Every longtime fan knows the history of their favorite bands. But, if you’re just getting into a group, you might need some information. This post is for those people. If you already know all of this information, feel free to skip it. If you have info you’d like to add, let me know in the comments.
Evanescence was founded in 1995 in Little Rock, Arkansas, by Amy Lee and Ben Moody – a singer/pianist and guitarist, respectively. They had met a year prior at a Christian youth camp and began playing very small venues around Little Rock. Things picked up from there.
They were signed to a record label, Wind-up Records, and relocated to Los Angeles to refine their sound. The extra time paid off. Once Fallen was released, it spent nearly a year on the Top 10 Billboard charts and was certified platinum 7x. They began touring to support the album in 2003. During the tour, Moody decided to leave the band. He was quickly replaced by Terry Balsamo, and Evanescence continued the tour without further incident.
In 2006, bassist Will Boyd also left the band. They replaced him with Tim McCord. They had many challenges while working on their next studio album: Balsamo had a stroke, attributed possibly to a blood clot; side projects made people unavailable at various times; and Lee wanted to be sure they had enough time to develop the album. Open Door came out that August, with a tour following that October.
During this tour, there were more personnel changes. Guitarist John LeCompt was fired, while Rocky Gray (the drummer) quit. Will Hunt and Troy McLawhorn replaced them to finish the remaining dates.
Fans were excited when Amy Lee announced that they were writing material for a new album during the summer of 2009. Once again, however, there were delays. They started touring at the end of August 2011, and Evanescence was released in October. The band was on the road for a long time, through the end of 2012. The changes just kept coming, however. The band’s contract and back catalog was sold to another label. Lee sued their old label for unpaid royalties and Evanescence was eventually released from the new label.
The band took another break, this time through 2015. They lost guitarist Balsamo and replaced him with Jen Majura. They went on tour but did not start recording again until 2017, releasing Synthesis toward the end of that year. They have been touring to promote the album and will be recording a new album.
The history of Evanescence has been complicated: personnel changes, album delays, and record label issues. It’s been a lot to keep track of and that’s why I thought this post might be helpful. Despite all these challenges, Evanescence has remained true to what is most important to them, and to their fans: touring and putting out good, quality music. That is the only thing that really matters.