Amy Lee’s Evanescence headlines Carnival of Madness Tour, which makes Atlantic City stop Aug. 3 & 4.
Summer jaunts appeal to Evanescence vocalist-pianist Amy Lee.
“We’re really looking forward to the Carnival of Madness tour this summer,” Lee says. “We love Chevelle and haven’t hit the road together in years. I’m really stoked to finally be playing some shows with Halestorm.”
Chevelle, which performed in Atlantic City earlier this year, is in the midst of a new period of success. The band’s current single, “Hats Off To The Bull,’ was at No. 6 last week on the Billboard rock music chart. Meanwhile, the band’s Carnival of Madness tour mates, Halestorm, is at No. 16 on the rock music chart with the song “Love Bites.”
And then there is Evanescence.
The band’s latest, self-titled (and fifth overall) disc hit the top of the Billboard pop album chart upon its release last October.
“We’ve done well for ourselves,” Lee tells Atlantic City Weekly. “It’s been great.”
Cavo and New Medicine Show are also part of the bill, which will stop Friday, Aug. 3, at the House of Blues at Showboat in Atlantic City with an encore performance on Saturday, Aug. 4.
Lee, 30, is pleased to be back onstage after taking a long hiatus.
“I love what I do, but I needed to get to know Amy again before putting myself [back] on stage,” Lee says breaking into third person.
“I spent time finding myself and getting inspired. It inspired me to make music and so we made the Evanescence album. I’ve been very fortunate. The band has been successful despite change. The fans have stayed with it even though there hasn’t been one Evanescence album after another.”
Five years passed between 2006’s mega-successful The Open Door and the band’s eponymous 2011 album. More than six million copies of The Open Door were sold.
“I can’t worry about the amount of albums that sell,” Lee says. “The numbers for The Open Door are extraordinary, but I think we really came up with some songs that connected with the audience.”
The songs “Call Me When You’re Sober” — inspired by her relationship with ex-boyfriend Shaun Morgan of Seether — “Lithium” and “Sweet Sacrifice” each charted. The dark, haunting piano and guitar-driven songs straddle the line between goth and pop-rock.
“Don’t say ‘goth,’” Lee says while laughing. “I don’t want to be tossed in that bin. I can do without being pigeonholed. I just want to make music.”
Lee is back doing just that with her band’s latest album, which doesn’t stray far from Evanescence’s familiar formula.
The new songs — earnest, angst-ridden, catchy and melancholy — sound like good ol’ Evanescence, which was formed in Arkansas in the mid 1990s.
“I think we do it well,” Lee says of the band’s signature pop-rock flavor.
“We have a sound and the feedback we get is tremendous. It helps fuel the creative fire. Evanescence records are a big production. We like to go as big as we possibly can.”
Lee also likes to take chances.
“I think musicians should be brave and step out of the box,” Lee says. “How can you know what you’re capable of if you haven’t tried everything? I’m all about exploring. If you haven’t pushed it as far as you can, you’re not doing all that you can. You need to challenge yourself. Music is all about being as creative as possible.”
“I’m Only Happy When It Rains,’ the old Garbage hit probably could have been written by Lee, who claims that she is at her most creative when it’s pouring.
“It’s just the way it is,” Lee says. “When it’s storming, I’m at my best. I just get really comfortable when it’s raining hard. It’s the kind of day when nobody expects anything of you and that’s when I go and do my best work, whether it’s music or painting or whatever. Bad weather is good for me. It feels magical and just so wonderful.”
When it’s miserable outside Lee also works on her stage attire, making by hand the performance clothes she wears.
“I design most of those clothes,” Lee says. “But I also come up with most of the concepts for the band’s videos. I work on [our] album covers. There are so many things that move me to create.”
It’s hard to believe that Lee is only 30 considering all that she has accomplished.
“I feel that I’ve led a full life,” she says. “I’m so grateful that I’ve done so much by this point. The great thing is that I still have so much left in me. I’m only 30 and there is so much that I want to do in my life. I hope I get to do so many things in the future.”
But for now, Lee’s life will be all about touring. Evanescence headlines this year’s Carnival of Madness Tour, which kicked off July 31 and runs through early September.
“That’s fine with me,” Lee says. “That’s part of the territory. I love going out on the road and I love seeing the fans; [they] have been so supportive. I love going out there and expressing myself in front of all of those fans. I throw everything that I have when I hit that stage.”
When Lee is not on the road, she enjoys doing the domestic thing.
“I like being married,” she says. “I’m good with all of that. I like to cook and I like the stability. Maybe it’s not for everyone, but it’s definitely for me. I have no complaints. I get to have separate lives. It’s a pretty good thing.”
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