Evanescence Soldier On Without Ben Moody, Look Forward To Recording

Amy Lee says Cold guitarist has been welcome addition to band.

Two months have passed since Evanescence guitarist and songwriter Ben Moody walked out on the band during a European tour, and he and singer Amy Lee have not spoken since. Despite the setback, the band is still going strong.

In the time since Moody left, the group has garnered five Grammy nominations (see “Jay-Z, Beyonce, Outkast, Pharrell Nab Most Grammy Nominations” ) and is maintaining a busy tour schedule, with Cold axeman Terry Balsamo filling in on guitar.

“It’s kind of a weird situation,” Lee said of continuing after Moody’s departure (see “Evanescence Singer Says Split With Moody ‘For The Best’ “ ). “I think it’s best to just let things settle for a while and do our own thing. And Terry’s just a great, easygoing guy. He’s an incredible guitar player. He’s good at everything he does, so we’re totally glad to have him on the team.”

In Evanescence’s latest video, for “My Immortal,” Ben Moody looks sullen and withdrawn, seemingly foreshadowing his decision to quit the group (see “Are There Clues To Evanescence’s Problems In Their New Video?” ). Lee admitted that the visuals are striking in retrospect, but added that the similarities between what was filmed and what happened were strictly coincidental.

“We shot it in Barcelona about a week before Ben left the band unexpectedly,” she said. “I think none of us knew, including him, that he was going anywhere. And when we got the video back and watched it, it was right after he had left. And it’s bizarre how much the video is about that. We all sat there with goose bumps, like, ‘Holy crap. We’ve got to watch that again.’ ”

On January 8 Evanescence will start a tour of Australia and New Zealand. On January 20 they’ll kick off the first of 10 dates in Japan. Then they’ll return to North America to make up some previously postponed dates and play some new shows (see “Evanescence Postpone A Dozen Dates Of North American Tour” ). But Lee is most looking forward to returning home in March to begin working on the follow-up to the band’s multiplatinum smash, Fallen.

“It’s impossible to write on tour, and [writing is] the one thing I love more than anything else about my job,” she said. “I think everybody’s just ready to stop touring and go back to the studio.”

It’s too early to tell what direction the band’s material without Moody might take, but since the album will be a collaborative effort, it will likely be a combination of each of the bandmembers’ individual writing styles.

“Everybody’s going to go to their house and write material,” Lee said. “Then we’re going to get together and bring everything to the table and be like, ‘OK, let’s make something out of this mess.’ I’m really looking forward to it.”

In addition to working on another Evanescence album, Lee hopes to someday work on music for a film. And she’s not just interested in contributing a song to a rock soundtrack — she has her sights set on a full orchestral composition.

“I wrote the choir [parts] on our album. And I definitely love scoring,” she said. “I would love to go to some kind of scoring school to learn more about classical instruments because I have classical experience with piano but I don’t know the ranges of all the instruments.”

It’s unknown at the moment whether there will a fourth single from Fallen, but if Evanescence’s label decides to release another song to radio, Lee said she’d like to see “Imaginary” get the push.

“I think it’s very epic,” she said. “It’s one of those big Aerosmith or Black Sabbath kind of songs. It’s like an opus, with the choir and the rock and the programming. I love that song.”