"American Idol" finalist Carly Smithson has joined forces with several former Evanescence members to form a new rock group, The Fallen, according to the L.A. Time blog Idol Tracker. The band will make a formal debut during a concert performance at a private party on Monday in L.A., plus post a free song download to the band's website at wearethefallen.com.
The move comes as bit of a surprise from Smithson, given many Idols' predispositions to pursue solo careers instead of forming full bands. But the pieces fell into place, as Evanescence co-songwriter and guitarist Ben Moody, drummer Rocky Gray and guitarist John Lecompt began brewing a new project, after the three quit or were fired from the hard rock band in 2006-2007. Only lead singer, Amy Lee, remains from the original lineup from that group.
"'How do you feel about looking for someone to complete our family and to finish this thing?'" Moody asked his former bandmates. "'It feels like everything with our old fans is at a standstill. There's not new music, there's no tour. There's nothing.' So I reached out, and everyone was just ready to get started."
On the flip-side, after season seven of AI was over, Smithson wasn't tempted to go down that traditional pop route, or sign to a label that would force her that way. "I kept getting told that 'you don't have the rock voice, you can't do rock music.' But it's everything I am. It's everything I listen to. I'm not the regular girl next door," she told the blog.
Moody and company - along with new recruit Marty O'Brian - audition many singers, but came up short with their musical "soul mate." However, when Moody saw a video of Smithson performing Evanescence's "Bring Me to Life" during the AI finalists tour last summer, he gave Smithson a call. They convened that very night.
"[We] had been planning all this stuff on one side, and Carly's been planning it on the other and they just happened to be literally identical. And I don't mean, like oh, they were kind of the same. I mean, an uncanny amount of detail being identical," Moody says. "And it was just clear to me that we had found our better half."
This isn't the first time Moody has worked with an Idol: he's collaborated as a producer and guitarist with Kelly Clarkson and Bo Bice, as well as Avril Lavigne and Celine Dion.
The Fallen plans to tour for the next year and a half and only stopping every two months to record two new songs and post them.
It may be with some irony that Evanescence's first proper label release in 2003 was titled "Fallen." That band's most recent album, "The Open Door," was released in 2006.