Saturday, January 10, 2009

No Good Music Goes Unlistened (Volume 2): Ben Moody

Before I begin, let me just say that I have a personal stake and bias to posting this particular entry.

In 2003, Ben Moody made his debut with Evanescence who I fell head over heels for. I was lucky enough to see a show in September of that year and it was clear to see then that Ben was a natural performer.

Everything had seemingly been going perfect with the band. Their album was triple-platinum at the time and they were about to put out My Immortal (one of the band's oldest songs...a song that Ben wrote most of when he was 15) as a single.

Little did fans know that this performance in Cologne would be one of Ben's last with the band. Ironically, their performance at Cologne, Germany is often considered a fan favorite.

Less than a week later, Ben left the band and took a plane home to California.

Many fans were shocked, livid, and later split by the decision Ben made to leave the band.

Fans didn't realize how much of a toll the road took on both the band and Moody. Infighting, substance abuse, bipolar disorder, but then came the rehabilitation process.

He started working with other artists such as Avril Lavigne and Kelly Clarkson. He helped put a song on the Punisher soundtrack. He helped on a song for tsunami relief.

Ben even put out a song with Anastacia for the Fantastic Four soundtrack.

After much thought, he was to release a solo album sometime in 2005. The album, Can't Regret What You Don't Remember, which had been worked on has never seen the light of day.

Aside from Ben, those close to him, and reps in Wind-up Records, no one really knows what happened to this project.

Ben kept working with other artists outside of Wind-up and has maintained a career as a successful songwriter/producer.

Enter Hana Pestle, an artist from Montana whom he helped discover. The music is noticeably different from the artists that he has produced in the past (which is normally pop and pop-rock). This discovery has not only redefined what he can do as a producer and a songwriter, but it has also redefined what he can do as an artist.

In the summer of 2008, when Hana Pestle was touring with Collective Soul, Ben and Hana (collectively known as Ben-y-Hana) went on stage to perform Shine.

Just as fans were unaware of Ben leaving Evanescence, fans were unaware that Ben had actually been working on new music.

At a Hana Pestle show in December in Little Rock's Juanita's (a venue where Evanescence gained its early following), Ben released an EP of songs that he's been working on for a full album that's coming out March 3rd.

And just as fans were unaware that he was even putting out an EP of songs, much less an album, fans were unaware that Ben wanted to put it out for free.

The Mutiny Bootleg EP is a stark difference from previous music he's put out in the sense that it's not musically as heavy, but it is very much the same because the sound is so full of layers.

The rich sound is what makes it every bit as intense and dynamic as previous efforts.

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