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Jen Majura (Evanescence)

Interview with Jen Majura from Evanescence
by Jean-Francois Poulin at 25 June 2018, 6:39 AM

EVANESCENCE is a very well known band that doesn't need much of an introduction to the Rock and Metal Community. Metal Temple writer Jean-Francois Poulin recently had the chance to interview guitarist Jen Majura.

You finally got some solo stuff out, I watched a lot of your YouTube videos since 2014 and was really impressed by your work and I was always wondering when your solo stuff would officially come out? Are you happy with the end result of ''InZENity'' after all those years of hard work?

Well InZENity is my second solo album, my first solo self-titled album was released in 2013. For InZENity I swore to myself to make no compromises at all, which is the major difference. Cause with my first album I tried to sound like I want to sound as well as I thought how people would expect me to sound - horrible idea! When I made the decision to finally record the songs for InZENity, things were different: No one could tele what I can do or what I cannot do. 1 instrumental track, an acoustic track and crazy prog hard rock with Jazz as well as Metal elements… not possible? - Possible and InZENity is the evidence! I am super proud and very happy with the tunes, the sound, the production and the global reactions to my second solo work! A lot of artists will agree when you listen to your final product after the release, there always will be that brief moment in that one particular song where you go like „Duuuhhh…. Oh I wish I would have done that better….“ - InZENity has not a single moment like that when I listen to it! I am very happy.

You replaced Terry Balsemo as the lead guitarist of EVANESCENCE in 2015, how did it come about? Were you approached beforehand or was there something waiting in the wings?

I performed at two European metal festivals in early summer 2015 with another band I played for back in the days and got to meet Testament’s very own Alex Skolnick, who became a very good friend of mine by now. Alex is a world wide known and much appreciated musician in the business and it was him, who forwarded my name to Amy, when she scouted the planet for a replacement. I have not been a huge Evanescence fan before ahead although I knew their music (of course!) but really learned to appreciate the depth and beauty of their musical work.

I gotta admit that Germany has brought us so many great artists, musicians and groups throughout the last 4 decades. What's with Germany that brings us these talented musicians to the forefront of Hard Rock and Metal?

The metal scene in Germany has always been strong and I am thankful to be friends with musicians of great legendary German metal acts like Kreator, Destruction and many more. We have a strong scene and a lot of metal heads here.

You were the bassist of the Epic Folk/Viking Metal band EQUILIBRIUM from 2014 to 2015? How was your experience with the band and what happened that made you guys go your separate ways?

No comment.

BLACK THUNDER LADIES is one of your various projects, how did it come about?

I founded the band back in the days and thought it was a fun project. We toured Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Netherlands, Belgium and even Russia. It was a very interesting time for me when  I learned a lot about the business as I was in charge for band’s merchandise, contracts, organization and everything else. It was the time to learn the load in and load out, carry your own gear before you play and drive for hours and hours… it was fun! It was Rock’n’Roll.

How was your experience doing backing vocals for BLIND GUARDIAN on the ''At the Edge of Time'' album?

This experience is one of my most precious ones. I remember how we all stood around the microphone with Hansi to record tiny little pieces of vocals, the album was produced by Charlie Bauerfeind and I learned a lot about producing during that studio period. Wherever I am and whatever I do, I always try to improve my skills, learn something from the situation I am in and it was great fun to work with the guys. I even did the funny attempt to play the didgeridoo on this album. We laughed a lot and I am still friends with the guys, thankful to have made that experience.

Who were your idols growing up?

Richie Sambora, Nuno Bettencourt, Steve Vai.

Do you have a preference between being a guitarist and a bassist?

Yes! I am a guitarist. I feel, I listen, I play and I move like a guitarist.

Is there any plans on touring for your solo stuff? Or is it on the back burner with the full return of EVANESCENCE?

Well when I released InZENity I had to turn down a lot of offers, because we just started our world tour with Evanescence. For 2019 I’m planning a new guitar duo project with which I’m planning to do some shows in Europe in spring 2019. I don’t know yet about InZENity, but for sure I always try to play some songs at trade shows and musical exhibitions and with my „just-for-fun-band“ Doz of Hell. We’ll see what the future will hold for me. Evanescence will be on a break after we finish the upcoming summer tour in the US - so I’ll have plenty of time to explore new territories next year.

Any bands you would love to tour with in the near future?

Hollywood Vampires, Five Finger Death Punch and Extreme. I know the mix is wild, but there is a reason for each pick - haha.

Thank you so much and I wish you all the best for the coming future!

Thank you so much for this fun chat and always remember to carry sunshine in your heart - whooop whooop!



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