Performing at the Nobel Peace Prize concert isn't one of the things that aspiring rock stars would even dare to imagine in long-ago daydreams in front of the bedroom mirror.
Yet it happened to singer Amy Lee and her band Evanescence, back with a new, self-titled album after a five-year hiatus. The band, booked for a Wednesday show at House of Blues, performed for honorees that included Liberian women's right activist Leymah Gbowee on a bill with country duo Sugarland, Matthew Morrison of "Glee" and others this past month in Oslo, Norway.
"It's really unlike anything we've ever done," Lee said by phone from her home in Nashville, Tenn. "It was kind of a giant room with everybody in suits, so it felt like something out of another time. It was like we were playing at some Oscar ceremony from the 1950s."
Musically, the occasion was magical, Lee said.
"It wasn't about self-promotion; it was about world peace and being inspired by these dedicated women to make the world a better place. It was so great and it made everyone feel so humbled and inspired — and it made for the most incredible performances I've ever seen."
Five years is an eternity in the music business, but Lee said that she needed the time away after the major commercial successes of "Fallen," Evanescence's 2003 debut that sold 17 million copies on the strength of the hit "Bring Me To Life," and its well-received 2006 follow-up album, "The Open Door."
She was married to New York therapist Josh Hartzler in 2007and then took her time waiting for musical inspiration to return.
"It's not about throwing something out there when your face is still on a billboard somewhere," Lee says about her approach to the business. "It's about the need to put out something good and wait for inspiration to put out something really great that's worth sharing. Then people will react to that.
"I'm sure we could be a more famous band if we did other things, but it's not worth it for us. I literally was just following my heart. I just wanted to be normal. I didn't have a plan for the next record. Then you start writing songs, getting inspired and then you follow that."
In October, the new album debuted atop the Billboard Top 200 chart and iTunes rock chart, but Lee isn't obsessed about numbers: "You can work 10 times harder now and still be selling less."
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