The right label deal is what convinced We Are the Fallen to change plans to release music sporadically and online and instead go for a full-fledged album -- "Tear the World Down," which comes out May 11.
Ben Moody and company -- including fellow Evanescence alumni John LeCompt and Rocky Gray, 2008 "American Idol" finalist Carly Smithson and bassist Marty O'Brien -- released their first single, "Bury Me Alive," online last June. The game plan then was to release two new songs every eight weeks and ultimately compile the songs onto a terrestrial CD. But Moody tells Billboard.com that Universal Republic CEO Monte Lipman convinced the band to take a more traditional path.
"We had initially intended to go at this alone because we didn't feel like a major label was up to the challenge," explains Moody, who after leaving Evanescence in 2003 has written and produced for Avril Lavigne, Kelly Clarkson, Celine Dion and Daughtry, among others. "I've had mixed experiences in the past, and major labels can fuck things up faster than anybody. But the entire Universal Republic team got what we wanted to do, and it was worth changing our plans and worth the risk to partner with them because we thought the outcome would be greater than something we'd do on our own."
Moody says WATF was most pleased that, along with co-producer Dan Certa, they could approach "Tear the World Down" as a piece of work rather than a compilation. "We definitely hunkered down and decided to write specifically for a cohesive record after we signed with Universal," he says. "We don't want albums to just be a collection of songs. We wanted to have a beginning, a middle and an end. So we sort of re-planned our attack at writing after we signed the deal."
WATF is giving fans a chance to preview the rest of the album's material -- plus a remake of Madonna's "Like a Prayer" -- while opening for HIM in North America until early May. More touring will follow the album's release, including a June 12 appearance at the Download Festival in the U.K.
"It's been seven years since I've been on stage playing the music I felt I was born to play," says Moody, who says "nothing is off limits for us" -- including Evanescence songs, although he adds that "as a band right now we're too excited about the future and what we've just done to even bother with songs of the past."
Smithson, meanwhile, says that as time goes on "we want to create a live show that people come back to see again and again. We don't want to be just the band that person on stage; we want to have a frickin' fucked-up circus going on behind us. Obviously that won't happen on this first tour, but when we start to headline, that's what I want."