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Ben Moody (born January 22, 1981, in Little Rock, Arkansas as Ben Robert Moody III) was formerly the lead guitarist for Evanescence from 1996 to 2003. It all started when he saw Amy playing Meatloaf's I Would Do Anything For Love at a Christian youth summer camp. The two became friends, and the rest is rock music history. Wrote many of the most popular Evanescence songs including My Immortal. His father is a prominent photographer in the Little Rock area.
Ben left the band in October 22th, 2003, before a Berlin concert, after creative differences caused a rift between he and Amy. The two are reported to have been in a relationship sometime in the past, and this relationship is actually what inspired most of the songs in Evanescence's pre-2003 repertoire (see Going Under). In the past, Amy would only say that the songs were about an "abusive relationship" with an un-named person.
Ben has caught a bad rap from some fans since his departure. In an interview with MTV, he explained his reasons for leaving the band:
- MTV: Now that you've had more time away and perspective, how do you feel about the Evanescence split?
- Moody: I have a lot more peace about it, even more than the day I left. ... I still feel it was the right decision because Evanescence has carried on, and they've had great success since me. So I know for a fact I made the right choice. If I stayed, I think Amy and I would have destroyed it because we just weren't heading in the same direction; we were pulling it in two different directions. It was bad.
- MTV: It seems like you exited for the greater good and still have a lot of love and respect for Evanescence as people.
- Moody: I do. There was animosity at the time because I was so upset that I had built something for so long and we couldn't make it work. I was pissed off about that. At the same time, I was denying my responsibility for that, you know? Now I can go back and go, "It was what it was." As much as they can't blame me for who I am as a person, I can't blame [Amy], or the rest of them for who they are. I totally love them and have absolute respect for them. If I didn't, instead of jumping ship, I would have taken it down. I would much rather see them succeed, because I have nothing but respect for them.
- MTV: You said you had peace, but you must have been depressed about losing all those years you invested in the band.
- Moody: Oh yeah, I was horribly depressed, and I felt like I had failed as a band leader, a professional, as a person. I had become somebody I didn't want to be. Whatever kind of success came along with that, I thought I would have handled it better.
- MTV: Do you ever think you could have salvaged the band if you didn't have to tour so much?
- Moody: It's possible, yeah. One of my best friends who was a monitor tech for Evanescence — he'd known Amy and I for a long time — he said, "I wish you guys could have two years where you didn't see each other." We didn't go a day without constantly being in each other's face for the better part of a decade. He was right, and I realized that, but we didn't have that option. One of us had to go, and it's not one of those things where you can take the time off, because then the whole thing would have went to crap. It was all or nothing.
- MTV: Was part of it you guys moving in different musical directions?
- Moody: Part of it, absolutely. [Amy] is much more creative than I am, I'll be the first to admit it. I am a bit more commercial minded, I guess. I like structure in songs, and I like making songs people can adhere to. I still like to be creative, but she is more educated musically, and she wanted to explore that. I wanted to do that, but keep in the confines of what I knew people expected from Evanescence. I think in my immaturity at the time, I did that in just a way-too-controlling manner — it was like my way or the highway. We just couldn't meet in the middle, so I was like, "The hell with it."
- MTV: So you haven't reached out to Amy at all since you left?
- Moody: I sent her a message letting her know the door was open and that I wished her good luck on the next record. I hope everything is well. [Evanescence co-songwriter David] Hodges and I went to see the final "Star Wars" on opening night, and we had an extra ticket. So we called her and invited her, left a message on her voicemail. I found out later from her manager that she actually considered going down. Who knows — one day we'll all go see a movie together.
He has worked or is working on many different projects post-Evanescence. The End Has Come on the Punisher Soundtrack, Nobody’s Home on Avril Lavigne’s Under My Skin, Kelly Clarkson’s Breakaway (with David Hodges), the Blank Theory’s next album (supposedly with Dave Fortman), and a project with David Hodges that had been rumored to be on the new Passion of the Christ soundtrack featuring Wind-up artists called Only Human, Only God but was never released. Ben had plans to release an album on Wind-up Records called Can't Regret What You Can't Remember with a release date of March 27, 2007, but it was been postponed indefinitely. In 2007 Moody and David Hodges also worked with Céline Dion on her upcoming album.
Ben and Wind-Up Records finally parted ways in early 2008.
Mutiny Bootleg EP
On December 16, 2008, Hana Pestle played a show at Juanita’s in Little Rock, AR, with a supporting band including Ben Moody. Mr. Moody also released a four track EP with a purchase of Hana’s EP that night. Before the show, Moody said, "there’s a duet between hana and i on there that WON’T be on the record and won’t be released anywhere ever again. it’s free because i want this shit spread EVERYWHERE. so be sure that all your friends share the four songs with as many people as possible. WOOT".
- 1. Never Turn Back (B. Moody / M. Tait)
- 2. Everything Burns (2008 feat. Hana Pestle) (B. Moody)
- 3. The Way We Are (B. Moody)
- 4. Wishing Well (B. Moody)
All For This
Ben's debut solo album All For This was digitally released on Amazon.com and other outlets on June 9, 2009.
- 1. Perfect (4:12)
- 2. The Way We Are (4:07)
- 3. Hold Me Down (3:43)
- 4. 10.22 (4:08)
- 5. Never Turn Back (4:18)
- 6. All For This (4:30)
- 7. Wishing Well (4:39)
- 8. All Fall Down (5:04)
- 9. Too Far Left To Go (3:51)
- 10. Nothing Left Of Me (5:21)
- 11. In Time (4:35)
- 12. Just Like Everybody (6:16)
We Are The Fallen
In 2009 it was announced Ben Moody would be joining ex-Evanescence members John LeCompt and Rocky Gray along with former American Idol contestant Carly Smithson (Vocals) and bass player Marty O'Brien to form We Are The Fallen. The group released their debut album "Tear The World Down" on May 11, 2010.
Ben Moody's favorite drink is Dr Pepper.
Notes and References
- Evanescence: The Split - MTV.com