Exclusive: Breaking Benjamin’s Keith Wallen on his side project

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Breaking Benjamin’s Keith Wallen is embarking on a side project. Side project. Not solo project. Definitely not solo project. A passion project, if you may. Naturally, we had to discuss!

SRS: What are the core differences to your passion project and Breaking Benjamin?
KW: First off thank you for having me! I would say the main difference is the style and sound of the music. Another main difference is the approach to the writing. When writing for my solo stuff, I can experiment a little more and go in all kinds of directions if I want.

SRS: When did you realize this project was worth pursuing?
KW: There really wasn’t a definite moment that made me want to take on other music projects. I’m always writing, even before I was in this band, so the natural next step was to start releasing some of it.

SRS: What have you learned so far as a solo artist?
KW: I learned that it’s terrifying in a way because everything is on me, where as with a band there are more people to share the work load and make decisions with. Luckily I have a good team around me that helps me with all things involved with the solo music.

SRS: How are you balancing touring with Breaking Benjamin and your passion project?
KW: Basically whenever I don’t have commitments with the band, I take that time to write, record, and play shows as a solo artist. It’s a ton of work, and not much off time, but there’s nothing else I’d rather be doing! I feel very grateful to be able to work in both worlds.

SRS: What has been the response so far from your fellow band mates and fans?
KW: The response from the fans has been absolutely amazing and inspiring. I was pretty anxious and excited on the eve of the release, but at some point I just had to let all the nerves go and accept that whatever happens, I know I gave it my all. My band mates are the best, they have always been super supportive of everything I do.

SRS: What is your biggest goal for this passion project?
KW: My biggest goal is to be able to keep making music and putting it out there. Another goal is to have enough demand and support to be able to play shows and tour when I can.

SRS: How did the song “Summer Sunday” come about?
KW: I wrote this song with a couple friends of mine, Brian Craddock, and Josh Paul from the band Daughtry. We initially were trying to write for another project, but I felt like it could be a good fit for me also. The song combined with my amazing producer Colin Brittain, really created what I thought was a really cool sound.

SRS: Do you have any influences for your passion project?
KW: Anything and everything. Life. Musically though I’ve always loved 80’s synth pop rock, so maybe some of that is finding its way in my music somewhere.

SRS: What is the single best piece of advice you’d give to an aspiring songwriter?
KW: Always write from a real place in your heart.