Evanescence’s Jen Majura Didn’t Bring Her Guitar When She Tried Out for the Band
It might seem surprising, but when Evanescence guitarist Jen Majura first auditioned for the Amy Lee-led rockers, she didn't even bring her axe. Moreover, Testament's Alex Skolnick helped her get the gig.
The musician reflected on those fateful events in a recent interview with Guitar World alongside her Evanescence co-shredder, Troy McLawhorn. In March, Evanescence drop their first album in over three years, The Bitter Truth — it's also their first of all-new material in almost a decade.
But before Majura joined the group in 2015, she was touring around with other acts until a chance meeting with Skolnick started the chain of events that would lead to her current position.
"What happened was that I was playing bass in another band," Majura recalled, "not really being happy as I'm a guitar player. We happened to play two festivals, one in Germany and one in the Czech Republic. And it turns out Testament were playing the same days as us."
"I'm a huge Alex Skolnick fan," the musician continued, "so we ended up talking and keeping in touch. A couple of days later, I got this very mysterious email from him saying, 'Jen! Some friends of mine are going to contact you and I can't reveal too much but I think it's something you should say yes to!' I was wondering what the hell he was talking about."
"A day later, I got this email from Evanescence's management asking if I would be interested in — and I didn't even finish reading the email," Majura explained. "I just immediately replied 'Yes!' … The next evening I was on the phone with Amy talking. She invited me to come visit her in New York and hang out. I thought, 'Okay, cool!' and three days later I was on a plane."
There was only one hiccup, however — the musician didn't bring a guitar with her on the trip. But it was no matter. It turned out the Evanescence try-out was more of a personality audition than a musical one.
"I asked her if I needed to bring one," Majura remembered, "and she said, 'Nah, I know you can play, I've seen plenty of videos — let's just hang out!' And that's what we did. … Hanging out, long walks and talks, going out for dinner or to a concert. Becoming friends and getting to know each other."
Majura replaced guitarist Terry Balsamo, who himself supplanted Evanescence co-founder Ben Moody. Now, she's part of the outfit that also includes Lee, McLawhorn, bassist Tim McCord and drummer Will Hunt.
Evanescence's The Bitter Truth comes out on March 26.