Evanescence Split With Guitarist, Drummer; Amy Lee Says Band Is ‘Alive And Well’

John LeCompt and Rocky Gray depart after four years; tour will carry on as scheduled, according to Lee.

And then there was one. With the recent departure of drummer Rocky Gray and guitarist John LeCompt, Amy Lee is now the only member of Evanescence left who has been in the band since the release of its smash 2003 breakout album, Fallen.

LeCompt was either fired by the band or decided to move on — depending which account you believe — while Gray left of his own accord recently, making them the latest members of the group to fall by the wayside. Original guitarist/ co-founder Ben Moody left in 2003 (see “Evanescence Singer Says Split With Moody ’For The Best’ “ ), and bassist William Boyd quit last June after three years in the band (see “Evanescence Lose Bassist; Amy Lee Vows To Stay On Schedule” ).

Though the group’s management could not be reached for comment at press time, promising an official statement later in the day on Monday (May 7), Lee posted an undated explanation of the latest lineup changes on the band’s official Web site. In the posting, Lee wrote, “Evanescence is alive and well. John and Rocky were in Evanescence for four years and we shared some great times together playing live, but they were ready to move on and so we have parted ways. Evanescence is something I have loved and nurtured since I was 14, and I will continue to protect and fight for it as I always have.”

Lee said she and guitarist Terry Balsamo — who replaced Moody in 2003 (see “Evanescence Name New Guitarist” ) — and bassist Tim McCord — the former Revolution Smile guitarist who replaced Boyd last summer — are “very excited to play live with some amazing new musicians and we will rock harder than ever.”

Lee did not say who would replace the pair, but promised that no dates on the group’s current tour will be canceled. The band is scheduled to play the Rock on the Range hard rock festival in Columbus, Ohio, on May 19 and co-headline the Family Values tour this summer.

LeCompt’s version of the split was not quite as cheerful as Lee’s. According to a post on his MySpace blog, LeCompt said he was informed Friday afternoon that he was being fired from the group during a cell phone call with Lee. “This call wasn’t from a friend who appreciated me but from an enemy who was prepared to hurt me and my family. Without any warning or negotiations for my future, I was fired for no good reason,” he wrote on his site. “We have not always seen eye to eye on everything, but who does? Our common goal was always the same: To make Evanescence the best rock band it could ever be. I have always given blood, sweat and tears to make that happen but apparently that is not enough. I have now become just another of the people fallen by the wayside on the revolving door of her life.”

In his own MySpace blog post from Sunday, Gray said he was not able to speak about the split, due to an alleged gag ordered imposed by Evanescence’s management. “Amy Lee’s management e-mailed me last night to tell me that, in their view, the contract I signed to record, perform and tour with the group says that I’m not allowed to have any free speech in regard to Evanescence,” Gray wrote.

“The way they spin it, I’m not even allowed to say I quit the group, I guess. But the news is out there, so, there ya go. I need to have a lawyer read over all that mess to tell me what, when and how I can tell you all — the REAL FANS — what really went down, if I ever can, haha.”

Gray said he is preparing to reunite with his old Living Sacrifice band mate Lance Garvin in the group Soul Embraced, with an album due soon. He said he will also continue to play in the group Machina with LeCompt.

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