"Evanescence" is an American alternative metal band founded in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1995 by singer/pianist Amy Lee
and guitarist Ben Moody.
After recording two private EPs and a demo CD named "Origin", with the help of Bigwig Enterprises in 2000, the band released their first full-length album, "Fallen", on Wind-up Records in 2003. "Fallen" sold more than 15 million copies worldwide and helped the band win two Grammy Awards. A year later, Evanescence released their first live album, "Anywhere but Home", which sold more than one million copies worldwide. In 2006, the band released their second studio album, "The Open Door", which sold more than four million copies.
The band suffered several line-up changes, including co-founder Moody leaving in 2003, followed by guitarist John LeCompt and drummer Rocky Gray in 2007. Lee is now the only original member of Evanescence remaining in the band.
Evanescence was founded by singer, pianist and songwriter Amy Lee and former lead guitarist and songwriter Ben Moody. The two met in 1994 at a youth camp in Little Rock, where Moody heard Lee playing "I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)" by Meat Loaf on the piano. Their first songs together were "Solitude" and "Give Unto Me", both written by Lee, and "Understanding" and "My Immortal", both written by Moody. The songs were edited by both artists, and they shared equal credit.
Two of Lee and Moody's songs found playtime on local radio stations, raising local awareness of the group and demand for a concert. The band eventually appeared live, and became one of the most popular acts in the area. After experimenting with band names, such as Childish Intentions and Stricken, they decided on Evanescence, which means "disappearance" or "fading away" (from the word "evanesce", which means "to disappear"). Lee loved the name because "it is mysterious and dark, and places a picture in the listeners' mind."
Their first full-length demo CD, "Origin" (released in 2000), is relatively unknown. The band also released two EPs. The first is the self-titled "Evanescence EP" (1998), of which about 100 copies were made. The second is the "Sound Asleep EP", also known as the "Whisper EP" (1999), which was limited to 50 copies. "Origin" and the EPs contain demo versions of some of the songs on their debut album, "Fallen". For example, the recording of "My Immortal", found on "Fallen", can also be found on "Origin", minus a handful of additional string accompaniments. Only 2,500 copies of this record were produced; in response, Lee and Moody encouraged fans to download the band's older songs from the Internet.
In early 2003, the lineup was completed by Amy Lee and Ben Moody's friends, John LeCompt, Rocky Gray and Will Boyd, all of whom worked on Evanescence's earlier songs. Meanwhile, Evanescence signed on with their first major label, Wind-up Records, and began work on their next album, "Fallen". While they were looking to promote "Fallen", Evanescence accepted an offer from the video game company Nintendo to perform on the "Nintendo Fusion Tour" which they headlined in 2003.
"Fallen" spent 43 weeks on the Billboard Top 10; was certified 6x Platinum in the United States; and sold more than 15 million copies worldwide, the release was pushed to October 3, 2006, allegedly because "Wind-up Records...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 August 7, 2006. 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 Store on August 15, 2006; the music video for "Call Me When You're Sober" was also made available.
Lee claimed that she wrote a song for the 2005 film "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe", but that it was rejected due to its dark sound. Lee went on to state that it was just "more great stuff for . Another song supposedly written for "Narnia" was the Mozart-inspired "Lacrymosa". In contrast, Aaron Stainthorpe of My Dying Bride feels that Evanescence is doing something similar to his own gothic metal group, only in a more commercial direction. Gregor Mackintosh of Paradise Lost
, a late 1980s heavy metal band, notes a generation gap between his group and Evanescence, suggesting that Paradise Lost has only influenced Evanescence indirectly through other acts like Lacuna Coil.
Originally promoted in Christian stores, the band eventually made it clear they did not want to be considered part of the Christian rock genre. Wind-up Records chairman Alan Meltzer issued a press release in April 2003 asking for the band's music to be removed from Christian retail outlets.
During a 2003 interview with "Entertainment Weekly", Ben Moody stated, "We're actually high on the Christian charts, and I'm like, What the f--k are we even doing there?" This seemed to go against earlier sentiments by Moody that "We hope to express in our music that Christianity is not a rigid list of rules to follow..." and also "The message we as a band want to convey more than anything is simple—God is Love." This led to criticism of the band within the Christian community, even more so given that the band themselves approved of the plan to distribute "Fallen" to the Christian market. Terry Hemmings, CEO of Christian music distributor Provident, expressed puzzlement at the band's about-face, saying "They clearly understood the album would be sold in these channels." In the wake of the controversy, "Bring Me To Life" was dropped by many Christian radio stations; the song was Top 5 on "Radio & Records"' Christian Rock Top 30 one week, and completely gone the next. Ex-vocalist and keyboardist David Hodges eventually left the band over the controversy, with other members stating that he had been pulling them in more of a Christian direction than Lee and Moody were comfortable with.
When asked by "Billboard" in 2006 if Evanescence was a "Christian band," Amy Lee responded, "Can we please skip the Christian thing? I'm so over it. It's the lamest thing. I fought that from the beginning; I never wanted to be associated with it. It was a Ben thing. It's over."
* Amy Lee – lead vocals, piano, keyboard (co-founder, 1995–present)
* Terry Balsamo – lead guitar (November 16, 2003–present)
* Tim McCord – bass guitar (August 10, 2006–present)
* Will Boyd – bass guitar (June 2003–July 14, 2006)
* Rocky Gray – drums (2002–May 4, 2007)
* David Hodges – keyboard, piano, backing vocals (1999–December 19, 2002)
* Will Hunt – drums (touring member; May 17, 2007–December 9, 2007 name="evthreads531972" />)
* John LeCompt – guitar, backing vocals (2002–May 4, 2007)
* Troy McLawhorn – guitar (touring member; May 17, 2007–December 9, 2007 name="evthreads531972" />)
* Ben Moody – lead guitar (co-founder, 1995–October 22, 2003)
==Awards and nominations==
;MTV EMA Awards
Referenced from Wikipedia: Evanescence