The Benjamins

The Benjamins

The Benjamins were a Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based pop punk/rock band that were together from 1998 to 2001.


The Benjamins began with the lineup of brothers Jay Stys (vocalist/guitarist) and Chris Stys (drummer), guitarist Dan Hinz, and bassist Ron Forchette). Soon after, they were discovered at a local club by bassist Ben Perlstein (formerly with Milwaukee ska group The Invaders), who replaced Forchette, and brought drummer Jon Phillip (formerly with Shaft) into the group. The Benjamins recorded their first disc, Bordering On Boredom, on Labor Day of 1999. The EP features six songs that earned favorable attention for the band after the album was released in February 2000.

After garnering a solid fanbase throughout the Midwest — including shows with Alkaline Trio, The Mr. T Experience, and Superdrag — The Benjamins were interviewed by a fan for a fanzine in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The fan turned out to be a street team representative for Drive-Thru Records, and after a brief courtship the label agreed to sign the band. Their second release and first full-length album, The Art of Disappointment — featuring the production of the Grammy-nominated Nick Raskulinecz (Foo Fighters, Superdrag, Queens of the Stone Age), graphic design of former The Promise Ring guitarist Jason Gnewikow, and cover-modeling of Aiko Sakai — was released on the California-based Drive-Thru Records in February 2001. While constant touring was done in support on The Art of Disappointment, The Benjamins were regularly part of mismatched tours, including dates alongside Reel Big Fish, Sum 41, and Showoff, in addition to a brief stint on the 2001 Warped Tour. In late 2001, the band decided to take a hiatus, which turned into a break-up before year's end.


In years since, the band has performed an annual reunion show in Milwaukee at BBC, an area pub, and Mad Planet, a local bar and concert venue. Perlstein has moved to Los Angeles, becoming tour-manager for Matisyahu & co-manager for Soul Asylum. He also plays bass occasionally with Minneapolis-based E.L.O. tribute band E.L.nO. Following time in The Obsoletes with former members of Yesterday's Kids, Phillip joined the Orange County, California-based Limbeck in August 2005. Hinz has performed with Carolina and with former members of The Promise Ring and The Dismemberment Plan in Maritime; the latter who completed a tour of Japan in late 2005. Stys remains based in Milwaukee, like Hinz and Phillip, and is currently in culinary school. There are no plans for the band to ever reunite again.



* "Bordering on Boredom" (2000)
* "The Art of Disappointment" (2001)

Non-album tracks

* "3720 to 1"
* "Just Like Heaven" (The Cure cover)
* "Prove My Love" (Violent Femmes cover)


* Dan Hinz — "Guitar"
* Jay Stys — "Vocals/Guitar"
* Jon Phillip — "Drums"
* Ben Perlstein — "Bass"

External links

* [ Drive-Thru Records]
* [ Fansite]

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