Terry Balsamo

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Terry Balsamo

Terry Balsamo (born October 8, 1973, in Jacksonville, Florida) is the former guitarist of Evanescence from 2003 to 2015. Amy Lee hired him during the Fallen tour when Ben Moody left, and Terry soon became a permanent member. Amy and him saw eye to eye and shared musical tastes, and they worked together for the making of the second album The Open Door. They co-wrote most of the music of The Open Door and the third album Evanescence, the latter also co-written with other members of the band. Amy said about the writing process of The Open Door:[1]

Vin1.jpg [After Moody's departure], I didn't have somebody — I don't want to be mean — holding me back. Instead, I had [Balsamo] lifting me up. Terry is just an amazing instigator. He'll push me to do something I wouldn't have done maybe, because I'd be afraid to or something. He's a great writer, and it was just like we were just having fun with it for a change. It was like, 'Let's stop taking everything so seriously and have fun,' and we wrote a lot of songs that I'm just totally in love with. [...] I was finally creating in the same room with someone. When Ben was in the band, we never wrote together. I would write my music, and I'd go as far as I could with it, and we'd come together and he'd write guitars and stuff. More commonly, he'd write stuff and bring it to me and I'd do lyrics and melodies and pianos and vocals. We could never really sit in the same room and create. I always felt my writing was too personal and too hard to share. But it was also that we didn't jell perfectly as writing partners. With Terry, I knew I liked his writing style, but I didn't know what the process would be like. But what we've come up with as a team is definitely better than what we could have done on our own. Vin2.jpg

Terry made his start in the music world as an early member of the now infamous Limp Bizkit. He left a few years before the recording of Bizkit's album 3 Dollar Bill Y'All (1997), being replaced by Wes Borland. In late 1999, Terry joined up with fellow Jacksonville rockers; Scooter Ward, Sam McCandless, Jeremy Marshall and Kelly Hayes -- otherwise known as the monsters of Alternative Metal, Cold.

Terry remained with Cold writing and recording with them for their epic yet underrated albums 13 Ways to Bleed on Stage (2000) and Year of the Spider (2003). Near the end of his stint with Cold, the band had joined Evanescence as an opening act on the 2003 Nintendo Fusion Tour. This was before the abrupt departure of former Evanescence guitarist Ben Moody. Terry had filled in for Moody on stage with Evanescence after Moody left during Evanescence's European tour, and as Cold's future was questionable and there were tensions within the band, Terry jumped ship and signed on permanently with Evanescence.

In November 2005, Terry suffered a stroke from a torn neck artery which landed him in the hospital for an unspecified amount of time. Headbanging was the cause of the stroke.

Vin1.jpg They had to do an MRI. When they did the MRI, the doctor came back in the room and he was like, 'Have you ever had any neck injuries like from a car accident or anything?' And I was like, 'No.' Then we were like, 'Other than banging his head all day and every night for an hour and a half.' I’ve always had weird thing in my neck doing that, but I never would have thought it would have given me a stroke.[2] Vin2.jpg

In November 2007, he had claimed to have recovered "a good 50%" from the stroke, getting better every day. The band waited for his health to improve before going on tour.

According to Limp Bizkit fansite, Terry was suposedly going to replace the former guitarrist Wes Borland. The band is rehearsing something until now unknown. From MTV.com, it was confirmed that Terry is just doing a project with Sam Rivers.

Terry returned for Evanescence's third studio album, Evanescence, recording both Lead Guitar and Rhythm.[3] He toured with the band on their worldwide tour from 2011 to 2012, and his last live show with Evanescence was at the Wembley Arena in London, UK on November 9, 2012.

In 2015, when Evanescence announced their first live show in three years at Ozzfest Japan, Amy confirmed in an interview that the same band from their last tour was returning. However, on August 7, 2015, Evanescence announced Terry's departure on Facebook. It's currently unknown publicly why he left, but it's clear from the announcement that it was not on bad terms. It is understood that Terry stepped back from touring due to his health, as he had previously said in an interview that he didn't 100% recover and doing long tours was often a struggle. German musician Jen Majura was announced as his replacement on tour.[4]

On July 8, 2016, Cold posted a statement to their Facebook page confirming that Terry returned to the band to contribute in the studio, and that they will begin recording their new album next month. However, in January 2018, Cold posted to Facebook that they are in the final stage of production with their new album and confirmed the band's line-up, which didn't include Terry. When a fan questioned why Terry wasn't touring with them, Cold responded that they "love Terry very, very much" and "possibly one day he will play with [Cold] again". Another question was asked if he was gone for good, to which Cold said that they are "not sure about that" and they are "sure Terry will explain everything to everyone some day." and added that "[they] love T and will always be [there] for him! He’s just doing what he needs to do at the moment".[5]

Terry attended Evanescence's Synthesis Live show on August 20, 2018 in Jacksonville, Florida and multiple pictures of him with the band were posted to social media.[6][7][8][9][10]

At Evanescence's show at Welcome to Rockville 2019, Terry made a surprise appearance playing the guitar on Sweet Sacrifice.[11]

Tools of the Trade

Vin1.jpg I use Ibanez guitars. In the studio, I kind of use a similar setup to what I used on the last Cold record I did, which is mix up the amps and combine the sound together. It’s a Diezel and a Mesa Boogie Triple Rectifier and mixed that for one side. Then I took a Bogner and a Mesa Boogie Triple Rectifier on the other side. I combined it and made one big wall of metal.[2] Right now on tour I’m using T.C. Electronics, the G-System. Vin2.jpg

Band Projects

  • Limp Bizkit - Guitar (1994)
  • Shaft - Guitar (1996-1999)
  • Evanescence - Guitar (2003-2015)
  • Cold - Guitar (1999-2003, 2016-2018)