American Idol powerhouse vocalist Carly Smithson is joining the original guys of Evanescence, who are relaunching as a hard-rock band called The Fallen.
They’ll make a formal announcement Monday in Hollywood, with a news conference and their first live performance. Debut song Bury Me Alive will be available at that time for free download at wearethefallen.com.
The lineup consists of Smithson and three of the four original members of Evanescence — guitarists Ben Moody and John LeCompt and drummer Rocky Gray — as well as bassist Marty O’Brien, whose recording and touring credits include Disturbed and Kelly Clarkson.
“This all happened by accident,” says Smithson, who sang Evanescence’s Bring Me to Life during the 2008 Idols Live tour. She’s friends with Moody’s housemate, Monique Morrison. “I met him once or twice (at the house) before the band thing,” says Smithson, who had been working on a solo project.
Though Smithson and Moody both shared similar visions with Morrison for bands they wanted to form, Moody wasn’t ready to bite.
“I’m sometimes hard-headed, and it took me a while” to give the Idol a shot, Moody says. But when another artist persuaded him to check out YouTube videos of Smithson performing, “I just kind of freaked out.”
Moody called Morrison and asked her to arrange a meeting. “She happened to be with Carly and said, ‘We’ll be there in 20 minutes.’
“Carly is a rock star,” he adds. “She was one of us.”
She isn’t the first Idol to attract the interest of an established act: Season 5 finalist Chris Daughtry turned down an offer to become Fuel’s frontman. But Smithson jumped at her chance. “The first time we rehearsed, everybody started in on this jam of Iron Maiden. I was like, ‘I’m in a band! I love this!’ “
The new group’s name alludes to Evanescence’s 2003 major-label debut album, Fallen, which has sold 7 million copies in the USA.
Moody left Evanescence shortly after Fallen, citing creative differences with singer Amy Lee. LeCompt and Gray followed in 2007. Lee continues to perform under the Evanescence name, though the group hasn’t released an album since 2006.
The Fallen plans to tour in September and initially will release its songs in small doses every few months, Moody says, “so there’s always new music and new reasons to come to another show.”
Source USA Today.