How Did Evanescence Get Their Name?


Evanescence vocalist Amy Lee

Evanescence vocalist Amy Lee – Author Anne Erickson, Courtesy photo

Evanescence are one of the most influential rock bands of the early 2000s, especially in the nu-metal and post-grunge movement. Who hasn’t rocked out to “Bring Me to Life” while cleaning the house, screaming at the top of one’s lungs and dancing like a crazy person? Okay, maybe that’s just me. But, the point is that Amy Lee and Evanescence came on the scene strong with their major-label debut, and they remain a force in music. So, how did Evanescence get their name?

How Did Evanescence Get Started?

Before we get to Evanescence’s name, let’s go over a bit about the history of Evanescence. So, how did Evanescence get started? Well, Lee met guitarist Ben Moody in Little Rock, Arkansas, back in 1994. Sure, not many rock stars hail from Arkansas, but these two had something special.

Lee’s dark and distinct voice was instantly the perfect compliment for Moody’s guitar playing. The band released some independent EPs in the late-1990s and a demo.

Evanescence unleashed their debut studio album, “Fallen,” in 2003 on Wind-up Records. “Fallen” was a massive success. The single “Bring Me to Life” shot up to the top of the rock charts, and it even crossed over into top 40 radio. I, personally, prefer the single “Going Under,” which was huge on rock radio but definitely too heavy for top 40. The haunting “My Immortal” is another song that was popular on top 40 radio.

Wind-up Entertainment was an American independent record label founded by Alan and Diana Meltzer in 1997. It was based in New York City and was distributed by BMG Distribution. Wind-up’s best-selling artists worldwide were Creed and Evanescence.

“Fallen” earned Evanescence two Grammy Awards and six nominations. After the “Fallen” cycle, Moody parted ways with Evanescence, and Lee has been spearheading the group ever since. The band followed “Fallen” up with 2006’s “The Open Door,” 2011’s “Evanescence,” 2017’s “Synthesis” and 2021’s “The Bitter Truth.”

Back during their “Fallen” era, Evanescence were one of the few female-fronted bands to break through on rock radio. If you look at the top rock songs for 2003, the year “Fallen” came out, Evanescence was the only female-led rock band in the top 20. Their song “Bring Me to Life” was No. 17. If you’re curious, No. 1 was Staind with “So Far Away” and No. was Trapt with “Headstrong.”

What’s the Official Definition of “Evanescence?”

According to, “Evanescence is a word typically used to describe an event that fades from sight or memory, or sometimes the fleeting quality of worldly success.” It means, “the event of fading and gradually vanishing from sight.”

How Did Evanescence Get Their Name?

A band name is always super important. Evanescence just fits the aura of the band. As the story goes, Lee and Moody were debating names, a few of them being “Childish Intentions” and “Stricken.” They ended up going with the name Evanescence, because they thought the word was “beautiful” and “elusive,” according to an interview in The Washington Post.

Evanescence recently celebrated the 20th anniversary of “Fallen” with an expanded reissue. Find details here.

Anne Erickson
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Posted by Anne Erickson | Alternative, Features, Music, Rock

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