A band between love and hate or better a band on a knife edge between cheers, criticism and complete rejection.
Who is Evanescence? What is the story behind the success and how can you classify their music?
A lot of questions, but they need to be clarified to eliminate misunderstandings, eventually.
Evanescence is an American Nu metal/Rock band founded by singer/pianist/harpist Amy Lynn Lee Hartzler, better known as Amy Lee and guitarist Ben Moody in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1995.
Even though the word “Evanescence” means "pass out of sight" or "to disappear", Evanescence will never disappear from the scene or at least from the minds of the loyal fans. With this strong ongoing passion, a lot of people could only shake their head in disbelieve. Due to that, Evanescence is a band who is polarizing peoples´ mind.
Under no circumstances the classified Nu metal/Rock band can be assigned to the metal genre and even less to be named as a gothic rock band, that was mistakenly received and referred in places, due to the commercialization. Because of this false genre designation, for instance exploited by magazines and labels, there were and still is a lot of harsh criticism against the band. Not only Evanescence fell victim to this upheaval (not only in a negative way though), also the Band Lacuna Coil was designated in this specific genre. Unfortunately, it did not only leave positive marks. In addition, the criticism is barely constructive or factual and does not only refer to the band but mainly against the singer. Especially people from the metal genre or the black scene criticize Amy Lee and that regardless of the fact, that the criticism is in general against the mixing of the music scene and the commercialization.
Some critics also speak of a "dilution" of the scene.
"Evanescence is Amy Lee but Amy Lee is not only Evanescence".
after this brief passage full of shadows, you can be satisfied that it is predominantly bright on the side of the band, first of all due to the dedication of the fans over all the years.
That is the reason why Evanescence is still very successful (2016) and on the spot. It is true and undeniable that Evanescence was carried by the wave of the Nu Metal hype and thereby helped to success. That is the reason why it was possible for them to address to a wider audience. But their success does not depend on the mass of people.
However, what would be success without loyal fans? Indeed. Nothing.
Evanescence is successful and also has a few radio hits, but that does not make them mainstream, in the way other artists like Rihanna are. They completely differ in the music.
To the mainstream designation I would like to add, that when we are talking about commercial success, then yes Evanescence is mainstream (they sold over 17 million albums with “Fallen”), but also Nightwish and a lot of other great artists can be put in the same category when it comes to commercial success, but it does not mean that they play mainstream music (and no, this is not paradoxical). Nightwish has a lot of commercial success, but their music is much more complex and due to that, they will never be represented in the charts like Evanescence.
Nevertheless, the term "mainstream" can be seen from different perspectives.
For me diversity, experimentation and creative development in music is so important and as long as the music can touch someone's heart it should be treated with respect.
Their success is mainly due to their important and loved characteristics and the ability to create a feeling of unity.
Evanescence is not only a band, it is a feeling, a passion and a community. A lot of people started to make music because of them or gained strength through them.
The alleged pseudo-rockers have released three albums in their career and with each of them they have developed personally and musically. For the band it does not matter how much CD's they sell or how much albums they make. It is not about the money it is about the music. Music needs time and creativity. That is the reason why the fans of Evanescence are so resistant and very patient. They do not have a problem to wait a long time for a new album to be released, because they know when there will be a new album, then it will be full of true emotions and pieces of the artists themselves.
To name a few numbers: Evanescence had their breakthrough with the album "Fallen" in 2003. A few years later, in 2006, they released their second album "The open door". It is much more experimental and more varied than its predecessor.
Reason for the development may also be the departure of the former founding member Ben Moody. Also his friends and band colleagues left the band later in 2007. Only Terry Balsamo (guitar player since 2003) stood on Amy's side. With the new fresh line up, including Tim McCord (Bass), Will Hunt (Drums) and Troy McLawhorn (guitar) they went on tour to promote the second album. Five years later in 2011, they released the new self-titled and as a "band-marked" album "Evanescence". The highlight of this album tour was a concert in the sold out Wembley arena in London. Although Evanescence is known to insert longer pauses between albums, they never let their fans engraving. They also played shows in 2015 with the new guitarist Jen Majura, who jumped in for Terry Balsamo and is the new lead guitarist now. Jen is also really talented and has a lot of experiences due to bands she played and still plays with, for instance in Black Thunder Ladies (vocalist and guitarist), Equilibrium (bass) and Knorkator (guitarist). She also has her own music school in Brilon (Germany). They also announced shows for 2016.
Nevertheless, they all have their own projects and Amy herself works on her solo career. She worked in film projects, for example for the movie “Lockdown” because she really loves to have a supporting role and not to be the center of attention like she is used to be in Evanescence. She has the qualification because she studied film music at Middle Tennessee State University. To come to an end, I can say that Amy is of course the mastermind behind Evanescence, the only extant founding member, the heart of the band, but nevertheless Amy and Evanescence is only as strong as the people behind it. Her haunting, emotional voice touches you right from the beginning and you know that it is real. For an Evanescence fan it does not matter that she does not hit every note or does not have the best technique because when it is real and from the heart and soul you do not need anything else.