WE ARE THE FALLEN — the new band featuring original EVANESCENCE members Ben Moody (guitar) and John LeCompt (guitar) and Rocky Gray (drums) along with "American Idol" powerhouse vocalist Carly Smithson — has inked a deal with Universal Republic Records, it was announced yesterday by the label's president and CEO, Monte Lipman.

The group's lineup is rounded out by bassist Marty O'Brien, whose recording and touring credits include DISTURBED, KELLY CLARKSON, STATIC-X, METHODS OF MAYHEM and TOMMY LEE.

"WE ARE THE FALLEN represents a bold new musical turning point and we're thrilled to be able to deliver their music to audiences hungering for their brand of passion," stated Lipman. "The combined elements of this band are a force to be reckoned with, and the entire company joins me in welcoming them to Universal Republic Records."

Moody added: "Carly, John, Rocky, Marty and I have been sequestered for a number of months to deliver a body of work that is going to stand the test of time. Collectively, we are thrilled to be in the very capable hands of Monte (Lipman), Avery (Lipman), and Tom (Mackay), as well as every individual at Universal Republic Records. We cannot wait to unleash our creativity in the New Year."

Carly Smithson stated: "The chemistry in this band has made for some incredible music. We are all so grateful for this amazing opportunity and thank our fans for the strong love and support they are already showing us in this early stage. We look forward to working closely now with our new family at Universal Republic Records to bring our music to as many people as possible."

The group is currently recording its debut album for Universal Republic in Los Angeles and expect to release it in early 2010.

WE ARE THE FALLEN was officially unveiled during a press conference on June 22 in Hollywood, California. The group also performed a two-song set consisting of WE ARE THE FALLEN's first single, "Bury Me Alive", and a rendition of EVANESCENCE's "Going Under".

"This all happened by accident," Smithson — who sang EVANESCENCE's "Bring Me to Life" during the 2008 "Idols Live" tour— told USA Today. She's friends with Moody's housemate, Monique Morrison. "I met him once or twice (at the house) before the band thing," said Smithson, who had been working on a solo project.

Smithson doesn't see herself as replacing EVANESCENCE singer Amy Lee. "Amy let the boys go," she told USA Today. "We just started a new band, called THE FALLEN. It's got really nothing to do with EVANESCENCE." WE ARE THE FALLEN initially may perform a few EVANESCENCE songs live, she said, "but we're pretty much focused on new music. You have an amazing writing team here, and amazing musicians."

"Our voices are completely different," she said of Lee. "This music is, obviously, the players from EVANESCENCE, but Marty's bringing a different flavor from what he does. I'm bringing a different flavor from what I do, and Ben has completely explored many different genres over the last few years. It's not EVANESCENCE anymore. It's huge. It's big, big, big songs that I can wail my ass off on, because that's what I love to do."

In an interview with Billboard.com, Moody stated about his former band, "There's not really an EVANESCENCE now. It's [singer] Amy Lee playing as EVANESCENCE with a bunch of other guys hired to play our parts. And she's amazing — an incredible front person, a great songwriter, an incredible singer. There's no reason we can't both exist in the world. Musically, we're going in completely different directions; 'The Open Door' (EVANESCENCE's 2006 album) sounds nothing like WE ARE THE FALLEN."

The energetic creative engine behind the launch of EVANESCENCE, Moody and the other members of WE ARE THE FALLEN found a true partner in Smithson, who always envisioned a band environment as her dream move following "Idol". Moody, who left the platinum-plus breakthrough metal act in 2003, has since co-written major hits for Chris Daughtry and Kelly Clarkson, among others.

EVANESCENCE's groundbreaking 2003 album, "Fallen", spent an incredible 43 weeks on the Billboard Top 10 album chart, selling 15 million copies worldwide, and 7 million albums in the U.S. alone.

Carly Smithson was a sixth place finisher during Season 7 of the landmark television series "American Idol", duly recognized for having one of the hit shows most loyal fan bases. The fiery singer's "elimination" sent shockwaves through the "Idol" blogger nation, with a critic for Entertainment Weekly even calling her dismissal "an embarrassing lapse in judgment." Her acclaimed performances on the 2008 "Idols Live" tour confirmed her stature as a preeminent female rock powerhouse.

"Bury Me Alive" studio recording:

CNN interview:


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