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”
“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 Synthesisis on record, it’s even more so live, especially with Lee‘s charismatic performance”.
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.
In a new interview with Amy Lee for TeamRock she talks about growing up, being cool, and sexuality in music. Check it out:
Synthesis revisits the old songs. Do you remember how it felt to be twenty years old and working on Fallen?
Unfortunately yes [laughs]. How would I describe myself back then? Wide-eyed, full of huge dreams, fairly insecure. But I think that’s pretty common. When we’re young we feel like we’re the only ones that kinda hate ourselves. I remember struggling with feeling like I didn’t deserve to be where I was. So definitely an emotional, hormonal moment. I still have a lot of big feelings, but it seems like the whole world is falling down around you sometimes when you’re a kid.
Didn’t being hugely successful make the problems go away?
No! Having lots of people all over the world touched by our music was a dream come true. But to have thousands, even millions, of people feel like they know you in an intimate way, it was difficult. I’m at a place in my life now where I think I’m pretty good at dealing with it. That whole thing, it’s not so scary any more. But it was scary in the beginning, for sure.
Amy Lee spoke with Music Week about the music industry and Synthesis. Read what she said:
In the new issue of Music Week, we speak to Amy Lee about the return of multi-million selling rock phenomenon Evanescence and their highly-anticipated new album, Synthesis. Only their fourth studio release in 14 years, the record sees Evanescence – completed by bassist Tim McCord, drummer Will Hunt and guitarists Troy McLawhorn and Jen Majura – present new material alongside re-recordings of some of their most defining songs, all with orchestral accompaniment.
Lee told Music Week that while Synthesisexplores the group’s latent orchestral potential with long-term collaborator David Campbell, it was also a chance to show how far their musical skills have developed.
“There’s a lot of musical skill that I personally didn’t have,” said Lee. “When we were writing Bring Me To Life I was 19! So just the musical ability that I had when I was 19 as a writer, as a singer, as an everything, I can do all that stuff better now because we’ve had all this time and experience. In addition, living inside those songs live for all these years, it just forever gives you ideas.”
Lee also opened up about the prospect of following the blockbusting success of her past, with Evanescence’s 2003 debut selling 1,324,026 copies to date in the UK according to Official Charts Company data.
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.
Amy Lee of US band Evanescence is touring Australia — with a full orchestra — next year. Picture: Sony Source: Supplied
Re-recording their biggest hits with an orchestra means Evanescence’s Amy Lee has been able to remove *that* rap from Bring Me to Life
EVANESCENCE’S Amy Lee is rewriting history on the band’s new album.
Their fourth release Synthesis is the opposite of an unplugged effort — rather Lee has re-recorded the band’s old material an even more dramatic and bombastic manner, with a full orchestra and heavy electronics.
That includes their breakthrough 2003 hit Bring Me To Life. And there’s something missing from the version you know — that rap, by guest vocalist Paul McCoy.
“God bless the rap, it’s part of what got us on the radio I guess,” Lee says. “At least according to all the rules of radio that I don’t agree with or understand. The rap wasn’t part of our original idea or sound, it was a compromise in many ways. So to be able to go back to the original vision for the song was great.”
Here’s Evanescence looking moody, with singer Amy Lee far left. Picture: Sony Music Source: Supplied
It’s not uncommon for an artist to go back and record their songs — Lee embraced being to able to revisit the band’s signature hit after performing it live at every concert they’ve played since it was release.
“The recording of a song that ends being the one you hear the most through history is usually when the song was just freshly written. You’re still learning it yourself and getting used to what the notes are and how the parts go. That’s true for Bring Me to Life for sure. After doing it live for so long there’s different vocal choices I’ve made and different things we got to use in this version.”
And no rap.
“I forget the rap’s there now to be honest,” Lee says. “At the time it was a big issue, it was our first single. I wanted people to understand who we were. That’s a struggle you always fight as an artist. If we only had the one hit, if no one ever heard from us again then nobody would understand who we were. We’ve made it past that point so the rap doesn’t make me angry any more. I’m so glad to put a new version out there without the rap though.”
El boxset vinilo de titulo “The Ultimate Collection”, contendrá a los tres álbum LP de la banda (Fallen, The Open Door y Evanescence), además del EP Origin y una nueva versión de Even In Death!. Es posible que sea la versión acústica que la banda estuvo tocando en sus más recientes presentaciones.
NEW SPECIAL VINYL EVANESCENCE BOXSET!
The rumors are true! We are very excited to announce that we are releasing a very special vinyl boxset this Fall that includes all of our albums + Origin + a brand new recording of Even in Death and more!
Stay tuned for official pre-order info!
NUEVO VINILO ESPECIAL EVANESCENCE BOXSET!
Los rumores son ciertos! Estamos muy emocionados de anunciar que estamos lanzando un boxset vinilo muy especial este otoño que incluye todos nuestros discos + Origin + un nueva grabación de Even in Death y mucho más!
Manténgase atento para obtener información oficial de la preventa!
Please note: This box set is a pre-order. It is expected to begin shipping sometime in January.
Slipcase with die-cut of the classic Evanescence ‘e’ logo Features glow in the dark art elements.
Casebound book – 52-page collectible art portfolio Includes never before seen handwritten lyrics and art.
All albums are on black 180-gram heavyweight vinyl.
FALLEN (1 LP SET)
Previously only available as a limited edition.
THE OPEN DOOR (2 LP SET) AND EVANESCENCE (1 LP SET)
Have never been officially released on vinyl
ORIGIN (1 LP SET)
First ever commercial debut and is a vinyl box set exclusive.
LOST WHISPERS (1 LP SET)
Career-spanning collection of b-sides.
Two new vinyl exclusives, “Even In Death (2016)” and “Lost Whispers”.
Track Listings – The Ultimate Collection
Disc 1 – Origin
5.Where Will You Go
6.Field Of Innocence
7.Even In Death
10.Away From Me
Disc 2 – Fallen
2.Bring Me To Life
8.Taking Over Me
10.My Last Breath
Disc 3 – The Open Door
2.Call Me When You’re Sober
3.Weight Of The World
6.Snow White Queen
Disc 4 – The Open Door
4.The Only One
6.All That I’m Living For
Disc 5 – Evanescence
1.What You Want
2.Made Of Stone
4.My Heart Is Broken
5.The Other Side
7.Lost In Paradise
9.The End Of The Dream
11.Never Go Back
Disc 6 – Lost Whispers
1.Lost Whispers (Intro)
2.Even In Death (2016)
5.Breathe No More
6.If You Don’t Mind
8.The Last Song I’m Wasting On You
9.A New Way To Bleed
10.Say You Will
Loudwire situa a Amy Lee en el 8vo lugar en el listado de las 50 mujeres vocalistas de bandas hard rock + metal de todos los tiempos. En la cuenta también comparte con Sharon den Adel (Within Temptation), Shirley Manson (Garbage), Gwen Stefani (No Doubt) e incluso las legendarias Joan Jett, Stevie Nicks (Fleetwood Mac) y Janis Joplin.
El rock and roll, no se tiene ni que decir, es un reflejo de la vida real – incluyendo además que las mujeres suelen tener que trabajar el doble para recibir el reconocimiento adecuado en un mundo dominado por los hombres.
8. Amy Lee (Evanescence)
“With the mega-smash “Bring Me to Life,” from Evanescence’s 2003 debut, ‘Fallen,’ Amy Lee proved that there was room for a highly talented woman in the male-dominated world of 21st century hard rock at the time. But the Arkansas-based vocalist proceeded to make good on her auspicious start, enjoying continued success unto the present day, attaining millions of fans along the way with her distinct, ethereal voice.”
8. Amy Lee (Evanescence)
“Con el mega-éxito “Bring Me to Life,” del álbum debut de Evanescence del 2003, ‘Fallen’, Amy Lee demostró que había espacio para una mujer de gran talento en el mundo dominado por los hombres del hard rock del siglo 21 en el momento. Pero la cantante originaria de Arkansas procedió a hacer bien en su auspicioso comienza, disfrutando de un éxito hasta el día de hoy, llegando a millones de fans en el camino con su distintiva y etérea voz”.