We asked Evanescence frontwoman Amy Lee all about the band’s new album Synthesis – a collection of re-recordings (and two new tracks) of some of the alt-rock group’s most treasured songs, rearranged with full orchestra.
It’s amazing how so many of the orchestral instruments sound like they were always supposed to be there, and the electronic beats you’ve chosen have a very industrial feel, which fits the Evanescence style beautifully. Were many of these elements already imagined in your mind before you started this project?
Thank you! Yes, actually. I didn’t know what the whole thing would sound like when we were done; there is so much detail that was created as we went. But honestly, this is more like the way I hear our music in my head.
Some of the decisions you’ve made here with arrangements, do they reflect ways that you’ve developed the tracks during their lives as part of your live setlist?
Yes. Not in the obvious ways. Our usual live show is very much about amplifying and energizing things to make a non-stop, heavy rock show. We add parts to build drama, make four bars into eight and add a drum solo, go straight from one song to the next. But this project isn’t feeding that need – it’s meant to be experienced in a different way. The things that I was able to add into these new versions that stemmed from the songs’ live growth over time is mainly about vocal performance. That little extra note in the bridge of Bring Me To Life(“only you…”) is a good example. That’s been something I do live when I’m really enjoying the moment and want to push further. Continue reading Q&A with Amy Lee on Stack: “I wanted to flip the script and challenge myself [about vocal rhythms on new track Imperfection]”
Evanescence at Sands Bethlehem Event Center, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania Photo by Brian Hineline
It’s the day after Halloween and Evanescence frontwoman Amy Lee is in between shows during possibly the band’s most ambitious tour to date. Out in support of their new Synthesisalbum, a collection that finds the group reworking signature songs like “Bring Me To Life” and “My Immortal” into orchestral versions, the band is playing on a nightly basis during the limited tour with orchestras.
Lee has also her three-year-old son Jack and husband Josh Hartzler on tour with her. It’s a lot to balance, as she says, “I feel like I’m the busiest I’ve ever been.” But it’s also clear talking to her it’s one of the most gratifying times in her life.
The ease and calmness in her voice as she talks about perspective and the joy she found at being on stage but still having Josh being able to take Jack trick or treating in the arena is very clear. It’s a prosperous and creative time for Lee and Evanescence.
Even she is not sure where this orchestral period will lead for the band. But as she also tells me, “I’m absolutely positive I’m gonna remember these performances and this very special experience for the rest of my life.”
Steve Baltin: How was your Halloween?
Amy Lee: I didn’t dress up, I was on stage. I was working, but I love my job so it was good. Jack, my son, is three and he and my husband Josh are actually out on the tour with me, so they dressed up. And we did go around to band and crew right before the show and all put candy in all their pockets and asked them for candy, which was very cute, funny and different. But he had a blast. Halloween was always my favorite holiday in a lot of ways, so I felt happy again cause I wasn’t expecting to be able to celebrate at all. But it kind of all came together. Thank god for three A.M. Walmart runs to find last-minute costumes.
Baltin: What was your best Halloween costume ever?
Lee: Ooh, that’s a tough one. I always made my own costumes. So it’s usually just the funniest thing on earth to look at my old costumes because they’re hand-sewn things where everybody would have to ask me, “What are you?” I remember one year in particular I was an angel on one side and devil on the other. There was like a line down my face and down the whole outfit. It was white on one side and supposed to be red on the other side, but actually turned out pink cause I was trying to dye things and I was 13 years old. I actually want to say that was my worst costume ever (laughs).
Baltin: How gratifying is it that you can do what you love and be on stage and Jack still gets his Halloween?
Lee: I am extremely grateful. It takes a lot of people to make everything that’s happening happen. We have our friends out helping us take care of Jack. A lot of people are helping me, and my husband too, he works non-stop to make the Jack thing happen. So I feel super grateful. I’m the busiest I feel like I’ve ever been, being on tour and being a mom. And also the fact the tour is totally new territory for us. It’s a lot, every day is completely packed from start to finish. But I feel really happy.
Evanescence at Sands Bethlehem Event Center, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania Photo by Brian Hineline
Baltin: Does it make it easier to try the new stuff musically because you now understand no matter what happens being a mom comes first? So there is less pressure on the music.
Lee: Totally, absolutely, it’s all about perspective. And the perspective it’s given me is really healthy because it makes everything else a little bit less scary. If it doesn’t work out, okay, whatever and then I go and grab Jack cause being a mom first definitely is the most important thing. So it lets you rest a bit emotionally in that it’s not like your entire day is only filled with your job. Perspective is big thing on this album actually. There are a lot of different angles, things that make the arrangement and songs different. The way that I’m able to perform, especially some of the really older songs is from the perspective of having been through so much, having had a relationship and history with these songs, and also things like becoming a mom makes me look at the entire world differently. And there’s a new depth in some of the lyrics for me that couldn’t have been there for me when I was 17 years old.
Two totally different magazines reviewed the second Evanescence show from the current tour of Synthesis at Greek Theatre in Los Angeles which took place last Sunday, October 15th.
The first one, is from Variety magazine which titling the show as a “Amp Up the Drama With 20-Piece Orchestra” and the second from RockRevolt Magazine describe the perfomance as a “live performance created a cinematic and momentous sound, melodies that resonated across the entire venue”, adding that “this did not deter a single fan, however, as the audience was absolutely blown away by the performance”.
Concert Review: Evanescence Amp Up the Drama With 20-Piece Orchestra at L.A.’s Greek Theatre
CREDIT: PHOTO: ANABEL DFLUX
Evanescence lead singer Amy Lee made the leap from goth-rocker to opera diva last night, as she and the band led a 20-piece orchestra through a sold-out performance at the Greek Theatre Sunday night, previewing the group’s fourth album, “Synthesis,” which comes out November 10.
Both the concert and the album — Evanescence’s first since its self-titled 2011 effort — offer a reimagining of the group’s catalog with a full symphony orchestra, arranged by none other than Beck’s father, veteran arranger David Campbell, whose collaboration with the band dates back to its first album. The concert was the second of Evanescence’s current “Synthesis Live” tour, as they team up with a different symphony orchestra (under the direction of conductor Susie Seiter) in each city for an 80-minute, 18-song set. Continue reading First reviews from Evanescence Synthesis Live concert
Amy Lee took her facebook page last night to put things clear about the VIP experience the band are giving to the fans.
In a previous post when the band released a statement (14/08/2017) with the tour details in the official website they said:
“Synthesis Live” fan and VIP pre-sales are on-sale beginning Tuesday, August 15 with general on-sale–beginning Friday, August 18. Every ticket sold will come with a download of the new album, Synthesis when it is released later this fall. As an added bonus, ticket buyers will also receive songs from the album prior to the album’s release date, beginning with a stunning new reworking of the band’s biggest hit, “Bring Me To Life,” which will be available for download to all ticket buyers as well as on streaming services and in digital stores beginning this Friday (August 18).
A variety of VIP ticket packages are available to ensure fans obtain the best seats in the house. Other VIP benefits include the opportunity to meet and enjoy a champagne toast with the band, attend their soundcheck, and receive exclusive merchandise items.
Synthesis Pre-show Experience with Evanescence
One premium reserved seat in the first 5 rows
Greet with members of Evanescence
Individual photo with members of Evanescence
Access to an exclusive soundcheck
Pre-show Champagne toast with Evanescence (21+, includes a VIP only champagne flute) One Signed tour program (includes sheet music, photos, lyrics)
One Exclusive merch item
Crowd free merch shopping
One commemorative VIP laminate Continue reading Amy Lee clarify the VIP packages with fans
For the second show of Synthesis Tour Evanescence arrived to Greek Theatre on October 15, 2017 in Los Angeles, California and here we have some pictures, videos and band reaction after the show.
One of the hightlights moments was when Amy Lee sang “Speak To Me”, the end title theme song for the soundtrack of the thriller movie “Voice From The Stone”, for first time in honor of the presence of the co-creators, one of them was Michael Wandmacher who attended to the concert.
At the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles, in honor of the presence of the co-creators of the end title theme song “Speak To Me”, Amy Lee sang for the first time live her single that recorded for the soundtrack of the thriller movie “Voice From The Stone”, one of the most anticipated songs of the fans.
One of the attendees was the composer and songwriter, Michael Wandmacher who posted on instagram and shared moments with the orchestra conductor Susie Seiter and Amy Lee.
Susie Seiter with Amy Lee and Michael Wandmacher: “With current attention to women’s work issues I wanted to celebrate my longtime partnership with @michael_wandmacher who took a chance on a very green but hard working young girl 13 years ago and treated me with so much respect and belief in my potential where SO many others just saw nothing. He opened an enormous door to propel my career as a conductor and orchestrator and I am extremely grateful for him and others like him who are part of the movement to hire qualified women and make the world right. #hirewomen#workfamily“ via Instagram.
Amy started saying “don’t judge me on this one, this isn’t an Evanescence song” just before the singer performed the beautiful song with the orchestra in the second show of the tour in support of the upcoming album “Synthesis”.
Right after sang the song she added, “special thanks to my co-creators, co-composers, co-writers, co-everything on that song cause they are all here tonight” and then continued singing “Good Enough” and ended up the show with the lovely “Swimming Home”.
Evanescence kicks off its tour in support of the upcoming album ‘Synthesis’ at The Pearl concert theater at Palms Casino Resort on October 14, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada and here we have some pictures, videos and band reaction after the show.
We meet the rock icon to talk about the band’s new album, working with women and the beast that is fame
For those among us who were watching Kerrang! religiously in 2003, there likely isn’t a more memorable image than that of Evanescence’s Amy Lee scaling a giant building in a flimsy nightie while screaming save me from the nothing I’ve become into the night. “Bring Me to Life”, with its huge chorus, guitars, and rock-rap went quickly platinum, brought Evanescence to global relevance, and ensured that they wouldn’t ever be forgotten. Even if that’s the only song of theirs you know, the opening piano is probably more than enough to get you amped up enough to start screaming (badly) along.
Evanescence followed 2003’s Fallen, their most commercially successful album, with The Open Door in 2006. After a hiatus and another change in line-up, the band returned in 2011 with Evanescence before going back on hiatus. Now, in 2017, the band are very much back – and while their continued legacy is thanks in part to their huge, dramatic sound and that one, timeless banger, it’s more than anything thanks to their one remaining original member: Amy Lee. In a scene and genre full to the brim with men, Amy Lee, with her outrageously impressive voice and dramatic gothic decadence, was instantly iconic.
Amy Lee has been busy in the last few years with solo work including film scores and a children’s album. But now, Evanescence, with new guitarist Jen Majura, are well and truly back. This November they’ll release Synthesis, a reworking and re-recording of some of their biggest hits (yes, including “Bring Me To Life”) with a full orchestra and electronics. It also includes brand new songs, and is the precursor to more new music and a full tour from the band. We spoke to Amy Lee, eternal alt icon, about Synthesis, why it was the right time to revisit their old work, and being a very famous woman in music since she was just 21.
The new album sounds and feels very Björk-esque, that mix of electronic with strings. Not identical, it’s your own thing, but similar.
Amy Lee: I’m a huge Björk fan, I’ll take that as a huge compliment. I think the difference might be taking that traditional Evanescence sound which has those indulgently dramatic and epic moments. Going full on with them, sometimes I feel like the drama is all a little bit too much these days. I guess part of that’s just growing up as your tastes change. This album was an outlet to go, ‘You know what, we’re just going to go completely nuts with it and let the orchestra do all of that stuff we were hinting at before and go ahead and be a little bit more classical and dramatic and make the piano parts even more Mozart inspired. Just kind of tricky crazy old school.’ It was just really fun, it’s a fun project. I’m looking forward to doing it live. I’m a little bit nervous, it’s definitely different and asking a little bit more of myself and everyone. But I’m excited.
Why did you decide to rework your old songs on Synthesis?
Amy Lee: Our music from the beginning has always had the elements of very intricate and beautiful arrangements by David Campbell, but it also has this other side of the electronic programming that I really love. In fact, most of what I listen to is in that world. Once we put everything on there; the guitars, the big rock drums, you go through all the different levels of production to the point that you have the finished product of the song but a lot of that beautiful intricate stuff gets kind of buried. Many times I’ve left the studio and wished I had a mix just of the string arrangements and the programming together with vocals because there’s something really beautiful about that. I think that was my initial thought but that snowballed into something a lot bigger, because going back in with David Campbell he completely rearranged these songs in a way that takes the whole orchestra and lets it fill in all this space that isn’t taken up by the full band at full power all the time.