RIFF RADIO: Evanescence regains full strength, embarks on long-awaited tour

Evanescence, Amy Lee, Jen Majura

Evanescence, courtesy.

In February 2020, Evanescence took a break from laying down some tracks for their upcoming record in a Nashville studio. Amy Lee and co.  full expected to see each other a couple of weeks later when the members went their separate ways. For guitarist Jen Majura, that meant going home to Germany.


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“And then this shit happened,” Majura said.

Majura was separated from the rest of the band for 19 months. The isolation soon began to weigh heavily on the guitarist, who kept working away on the album, which became The Bitter Truth.

“I’m allowed to be a part of this amazing band now, and we do this album and I can’t even be with them writing and recording,” she said.

Majura recorded her parts by herself. While her work is almost exclusively on the guitar, one track in particular stood out for her: “Better Without You.”

“I listened to it and texted Amy that the song sound[ed] perfect to me; I don’t know what to do to it,” Majura said. “I’m not a musician that would record stuff for the sake of being on the record.”

Lee surprised Majura with her response.

“She said, ‘Well, then sing,'” Majura recounted.

The guitarist is most proud of “Better Without You,” in part because it’s the first song in the Evanescence catalog to feature backing vocals from a woman other than Amy Lee.

One constraint of working from home was the lack of feedback from bandmates, producers and engineers. A musician’s musician, Majura said it was often difficult to figure out when a track was complete, obsessing over take after take before finally deciding to stop.

Despite the distance, the guitarist continued to contribute to everything Evanescence did. Whether it was livestream concerts or late-night TV appearances, Majura performed with the band via video from her home.

“You’d shut your eyes, and you’re with your band and everything’s so good again,” Majura said. “Then the song is finished, and you open your eyes and you’re standing alone in a studio room. It just sucks. I would be lying if I didn’t say that wasn’t easy to deal with.”

As weeks and months passed, tour dates would come and go, gigs would be pushed back and canceled. Friends would text Majura about coming to shows and the disappointment felt heavy.

“I had to disconnect myself,” Majura said. “I wasn’t able to handle another postponement, another cancelation; anything negative. I decided I wouldn’t deal with it until it gets really close.”

Now that time is finally close. The band is embarking on a massive co-headlining tour with Halestorm. For the first time in months, Majura has reunited with her band in Nashville for rehearsals and the tour is unquestionably a go.

She’s particularly excited to dive into the songs on The Bitter Truth, not only because it’s the first Evanescence studio album in a decade, but  also the first recorded material with Majura as a full member of the band.

“We’re going to play these songs like humans, like five people playing music together,” said Majura, barely containing her excitement. “I’m looking forward to this.”

Follow writer Mike DeWald at Twitter.com/mike_dewald.

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