Robert Becker – drummer of BENOT BREATHING (Buffalo, NY metalcore)
Robert has really been stepping up lately, not just as a drummer, but as an event coordinator, lighting and sound tech, and general advocate for the Buffalo metal scene. The older I get, it’s nicer to see new people stepping into the fold to assume the roles of now long gone promoters, behind-the-scenes proponents of the music community, etc.
BENOT BREATHING have had a lot going on lately, specifically in the realm of booking local festivals and music video shoots. Here’s the latest from Robert…
1. For starters, give us your personal scene history. For those who don’t know Robby, where did you come from? Talk about every musical project you’ve ever been a part of in chronological order, no matter how active in the scene.
I started out on drums jamming at my best friends house back in 5th grade annoying his parents after school in arcade/java area. We had no money to buy gear but we had a stereo and a vision to play songs. so we would jam Ozzy, Metallica, Marilyn Manson, Seether, Slipknot and even random songs just to laugh. no vision to take it anywhere, we were just hanging out making noise. as time went on, I have had a few starter groups of just buddies who weren’t always the best technically but neither was I myself, we just liked to jam songs, even covers, make up random songs and forget them by the next week, not too many serious efforts as it was next to impossible to get 4, let alone 5 people to show up to a band practice when i was surrounded by corn fields where i lived. there just wasn’t many musicians and when there was, they never wanted to play the same music style as me so it never worked out. first active full band i was a part of was called As The Dead Rise, after a singer change and finding out the name was already taken by another band just starting out, we changed the name to Buried In The Backyard. we got to play 1 show at Club Diablo, and as a 16 year old kid that was a lot of fun to get to do, we were no where near ready for any stage but we had a blast playing that show, i still listen to the bands we opened for that day too. Then after a hiatus for a few years i found some more buddies and started another project we called “1 Day Till Yesterday”, which then became known as Awakening Chaos., Then again changed to Dionysus, and we actually shredded a couple songs and had a lot of fun together, we never found a competent bass player or singer tho so we never went anywhere besides my band room in my parents basement. after another long hiatus of nothing, i picked up the sticks again and was introduced by a good friend to my current bass player and a good friend of mine still who lives right down the road from me, we learned some covers and just couldn’t ever find members to fill out a full band and started to feel like another waste of time not finding anyone. until I found Benot Breathing.
2. How did you first come to join or start Benot Breathing? We’ve talked about this before, but this is mostly for the sake of new readers. Also, what’s the story behind the band name? Was there always going to be a pirate theme?
Then I found an ad for Benot Breathing looking for a drummer and bass player. we hit them up, we checked out the EP and instantly knew I had to have a piece of that pie. We got in contact and we learned 3 of the songs. went to jam them and around Christmas/New Years of 2021/2022 they formally asked us to join. The Name Benot Breathing (Be Not Breathing) comes from a character in our lead guitarist’s mini series comic he wrote when he was younger. I’m not entirely sure where the pirate theme itself started besides having a song called “pirate song” the song “Hammer’s Hard” and people love it. As an overall of a band though it’s not our gimmick or anything. people just love moshing and using pool noodles like swords at our shows during the song!
3. How long have you been playing drums? Who first inspired you?
I was given a drum set when I was around 8 or 9 I’d say, I never played them though until I met my best friend in middle school. But the first drumming I heard that caught my ear was stuff from Ozzy, and Metallica, as did most kids from 12 to 16 who started listening to rock and metal. My favorite drummer growing up was probably Lars from Metallica but it was more the songs I liked back then, rather than the drumming itself.
4. Talk about the very first music you can remember listening to and why it stuck with you.
I grew up listening to ‘90s country with my dad and classic rock with my mom, daily going back and forth from Alan Jackson and Dwight Yokam, to AC/DC and The Beatles. But the song that changed my world forever and still my favorite song to this day is “Detonation” by Trivium, once that guitar riff kicked in, then the guitar solo sweeps at the end, it was just a masterpiece and I found my home. a band that represented everything I loved about beautiful melodies and in your face guitar riffs. any without the horrendous 80s Marshall thrash guitar tone.
5. Do you play any other instruments we might not be aware of?
I can strum a few chords on guitar but I never consider myself able to PLAY the guitar.
6. Getting into today’s music, talk about any bands who have come out in the last decade or so who have truly influenced your playing or writing. Feel free to drop names of local bands if this calls for it.
Trivium is by far the most influential, even Metallica. But then Killswitch, In Flames, All That Remains, Avenged Sevenfold. But when it comes to the past 10 years? Beartooth, Toothgrinder, Light the Torch, Bad Wolves, Bury Tomorrow, Demon Hunter, Nothing More, Parkway Drive. I’m not a big extreme metal guy but Lorna Shore is just absolutely phenomenal, the way they are pushing boundaries and doing it with such precision and clean melody at the same time is just absurd, I love it! Locally I really enjoy the instrumentals of The Long Cold Dark! I love their style! Newcomers, Among the Outcast are bringing the heat! They will be a force to reckon with!
7. Thinking about Benot Breathing, name a few songs you’re most proud of having worked on with the band and why they’re so special.
The first song I had part in recording with the guys was our single called “The Silence”. It is about the feeling of losing someone very important in your life and that pain/confusion/just disbelief. That reality setting in of how cruel the world can be and how devastating it is on our mind, hearts and souls.
8. Talk about the most memorable shows BB have played thus far and why those were so special.
For myself our most memorable show would have to be Metal at the Moose which was mine and brad (From Archaic Studio & Among the Outcast) first adventure together hosting an event with all our own gear, full stage sound and lighting, the show went great, the system was more powerful than any venue we have played at. the lighting was amazing, We controlled our own fate finally instead of a rundown local club with blown speakers and house light bulbs. It was a nice change of pace to be able to put on a great show and not just a great musical performance. We introduced our new backdrop banner for the first time. We got to use my new lasers and stage boxes I built myself. It looked and felt, and sounded like a professional show you would pay to see a national headlining act, were pushing ourselves in all aspects to really set a higher bar for local music and to put on a show, without sacrificing any musical quality.
9. What’s next on the docket for Benot Breathing? Talk about anything you’re at liberty to discuss. (shows, recording, music videos, etc.) How did the new light rig go over? How did the filming go for the music video you already captured?
Well, we are currently in the studio recording songs for our full-length album hopefully to be completed late spring/ early summer this year. We have some amazing pieces coming to light and I think people are going to love it. really pushing ourselves to be better writers in all aspects. not to make the most complicated songs possible but songs that make sense musically while being fun and challenging to play at times. We also just held metal at the moose in Springville, NY where we recorded music videos for two songs off the EP (Willow & Spooky) and those will be released soon, no date set yet though. Benot was picked up for the local Until I Wake show with the homies! That show is going to be nuts.
10. Plug BB’s online presence here:
You can find us on Facebook, IG, Apple Music, Amazon Music, and Spotify. give us a follow, save a song to a playlist. be open to new music. The world has enough gatekeepers, there’s no borders or locks on finding new music to enjoy. open ears and open minds can change the world 1 song at a time.
Just search Benot Breathing and you will find us!
11. For the sake of potential new listeners, compare yourselves to a few well known bands, and recommend some good starter songs you guys have online.
If I could compare aspects of Benot to other famous bands, I would say that if you like bands such as: As I Lay Dying, Killswitch Engage, Darkest Hour, Bullet for my Valentine, Trivium, Children of Bodom and even Lamb of God, then we are right up your alley. With new music while still being heavy and energetic, we are working on bringing that clean melody into the mix at times to really add more dynamic to songs. A wide array of styles is coming and even some 8-minute mini epics.
If you like heavy, driving riffs you can mosh too, check out our songs, “Swarm” and “Pirate Song”.
If you like sweeping melodies and storytelling with music, check out “Willow”, “Spooky” and “Try as I Might”. The guitar solo in “Willow” is absolutely beautiful *good job Justin*
If you like dark, heavy, punched in your face feel with a heavy yet simple breakdown, the new single, “The Silence” is all you!