Amy Lee on Metal Hammer: “I need to step away and not feel like a ‘rockstar’ any more”

Photo by P. R. Brown

Photo by P. R. Brown

When Evanescence unleashed Fallen in 2003, they inspired a generation. But for Amy Lee, it was the start of a decade-long struggle to control her own destiny

Amy Lee is in a playful mood. Despite talking to press all day, the Evanescence singer and gothic rock superstar is warm and chatty, anticipating our next question with a, “C’mon, what you got, whatcha got?” and giggling. “You’re my last in a looong block of interviews,” she tells us in her throaty, sing-song voice before we begin – but to her credit, it’s clear that when it comes to talking about Evanescence, she’s so fiercely proud of her band that she relishes the chance to set a few things straight.

Over 22 years, Evanescence have continued to defy expectation. From their humble, teenage beginnings in the 90s to the overwhelming breakthrough of Bring Me To Life, the song that became ubiquitous on every music channel for its iconic depiction of Amy Lee as a kind of gothic Rapunzel, to their new record Synthesis, an orchestral retrospective of their career, there’s a lot of ground to cover. Yes, with just three studio albums in 20 years, they’ve appeared to have some long breaks, but Amy is adamant that it’s all part of a process that’s allowed the band to continue.
Continue reading Amy Lee on Metal Hammer: “I need to step away and not feel like a ‘rockstar’ any more”

Amy Lee in Forbes interview: ‘I think this is just a really cool moment in time’

Evanescence at Sands Bethlehem Event Center, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania Photo by Brian Hineline

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 Synthesis album, 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

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.

Baltin: What are some of the moments you hear differently now? Continue reading Amy Lee in Forbes interview: ‘I think this is just a really cool moment in time’

First reviews of Synthesis album

Synthesis

The long-awaited release of the album Synthesis has already happened and here we compile some of the first reviews made by the media.

Chad Bowar from Loudwire describes Synthesis as “grandiose and bombastic in parts, quiet and subdued in others”:

“As to the songs they selected to give the orchestral treatment, there are some of the hits from their three albums, but they are not one I wish they would have done is”Going Under.” It’s interesting to hear “Bring Me to Life”as a classical track without the male rap parts.” “My Immortal” and “Lost in Paradise” are a couple of their well-known songs that are included in this set.

“Some of the songs that work best in this format are lesser-known tracks like the heartfelt “Imaginary” from Fallen and The Open Door‘s “Lacrymosa,” which features a great performance from Lee that goes from reserved to all out belting. Her performance is outstanding, with her powerful pipes never overshadowed by the orchestra.

“The two new songs are the subdued “Hi-Lo” that features a guest appearance from violinist Lindsey Stirling and the album closer “Imperfection.” The latter has been released as a single, and its classical base has a lot of EDM and hip -hop influences.

“The production on the album (handled by Lee and Will Hunt) is excellent. It’s great and bombastic in parts, quiet and subdued in others, and working with so many instruments when recording and mixing an album is tricky Evanescence are currently on tour playing the album with an orchestra, and having had the chance to see them, this reviewer highly recommended checking it out. As dynamic and compelling as Synthesis is on record, it’s even more so live, especially with Lee‘s charismatic performance”.

EVANESCENCE - Inside Synthesis Episode 1 - Introduction

On the other hand Maddy Glenn of Noizze UK anticipates that “the live performance of this epic album is going to be an opportunity not to miss”, giving 9 of the total of 10:

Synthesis is the first studio album Evanescence have released in the last 7 years and they are undoubtedly back with a bang. The quintet are well known for their impressive soundscapes and big numbers, but this new album redefines the term ‘epic’. The record sees the band collaborating with a full orchestra. With only 2 new songs on the album (Imperfection and Hi-Lo), they have taken old songs from their four studio albums and reworked them. They will be touring the new album in March and April 2018, accompanied by a full orchestra.

Continue reading First reviews of Synthesis album