More about: Evanescence
It’s been a decade since Evanescence released their last album of original music, but in just two weeks their brand new offering The Bitter Truth will finally be released into the world. On Thursday 11 March we were lucky enough to attend a virtual press conference with singer Amy Lee and guitarist Troy McLawhorn, at which we learned a few things...
Here are 11 of them:
Some of the songs on The Bitter Truth have been worked on for 10 years
Spending ten years on a song must take a lot of commitment, but it’s proof that if Evanescence believe in something then they stick to it despite any obstacles in their way. Giving her initial thoughts on The Bitter Truth, singer Amy Lee explained that “it really is [a] big piece of my life, and just a big piece of the band, who we are and where we've been and in particular where we are right now.” Listening to the album, it’s obvious that their dedication shines through in these perfectly-crafted songs.
The band refused to let the global pandemic stand in the way of reaching out to their fans
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Recording an album when all of your band mates are spread across the globe due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, the album process was, admittedly, a challenging experience, but one that more than paid off for the band. Providing them with an opportunity to think more creatively about how to continue, Amy Lee commented that they were determined not to wait, and that “the obstacle has been inspiring in itself.”
She further explained that the album creation process provided a chance for healing, adding that “it’s not what happens to you, it’s what you do with that. It’s how you take what you've been given and what you turn it into. I'm not always waking up ready to take on the world, but, when you can overcome whatever it is and take the experience and turn it into something good, into something that could actually potentially feel good to someone else, there's healing in that. I’ve found that over the course of my career and my journey with this band, our music is a very special place not just for us, but for other people.” Guitarist Troy also said that they did have four tracks ready to go before the pandemic hit, and apart from the brief periods that some of the band were able to meet up, rhythm guitarist Jen Majura had to write and record all of her parts by herself without the rest of the band around her to bounce ideas off.
Amy Lee is open to more collaborations in the future
As well as the recording of The Bitter Truth, Amy has been busy collaborating with a number of acts including Bring Me The Horizon and Body Count. Not only that, but single ‘Use My Voice’ saw Amy team up with Within Temptation’s Sharon del Adel, The Pretty Reckless’ Taylor Momsen and Lzzy Hale of Halestorm. Amy said that meeting Sharon for the first time led to a real personal connection, and that despite the band sharing fans she was the person she knew on the single the least. “We just had this connection and had this long, deep conversation and there were tears and laughter and I just felt like we had so much in common” Amy explained, which led to the duo eventually working together. So, does this mean more collabs in the future for the band? We certainly hope so.
They had no idea how the record was going to turn out when they started it
When asked if the band knew that The Bitter Truth was going to have its heavier moments, guitarist Troy and singer Amy both explained that the band never really have a preconceived idea of how their albums are going to sound. However, Amy also commented that after their orchestral rework album Synthesis, released in 2017, they were ready to get “back to rocking” and were keen to find themselves and the roots of the band again through this album’s process. Whilst discussing some of the guitar pedals and layering techniques the band used, particularly on track ‘Yeah Right’, both members agreed that it felt “like a sweet release” to experiment with such loud noise after feeling locked down and frustrated after so long. Later, Amy also added that the pandemic made the album “more important, more passionate and more intentional”.
Covid-19 meant that their families became more involved with their music than ever
There can’t be many of us that can claim to have sung on a highly-anticipated rock album during the pandemic, but to the family members of Evanescence that’s something they’ll be able to boast. Troy explained that not only did his wife and son film him for their music videos, but they - as well as the rest of the band’s families - contributed backing vocals to the chorus of ‘Use My Voice’, making the single creation even more of a personal experience to them all.
Amy is a big Billie Eilish fan
When asked about who she’s been listening to lately, Amy Lee has a lot to say about Billie Eilish and her album When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?. “What I like about it is the darkness - it’s super dark and willing to be vulnerable and real”, she explains, relating to some of the themes within the album herself. Later, she also expressed her love for Bring Me The Horizon, who she recently joined up with on their track 'One Day The Only Butterflies Left Will Be In Your Chest As You March Towards Your Death', dubbing their latest album ‘Post Human: Survival Horror’ “fantastic” and “dynamic”. Amy also gave a shout out to London duo Nova Twins, who she discovered through BMTH.
‘Use My Voice’ evolved to be about the world “going crazy”
Survival was the original theme of single ‘Use My Voice’, but as Amy watched “the world in front of us unfolding” on the news each night she found herself shouting at the TV. “If nothing else, we want [‘Use My Voice’] to say to people that every voice matters and deserves to be heard” Amy clarified when talking about the empowering single. The track also developed to be about “the reality of what sisterhood means, and how much stronger we are when we’re together. I have the special privilege of having not only a bunch of really cool strong women in my life but also some world renowned amazing singers” Amy added.
There were some songs that Amy was hesitant to share with the world
It’s not unusual for a songwriter to delve into their most personal experiences, but for Amy one of the album’s highlights almost didn’t make it to the album because it was so intimate. When asked about the track ‘Far From Heaven’, Amy mused “sometimes it was a little scary and hard to admit the struggles that I was facing, but it’s so worth it when you break through. It makes it have a purpose in your life, and it feels like hope for the next step.” Later when discussing how the experience made her feel empowered, she added “I feel like we made the best out of this time and put it to use. We took it and went “okay we'll use this as fuel and make something that goes deeper than maybe I really wanted to go comfortably, because I have to, so we're gonna lean into it instead of running away from it, and that that feels good too.”
If you were looking for an answer to what The Bitter Truth really is, Amy has it
“Life is short!”, Amy exclaimed, adding that the band aren’t “wasting any more time. Who knows if we have tomorrow?” Elaborating further, Amy believes that there’s a positivity behind that truth that encourages people to seize the day more and face the truth to move to a better place.
Amy is grateful to be called an inspiration
When asked how she feels about fans dubbing her and the rest of Evanescence as an inspiration to them, she said “being inspiring in somebody's life is the greatest thing that you can be. The fact that our music has been able to do that for people that I don't even know is such a gift.” It’s certainly clear that Evanescence are devoted to their fans as much as their fans are devoted to them, with Amy reminiscing about some of her favourite moments playing live.
Amy Lee and her son wrote to David Attenborough!
Before interviewer Sophie K asked some of the more in-depth questions about The Bitter Truth, Amy revealed that her son’s love for David Attenborough documentaries resulted in the making of a video for him, with Jack proudly showing the acclaimed natural historian his pets, including his grey treefrog!
The Bitter Truth arrives 26 March via Sony.
More about: Evanescence