“We have the same exact vision regarding what we love about music. When it comes to songwriting, we finish each other's thoughts.” Ben Moody (on his former band, Evanescence)
Ben Moody is famous as the cofounder, lead guitarist and songwriter of the Grammy Award winning rock band Evanescence. During his stint with them from 1995 to October 2003, he contributed to the band's two EPs, “Evanescence” (1998) and “Sound Asleep” (1999), a demo album, “Origin” (2000) and their major label debut “Fallen” (2003). “Fallen” earned the band Grammy Awards for Best New Artist and Best Hard Rock Performance for “Bring Me to Life.” Since leaving Evanescence, Moody has worked with a variety of artists vocally, instrumentally, and as a writer. Among the artists are Celine Dion, Avril Lavigne, Kelly Clarkson, Lindsay Lohan, and Daughtry. He produced Godhead's album “The Shadow Line” (2007), Hana Pestle's “This Way” (2009), and his own solo studio record “All for This” (2009). Since 2009, Moody has played lead guitar for the Gothic metal band We Are the Fallen. He has also appeared in such films as “Resident Evil: Apocalypse” (2004), “Hollywood Kills” (2006) and “Dead and Gone” (2008). In addition, his music has been heard on soundtracks of such shows as “Live From Studio Five” (2009) and “Dancing On Ice” (2010).
Childhood and Family:
Benjamin Raymond Moody II, professionally known as Ben Moody, was born on January 22, 1980, in Little Rock, Arkansas. Originally, he wanted to become a drummer, but turned his attention to guitar after having pain in his wrists.
Ben Moody is known by the nicknames The Priest and Efanar.
All for This
In 1994, Ben Moody met singer, songwriter and classically trained pianist Amy Lee (born December 13, 1981) at a youth camp in Little Rock and they became friends. It was not long before the two began playing music together at local shops. Their early songs together include “Solitude” and “Give Unto Me,” both written by Lee, and “Understanding” and “My Immortal,” which were written by Moody.
After two of their songs were heard on local radio stations, Moody and Lee began gaining notice and performing in concerts. They went on to emerge as one of the most popular acts in their area. Moody and Lee first performed under Childish Intentions and Stricken before taking the name Evanescence.
In December 1998, they released an EP called “Evanescence.” They made about 100 copies and sold it at their live performances. The follow-up, “Sound Asleep EP,” was launched in August 1999. After three years performing together (1995-1998), Moody and Lee recruited David Hodges (piano, keyboard, backup vocals, drums) in late 1999 to the band. Their first full length demo CD, “Origin,” was released on November 4, 2000, through Bigwig Enterprises. It contained early versions of “My Immortal,” “Imaginary” and “Whisper.” However, Hodges left the band in 2002.
Moody and Lee recruited their friends John LeCompt, Rocky Gray and Will Boyd to complete the lineup in early 2003. It was also that year the band was discovered by Wind-up Records. Their major label debut record, “Fallen,” was released on March 4, 2003. Co-produced by Moody and Dave Forthman, the album peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 and became a chart topper in the U.K. The album also brought the band Grammy nominations in 2004 for Album of the Year, Best Rock Album, Best Rock Song, Best Hard Rock Performance for “Bring Me to Life,” and Best New Artist. The band went on to win Best New Artist and Best Hard Rock Performance. The album spawned such popular singles as “Going Under,” “My Immortal” and “Everybody's Fool,” in addition to the Grammy winning song “Bring Me to Life.” Moody co-wrote all songs on the album. During their European tour, Moody suddenly left Evanescence because of creative differences.
After he quit Evanescence, Moody began working as a solo artist and in 2004 began collaborating with various artists and co-wrote the track “Nobody's Home” for Avril Lavigne's album “Under My Skin.” The song peaked at No. 41 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 24 on the U.K. Singles Chart and has been certified gold by RIAA and platinum by Brazil's ABPD. The same year, Moody also wrote and recorded the song “The End Has Come” with Jason C. Miller and Jason “Gong” Jones for the soundtrack to the motion picture “The Punisher” (2004), by Jonathan Hensleigh. He went on to contribute to Kelly Clarkson's album “Breakaway” (2004) and co-wrote (with Clarkson and David Hodges) and co-produced (with Hodges) the platinum single “Because of You” (2005) and the track “Addicted.”
In early 2005, Moody provided guitar for the song “Forever Our Hearts,” which was made for iTunes. He then wrote and co-produced (with Jay Baumgardner) the song “Everything Burns” (2005) for singer Anastacia, which was included in her album “Pieces of a Dream” and the “Fantastic Four” soundtrack. Moody next served as arranger, programming and producer on Lindsay Lohan's album “Little More Personal (Raw)” (2005), where he co-wrote a track called “Fastlane,” and worked with Bo Bice on the song “My World” for the artist's debut album “The Real Thing” (2005).
In 2006, Moody produced the industrial rock band Godhead’s sixth studio album “The Shadow Line” with Julian Beeston, and played a clown in the band's music video for the song “Push.” He was then reunited with David Hodges on the song “What About Now” for Daughtry's eponymous album (2006). The next year, he co-wrote (with Hodges and Steven McMorran) and co-produced the song “This Time” and produced the songs “Alone” and “The Reason I Go On” for Celine Dion's album “Taking Chances” (2007).
On December 16, 2008, Moody launched an EP called “Mutiny Bootleg” under his own label FNR. His debut solo album, “All for This,” followed on June 9, 2009. He wrote and composed all the songs on the album and provided lead vocals, guitars, bass, drums and piano. Hana Pestle sang backup vocals on the album. Also in 2009, Moody wrote the song “Open Up Your Eye” for Daughtry's album “Leave This Town.” He then co-produced, with Michael Herring, “This Way” (2009), the debut album of Hana Pestle. The album was released through Moody's label, FNR. In 2010, Moody served as a re-mixer on the song “Arise” for the alternative metal band Flyleaf's album “Remember to Live.”
Moody is now a part of the band We Are the Fallen, along with former American Idol contestant Carly Smithson, bassist Marty O'Brien and other former Evanescence members John LeCompt (rhythm guitar) and Rocky Gray (drums). The band signed a record deal with Universal Republic in October 2009 and released a debut album titled “Tear the World Down” on May 11, 2010. It rose to No. 33 on the Billboard 200 and the single “Bury Me Alive,” which Moody co-wrote with Smithson, peaked at No. 31 on the Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks.
Apart from his music projects, Moody set up a television and film production company named Makeshift Productions, along with Zack Ward.
He has also appeared as an actor in a few films. In “Resident Evil: Apocalypse” (2004), he made a cameo appearance as a zombie in an alley. He then appeared as a drunk in “Hollywood Kills” (2006) and played the role of Booger Rose in the horror film “Dead and Gone” (2008).
Grammy: Best Hard Rock Performance, “Bring Me To Life,” 2004 (won with the band Evanescence)
Grammy: Best New Artist, 2004 (won with the band Evanescence)