(ev'e-nes'ens ): a dissipation or disappearance like
Although the band's name may suggest
a sudden vanishing, the music of Evanescence is poised
for longevity. Fallen, the Wind-up Records debut of
this talented quartet from Little Rock, Arkansas,
is an emotional, ethereal work of undeniable potency
guided by the heavenly vocals of Amy Lee. "We're
definitely a rock band," says the 20-year-old
Lee. "But the twist is that the band's music
is epic, dramatic, dark rock."
Co-founders Lee and guitarist/songwriter
Ben Moody met while in their early teens. "We
were at a youth camp," Moody recalls. "During
some sort of recreational period held in a gymnasium,
I heard Amy playing Meat Loaf's 'I'd Do Anything for
Love' at the piano. So I went over to meet her, and
she started singing for me. I was pretty much blown
away, so I suckered her into joining a band with me."
Since that day, the musical relationship has remained
dependably loyal. "We have the same exact vision
regarding what we love about music," Moody says.
"When it comes to songwriting, we finish each
Evanescence first took shape in
Little Rock at the end of the '90s. Predictably, the
band didn't quite fit the mold of most others lingering
around the Midwestern state. "It's typically
death metal or really soft, older-people music there,"
says Lee. "I don't even know of any local bands
that have female singers."
Influenced by a wide-ranging collection
of artists such as Björk, Danny Elfman and Tori
Amos, the band started releasing EPs of its material.
Even without the benefit of live performances, Evanescence
began to establish a reputation.
"A lot of it developed by being
elusive," Moody remembers. "The second song
we ever wrote was this seven-minute, ridiculous Goth
anthem called 'Understanding.' And for some reason,
the local rock station decided to play it a lot. We
gained this popularity around town, even though no
one knew who we were or where to find us. It was because
we could never afford to play a show -- it was just
Amy and I -- and we couldn't pay any musicians."
Fallen was tracked in Los Angeles
with producer Dave Fortman (BOYSETSFIRE, Superjoint
Ritual). The album successfully finds that intangible
balance between lush beauty and primal heaviness.
Typical of the record is the first single, "Bring
Me To Life," a piano ballad-turned-riff-driven
barnburner. Highlighted by a guest vocal from Paul
McCoy of 12 Stones, the song is featured prominently
in the Daredevil film and soundtrack.
"'Bring Me To Life' is about
discovering something or someone that awakens a feeling
inside them that they've never had before," says
Moody. He continued, "You discover there is a
world that is bigger than just your safe bubble."
Also significant is the vibrant anthem "Tourniquet"
and the eerie "Haunted," with its pummeling
beats and jarring melodies (augmented by chamber choir
arrangements courtesy of Lee). Of the latter, Moody
asserts, "It's the song that is the most 'us'.
That best sums up what we strive to sound like."
Lyrically, Evanescence explores
dark, introspective themes of love, desperation, and
despair. But the group insists its fundamental message
is a positive one. "The point of this whole record
and band is to let people know that they're not alone
in dealing with bad feelings or pain or anything that
they go through," says Lee, who pens most of
the words. "That's life and that's human. They're
not alone, and we're going through it, too."
Live, Evanescence functions
as a quartet with John LeCompt (guitar) and Rocky
Gray (drums) rounding out the line-up. "As a
four-piece, we are able to carry out the intricate
harmonies and orchestrations of the memorable material
on Fallen," Moody emphasizes. "We're very
sincere about what we do. There's so much pre-packaged
teen angst these days in music. That's not us. We're
not trying to sell an angle, we're just here writing
from our heart."
Amy Lee - Vocals
Ben Moody - Lead Guitar
John LeCompt - Guitar
Rocky Gray - Drums
Their debut album "Fallen" will hit stores
on March 4th!