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VIDEO INTERIVEW – Iconic Women in Rock - Evanescence's Amy Lee

Talks About the Band’s New Album “The Bitter Truth”

Celebrity Interview by Jason Clevett (From June 2021 Online)
VIDEO INTERIVEW – Iconic Women in Rock - Evanescence's Amy Lee: Talks About the Band’s New Album “The Bitter Truth”
VIDEO INTERIVEW – Iconic Women in Rock - Evanescence's Amy Lee: Talks About the Band’s New Album “The Bitter Truth”
VIDEO INTERIVEW – Iconic Women in Rock - Evanescence's Amy Lee: Talks About the Band’s New Album “The Bitter Truth”
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Amy Lee has become an iconic woman in rock over her career. Since bursting on the scene with Evanescence’s first smash hit Bring Me To Life in 2003. While the band has been active prior to Covid, including releasing Synthesis with an orchestra in 2017 and a successful tour with orchestras. The band’s first album of original material in a decade The Bitter Truth was released March 26th. The album reached #1 in 22 countries on iTunes and received rave reviews from fans and critics alike.

"Oh, awesome," Lee said when asked about her reaction to the album’s reception. "It sucks not to be out there seeing our fans in person on tour and be able to experience it together. That is the ultimate payoff when you finally release an album is to go play the shows and we still are going to, but there's a delay there, so we're missing that. But it's been awesome seeing the positive response. It makes me really happy. Too many people talking like rocks dead, it's not, it never went anywhere."

GayCalgary.com had the opportunity to zoom with Lee on a rainy day from her home at Nashville. So far singles Wasted on You, The Game is Over and Use My Voice have been rocking the earbuds of fans, but the album is full of the blend of heavy music, personal lyrics and Lee’s incredible voice. Not sure which song to listen to first? Start at the beginning, Lee suggested.

"Broken Pieces Shine, including the intro (Artifact/The Turn). You have to listen to the whole intro as part of it. It was a tough call to put that track marker there. I'm finally able to listen to the album on iTunes, in my car, instead of in my Dropbox. Every time that intro would shut off and not go into Broken Pieces, Shine it just kills me. They go together, they need each other to flow. I'm not sure if I made the right call with that, but I didn't want everybody to have to listen to a minute and a half intro before getting to hear that song if they really liked that one. And I know that's one that fans like."

Like all of her songs, the music on The Broken Truth is very personal. Lee has had high profile relationships that influenced previous songs and lost her sister Bonnie in 1987. Her brother Robby died 2018 after battling epilepsy his entire life. Whether writing it or listening to it, music is "huge" for Lee in processing grief and emotion.

"It is the place that I go to, my mechanism for self-expression. I think everybody needs one. It can exist in so many forms to just find a way to express yourself and get those things out. I think that we naturally feel the pressure to suck it up and act normal in the world, around us, in society, so that we don't attract attention or bug anybody or make people think we're weird. The truth is life can be brutal and if we're always holding it in and unable to just be really honest, I think that that can be really bad, really bad for you. I need to let it out. It's not because I'm wallowing in my pain from, the hardest experiences of my life, but Evanescence truly is like this beautiful world. That for me is to never lie, to never hold anything back and to always say everything I'm feeling even if sometimes it's questioning human existence itself. I have felt like the music is a place where I can touch something beyond our world and be touched by it. I don't know exactly what that means, but music is something that I am just naturally drawn to, making it, and listening to it, just enjoying it can give me that same thing." I just use the music as my most intimate journal. It's hard to sometimes express some of the things in the music and in lyrics in real life as well. I feel like the music, even without the words, is part of the language of the feeling. I think that's where we connect with our fans in the deepest way is through that unspoken understanding that we get it, we've been through something before, and connecting in that and not being alone in that is a beautiful balm for the soul."

Evanescence’s songs certainly have helped others in their grief. 2003’s My Immortal has joined songs like Celine Dion’s My Heart Will Go On and Sarah McLachlan’s Angels as a staple at funerals.

"You just gave me goosebumps when you said those other songs. I think that's beautiful, and it makes sense because, life birth death, the biggest, most monumental things in life, death is a part of life. We can't be afraid to face it as a part of our existence, and in honoring and remembering the ones that we love that we've lost, that can be beautiful in its own way too. So, it's a great honor."

Evanescence has a large LGBTQ fan base, something Lee is very appreciative of.


"They've been with us since the beginning, some of our best OG fans are from the LGBTQ community. We recognize that as being something. (Evanescence’s music) is just about people, that feel a little bit different in typical standard society, you feel a little bit like not fitting the mold they're supposed to fit into, that's us. The music is very much about finding your own way and overcoming the obstacles to be your best self and just let your colors shine and be who you really are. Don't let anybody hold you back. So if that’s you, I get it. We're on the same team."

Canada was also a big fan of the band at the start of their career. Lee admitted it’s been far too long since they fully toured Canada (2007, which she pointed out was a winter tour.) She made a note to include Western Canada in tour dates when borders open up.

"Canada was one of the very first radio stations and communities that started listening to our music and playing our music. I was just out of high school, and we hadn't done Fallen yet and just started demos were out. We had a little buzz going in Canada, and I remember thinking that was so cool as a 19 year old that they're playing our music in another country. They know who we are. They like us. I’d just left my parents' house for the first time what's happening here. We consider Canadians to be our most OG fans, honestly. We love coming there. I got engaged (to now husband Josh Hartzler) in a Toronto."

Lee had announced her engagement on the then-popular MuchMusic program Intimate and Interactive. This brought up a memory of an equipment fail on live TV.

"I fucked up that performance because the pedal wasn't working, it was plugged in, but it was not registered on the keyboard. Back in the day before pianos were invented, they just had harpsichords. One of the big differences to piano and harpsichord is that there's no sustain. You just have to play. That's why so many harpsichord songs like Mozart and stuff, they're all really fast. My Immortal moral needs a sustain really bad. I started playing it and I realized I needed to do the old harpsichord trick to the best of my ability. And when a moment of sustain, you literally have to just keep your fingers there until the next one comes. That is really hard to do. I just remember being annoyed, but also just being challenged, I have to somehow make this as good as I can without any sustain for the entire song."

The band returns to the road in the USA this summer, and hopefully a Canadian tour will follow when borders reopen. When they do hit the road again it will be different from the Synthesis tour, as the band will return to their rock roots. One of the challenges at this point is balancing tracks from the new album with fan favourites going back to Fallen in 2003.

"Oh, I know that's going to be tough. It's not like we come out with albums every couple of years. It's been a decade since we had a full one. I can't help it; we are going to focus on the new album quite a bit. It doesn't mean we'll only play the new album. Obviously, I'm going to play some of the old tracks and we'll probably swap those back and forth a bit to, to appease the fans. Now it's going to be a harder choice, we're all just really in love with the new album. I think that's natural whenever you come up with something new, you love that the most, it represents us today. It's what we've been through at this point. It speaks to just so many things that the other songs can't quite touch."

Every band has at least one song that has to be in the setlist. Think Living on a Prayer or Sweet Caroline. For Lee, it’s their first big hit Bring Me to Life.

"I can't imagine not playing to life in a show. We can live without My Immortal, but I don't know if we could not play Life. It's such an ace in the hole, everybody's going to know that one.

Far to soon our time together is up. Lee had one last message for GayCalgary.com readers.

"We love you guys. Thank you for so much support over all the years. Sorry we haven't come to Canada more now. I feel bad about it. We're going to be there as soon as we can. I promise. Since it's going to be so long after the release of the album before we get there, I'm gonna hold you to knowing all the words. So, start listening now."


VIDEO INTERVIEW - Amy Lee

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