Photo Credits: Tom Row
We are very happy to present you the interview that Jen Majura from Evanescence gave to Rock Overdose and to Konstantinos Sotirelis. Jen, who is the new guitarist of the band, talks about Evanescence's shows in Greece, about how she got the job, about Rage and many more interesting issues!
You can also hear the interview on the player:
Rock Overdose: Hello!
Jen Majura: Hello! How are you?
Rock Overdose: I’m great! How are you?
Jen Majura: Hey to Greece! I'm great!
Rock Overdose: How are things going on the Evanescence side these days?
Jen Majura: Well, it’s pretty exciting, because… You know that there are more tour date announcements coming and it’s really cool. I’m so happy we’ve announced one show in Germany. Finally! I mean, one show in my home country. That’s awesome and I’m really looking forward to that. It’s exciting, because we’re announcing the show dates for South America and for Europe. It’s like, every day you’re waiting for a new announcement…
Rock Overdose: So, you plan to add more dates.
Jen Majura: Well, yeah!
Rock Overdose: Great news!
Jen Majura: [Laughs]
Rock Overdose: You’re coming to Greece this summer. How do you feel?
Jen Majura: I am so excited about coming to Greece, because I’m not doing this since yesterday. I’ve played a lot of countries in Europe, but I’ve never, ever, been to Greece. Never… So, this is my very first time travelling to Greece and I’m so excited! Even my parents have been to Greece for holiday and... Everybody I know has been travelling to Greece, just not me… So, I’m so excited and I’m really looking forward to it! Really!
Rock Overdose: Do you know anything about Greek fans?
Jen Majura: Well, I know that you’re probably crazy, like all the other Evanescence fans. [Laughs] And from what I can tell, a lot of fans from Greece have sent me very nice messages. Like, ‘We can’t wait to see Evanescence play’, and they look forward to meeting us and seeing the shows. I’m really grateful for the awesome fans in Greece.
Rock Overdose: What should the Greek fans expect to see from the band?
Jen Majura: They can expect a pretty cool rock’n’roll show, of course. They’re going to see Amy, the boys and me… [Laughs] We always try to really give, not only 100, but 110% during every show and just have a really cool, fun time. So, they can just expect having a great time with us.
Rock Overdose: Great! So, the band released a new collection a month ago, including a new version of the song “Even In Death”. Also, Amy Lee announced that there will be Evanescence in the future. Does this mean that you’re working on a new album or new material, something like that?
Jen Majura: Well, you know, I am the European part of Evanescence. Amy and the guys are overseas and… To be honest, from what I can tell, we mainly focus on the touring for this year, which is – first of all – South America in spring and Europe in the summer and something else… [Laughs] But… I think that Amy said in one of her interviews that she’s already working on new music. You never really stop working on music because you get inspiration from every moment in your life. It could be like, you’re travelling in your car and then you get a great inspiration or idea. Maybe, [you] just pick that up a month, or months, later, or years later… You find cool stuff on your computer, which you recorded, like, gazillions of ages ago and that might be something… So, you never stop being creative and, from what I can tell, I think she’s already collecting and working on music. So, we’ll see…
Rock Overdose: Great! How do you feel about playing guitar for a band like Evanescence? How did you see the band as a fan, before being on the band, and how [do you see it] now?
Jen Majura: To be honest, I’ve never been, like, one of those insane Evanescence fans. Of course, I knew their music. Everybody does, and I love the music. I bought the CDs, and I listened to the songs, and I sang along… But, being able – and thankful for being able – to be part of this band is hard to describe in words, because I do not see it as a job. Of course it’s work, but for me mainly – after I got to know all the guys - , it’s really, mainly fun, because we got along very well. Even if we’re not on the road touring, we keep texting each other, and we talk on Skype, and stuff. It’s really a very mature friendly relationship that we have, with a lot of respect for each other. And playing those shows… One just can never understand the feeling of how it is to stand on stage together with those guys. They are just so talented creative great musicians and we’re just having so much fun on stage. I think people can see that. It has nothing to do with, ‘Oh, we gotta work now?’, ‘Oh, we gotta deliver music?’ It’s more like, ‘Come on! Let’s rock and have fun, and a great time!’ And I really appreciate that, because this is something that is not happening within every band. I know bands [where] the singer hardly talks to the guitar player, and they have different hotels, and so many issues and stuff and… I was looking for a band my entire life where I can say that everybody is friends, everybody is honest, everybody is talented and working on the same thing, which should always be... Do a really cool rock show, enjoy yourself and make fans happy. I think it’s something I finally found in Evanescence, because… It’s just cool! [Laughs]
Rock Overdose: Is it a dream coming true? Have you ever thought about this?
Jen Majura: It’s really… Every musician tries to reach a level in his or her life where you can be seen by a lot of people and perform for great audiences… I mean, there’s a difference if you play a show for twenty people or two thousand people. I’ve played huge shows in my life before with other bands, festivals for one hundred thousand people… But, it’s different if you play in a festival, or a smaller festival, for five thousand people, or you play a single solo show with your band for five thousand people. And I always enjoy seeing the fans in the first few rows where you can see them actually. They have this shining and so bright! ‘Oh, I’m so happy’ kind of look on their face and it’s really nice! I keep saying that it’s, like, the sort-of energy exchange that really is the main reason – for me – why I do music, because I wanna make them happy. I want them to have a great time and I can see that, I can tell! People are having a good time during our shows and I really appreciate that.
Rock Overdose: How did this happen? I mean, you playing on Evanescence. Were there any auditions or did they call you and say, ‘You’re in the band!’?
Jen Majura: A lot of people don’t believe me, but I did not audition. [Laughs] I played two festivals in Europe, one in Southern Germany, one in Czech Republic, where another band was playing the same two days I did on the band. It was Testament and they have a great guitar player by the name of Alex Skolnick. We’re friends and he’s just an awesome person. We got to hang out and talk. He said, ‘OK, what’s new with you and your life?’… We talked about my solo record [“Jen Majura” (2015)] and, a few days – or weeks – later, I received this very mysterious e-mail from him. He was like, ‘Jen, friends of mine are going to contact you and they’re going to offer something you should not say no to’ and… He was very mysterious, because he was like, ‘I can’t tell you more’. And I was like, ‘What? Huh? Whatever this is?’, and seriously, three days later, I got the e-mail starting with, ‘Hi Jen! My name is [so-and-so], I’m the manager of [Evanescence]. We’d like to ask you if you’re interested’. And I rang them and I said yes. It was a no-brainer, absolutely. And a few days later, I flew to New York, to meet up with Amy and I was pretty excited. We had this appointment in the afternoon, meeting in a café to talk and stuff… It clicked within a few seconds, I believe, because Amy and I were both paying attention to a lot of similar things. I think I really couldn’t agree more on the fact that you do not need the best virtuoso on guitar – or any other instrument – if he or she really is a dickhead, because you spend a lot of time on tour being not on stage. I mean, it’s a show – let’s say, two hours – and you spend all day together on the bus, in the backstage and it’s very important that you get along as a human being. So, Amy and I just spent time together, three days, talking… We went to a little music store, played some music... After dinner, we were just hanging out together and spending time to get to know each other. And I remember, we sat down in one little vintage guitar store. I was playing guitar, she started to sing, I started to sing along, like, a second melody line… It was really, like, ‘Hey! That doesn’t sound so bad!’ [Laughs] That was pretty much the moment when she was like, ‘Did I tell you?’, and I said, ‘What? Do I have spaghetti on my face or something?’… And she was like, ‘You got the gig!’ And that was my personal… I don’t know… It’s like my second birthday from this day on. Every year, on that day I’ll celebrate, because it’s been changing my life forever, really. So I’m really thankful to Amy, who found me.
Rock Overdose: You have also worked with Equilibrium… Did you leave from this band because of your duties on Evanescence?
Jen Majura: It says on the internet that I left the band, but it’s not true...
Rock Overdose: Oh…
Jen Majura: And I’m not going to comment any further on this…
Rock Overdose: I see… You have also worked with Rage, I think… In 2008.
Jen Majura: Yes!
Rock Overdose: How did this happen?
Jen Majura: [Laughs] I started out as a merchandiser for the band, to be honest.
Rock Overdose: Really?
Jen Majura: Yeah, you know, I believe it’s not possible that you can, like, store music and be on top of the levels, and work with the best of people, and play the greatest shows… You have to work yourself up, you know, with lower jobs [to] get familiar with the business. I never was… I’m good, I can work. I started out as a merchandiser for the band, which was my first big European tour. I learned about how it goes on tour, like how you do a sound check. I was young back then. Um… I remember there was this one time when they were recording something in the studio and I happened to be there. I kind-of made a suggestion on, ‘Hey! Why don’t you put something like this on that song, and this part… ?’, just like an idea. I remember the guys were like, ‘OK! You go in there and record it now!’ [Laughs] And I was like, ‘Oh, sh*t!’, I mean, I just said this idea. The song was “Lord Of The Flies” and we did a video shoot on that, as well. I played a lot of shows with Rage from that day on as a guest singer. Really, I saw a lot of great festivals, got to know a lot of countries… I really appreciate that a lot! Nowadays, I’m still in good contact with Peavy [Wagner] – oh, by the way, I forgot to mention, his birthday… It’s his birthday and I forgot it! Oh no! If you see this, happy belated birthday! They have this new guitar player now and Marcos [Rodríguez] is awesome. I really wish all the best I can for these guys, because they’re awesome!
Rock Overdose: Let’s talk about Evanescence! Are there any other plans that you’re going to announce? Maybe something new?
Jen Majura: Maybe… [Laughs] You should never say never. I don’t know… Well, first of all, as I said, it’s, uh… The major focus is on the touring and putting the energy into performing the best possible shows for our fans. That is our major focus right now. Um.. I believe Amy has something in store for after the European tour, but we’re not talking into details so far, so I can’t tell really…
Rock Overdose: Thank you very much for this interview!
Jen Majura: Absolutely! Thank you for having me!
Rock Overdose: The last words are yours. You can send a message to the Greek fans or to all the Evanescence fans.
Jen Majura: Greece! I can’t wait to come to Greece with Evanescence and I’m – personally – so excited about my first time in Greece! I can’t wait to see you all and I love you! And thank you so much for the support and love! Kisses!
Rock Overdose: Thank you so much! Can’t wait to see you!
Jen Majura: Thank you so much for having me! Bye!
For the Rock Overdose Webzine,
Tapescript: Stergios Gkoutsidis