Evanescence front woman ‘happy right now’
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Is Evanescence happy to be sad and sad to be happy?
For a band whose musical landscapes are coloured with dark, sweeping piano movements and charred guitars, it’s a simple assumption to make. When Evanescence released The Open Door late last year, singer and songwriter Amy Lee mused at the time that the album’s scope spanned pain, sadness, anger and “yes, even happiness.” It sounded almost as if it surprised her.
“More than a surprise to me,” she says now. “I think it would surprise a lot of our fans. Fallen was interpreted as a very dark, brooding record and to me, even then, a lot of the lyrics had hope, a light at the end. I think a lot of people were missing that.”
If Evanescence is known, and embraced, for being a brooding band, Lee explains she’s often found her muse during life’s darker moments. And if pain and beauty often go hand in hand, she says, “It’s because they’re both so big.”
“I’ve been writing for a very long time and I’d always feel most inspired as a writer when something’s wrong,” she says, citing a past abusive relationship that consumed, and created, a lot of her material. “It’s hard to escape really important things just to write about something happy. But I think The Open Door is just a lot stronger because I got to step away and realize that I had the power to do that all along.”
Lee is happy, after all. When speaking about her music, her fans and her recent marriage, her voice takes the excited, girlish gush of a young songwriter who’s successful, talented, booked across the world and in love. But for an artist who’s accustomed to loneliness and pain, and one that’s found her stride by writing through it, what happens to a brooding band without as much brooding?
Not much, Lee says.
“Finding your soulmate, being successful at work — that doesn’t solve all your problems,” she says. “(Life) is constant challenges, tragedies, excitement and changes, until the day you die. I’m very happy right now, but … I don’t think it’s going to change the writing.”
But if she had to choose between love and art?
“That is the ultimate question hanging in my life,” she laughs. “OK, OK, I might as well just quit my job now that I’m answering that question. I’m choosing love. Because, in the end, that’s going to make me happier.”
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