Sarah Marie Pittman of Pollstar.com recently conducted an interview with EVANESCENCE singer Amy Lee. A few excerpts from the chat follow below.
Pollstar.com: I wanted to ask you a few questions about the hiatus you took following “The Open Door” tour. If you could talk a little bit about what you were up to during the break and the decision to go on hiatus.
Amy: Well, as you said, we finished touring “The Open Door” at the end of 2007. I actually got married in 2007 and went straight back on tour so I really just wanted to be married. I live in New York with my husband and we worked on our place; I decorated my home. Just sort of being a normal person for a while. My life had been all about EVANESCENCE since I was a teenager, just jumping straight into the next thing every time. So it felt really good to step away and go, “You know, that was awesome; I think we’re going to do this again some day but I don’t know. But right now I need to just be Amy.” It was really good for me. It’s funny. I really love music. I do. I can’t help but play music all the time. And that’s why I’m here again because as much as I stepped away I [was] still sitting down at the piano most days or at the harp — I started taking harp in the time off too. And that turns into songwriting. And more and more as I got to sort of find myself, I discovered, “Oh yeah, EVANESCENCE is a huge part of me naturally. It’s not just this thing we invented. It’s not just a character. It’s really me.” So, naturally, I just started writing again. And it eventually became an EVANESCENCE record that we were making. We spent the last two years just working on the record. But before that I just did a lot of living — spending time with family, cooking with friends, listening to other bands perform. I went to Madison Square a lot. I saw an awesome BJORK show, I saw NEIL YOUNG play, I saw DEFTONES, ALICE IN CHAINS, all kind of stuff. Just pulling a little bit in, instead of always putting something out, artistically.
Pollstar.com: In a previous interview that you did, I read that when you started working with the guys again, it became more of a group project. Can you expand on that a bit?
Amy: Sure. I’m a very kind of intimate writer in the history of me working so usually the most common way that Evanescence works is with me and one other person, two max. Just sitting at the keyboard, with a guitar and Pro Tools, just creating. With “The Open Door” it was Terry [Balsamo]. We wrote almost the entire record, just the two of us. This time I opened it up. I wrote with Tim [McCord], I wrote with Terry. I started writing with Tim and Terry. And then we brought Will [Hunt] into it and we actually wrote some songs just sitting at our instruments. It’s very different for EVANESCENCE. And it worked because this is a live band that we had going on before, we know how to play together, they’re great musicians. And we just added creativity into that and it really worked. I feel like we’re at a place now where we know what EVANESCENCE is and at the same time want to grow it, want to make it the next level. And everybody’s head was just in that same spot so we did a lot of writing where it really worked for us to sit and jam. And that was an awesome experience for me. I feel like it made me a better musician. It definitely made us a better band.
Pollstar.com: I read that when you’d first started working on the new album, right before that you’d been recording songs possibly for a solo album. Do you think that you’d still record a solo album at some point down the line?
Amy: Yeah, I think that’s definitely a possibility. It wasn’t that I was recording a solo album before. It’s just that we went into the studio to make an EVANESCENCE record in 2010 but we just weren’t done. Like we went into the studio for a minute and then we stepped out and kept working, partially because I kind of realized that a lot of the music that I had was more focused on just me writing by myself; it didn’t really fit everything that I wanted for the record. For the first time I started to see that maybe EVANESCENCE isn’t everything. Maybe there is actually some types of music that I write that doesn’t fit, that may need to be reserved for a solo project or something else later on. I don’t have a plan for that right now. I’m just fully stoked on EVANESCENCE at the moment but I definitely think that is possible for the future.
Read the entire interview from Pollstar.com.