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Amy Lee opens up on Jen Majura's departure from Evanescence

17-08-2022

Earlier this year, Evanescence made the headlines when long-time guitarist Jen Majura left the band. The musician opened up on the topic online shortly after, saying that it wasn’t “her decision” to leave, but no more context was given to her departure.

Evanescence were quick to react, switching bassist Tim McCord to guitar duties, and recruiting Sick Puppies’ Emma Anzai to take over the bass during the band’s live shows.

In a new interview with Revolver, singer Amy Lee reflected on the line-up changes, and what the fresh addition brought to the band:

“I am so happy, we are all so, so grateful. Emma Anzai is from the band Sick Puppies and we are old friends. We toured together in 2007 and she’s just an excellent musician. We’re all fans of her and just fits us on a personal level really well.”

“We did a little European run in June and then we did a few shows here and had our first photo shoot with the new lineup just two weeks ago. Some things are just meant to be. Something I’m getting better at as I get older is not trying to control everything so much. Sometimes you just sort of have to listen to the universe and what’s going on and go, ‘You know what, OK, I need to live in the reality of what’s happening now and make something great out of it instead of constantly trying to pull things the way I think they ought to go.'”

“It’s hard to explain what I’m saying without being specific, and we all love Jen, we had a great time with Jen. Don’t want to make it like it’s anything negative there. But sometimes that chapter just ends, and when you feel that and you know that as a band, that’s how you keep things going. That’s how you keep your team, your band, and everything healthy and moving the way it’s supposed to move.”

“It’s complicated but at the same time you just need to follow your heart. At the end of the day, when you follow your heart and trust each other, you can move forward into a better place than you could’ve imagined for.”

Lee then added:

“This is big time new for us because I’ve had Tim on bass for 16 years and for the first time he is on guitar, which is fantastic. It’s his original instrument, he’s great on it, he gets into that position when we’re in the writing room a lot. And Emma is just this amazing, seamless … it’s just amazingly cool and the other guys are just thrilled with it as well.”

“We’re all really happy right now, we’re in a healthy new chapter moment. Those are always really energizing, so we’ve got a lot of energy and are feeling inspired and excited for the future.”

In the comments section below EVANESCENCE‘s Instagram post, Lee added: “Making positive change in your life (and band) can be really hard. Some choices we make, some are made for us. But who we are in the end is how we handle whatever comes our way.

“Today is a big day in my band. Taking another step forward with my brothers who have been beside me for 15+ years, and welcoming in a beautiful friend we are so excited to share the stage with…. I’m happy.

“You never know whats around the corner, but when something is right you know it’s right. And this feels so right. Welcome Emma! Love all you guys.”

Jen’s exit from EVANESCENCE was announced via social media on Saturday (May 21).

“It has been a very special chapter in the band with our dear friend Jen Majura, but we have decided it’s time to go our separate ways,” EVANESCENCE said in a statement. “We will always love her and support her, and can’t wait to see what she does next! We are so grateful for the good times and great music we made all around the world together.”

A few hours later, Jen took to her social media to clarify: “I feel the need to address that none of this was my decision! I have no hard feelings against anybody and I wish EVANESCENCE all the best. I am allowed to carry beautiful memories of these past years, I am grateful.”

The 38-year-old musician, a self-described “half-Asian living in Germany,” joined EVANESCENCE in August 2015 as the replacement for Terry Balsamo.

Shortly after she landed the gig, Majura spoke to EMP Rock Invasion about how she came to connect with EVANESCENCE. She said: “My name was somehow recommended by a sweet friend of mine, Alex Skolnick of TESTAMENT, and Dave Eggar — he’s also known as a very good cellist, and he’s a musician working in New York. And all of a sudden, there was this e-mail popping up: ‘Are you interested in joining…?’ And I was, like, ‘What the fuck?’ So I stopped breathing until my face turned kind of blue. And then afterwards, I was, like, ‘Okay, I’ve gotta read it again.’ Three days later, I found myself suddenly on an airplane, flying over to New York to meet Amy Lee. And we had some very, very cool talks. She’s an awesome person. She’s a very, very great musician. And so I found myself suddenly inside of his empire called EVANESCENCE.”

Regarding the fact that she didn’t even have to “audition” for EVANESCENCEJen said: “Yeah. To be honest, I was kind of concerned. I told [Amy], ‘Do you want me to bring my guitar?’ And, ‘Would you like me to audition?’ And she was totally, like: ‘Nah, I know you can play. I’ve seen plenty of videos of you. And I know your live experience and you’re touring the world, so… No, just come over and let’s have some food and talk.’ Yeah, and that’s it. So, actually, what I was surprised by very, very much was that she actually had another guitar player on her list, and that was the guitar player of Alice Cooper [Nita Strauss]. And she’s now with Alice Cooper and I’m now with EVANESCENCE. This is, like… I still can’t believe it.”

In 2019, Lee said she was happy to have Majura in the band. “She has added a lot to our live shows because she’s a singer,” Amy explained. “It has been a really awesome thing to have live background vocals for the first time. I am such a fan of layered vocals, and to have that better represented at our show has been a cool breakthrough for me. And also, she’s just rad energy. She’s got a great attitude, fun personality, very engaging, killer onstage, so she has been a fun addition to our family. And of course, it’s awesome having another girl in the band for the first time.”

Majura has released two solo albums thus far, 2014’s “Jen Majura” and 2017’s “InZENity”.

Last year, EVANESCENCE released “The Bitter Truth”, its first album in 10 years.

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