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Evanescence in 2023
Evanescence in 2023
Background information
OriginLittle Rock, Arkansas, U.S.
Years active1994–present
Past member(s)

Evanescence is an American rock band founded in 1994 by singer and keyboardist Amy Lee and former guitarist Ben Moody in Little Rock, Arkansas. The duo released independent EPs in the late 90s and a demo CD. After getting signed by Wind-up Records in 2001, their debut studio album, Fallen, was released in 2003. It gained popularity after two of its songs were featured in the film Daredevil. It spawned hit singles like “Bring Me to Life” and “My Immortal”, helping Evanescence win two Grammy Awards. The album has sold more than 17 million copies worldwide.[1]

In 2006, Evanescence released their second studio album, The Open Door, co-composed by Lee and guitarist Terry Balsamo. It was positively received, and debuted at #1 in the Billboard Hot 200 chart. It sold more than 447.000 copies in its first week. The album's third single, “Sweet Sacrifice”, received a Grammy nomination for Best Hard Rock Song. The Open Door has sold more than six million copies.

In June 2009, the band began working music, but production was delayed amid label troubles. Their third album, Evanescence (2011), was the first album musically co-written as a band. It debuted at #1 in five Billboard charts, including the Hot 200 and Rock Albums charts. Lead single “What You Want” was released to positive critical reception. Evanescence left their record label and became an independent band in 2014. In 2017, they released their fourth studio album, the orchestral and electronica Synthesis. After pandemic delays, the band released their fifth studio album, The Bitter Truth, in 2021.

Early years (1994 – 2000)

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Evanescence co-founders singer-songwriter and pianist Amy Lee and guitarist Ben Moody met at a youth camp in 1994 in Little Rock, Arkansas.

After that, they started writing music together. Two of their songs were played on the local radio station and listeners wanted them to do a concert. They later appeared live and became a popular act in their area.

They chose "Evanescence" as a name for their band because Lee thought "it is mysterious and dark, and places a picture in the listener' mind." Evanescence means "to disappear" or "to fade away".

Lee and Moody released two EPs - Evanescence EP (1998) and Sound Asleep (1999) EP - and a demo CD called Origin (2000). Some of the songs on Fallen can be found on their previous independent records, like "Imaginary", "My Immortal", and "Whisper".

Fallen and Anywhere but Home (2001 – 2005)

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Evanescence performing in 2003

Evanescence was signed by Wind-up Records in 2001.

After their debut studio album Fallen was completed, the tour lineup was hired, including rhythm guitarist John LeCompt, drummer Rocky Gray, and bassist Will Boyd. The first two were friends of Moody.

Fallen became a worldwide success, and spent 43 weeks on the Billboard top 10 charts. It sold over 15 million copies and was certified 7x platinum in the United States. It is also one of the eight albums to stay for at least a year within the Billboard Top 50 charts.

"Bring Me to Life" which won a Grammy award for Best Hard Rock Performance in 2004. My Immortal was nominated for a Grammy in 2005. The other two singles are Going Under and Everybody’s Fool. All four songs had videos to promote them.

Ben Moody left the band while they were touring in Europe. The reason given for this is because of creative differences with Lee. Terry Balsamo replaced Moody as Evanescence's lead guitarist.

Evanescence in Le Zenith, Paris featuring a new line-up

In 2004, Evanescence released Anywhere but Home, their first live album. It includes a concert in Paris, some behind-the-scenes features, and the single Missing, which reached #1 in Spain. The CD also had three live songs, Breathe No More, Farther Away, and the band's cover of Korn's Thoughtless.

The Open Door and Hiatus (2005 – 2009)

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The band entered the studio in September 2005 to start recording songs for the second album, The Open Door. After finishing recording, Will Boyd left the band in 2006 for "not wanting to do another big tour" and for wanting "to be close to his family". He was replaced by Tim McCord.

The Open Door is the band's first album to reach #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts. The album had four singles with videos, which are Call Me When You're Sober, Lithium, Sweet Sacrifice and Good Enough. In 2008, "Sweet Sacrifice" was nominated for a Grammy Award.

The first tour of The Open Door was held in countries such as the United States, Canada, Japan and Australia. In the second tour, they returned to the US and had more concerts there. They also joined the Family Values Tour 2007 with the band Korn and the Argentinean festival Quilems Rock 07 with the bands Aerosmith and Velvet Revolver. In May 2007, touring rhythm guitarist John LeCompt was fired and drummer Rocky Gray left the band. They were replaced by former Dark New Day guitarist Troy McLawhorn and drummer Will Hunt.

Evanescence (2009 – present)

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Evanescence performing at the Maquinaria festival in 2010.

Lee announced in June 2009 that the band was working on a new album. She described the music of the initially sessions as "dark, sarcastic, fun, strange, familiar and very different at the same time". She was collaborating with Will "Science" Hunt and Balsamo in writing for the album.

The band played a sold-out "secret show" at the Manhattan Center Grand Ballroom in New York City on November 4, 2009, along with label-mates Civil Twilight. The tickets sold out in five minutes. Lee told the audience that the bands' appearance was a warm-up for their headlining appearance at the Maquinária festival in São Paulo, Brazil, which took place on November 8. The Maquinária show featured an intro containing a brief sample of the bands' new music.

Evanescence entered the studio on February 22, 2010 to begin recording and chose Steve Lillywhite to produce the album. Will "Science" Hunt participated as a programmer. Despite his collaboration with Lee on most songs of the album, he eventually didn't join the band. The album was initially more electronic music-oriented and slated for a late 2010 release. However, according to Lee, Lillywhite "wasn't the right fit" and the music "wasn't coming together right". He was eventually replaced by producer Nick Rasculinecz and the band started over with writing new material and developing songs from the previous session.

Evanescence performing in November 2016

In June, Lee announced that the band have temporarily left the studio to work further on the songs and that their label company was going through "uncertain times", which could delay the release of the album. She stated that the band would return to the studio "soon enough". Evanescence reentered the studio in early April 2011 with producer Nick Rasculinecz. The album was speculated to be released in fall 2011. After the change of producers, Lee indicated that the album would be heavier in its sound. She also noted the band's growing participation in the songwriting process, saying that she felt like she was "finally in a real band". In June, Lee announced that the new release date for the album was October 4, 2011.

Band members

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  • Amy Lee - lead vocals, piano, keyboards, harp
  • Troy McLawhorn - guitar
  • Tim McCord - guitar
  • Emma Aznzai - bass guitar, backing vocals
  • Will Hunt - drums


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Studio albums


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  1. Fooks, Todd FooksTodd (2022-08-19). "The Top 25 Best Selling Hard Rock + Metal Artists of All Time". Loudwire. Retrieved 2024-07-17.