Former Evanescence star Ben Moody has opened up about his reasons for leaving the band in 2003 - revealing his relationship with singer Amy Lee became "an all-out war" and he tried to force her to quit instead. The guitarist, a founding member of the goth rock group, walked away from the band during its European tour following a bitter bust-up with his former "best friend" Lee.
And Moody admits he had to leave because life in the band had become unbearable for all those involved. In a statement, he says, "I am not going to paint the sugar-coated pleasant version of events. I'm going to tell you exactly what happened in October of 2003... We were very young people in a very stressful situation... We had such opposing desires and personalities that mixed with the pride of youth and inexperience... led to an all-out war."
"On the night of October 22, 2003 everything came to a head. And through my fit of rage and desperation I put the nail in the coffin of Evanescence... It was highly probable we wouldn't last the remainder of the tour. Neither one of us willing to back down... I was devastated by what we had become... My once-best friend and I had become enemies."
Moody admits he wanted the singer to leave the band, but decided he had to go because the group wouldn't have survived with a different vocalist - and he's sorry for attempting to force Lee out: "Out of ignorance, pride, and resentment (I tried) to convince Amy that she should leave... Amy, if for some reason you happen to see this... I hope you know I never truly believed that. There was no way I would ever let someone walk on that stage and sing your lyrics... It would have become a joke."
And Moody knew he had made the right decision to quit when he subsequently received a message from Lee, urging him to "Get on a plane, and never come back", but insists he wishes his former colleagues nothing but success. He adds, "Every single bit of success that Evanescence achieves is a success for me. Every CD they sell (with or without my contributions), every venue they sell out, strengthens the one great thing I did with my life. Ensuring my sacrifice wasn't in vain."