Evanescence

Biography

Members: Amy Lee, John LeCompt, Rocky Gray, William Boyd, Terry Balsamo

Active: 1996-present

HISTORY

Evanescence was founded by singer, pianist and songwriter Amy Lee and former lead guitarist and songwriter Ben Moody. The two met at a youth camp in Arkansas, where Moody heard Lee playing "I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)" by Meat Loaf on the piano.

The pair discovered they shared a love of Jimi Hendrix and Bj?rk, and they began to write songs together (the first was "Solitude" by Amy Lee, followed by "Understanding" by Ben Moody, "Give Unto Me" by Amy Lee, and "My Immortal" by Ben Moody). The songs were altered lyrically and musically by Lee, which allowed both individuals to receive equal credit for their composition.

For some time the two were unable to recruit additional musicians and did not have sufficient funds for professional assistance. Thus, they were unable to play live shows. However, two songs, "Understanding" and "Give Unto Me", found their way onto local music charts, and demand for a live show increased. When the band finally made an appearance, they became one of the most popular acts in the area. They went through several names, including Childish Intentions and Stricken, before deciding on the name Evanescence (meaning the act of vanishing, synonymous to disappearance). Lee said she loves the name because it is mysterious and dark, and it puts a picture in your mind, which is what she wanted to do.

EARLY WORK AND CONTROVERSY

Their first full length demo CD, Origin (released in 2000), is relatively unknown. The band also released two EPs. First, the self-titled Evanescence EP (1998) of which about 100 copies were made, and second the Sound Asleep EP, also known as the Whisper EP (1999), limited to 50 copies.

Origin and the EPs contain demo versions of some of the songs on their debut album Fallen. In fact, the recording of "My Immortal" found on Fallen can also be found on Origin, minus a handful of additional string accompaniments. Only 2500 copies of this record were ever made, limiting its availability to the handful lucky enough to obtain one in the early years, or to those who are willing to pay the hundreds of dollars the discs now fetch. In response, Lee and Moody encouraged fans to download the band's older songs from the Internet during an interview.

Originally considered by many to be part of the Christian rock scene?and for a short time promoted in Christian stores?eventually the band made it clear that they did not want to be considered a Christian rock band. Shortly thereafter, Christian stores removed Evanescence from their shelves. Some have criticized the group for making previous statements and actions to the contrary regarding the infusion of Christianity into their music. For instance, in a September 2000 interview with Stranger Things Magazine, Ben Moody said, "The message we as a band want to convey more than anything is simple?God is Love," and also, "We hope to express in our music that Christianity is not a rigid list of rules to follow only out of fear of an unseen deity who will strike you down at any given moment if you fail." Reportedly, the band at one time wanted the album in the Christian market.

Lee has been quoted as saying that they are not a Christian band and would appreciate it if the rumor was terminated. David Hodges (ex-vocalist & keyboards) left the band over the Christianity topic. Members later stated that he had been pulling the band in more of a Christian direction than Lee and Moody were comfortable with. Ben Moody stated, "Amy and I are Christians, but we are not a Christian band. We write about a number of things, just things we experience in life. Because our spirituality is a big part of our lives, it comes through in our music. But our lives are our ministry. Our music is just a way for us to convey the message to those who listen that they are not alone."

FALLEN AND BEN'S DEPARTURE

Their first major album, Fallen, has been certified 6x Platinum, spent 43 weeks in the Billboard Top 10 and has sold over 14 million copies worldwide. As of April 2005 Fallen is one of only eight albums in the history of the chart to spend a full year (52 weeks) in the Billboard Top 50.

Evanescence's major label debut single "Bring Me to Life", which features guest vocals from Paul McCoy of 12 Stones, was a global hit for the band and reached #5 on the American Billboard Hot 100. It also provided Evanescence with their first (and so far only) UK #1, where it stayed for four weeks from June-July 2003. The equally popular "My Immortal" peaked at #7 in the U.S. and U.K. charts. Their inclusion in the soundtrack for the action movie Daredevil helped propel both songs into widespread popularity and firmly cemented Evanescence within the music scene. "Bring Me to Life" garnered recognition for the band at the Grammy Awards of 2004, where the band was given the Best Hard Rock Performance award. At the same time, Evanescence was awarded Best New Artist.

The two other singles off Fallen include "Going Under" (#5 US Modern Rock Tracks, #9 UK Charts) and "Everybody's Fool" (#36 US Modern Rock Tracks, #23 UK Charts), both of which include a music video.

On October 22, 2003, Moody left the band abruptly in the middle of an European tour. The reasons for his departure were reportedly "creative differences." In an interview several months later, Amy Lee said: "We'd gotten to a point that if something didn't change, we wouldn't have been able to make a second record."

Since then, Lee has said it was almost a relief that he left because of tensions created within the band. Terry Balsamo from Cold joined the band, replacing Moody. Recently, Moody confessed in an interview that not only does he suffer from bipolar disorder, but that he's kicked a drug and alcohol habit that he was entrenched in during the strife within Evanescence.

ANYWHERE BUT HOME

Released in 2004, Evanescence's new lineup released a DVD/CD compilation entitled "Anywhere but Home". The DVD is their live-from-Paris show with several behind-the-scenes features, including shots of the band backstage, signing autographs, and warming up. The CD included contains a song entitled "Missing" which was previously unreleased and reached #1 in Spain. Also on the CD are the songs "Breathe No More" (from the Elektra movie soundtrack) and "Farther Away". They also included their cover of Korn's "Thoughtless" which they have played at several live shows.

THE OPEN DOOR

Evanescence's second album, titled The Open Door, due for release in the USA on October 3, 2006, in the UK on October 2, 2006 according to Amazon UK and in Australia on September 30, 2006, which will feature 13 tracks.

The album has progressed slowly for a number of reasons, but perhaps chiefly because of Amy Lee's desire to allow the creative process to fully take its course and not rush production. Besides that, other distractions have included other band members' side projects, health problems concerning guitarist Terry Balsamo (who had a stroke) and the controversy revolving around the dismissal of their former manager. Lee stated on Evboard that Evanescence's new album would be wrapping up in March 2006. But the release was pushed to October 3rd, allegedly because "Wind-up Records[the band's current record label] wanted to make a few changes to the upcoming single "Call Me When You're Sober", which hit modern rock and alternative rock radio on 7 August. The music video for "Call Me When You're Sober" was shot in Los Angeles, and is based on the fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood. The Open Door became available for pre-order on the iTunes Music Store on August 15, 2006, with Call Me When You're Sober available to those who pre-order and as a single as well.

The band also spent some time in New York City for press and a photo shoot for Metal Edge magazine.[14] Pictures from this photo shoot have recently been posted on the bands official web site as well as their MySpace page.

Amy Lee has confirmed that she wrote a song for the 2005 film version of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe released by Disney, but it was rejected. However, Amy Lee said it was just more great material for the upcoming album. It has then been said that part of the 'Narnia' song will be used at the beginning of 'Good Enough' which is Track 13 on the forthcoming album The Open Door. A two minute clip from the first single, Call Me When You're Sober is available on both the Evanescence and MySpace website, while AOL Music offers the entire song on their website.

The music video for "Call Me When You're Sober" debuted in the UK on Kerrang TV at 3.30pm on 7th August 2006, and in the US on MTV's TRL program on August 7th at 3:30 p.m. CST. It also premiered during the 6:00am music videos.

The album leaked to the internet on September 4th, nearly a month before its intended release date, though various internet sites are currently hard at work locking down the leaked album.

WILLIAM BOYD'S DEPARTURE AND REPLACEMENT

On July 14, it was confirmed by a spokesperson for the bands label that Bassist Will Boyd had left the band. The reasons for his departure were "not wanting to do another big tour" and "to be close to his family". It was the band's frontwoman that broke the news to the fans in a post on an Evanescence site, EvBoard.com.

In an interview with MTV, posted on their website on 10th August 2006, Amy Lee announced that Tim McCord, former Revolution Smile guitarist would be switching instruments and playing bass for the band.

ALBUMS

2000 - Origin
2003 - Fallen
2004 - Anywhere but Home
2006 - The Open Door

EPs

1998 - Evanescence EP
1999 - Sound Asleep EP (aka Whisper EP)

LIVE ALBUM:

2004 - Anywhere But Home

SINGLES:

2003: "Bring Me to Life
2003: "Going Under"
2004: "My Immortal"
2004: "Everybody's Fool"
2004: "Imaginary" [Spain only]
2006: "Call Me When You're Sober"

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OptimusPrime

Submitted by OptimusPrime at Mon 22 May, 2006 7:39 am

OptimusPrime

Last updated by OptimusPrime at Mon 22 May, 2006 7:39 am

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