Evanescence was founded by Amy Lee and former lead guitarist Ben Moody. The two met at a youth camp in Arkansas, where Moody heard Lee playing I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That) by Meat Loaf on the piano.
The pair discovered they shared a love of Jimi Hendrix and Björk, and they began to write songs together (the first was "Solitude" by Amy Lee, followed by "Understanding" by Ben Moody, "Give Unto Me" by Amy Lee, and the fourth song ever written by them was "My Immortal"). The songs were altered lyrically and musically by both Lee and Moody, which is the reason for having the names of both of them in the credits for writing them.
For some time they were unable to find other musicians to play with, and did not have the funds to pay for professional assistance, thus they were unable to play live shows. However, two songs of theirs, "Understanding" and "Give Unto Me", found their way onto local music charts, and demand for a live show increased. When the band finally made an appearance, they became one of the most popular acts in the area. They went through several names, including "Childish Intentions" and "Stricken," before deciding on the name "Evanescence."