Evanescence is a rock band from Little Rock, Arkansas, consisting of:
Past Band members:
Originally considered by many to be part of the Christian rock scene — and for a short time promoted in Christian stores — the band has distanced itself from such categorization, even though Fallen (2003), their first major-label release, had some religious themes. 'Tourniquet', for example, is about suicide and redemption, with lyrics like 'Am I too lost to be saved? My God, my tourniquet, return to me salvation.' It should be noted however, that the song was a cover, written by members of Rocky Gray's previous band, Soul Embraced. The initial labeling of the band as Christian stirred much controversy, until Christian stores eventually took Fallen off the shelves. The band's lead singer Amy Lee has insisted the band is not Christian and does not intend to send a Christian message, even though she is in fact a Christian herself.
Evanescence's debut single 'Bring Me to Life' was a global hit for the band and reached #5 on the American Billboard Hot 100. It was included in the soundtrack for the action movie Daredevil and garnered recognition for the band at the Grammy Awards of 2004: The single was awarded Best Hard Rock Performance, and Evanescence was awarded Best New Artist.
Their first record, Origin (released in 2000), is relatively unknown, and previously released EPs in 1998 and 1999 are even less known, though highly sought after by collectors. Not atypically, Origin and the EPs contain demo versions of some of the songs on their first major-label album. In fact, the recording of 'My Immortal' found on Fallen can also be found on Origin, minus a handful of additional instrumental accompaniments. However, Lee herself does not consider the record to be an actual album; rather, she considers it merely a bundle of demo songs (some of which she says are not done properly) that was sent to record companies. Only 2500 copies of this record were ever made, and it is thus not generally available in record stores. In response, Lee encouraged fans to download the band's older songs from the internet during an interview.
The group was founded by Lee and former lead guitarist Ben Moody. The two met at a youth camp in Arkansas, where Moody heard Lee playing Meat Loaf songs on the piano. They discovered they shared a love of Jimi Hendrix and Björk, and they began to write songs together. For some time they were unable to find other musicians to play with, and did not have the funds to pay for professional assistance, thus they were unable to play live shows. However, a song of theirs entitled 'Understanding' found its way onto local music charts, and demand for a live show increased. When the band finally did make an appearance, they became one of the most popular acts in the area.
In October 2003, Moody left the band abruptly in the middle of a European tour. To this day, he has not fully explained the reason for his leave. In an interview several months later 1 (http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2004/01/08/1073437399128.html), 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, Lee has said it was almost a relief that he left because of tensions.
Former Limp Bizkit guitarist Wes Borland had been mentioned as a replacement for Moody and Lee described him as a friend, suggesting they may write together on their next record. Eventually it was Terry Balsamo, from Cold who joined the band in Moody's place.
The band's sound
Evanescence fits roughly into the generic genre of rock, but in fact sounds quite different among its arsenal of songs. While there are the heavier songs it is generally known for such as 'Going Under,' 'Bring Me to Life' and 'Whisper,' they only really constitute a minority of all the songs by the band. More widely known softer songs include 'My Immortal,' 'Everybody's Fool' and 'Imaginary,' which to an extent, can be categorized as pop. Many say that the band is goth rock, which is true in certain respects. Certainly, many of its songs focus on life's negative moments and darker themes such as lost love, loneliness and death. The piano plays a significant role in the majority of the band's music.
Critics have accused Evanescence of being 'wannabe' goth rockers, but really just pop. Lee, however, dismisses these claims as mere 'labels' and refuses to categorize and (to paraphrase) put in a box the band's music since she believes Evanescence has a unique sound unlike any other.
On many music-related news articles, the band is often compared to nu-metal band Linkin Park, but many fans find this comparison unfair because it is based almost solely on their hit single 'Bring Me to Life.' Much of their other music, they say, sound very different. Other bands Evanescence has been compared to include Lacuna Coil, Nightwish and Within Temptation, all of which also employ the use of female vocals.
Billboard chart positions, by song
- Bring Me To Life, Adult Top 40, peaked at #4
- Bring Me To Life, Mainstream rock tracks, peaked at #11
- Bring Me To Life, Modern rock tracks, reached #1
- Bring Me To Life, Hot 100, peaked at #5
- Bring Me To Life, Top 40 mainstream, reached #1
- Bring Me To Life, Top 40 tracks, reached #1
- Bring Me To Life, Canadian singles chart, peaked at #3
- Bring Me To Life, Adult Top 40 Recurrents, reached #1
- Going Under, Mainstream rock tracks, peaked at #26
- Going Under, Modern rock tracks, peaked at #5
- Going Under, Canadian singles chart, peaked at #14
- My Immortal, Adult contemporary, peaked at #19
- My Immortal, Adult Top 40, reached #1
- My Immortal, Canadian singles chart, reached #1
- My Immortal, Hot 100, peaked at #7
- My Immortal, Adult Top 40 Recurrents, reached #1
- My Immortal, Top 40 mainstream, peaked at #2
- My Immortal, Top 40 tracks, peaked at #2
- Everybody's Fool, Modern rock tracks, peaked at #36
- Official site (http://www.evanescence.com/)
- Their page at Launch (http://launch.yahoo.com/artist/default.asp?artistID=1098798)
- Evboard (http://www.evboard.com/) (A Message Board They Often Visit, mentioned on the Anywhere But Home DVD)
- Evanescence website (http://www.amyleeworld.com/) Evanescence lyrics to Fallen in the lyrics section, news and resources
on Amy Lee from Evanescence.
This biography is published under the GNU Licence