time. it’s not like they were sitting around, twiddling their thumbs, just waiting for ben to get back to them, like he was going to save the day or something.
        as for the bickering within the group, yes, it’s sad. and yes, ben and aaron were friends. idk who the f said they weren’t. but i can also understand why he was so ticked. if you were a song writer for your group and someone took all the hard work you poured into song after song and just sold it out to someone who did a sh*t-tastic remix, you’d be mad too! it’s 6 to one, half dozen the other. i’m torn about the whole thing. i see ben’s side, but at the same time, i think it’s overreaction.
        all i know is that i’m hesitant about any upcoming albums, should he decide to replace mark and aaron… those guys were there from the start. it’s not gonna be the same. and i trust ben’s musical instinct, but there’s just something that makes me leery.

    • Jonesy

      They should be fired for agreeing to that piece of crap remix. it totally sux!

      • Nicky

        yeah…

  • Tyler

    Blow Me Away was awesome before. Why did they have to remix it with that girl.. I was excited to hear it on the radio until her voice came in -__- Thanks to that song getting ruined, my favorite band of all time is breaking up. I hope Ben Burnley continues to make music because I love every Breaking Benjamin album and song. Ben Burnley can do just fine without Aaron or Mark. So he better get the rights to the band’s name. Gah.. I knew Ben didn’t like his that terrible remix.

    • James

      I’m with you Tyler. Blow Me Away was awesome without the girl. They ruined it IMHO. I actually change the radio station when the song comes on. Sux! I heard Ben does most of the writing of the music. If Aaron and Mark like this version of the song, I can see why Ben does the writing!

      • MzMetal

        Sad to hear about the band breaking up. They have been one of my faves for a long time. I honestly haven’t been as into them the past 3-4 years. Their first 2 cds rocked but I feel like they became a little less hard rock with their last 2 releases. Still sad to see them split up. They were awesome live.

    • Steven

      +1

  • rizzo

    Broken Benjamin?

  • ED

    SUCH A TERRIBLE DAY. THIS WAS THE ONE OF THE BEST BANDS IN HARD ROCK. SAW THEM LIVE 4 TIMES AND THEY THE BEST BAND ON THE BILL EVERY TIME.

    • ED

      sorry for the all caps

      • ERic

        the caps were necessary lol

  • chelsea

    this sucks :( i cant believe this is happening but i did hear in other articles that ben was going to look for new band memebers. so i guess that is good

  • Will

    Sad because of the great memories of the music, but it was always Ben as the catalyst, and new band members may make him even better! I always thought those guys were dragging him down..good luck Ben!

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