Evanes­cence

For their next chap­ter, the nu metal sur­vivors are or­ches­trat­ing an am­bi­tious re­work­ing of their clas­sics.

Classic Rock - - The Dirt -

In a world of generic war­blers, the oper­atic swoop of Amy Lee’s vo­cal was the trump card be­hind Evanes­cence’s squil­lion-sell­ing 2003 de­but, Fallen. If this was a pri­mal scream that spoke to the young, angsty and alien­ated, that’s prob­a­bly be­cause the Arkansas-born Lee was also a sen­si­tive out­sider who felt much of her au­di­ence’s pain. Four­teen years later we find Lee older, wiser, in a hap­pier place and com­fort­able enough with her past to rein­ter­pret the Evanes­cence cat­a­logue with a full orches­tra on their new al­bum, Syn­the­sis.

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.

What was it like com­ing up as a young mu­si­cian in Lit­tle Rock, Arkansas? When we were mak­ing Evanes­cence I was a nor­mal kid, go­ing to school. But I guess not nor­mal in the sense that I spent al­most all of my free time work­ing on mak­ing mu­sic. I’d be up un­til three in the morn­ing, with head­phones on, on my key­board. My mom would com­plain in the morn­ing that all she could hear all night was ‘thump, thump, thump’. But I just loved it. Be­ing a com­poser, hon­estly, was my orig­i­nal dream. That’s why it’s so beau­ti­ful that I get to work with David Camp­bell and all th­ese bril­liant mu­si­cians on Syn­the­sis – peo­ple who went to [mu­sic] school and didn’t cheat their way around it like I did.

Did be­ing into mu­sic make you cool?

No, no, no. I didn’t fit into a clique.

For the most part I hung out by my­self a lot. I re­ally en­joy be­ing able to be quiet and think.

Which singers did you like back then? I’ve ac­tu­ally re­alised in the last year or so that most of the mu­sic I lis­ten to is with a fe­male vo­cal­ist. It’s not in­ten­tional,

I just love the sound of a fe­male voice. My favourite? Björk. Hands down.

You’ve never used a sex­ual im­age to sell records. A good de­ci­sion?

Of course. It’s in­ter­est­ing. I al­most feel like that wasn’t a choice – I had to be who I was. What rock’n’roll is to me is be­ing your­self, un­apolo­get­i­cally, and not chang­ing to fit within the machine. Be­ing a fe­male in the mu­sic in­dus­try a lot of the time means be­ing overly sex­u­alised. It was just kind of an easy, cheap way to get peo­ple to pay at­ten­tion to you. I was like, that’s not who I am, and I’m not gonna pre­tend to be any­thing that I’m not. HY Syn­the­sis is avail­able from Novem­ber 10 via BMG.

“Hav­ing lots of peo­ple touched by our mu­sic was a dream come true.”

Evanes­cence with Amy Lee (cen­tre).

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