Frontwoman talks to MTV News about her 'ominous' score for the indie film 'War Story.'
First things first: Evanescence frontwoman Amy Lee isn't talking about the band's lawsuit against their label, Wind-Up Records.
"I can't say a word, I'm sorry," she sighed. "It's really for the best right now."
What she is willing to speak about is the score — her first — she's just recorded with friend and composer Dave Eggar for the indie film "War Story," which will premiere later this month at Sundance. And what she has to say might not be music to the ears of Evanescence fans awaiting the follow-up to their 2011 self-titled album.
"It's going to surprise my fans. It's not what you'd expect; the film is very dark, very introspective. There's not even a lot of dialogue, which is great, because to me it makes this beautiful, sad platform for music," Lee said. "There's a lot of blending of sounds, a lot of ominous tones. I play a lot of keyboard, and a lot of Taurus pedal. There's a lot of low drones.
"There are moments of playing, and it's musical, but there are a lot of moments where Dave and I just built walls of sounds, out of blaring cellos and trombones and synthesizers and harp, all on top of each other," she continued. "Sort of creating new sounds. It's not, like, a soundtrack. it's an atmosphere."
Of course, it's not all atmosphere. Lee did write one new song for director Mark Jackson, but, again, that track is a definite departure from her past material. Which isn't all that surprising, given just how far removed she was from the usual recording-studio dramas when she made it.
"That song is called 'Push the Button.' For a long time, the director, Mark, just couldn't find the right song placement for this one scene that he wanted something really different sounding. So I was like 'You know what? I can do this myself,'" she explained. "It's very different for me, it's electronic; I did it all myself, which was crazy, because I'm used to engineering and writing and mixing demos in my house, but being responsible for that being the end product was a new challenge for me. It was like 'This is it, I'm mixing this.'
"This whole process has been really different, and freeing. Doing my band, it's always been a big deal, a lot of pressure, a lot of hoops to jump through and things to live up to," she continued. "And that pressure can be good when you're making that big project, but this was [different] ... it's not all about the music, it's not all about one thing, it's a big group of people all doing different things to create a bigger piece of art. It wasn't about production and singles and worldwide success, it's about the integrity of the art piece we're creating. And it's definitely not about money, it's indie, low-budget, and I love that."
And while Lee still hasn't seen the final product ("I'll get to see it at Sundance ... there's no way I'm cool enough to be there," she laughed,) the experience of scoring a film — and working in a free-form method with Eggar and other musicians — was one that stuck with her. And one she hopes to replicate again very soon.
"I've been talking about wanting to score forever, and this was my first opportunity to explore that. Dave and I were already talking about taking a meeting for another film, and I definitely want to work with him again," she said. "I'm open-minded. I really like to be in a free place where I'm not boxing myself in; I say that all the time, but that's the goal right now."
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