HOLLYWOOD — Ben Moody has spent the last two years battling some nasty demons, so when he took the stage Thursday night for the first gig with his new band, technical difficulties were the least of his concern.
"It was a good show, even though it was a little shaky," the ex-Evanescence guitarist said backstage. "Me and the guys just said f--- it, because the sound system completely went kaput. They got another [sound system] about an hour after people started showing up, so there was no soundcheck, no nothing. I couldn't hear sh--, so we just said the hell with it. We just wanted to have a good time."
Moody headlined the star-studded benefit for UCLA's Pediatric Epilepsy Project, which brought out a string of celebrity supporters, including Maroon 5's James Valentine, Andy Dick, Renee Olstead, and Desperate Housewives' Mark Moses and Zack Ward. "Alias" star Greg Grunberg, whose son is battling epilepsy, spearheaded the gala and asked Moody to take part in the event — and the musician was more than happy to oblige.
"Amy Lee's little brother has epilepsy, so it kind of hits close to home for me," Moody said of his former Evanescence counterpart.
The Ben Moody Project, which also featured former Godhead singer Jason Miller on guitar, debuted five tracks off Moody's forthcoming LP, Can't Regret What You Don't Remember, including "Chasing Yesterday" and "10/22" (see "Ex-Evanescence Guitarist Ben Moody Thanks Avril For His Solo Career"). The album has been pushed back from a late November release to early 2006.
Moody also played "Sanctuary," which is "about suppressing your dark side and not allowing it to breathe," he said. Moody and Miller traded vocals throughout the song.
"After leaving Evanescence, I dealt with a lot of sh--, then being diagnosed as bipolar, and my heavy drug use and rehab ... this record went through all that with me, so making it was a complete catharsis," Moody said. "I'm focusing on me and getting the unhealthy things out of my life, which isn't always an easy thing to do, but that's been my main focus right now. I'm still on a journey, you know, but I'm a lot happier now. I can sleep easier."
As soon as Can't Regret drops, he's hoping to launch a global trek.
"I definitely want to do worldwide," Moody said, "but hopefully with a better sound system."
For more on Ben Moody, check out the feature "No Regrets."