With two projects under his belt and a third on the horizon, former Evanescence guitarist Ben Moody has become the unlikely go-to guy for pop stars who want to get their rock on.
A month after news broke that he was writing songs with Avril Lavigne (see "So Where's Evanescence's Ben Moody? Ask Avril Lavigne"), he's now showing Kelly Clarkson how to throw up her horns. "Let's face it, everyone wants to rock, it's just that some people aren't allowed to on their first record," Moody said. "We're born to do it. If you have an entire record without a guitar anywhere, that shouldn't be legal."
Moody explained that the "American Idol" winner's soulful voice lends itself to music that's a bit edgier than what's found on her debut, Thankful.
"It's cool because [Kelly] wants to do some branching out, and I'm doing nothing but branching out," Moody said. "We got together and she had all these songs in mind of what she wanted to do. It's just a really, really cool process for me, because everybody is a new experience. Everybody works differently."
For eight years, Moody has only written songs intended to be sung by Amy Lee, the heavenly voice of Evanescence. So when producer Don Gilmore (Linkin Park, Good Charlotte) rang him up to assist with Lavigne's follow-up to 2002's Let Go, he finally got to experience another artist's style.
"Avril can write songs faster than both Amy and me," he said. "I would just start playing and she would come up with these killer melodies and the most clever hooks. It's just ridiculous. We wrote one song about finding your boyfriend cheating on you and every four lines ended with the most clever statement. I was just like, 'How do you do that?' "
If touring and promoting last year's multiplatinum Fallen demanded a grueling schedule, Moody's new regimen makes it seem like a Carnival cruise. After leaving his bandmates in October (see "Evanescence Co-Founder Ben Moody Leaves Band During Tour"), he wasn't home more than a couple of days before job prospects began rolling in.
He's been working with Godhead singer Jason Miller, new Drowning Pool singer Jason Jones and Living Sacrifice drummer Lance Garvin on the track "The End Has Come," slated for the soundtrack to the upcoming comic-book flick "The Punisher." And though he's doubtful there'll even be a soundtrack to the controversial Jesus biopic "The Passion of the Christ," he and Evanescence songwriter David Hodges were asked to write something for the film, which they did.
Besides writing material for a possible solo album, Moody has written songs for "Resident Evil: Apocalypse" and has been assisting the film's music supervisor in compiling the soundtrack. He's also slated to record a cover of Public Enemy's "Fight the Power" with an unnamed rapper for the movie.
While those last few projects may be in step with the lead guitarist of a goth-metal band, Moody's latest project, which he denied to detail until it's a done deal, would make the seemingly oddball Clarkson and Lavigne projects almost obvious by comparison.
"I got a call, and it was something so far from anything that I had done before, I was like, 'Absolutely,' right off the bat. I would love to do that, because now I really get to challenge myself to see how good I am as a songwriter."
Music isn't the only thing on Moody's agenda these days. Leaving Evanescence has allowed him to devote less attention to music and focus instead on film. Together with friend Zack Ward, one of the stars of "Apocalypse," Moody has started a film production company, Makeshift Productions, that he says will flip Hollywood on its rear end.
The pair are already working on their cinematic debut, not unsurprisingly a horror flick they hope will begin production in April 2005.
"I'm writing more now than I ever have before in my life," Moody said without a shred of regret. "This is the most prolific time I've ever known, and the most freedom I've ever had before."