Evanescence's "Bring Me to Life" could be the most played modern rock song of the past two years. Every time it's spun, you recognize Paul McCoy's growling "Wake me up" opening line in the verse, and his "duet" bridge with Evanescence lead singer Amy Lee.
McCoy has his own band, 12 Stones from Mandeville, La., on the north side of Lake Ponchartrain, but it's his work on "Bring Me to Life" that has brought McCoy his most fame, not to mention that shiny Grammy Award this year for being part of the Best Hard Rock Song.
"For me, it's been a really neat honor to be part of that environment," he said. "People wait a long time to win a Grammy, and for me it happened so early. I'm only 22 years old and have one. I have it on my plastic entertainment center in my one-bedroom apartment."
McCoy and 12 Stones are part of a modern/heavy rock show at Juanita's Cantina Ballroom on Monday, Sept. 13. The headliner is Tantric, though one feels it's a matter of time before 12 Stones will be headlining its own tour in much larger venues. From Satellites will open the show at 8 p.m. Tickets are $13 in advance or $15 the day of show.
Early sales of 12 Stones' sophomore release, "Potter's Field," have been good, McCoy said. The 30,000 copies sold the first week represent 10 percent of the total sales on the group's self-titled debut release, pulled together quickly after Wind-Up Records signed the band.
"We wrote most of what was on the first record in three months within knowing each other," McCoy said - the original four-man 12 Stones lineup met each other in a Mandeville record store, began jamming, and in about seven months were signed by Wind-Up.
"I'd call us extremely lucky," McCoy said.
Early reviews say "Potter's Field" has a heavier sound than the first release, and overall is a better listen.
"I don't know if it's heavier as much as it's getting our own sound," McCoy said. "Now that we've been a band for three years, we know how each other works, writes and thinks. It's a totally different ball game."
Wind-Up figured it could give 12 Stones a boost by putting McCoy on what seemed like - and proved to be - a sure-fire hit, having the singer guest star on "Bring Me to Life," which first was heard on the "DareDevil" movie soundtrack before the Evanescence debut album was released.
"The song was completely done before I went into the studio," McCoy recalled. "They sent me the demo version. They were in the studio when I came in, we thought about it and I just basically read the script they wrote."
12 Stones is a biblical reference from the Old Testament. McCoy said the band put several names in a hat, pulling that one. Like Creed, another on the Wind-Up label, 12 Stones has a somewhat vague spiritual undertone to its music.
"We write about everyday life," McCoy said. "We just try to stay a real band, try to write about real subjects that real people know. We're not rock stars, we're just young kids who've gotten lucky.
'We have individual beliefs, but it's all been about music and helping people out. If people can say it reaches them spiritually, that's great. If not, then we're not going to make a big deal about that, either. It's just positive music, trying to shine a little light on the subject. Some people are just into the cool guitar riffs. Some aren't going to see it the way you see it."
Promoters have pulled together a tour featuring two of the most prominent, brassy bands of the 1970s and '80s: Chicago and Earth, Wind and Fire. They'll bring more than three hours of music - two individual sets and then a final set with both bands on stage - to Alltel Arena on Oct. 24. Tickets ($49.50 and $35) go on sale Saturday, Sept. 11, at 10 a.m. through Ticketmaster or the arena box office.
Also, Velvet Revolver, the combo band of former Stone Temple Pilots lead singer Scott Weiland and Guns n' Roses members Slash and Duff, will treat the area fans to a show on Halloween night at Alltel Arena. Tickets will be $35.