Amy Lee: “DVD of Synthesis is in production now”

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EvanescenceYou have just released a new album after six years. Your fans got crazy about it and it also got really nice comments from the critics. Some of your fans were surprised with the electro-orchestral adaptations and low-down guitars in your new album. How did you decide to make your new album “Synthesis” which includes your older songs with this new sound? What has been changed for Evanescence in six years? Can you tell us the story behind the album?

Well I really wanted to show a lot of these older songs in another light. The symphonic and electronic elements have always been part of our music, but usually spend most of their time in the background, supporting the band. I wanted to show a bigger picture of what Evanescence is, what these songs are to me. These arrangements give the lyrics a new depth to me, and I wanted the challenge of working in a different way, with some classical legitimacy. There was extra freedom with the older songs than there is when we’re putting out a new song, because the point wasn’t to make it a hit, show all sides of it at once. We already did that. So we could just totally run wild with the classical, film score side of the music.

There is a common question on your fans’ heads; are you going to release anything new that couldn’t make it on to the album in the near future? Like “Weight of the World” that you have been playing at the live shows recently.

No, we don’t have any plans to go back into the studio right away. But we did film one of the Synthesis shows and the live recording is in production now.

With “Synthesis”, you showed us that there are no limits in your music. You came up with something quite different but still, the whole album has that unique Evanescence atmosphere. How did you keep this atmosphere while you modify the supporting instruments? What do you think are the fundamental and unique elements of your productions?
Photography P R Brown

Our sound is made up of some basic elements, and inspiration from all over the place. I’ve always enjoyed all kinds of music, from electronic to hip hop to classical to hard rock and beyond that. Fundamental elements of our usual sound are powerful layers of distorted guitar, heavy hitting drums, programming, a string section, piano, a dreamy layer of slightly left-of-center background vocals and my voice on top. The recipe for Synthesis was basically pulling out the big guitars and drums and letting a full orchestra and a more interesting and complex bed of programming and electronic sounds take over that space, plus changing the arrangements to take that idea to the max.
Oh not at all. I mean, we’re just normal people with ups and downs like anybody else, but everybody in my band is happy and healthy. We have families we care for and we are good friends with a functional working dynamic. I can tell you from past experience that is a rarity, and an incredible blessing! The music has always been my place to dig into my deepest feelings, process hurt, find beauty and satisfaction through pouring out the pain.

In the last decade, the psychological disorders are increasing worldwide. Have you ever had serious a depression? How did you get over it? Is your song “Lithium” addresses to any disorder?

I don’t know if the disorders are increasing or just our awareness of them. I think it’s become more and more socially acceptable to speak openly about mental health, which is such a difficult, sometimes humiliating and scary thing to talk about. Hopefully more people feel like they can ask for help. I know that my parents generation, and even worse my grandparents generation, was all about bearing your own burdens, and speaking to a counselor or committing yourself to a hospital made you a “crazy person.” I’m glad that’s changed so much. I found counseling to be an incredibly positive thing for me, and I use my music to get my feelings out. This world can be a very dark place, and if you don’t have some problem with anything at SOME point I think that would be the stranger thing.

Photo by P. R. Brown
Music makes me happy. Music makes everything better. It’s an emotional enhancer- whatever you’re feeling you can feel it more with music. And feeling is important. To be numb is to take away what makes us human.

What do you aim to do with your music? Reflecting the common emotions of the listeners or making people experience a different world and a different state of mind?

I didn’t start this band with a mission. I really don’t have a plan, I just know that I have to make music- it’s who I am. I started making music because it felt good, and the beautiful extra bonus is that it has made a lot of other people feel good too. I’m so grateful for that.

DNasnvQW4AA_9LiI think you have a moody taste in fashion. How do you think your appearance, mood, stage visuals, and lights affect your live performances?

Generally I try to make our artwork, live show, merch, and every visual that goes along with Evanescence match the sound. It’s one more medium to fully describe who we are. For the stage lighting, and what I wear, I try to make things make sense visually with the music. For example this whole Synthesis thing is about the blend of synthetic and organic. So the logo, that metallic cut ‘e’ woven together with the ‘s’ of moths- that’s supposed to represent that in a physical way.

Are there any Turkey shows in the near future? Do you have anything to say to your passionate Turkish audience?

I hope so! We have very fond memories of Istanbul and love our friends in Turkey. You have been so kind to us! We hope to see you again soon.

SourceKaraköy Mono