Biography / Biografia
Evanescence (ev’e-nes’ens ): a dissipation or disappearance like vapor
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 other’s thoughts.”
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 Bjork, 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.”
Evanescence has sold nearly 18 million albums worldwide to date. Following their major-label debut Fallen, Evanescence continues their meteoric rise with their CD, The Open Door (Wind-up Records), which was released on October 3. The album from the two-time Grammy-winning band is defined by Amy Lee’s beautiful melodies, compelling lyrics, poignant piano and stunning vocals, fused with Terry Balsamo’s urgent, yet intricate guitar, to form a seamless, ethereal mixture that perfectly channels the band’s hard rock and classical sensibilities. The contributions of members John LeCompt (guitar) and Rocky Gray (drums) are also evident.
“Making this record has been really intense,” explains Lee. “Terry suffered a stroke last October and is still recovering, we got a new manager [Andy Lurie], and I’ve come out of a difficult breakup. But everything we’ve been through together has benefited this album.” With Fallen, says Lee, the band had much to prove while defining its identity. This time, finding a cohesive writing partner in Terry Balsamo, “we really took our time crafting this album and had the freedom to express a broader range of emotions: not just pain and sadness, but also anger and, yes, even happiness.”
Written late last year, The Open Door was recorded at The Record Plant in Los Angeles and mixed at Ocean Way Studios in March 2006. Marking the return of long-time friend and producer Dave Fortman, the album’s musical elements include a classically-infused choir and strings on several tracks, giving further color to songs of introspection, longing, doubt, self-respect and, ultimately, empowerment. The album opens with “Sweet Sacrifice,” a post-relationship catharsis that head-dives from an otherworldly intro into a hard-driving thrash of hard rock guitars and soaring rock vocals. Its first single, the mid-tempo “Call Me When You’re Sober,” reinforces the moving-away-from-dysfunction theme.
Other standout tracks on The Open Door include “Lithium,” which embraces feeling over numbness, “All That I’m Living For,” Lee’s tribute to band life, “Weight of the World,” her plea for perspective from the expectation of young fans, and “Good Enough,” a string-and-choir-infused closer distinguished as the band’s first truly (almost) contented song (“It feels really good ending the album this way,” says Lee). Having toured for a year-and-a-half straight with only a month off following the release of Fallen, Evanescence hopes to hit the road this time out with a care not to neglect key markets worldwide. Its U.S. tour begins immediately after the October 3rd release of The Open Door, rewarding hardcore fans with a “sneak peak” of the album during a handful of more intimate theater dates before segueing into much larger arena shows.
Originally hailing from Little Rock, Arkansas, the band’s evolving sound – a nearly mystical marriage between rock, goth and classical – was informed by a curious duality. Lee, who spent nine years studying classical piano, explains, “When I was in high school I listened to a lot of heavy bands and dark classical music. Both genres are intricate, complex types of music that are very dramatic, and I’m naturally drawn to that.”
Evanescence self-released two EPs and a first full-length album, the much-sought-after Origin, before finding a home at Wind-up Records. Fallen, their major-label debut, was released in April 2003 to critical and commercial success. The internationally appealing Top 10 singles “Bring Me to Life” and “My Immortal” helped drive airplay and led to two 2003 Grammy Awards (Best New Artist and Best Hard Rock Performance for “Bring Me To Life”). Propelling the band to sales of nearly 14 million albums worldwide, Fallen spent more than 100 weeks on Billboard’s Top 200 chart, was certified gold or platinum in over 35 countries, and sold out arenas globally. Anywhere But Home, their 2004 live DVD release, has sold over one million copies to date.
The inherent drama in Evanescence’s music – a kind of audio odyssey that can turn on a dime from piano-led introspection to hammering guitar – has resonated with listeners everywhere. The band’s aggressive core finds a counterpart in Lee’s passionate vocals, lyrics that forge a connection with audiences searching for identity or struggling with feelings of desire, hope love and loss. The Open Door is a logical (but certainly not predictable) transformation of epic proportions for the band, which, in many ways has only just begun to make its mark on the music world.
Thanks to the Evanescence Official Site
Evanescenza: dissolvimento o scomparsa, come fa il vapore
Sebbene il nome del gruppo possa far pensare a qualcosa che si dissolve velocemente, la musica degli Evanescence è fatta per restare. “Fallen”, il disco di debutto di questo talentuoso quartetto di Little Rock (Arkansas) per l’etichetta Wind-up Records (Epic), è un lavoro etereo, ricco di emozioni e di notevole forza, sotto la guida della bellissima voce di Amy Lee. “Siamo decisamente una rock band”, dice la ventenne Lee. “Ma la cosa particolare è che la musica della band è epica, drammatica e dark.”
I fondatori della band, Amy Lee e il chitarrista e autore Ben Moody, si sono conosciuti da ragazzini. “Eravamo in un camping estivo” ricorda Moody “un bel giorno ho sentito Amy che suonava al piano ‘I’d Do Anything for Love’ di Meat Loaf. Allora mi sono avvicinato per conoscerla e lei ha cominciato a suonare per me. Mi ha decisamente stregato e allora l’ho convinta a entrare con me in una band”. Da quel giorno il rapporto musicale è diventato inossidabile. “Abbiamo la stessa esatta visione di quello che ci piace nella musica”, dice Moody. “Quando si tratta di scrivere le canzoni è come se ognuno portasse a termine il pensiero dell’altro”.
Gli Evanescence hanno cominciato a prendere forma a Little Rock alla fine degli anni ’90. La band non si trovava del tutto a suo agio con le tendenze musicali che andavano per la maggiore nel piccolo stato del mid-west. “Va soprattutto il death metal o, all’opposto, musica soft per un pubblico più adulto”, dice la Lee. “Non conosco neanche una band locale che abbia una cantante donna”.
Ispirandosi ad un’ampia gamma di artisti quali Björk, Danny lfman eTori Amos, la band ha cominciato a realizzare degli EP di materiale proprio. Anche senza il supporto di un’attività dal vivo gli Evanescence hanno cominciato a farsi un nome.
“Parte di questa fama precoce derivava proprio dal fatto di essere sfuggenti”, ricorda Moody. “La seconda canzone che abbiamo scritto era un ridicolo inno gotico di sette minuti intitolato ‘Understanding’. Per qualche strana ragione la radio locale ha iniziato a trasmetterlo, dandoci una certa popolarità in città senza che nessuno sapesse nulla di noi. Il tutto derivava dal fatto che non potevamo permetterci di suonare dal vivo. Eravamo solo Amy ed io e non potevamo pagare una band!”
“Fallen” è stato registrato a Los Angeles con il produttore Dave Frontman (Boysetfire, Superjoint Ritual). L’album riesce a trovare, con successo, quella sottile linea di confine tra languida bellezza e durezza primordiale. Il primo brano ben rappresenta la qualità del disco. “Bring Me To Life” è una ballata al pianoforte, che diventa un pezzo incendiario. Con la partecipazione alla voce di Paul McCoy dei 12 Stones, la canzone appare nella colonna sonora del film Daredevil.
’Bring Me To Life’ parla della scoperta di qualcosa o di qualcuno che suscita un sentimento che non avevamo mai provato prima”, dice Moody. “Si scopre presto che c’è un mondo che è più grande della nostra piccola sicura bolla”. Significativa è anche la vibrante “Tourniquet” e l’inquietante “Haunted” con il suo ritmo martellante e le sue melodie oblique (rese speciali dagli arrangiamenti da coro da camera realizzati da Lee). Di quest’ultima canzone Moody dice, “E’ forse la canzone che meglio ci rappresenta. E’ il miglior esempio di come noi vogliamo essere percepiti per quanto riguarda il sound”.
Dal punto di vista dei testi gli Evanescence esplorano gli aspetti oscuri e introspettivi dell’amore e della disperazione. Ma il gruppo ci tiene a dire che il suo messaggio è positivo. “Il punto principale che la band vuole mettere in risalto con questo disco è che chi ascolta deve sapere che non e’ il solo ad avere sentimenti negativi o a provare dolore”, dice Lee che scrive la maggior parte dei testi. “E’ la vita, ed è normale che sia così”.
Dal vivo gli Evanescence si presentano come quartetto con John LeCompt (chitarra) e Rocky Gray (batteria), oltre a Ben ed Amy. “Come quartetto riusciamo a rendere bene le intricate armonie e orchestrazioni di “Fallen”, fa notare Moody. “Siamo molto sinceri in quello che facciamo. C’è molta rabbia giovanile pre-confezionata nella musica di adesso. Noi non siamo così. Non cerchiamo di vendere niente, scriviamo solo quello che ci viene dal cuore”.
Grazie all’Evanescence Official Site