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- Disappearance like a vapor.
- The name that Amy Lee and Ben Moody decided to call their band after looking in a dictionary and finding the original definition of evanescence. Evanescence has become a household name.
- The name of the EP of the very first collection of Evanescence songs officially released in 1998. Features early versions of the songs "Where Will You Go", "Imaginary", and "Understanding" (which is the second song ever written for the band). 100 copies of the EP were produced and then sold out after an early performance by the band.
- The name chosen for the band's third studio album, released on October 7, 2011 and produced by Nick Raskulinecz.
- The name of a lesser-known album by a band called Scorn. Many confuse the Scorn album with Evanescence’s works.
1995–2001: In the beginning...
Evanescence was founded by Amy Lee and former lead guitarist Ben Moody. Ben said during an Enclave interview on Fall 1998 that the two met at a youth camp in Arkansas, where he heard Amy playing the piano intro to Meat Loaf's I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That), but according to what Amy revealed during an interview, they met in camp when Amy played on the piano Bach, Beethoven, Mozart and two measures of Meatloaf songs. 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. Five of Lee and Moody's songs were played on local radio stations ("Give Unto Me", "Understanding", "Even in Death", "Lies" and "Whisper"), 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"). They released two EPs (Evanescence EP and Sound Asleep EP) in 1998 and 1999, respectively. Very few copies of these CDs were made, and both were distributed by Bigwig Enterprises.
|When this band started I was about 14 or so, and it was nothing more than a lot of song-writing and home recording. Throughout my high school years Ben and I (and later, David) filled all our spare time obsessing over songs, demoing them the best we could out of our parents houses, and playing the occasional club or cafe gig. Origin is a collection of our best home made recordings as of 2001 (I think. Maybe 2000...) Anyway, back then we were still finding ourselves- learning how to write. I've always felt that our music has grown and improved tremendously since then and want to keep doing better and better than before, instead of looking back. To be honest, its hard to listen to the really old stuff without laughing at myself a little. But of course those songs will always be special to me, and remind me of a time in my life that was both wonderful and terrible. It's so cool to have them recorded, so I can go back and listen to my teenaged self- to remember things I'd forgotten.
—Amy Lee in a 2007 interview
Their first record, Origin, was released on November 4, 2000. Writing credits include Amy, Ben, and David Hodges. Amy 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) used to help scout session (or touring) band members. A portion of the album was recorded at Ardent Studios with help from Dust for Life earlier in the year. Only 2500 copies of this record were ever made, and it is thus not generally available in stores. In response, Amy and Ben encouraged fans to download the band's older songs.
Evanescence were discovered by Wind-Up Records after members of the band Dust for Life, who helped record tracks on Origin, played a copy of the newly-released album to their manager. They were signed in 2001.
2002–2005: Fallen era
David was fired from the band for unknown reasons in December of 2002, four months before Fallen was released. It was originally thought that he left because he was leading the band more into the Christian scene which Ben and Amy wanted to avoid.
Just before Fallen, in January, Mystary EP was sold during a concert as a "Fallen Sampler". When their debut album was released by the major Wind-up Records, the band consisted of Amy Lee, Ben Moody, Rocky Gray (drums), John LeCompt (guitar), and William Boyd (bass). The same day as Fallen, the Daredevil movie soundtrack was released featuring Evanescence's "Bring Me to Life" and "My Immortal". "Bring Me to Life", the first single off Fallen, was a global hit for the band and reached #5 on the US Billboard Hot 100. Fallen spent 43 weeks on the Billboard Top 10, was certified 7x Platinum in the United States and sold more than 17 million copies worldwide; the album was listed for 104 weeks on the Billboard 200, and it was one of eight albums in the history of the chart to spend at least a year on the Billboard Top 50.
Wind-up Records originally wanted the band to hire a full-time male co-vocalist and feature him on eight out of the eleven songs on Fallen. Record label executives initially refused to release the album unless the band would agree to do this. The band refused to do it, and later agreed to add a male vocal on only one song: "Bring Me to Life."
On October 22, 2003, Moody left the band in the middle of the European tour, reportedly because of creative differences. His explanation of the event can be read in his open letter to the fans, published about 7 years later. In an interview several months later, Amy Lee said:
|It's actually been a relief, I don't mean that as a negative toward Ben, but we've all been through a lot and we were at breaking point. And the thing is, we'd gotten to a point that if something didn't change, we wouldn't have been able to make a second record.|
In 2004, Evanescence released a live album + DVD set: Anywhere but Home was released November 22, 2004, and consists of a concert at the Zenith in Paris on May 25, a behind-the-scenes footage and the music videos off Fallen. Also on the CD are the live songs "Breathe No More" (from the Elektra movie soundtrack, released in 2005), "Farther Away", and the band's cover of Korn's "Thoughtless", along with the studio version of the B-side "Missing".
2006–2009: The Open Door era
A spokesperson for the band's label confirmed on July 14, 2006 that Will Boyd had left Evanescence on good terms in late June for "not wanting to do another big tour" and wanting "to be close to his family", after the recording of The Open Door was completed. In an interview with MTV, posted on their website on August 10, 2006, Lee announced he would have been replaced by Tim McCord.
The album progressed slowly for several reasons, including Amy Lee's desire to maximize the creative process and not rush production, other band members' side projects, guitarist Terry Balsamo's stroke, and the loss of their former manager. The album was almost scrapped by the label, but eventually Amy fought them over and was given the green-light to move forward with the album. The Open Door is Evanescence's second official album and third album overall; it was released on September 25, 2006. The album was recorded at The Record Plant in Hollywood, California, and mixed at Ocean Way Studios in March of 2006. It debuted at #1 in the US, Australia, Germany, Greece, Japan, and Switzerland and was in the Top 5 in Austria, Canada, France, Holland, Hong Kong, Italy, New Zealand, Sweden, UK, Ireland, Korea, Norway, and Denmark. The album was preceded by the single "Call Me When You're Sober", the music video for the song, based on a Little Riding Hood concept, was released on September 25. The tour for The Open Door began on October 5, 2006, in Toronto and included locations in Canada, the U.S. and Europe during that year. This first tour continued on January 5, 2007 and included stops in Canada (alongside band Stone Sour), Japan and Australia (alongside band Shihad) and then returned to the U.S. for a second tour in the spring (alongside bands Chevelle and Finger Eleven). They also co-headlined on the Family Values Tour 2007 along with Korn and other bands.
John was officially "fired" from Evanescence on May 4th, 2007. Rocky officially left Evanescence on May 4th, 2007, some people believe he did it in order to protest over John getting fired, but this wasn't the reason. Rocky had already decided to leave Evanescence in January. His contract with Wind-up said that he had to finish the tour first. He wasn't allowed to say anything about his plans about leaving either. When John was fired, he defied Wind-up and told the fans anyway. Wind-up issued a press release on May 17, 2007, stating that Will Hunt (drums) and Troy McLawhorn (guitar) from Dark New Day would go on tour with Evanescence as guest members until the end of the Family Values Tour in September 2007, but both continued to play with the band through The Open Door Tour. Amy revealed on EvThreads that the reason John was fired is because "they were very vocal about the fact that they didn't really care about Evanescence at all, and just stayed around for the money. I knowingly let this negative energy grow within my band for a very long time because I was afraid of the appearance of falling apart, when in reality, trying to hold on to these guys is what was holding us back. I treated both John and Rocky with nothing but kindness and respect, and I got nothing but jealousy and resentment in return. They were miserable. They are no longer playing with us because I love this band too much to see it driven into the ground." The Open Door Tour ended on December 9, 2007.
2009–2012: Evanescence era
In a news posting to the Evanescence website in June 2009, Amy Lee wrote that the band was in the process of writing new material for a new album scheduled for release in 2010. She stated that the music would be an evolution of previous works and be "better, stronger, and more interesting". On September 1, 2009, Amy Lee announced Evanescence's headline appearance at the Maquinária Festival in São Paulo, Brazil, which took place on November 8. On November 4 Evanescence played a "warm-up show" in New York, Manhattan Center Grand Ballroom. "Together Again", an outtake from The Open Door, was released as a digital download on January 22, 2010, to benefit the United Nations Foundation for their Haiti earthquake recovery efforts. The download was free with a 5$ minimum donation. It later received wide release as a digital download on February 23, 2010.
As announced on January 8 through Twitter, Evanescence entered the studio for the third album on February 22 to begin recording. Will "Science" Hunt joined the band as primary drummer and programmer, while Will Hunt returned as secondary drummer. David Campbell, who previously worked on The Open Door, was brought back to handle string arrangements, and the album was to be produced by Steve Lillywhite. The sound of the new album has been described as "synthetic and atmospheric" quoting influences like Portishead, Massive Attack and Björk. The album was intended to be released during Fall 2010, however, on June 21, 2010, it was announced that Evanescence had temporarily left the studio to work further on the album in April that year and "get our heads into the right creative space" and indicated that Wind-up Records was going through "uncertain times", which may further delay release of the album. It was later revealed that the label scrapped the album produced by Lillywhite, stating it "didn't sound like Evanescence".
On Amy's birthday in December 13, 2010 Amy posted on EvThreads that she has "high hopes for 2011" and she's in Northern California writing music with Terry and Tim, and finally on February 2, 2011 Amy announced on EvThreads that the band is starting pre-production on the album, but it was revealed that the band switched producers to Nick Raskulinecz. Amy later revealed on Twitter that the album will be released on October 4, 2011 and Troy McLawhorn joined the band again. Later, on July 11, 2011 it was reported by MTV News that the release date for the album had been pushed back to October 11, and that the first single from the album will be "What You Want". The album was released on October 7, 2011 in Australia, Germany and Ireland, October 10, 2011 in the United Kingdom and Poland, and October 11, 2011 in the United States. The tour to support the album began on August 17, 2011. The band paused their tour to take part in the Carnival of Madness Tour alongside Halestorm, Cavo, New Medicine and Chevelle. This tour began on July 31, 2012, in Springfield, Illinois, and ran through September 2, 2012, ending in Buffalo, New York. The tour wrapped with a series of shows in the UK, ending on November 9, 2012, in London's Wembley Arena. In an interview with NME on September 2012 when asked if the band will be writing a fourth album, Amy said, "I'm thinking we'll take a break first. I'm really not sure what I'll do next. At the end of any really long tour you need to get your head in order. I think at the end of the run we'll go on a break for a while and figure things out." And she also said in the interview that she doesn't know how long the break will be, although she doesn't want it to take another five years, she "can't put a timeline on it either."
2012–2018: Hiatus, Live Return, The Ultimate Collection and Synthesis era
After finishing touring their third album, Evanescence were on hiatus, and with that, the band members began working on other projects.
Amy announced on March 18, 2014 that she is free from her record deal with Wind-Up Records after suing them for unpaid royalties. She confirmed that she is "free do to anything, Evanescence included".
In August 2014, whilst Amy was promoting her solo soundtrack album, Aftermath, she said in a Rolling Stone interview that "for the foreseeable future, [she] don't have any plans to do anything with the band" which made fans think that Evanescence had disbanded. Because of this speculation, Amy posted to Facebook that "[she] never said Evanescence was over" and that "[she] has a completely open mind for the future".
On April 26, 2015, Evanescence announced that they will be playing at Ozzfest Japan on November 21st. Then in July, three more dates were confirmed for Nashville, Dallas and Los Angeles prior to Ozzfest.
On August 7th, Evanescence announced that Terry Balsamo had parted ways with the band, and their new guitarist is German musician, Jen Majura. It's unknown publicly why Terry left, but it's clear that it was not on bad terms.
Evanescence played their first live show in three years at the Marathon Music Works in Nashville, Tennessee on November 13th. After they concluded their 2015 mini-tour, Amy expressed interest in playing live again next year if they are given opportunities. In February 2016, more live show announcements were made for SunFest and three headline shows in Florida.
On August 22nd, Rolling Stone exclusively announced Evanescence's U.S. fall tour that will span sixteen dates in October and November. During this tour, they played a brand new song called Take Cover, a leftover from Evanescence, and the positive reaction from fans and the chemistry playing together gave them a "creative mindset" and that "[they're] playing the best that [they've] ever played".
The Ultimate Collection vinyl box set was announced on September 14th. This includes the demo album Origin, the studio albums Fallen, The Open Door and Evanescence, a b-side album Lost Whispers and a picture booklet that contains photos, lyrics, journal pages, designs and sketches. The pre-order link was made available on their official website on October 11th. Unfortunately, the release date was pushed back from December 9th until January 2017 due to issues with the manufacturer. Because of this, Amy signed an exclusive poster for every pre-order and had them shipped immediately.
When Amy was interviewed on AOL's BUILD series on September 30th 2016, she hinted at new Evanescence material by saying that they do have "a new little plan in store" and that "there is some new Evanescence stuff [they're] starting at, but it's not exactly the most traditional thing". She added that "it's going to take you down a different path [they] want to try".
The first of the 2017 tour dates were announced in December for South America and Europe. The Ultimate Collection began being shipping week commencing January 23rd. The b-side album, Lost Whispers, was made available on digital music platforms on February 17th.
Evanescence began their South American tour on April 20th at NET Live Brasilia in Brazil and played seven shows before concluding at the Movistar Arena in Chile on May 4th. During the month-long break before starting their European tour, Amy announced the band's new project, Synthesis. In the brief explanation, Amy said that the new album is called Synthesis because it's about "the synergy between the organic and the synthetic, and also the past and the present". The album will feature songs from their catalog of music that will be stripped of the distorted guitars and rock drums and replaced with "full orchestration and a completely synthetic world of beats and sounds". Amy made it very clear that the songs are not remixes and that they will be recording "from the ground up". As well as the songs the fans will know, there will be two new compositions included. David Campbell, who worked on strings for all three studio albums, will be arranging the orchestra for Synthesis as well. The new album and an orchestral tour are to be expected in the fall.
Evanescence began their European tour at the Caribana Festival in Switzerland on June 7th and played 18 shows, concluding at The Palladium in Germany on July 9th.
A month later, Evanescence announced that their tour, Synthesis Live, will begin October 14th and run through North America until December 19th. Bring Me to Life (Synthesis) was released digitally on August 18th, which also included an instrumental version of the song. Amy confirmed that the release date for Synthesis will be November 10th in a radio interview with 93.3 WMMR Rocks!.
The second single, Imperfection, was leaked to YouTube on September 4th and was officially released on September 15th. On the same day, Evanescence posted pre-order links for Synthesis and 2018 European tour dates for Synthesis Live were confirmed. The track list was published to include, in order: Overture, Never Go Back, Hi-Lo, My Heart Is Broken, Lacrymosa, The End of the Dream, Bring Me to Life, Unraveling, Imaginary, Secret Door, Lithium, Lost In Paradise, Your Star, My Immortal, The In-Between and Imperfection.
In a Facebook Q&A with Amy, she confirmed that Imperfection will have a music video that will be filmed September 15th and will be directed by Paul R. Brown, a more "traditional" album will be made after Synthesis and Lindsey Stirling contributed music to Hi-Lo.
On September 29th, Evanescence posted that they will be hosting a Synthesis listening party in New York on October 3rd. A live interview with Amy Lee at the listening party was streamed on Facebook, along with an acoustic performance of Good Enough, in celebration of The Open Door's eleventh anniversary.
Australian tour dates for Synthesis Live were confirmed in February 2018.
Evanescence began their North American Synthesis Live tour at the Pearl Concert Theater in Las Vegas, Nevada on October 14th. The Synthesis album was played in full, along with a medley intro of Amy's favorite classical pieces. Good Enough and Swimming Home were performed as the encore. At the second show of the tour, they added Speak to Me to the setlist, and played it for the remainder of the tour.
The third promo single, Lacrymosa, became digitally available to download and stream on October 27th.
Evanescence live streamed Never Go Back and Lacrymosa from their Connecticut show on their Facebook page. Some of the fans who attended the pre-show VIP posted online that they were told the show was being recorded for a DVD.
Synthesis was released in Japan on November 8th, then worldwide on November 10th. They finished their first leg of the North American tour at the Kings Theatre in Brooklyn, New York. The second leg began on November 30th at the Chicago Theatre in Illinois. For the encore, they replaced Swimming Home with a Synthesis version of Weight of the World. They concluded the 2017 North American tour at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall in Portland, Oregon.
On March 5th, Evanescence announced a co-headlining tour with Lindsey Stirling that will take place in the USA and Canada between July 6th and September 8th. Pre-sale tickets were released on March 6th 10AM local time in each city and general sale began on March 9th.
Craft Recordings, who manage the catalog of The Bicycle Music Company, announced that they will reissue the b-side album, Lost Whispers, on blue translucent vinyl exclusively for Record Store Day on April 21, 2018. Only 2,500 copies were available to purchase.
Evanescence began their European tour on March 12th at Crocus City Hall in Moscow, Russia. When it came to the band's two performances at the Royal Festival Hall in London, UK, a poster at the venue stated that they will be recorded "for use in a music video", which was later confirmed to be for Hi-Lo. The leg concluded on April 9th at the Eventim Apollo in London, UK.
On April 30th, Amy Lee and Lindsey Stirling began promo work for their co-headlining tour. In a live Q&A on Facebook, they confirmed that the Hi-Lo music video will feature both of them in a live setting, with Lindsey's parts filmed seperately. The music video was uploaded to YouTube on June 8th.
The co-headlining tour began on July 8th at the Starlight Theatre in Kansas City, Missouri. Evanescence added a new song to the setlist by covering Across the Universe by The Beatles, in tribute to Amy's late brother, Robby Lee. When it came to Lindsey's setlist, Amy sang the vocals for her song, Shatter Me, and for the encore, Amy and Lindsey covered Lana Del Rey's Young and Beautiful. On the second night, the encore was replaced by a mash-up of Palladio, Ozzy Osbourne's No More Tears and Sia's Alive. The encore alternated between the two covers every night depending on who opened and closed the shows. The Synthesis era concluded on September 8th.
The Synthesis Live DVD was officially announced on August 8th and was relelased on October 12th on multiple formats: DVD, DVD+CD, Blu-ray, Blu-ray+CD and Digital.
2019–Present: Live Return, The Chain and The Bitter Truth
After a short break, Evanescence confirmed that they will be "brushing the rock dust off" and played some shows in the summer and fall of 2019. Amy said that the band will begin writing brand new music later in the year and return to the "rock" sound.
At the live shows, the band performed a rock version of Imperfection and brought back a few songs they haven't played in several years. At their headline shows, the encore featured a medley of Haunted, My Last Breath, Cloud Nine, Everybody's Fool, Weight of the World and Snow White Queen.
The first writing sessions began after the US tour in May, and the band wrote intermittently during the tours, still with no specific release date set.
On September 17, 2019, Evanescence announced a joint tour with Within Temptation called Worlds Collide that will span 13 dates in Europe during April 2020. Amy said that for the tour, the band are going to get "really creative with [their] production" on stage. The tour had to be postponed to September 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. And then it was pushed back a second time to September and October 2021. It was postponed a third time, to Spring 2022.
On October 14th and 15th, the band posted several videos to their Instagram story recording a cover of Fleetwood Mac's The Chain after Amy gave her vocals for the Gears 5 trailer. The song was officially released on November 22, 2019.
On November 30th, the band were due to perform at Knotfest Mexico, but unfortunately their set was cancelled due to security concerns with a broken barricade. The crowd at the festival grew angry, stormed the stage and destroyed some of Evanescence's equipment, including burning Will Hunt's drums. They used this as inspiration to use a set of burning drums for The Chain's music video, which was filmed on December 3rd. It was officially released to YouTube on January 9, 2020.
Evanescence officially announced their new album cover and title, The Bitter Truth, on April 17, 2020, and said that it will be released in pieces throughout the year. The first single, Wasted on You, was released on April 24th. The second single, The Game is Over, was released on July 1st. Both had accompanying music videos that were filmed at home and edited by P.R. Brown. The third single, Use My Voice, was released on August 14th and was originally intended as the first single. Its music video, directed by Eric D. Howell and shot in Nashville, Minneapolis and Germany, premiered on August 28th. The fourth single, Yeah Right, was released on December 4. The fifth single, Better Without You, was released on March 5, 2021 and its music video premiered on April 16.
On September 9, Amy told Kerrang! that the album was nearing completion, with "seventy per cent" done, though she couldn't set a release date because she was still writing lyrics. In November, the band were putting the finishing touches on the album, such as programming and orchestration. On December 4, it was announced the album will be released on March 26, 2021 and feature 12 tracks. A deluxe fan box set was released on the same day, comprising a bonus CD with their livestream concert, journal, poster, and a cassette tape titled The Bitter Truth Evolution with exclusive audio from the making of the album.
In her Kerrang! cover story on March 10, 2021, Amy said she considers The Bitter Truth the band's fourth album, and not 2017's Synthesis. Following her interview, the album was leaked in its entirety the following day.
On May 10, 2021, the band announced a joint U.S. Fall 2021 tour with Halestorm that will take place from November to December. The last four shows were rescheduled to January 2022 due to multiple people in their team testing positive for COVID.
On December 17, their cover of The Beatles' Across the Universe was digitally released for purchase and stream, as it was only available on a bonus CD on the deluxe box set of The Bitter Truth.
To be continued...
- Amy Lee – lead vocals, piano, keyboard, harp (1995–present)
- Troy McLawhorn – lead guitar (2015–present; live member 2007–2011), rhythm guitar (2007-2015)
- Jen Majura – rhythm guitar, backing vocals (2015–present)
- Tim McCord – bass (2006–present)
- Will Hunt – drums, percussion (2010–present; live member 2007–2010)
- Ben Moody – lead guitar, bass, drums (1995–2003)
- David Hodges – keyboards, drums, backing vocals (1999–2002)
- Will Boyd – bass (2003–2006)
- Rocky Gray – drums, percussion (2003–2007; live member 2002–2003)
- John LeCompt – rhythm guitar, backing vocals (2003–2007; live member 2002–2003)
- Terry Balsamo – lead guitar (2003–2015)
- Francesco DiCosmo – bass (2002; appears on Fallen)
- Josh Freese – drums, percussion (2002; appears on Fallen)
- Will "Science" Hunt - drums, percussion, programming (2010; scrapped Lillywhite sessions for Evanescence)
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- "AUSTRALIA! We're heading down under in February 2018 for four shows!". Facebook.
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- "As promised, almost every date on the Worlds Collide Tour has been rescheduled!". Facebook. April 3, 2020. https://www.facebook.com/Evanescence/posts/10156824482351786.
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- Watch it here and here.
- "The Chain (from Gears 5) is out NOW!". Twitter. November 22, 2019. https://twitter.com/evanescence/status/1197742250966413312.
- "We promised you a new album in 2020 and we won’t let anything stop us. We are proud to begin sharing our new album ‘THE BITTER TRUTH’ with you". Twitter. April 17, 2020. https://twitter.com/evanescence/status/1251180922046517248.
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