Fans of the goth-inspired Evanescence may not guess the band's humble origins in Little Rock, Arkansas. Lead vocalist and piano player Amy Lee was joined by Ben Moody on lead guitar after they met as young teens at summer camp. Moody and Lee named their duo Evanescence, meaning a dissipation or disappearance like vapor. They released EPs and one full-length album titled Origin.
Soon they were joined by guitarist John LeCompt and drummer Rocky Gray. The additions to the band allowed for a fill-out sound and possibility to perform live. When LeCompt and Gray joined the band they began working towards a record contract. Finally, four years after the formation of Evanescence, the band released an album on the Wind-Up Records label.
The album, titled Fallen, harnessed a mix of symphonic goth rock and a piano flare from Tori Amos. The 2003 release was a smash hit. Their single 'Bring Me to Life' also appeared on the soundtrack to the Ben Aflleck action movie, Daredevil. The single brought Evanescence into the mainstream and furthered the success of Fallen.
Surprisingly, the album was first released in the Christian market. The Wind-Up label distributed the album to many Christian stores. But band members used profanity during an interview with Rolling Stone and the Wind-Up label chose to drop the band and recall the albums from Christian stores.
Another Christian label, 12 Stones, picked up the band's contract. Fallen ended up surpassing the double platinum mark in record sales and made it into the Top Ten albums in the United States on many charts, including the Top Contemporary Christian Albums chart. They also made it into the top five in Canada and number one in the United Kingdom.
The band's sound is influenced from many directions, from goth rock to Bjork and Danny Elfman, giving it a unique sound. A variety of fans are drawn to the music as is evident by record sales as well as the massive crowds seen in ticket lines for Evanescence concerts. Though the semi-angsty, highly orchestrated performance draw many teenagers to shows, that is not the band's angle. Guitarist Moody says, '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 out heart.' The fact that the band writes its own music also puts it a head above the competition.
Ticket and record sales are an obvious indicator of the band's success, but they have been praised by the press and received awards for their music as well. They received two Grammys in 2003 for Best New Artist and Best Hard Rock Performance for 'Bring Me to Life'. In 2004 the band released a new single, 'Everybody's Fool', and took to the road with Seether for a North American tour. Amy Lee has also made a special appearance on Seether's recording of 'Broken'.