How many bands can you list that not only have garnered legions of fans, but also not forgotten to show their love and appreciation for each and every one of their adoring troopers? Well one you should be putting at the top of the list is Evanescence. Their level of success is so rare in this industry that the only fact to rival it is how down to earth and frankly grateful they are. Amidst releasing an album last year and embarking on a tour through the year, Amy Lee took the time to answer some of YOUR questions. So without further ranting I hope to reintroduce you in a way to the one and only Amy Lee:
Rafi: So let’s start with the winning question; with your talent and creativity if you illustrated a children’s book, what would it be about, and what would the title be?
Amy Lee: That’s funny! I wonder if they heard me talk about this before. My sister is a great story writer and we have been talking about doing this. We haven’t started on anything, but we have been tossing around the idea. It wouldn’t be fully for children though; it would have an adult appeal as well. I am a really big fan of ‘The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy & Other Stories’ by Tim Burton and another that I always loved was the ‘Stinky Cheese Man and Fairly Stupid Tales’ (by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith). So I think they would be a lot like that, a collection of short stories written by her and illustrated by me. So this will actually happen, I just don’t know the title yet. (Both of us laughing)
Rafi: The other question I thought was great and a very close second was: “Given the controversies that artists such as Marilyn Manson and other metal acts have gone through, being that they were scapegoats for others’ actions, if you found your band in the middle of one of those situations what would you do? What do you think about the witch hunt on these bands?”
Amy Lee: That’s an interesting question. I think it is very important for all of us to have a place where we can say what we really think. Music and especially rock music for a longtime has been a place for that, it’s an outlet. All day long we are expected to behave; (both of us laughing) stand in line, wait our turn, and deal with the frustrations of everyday life. So you need something to voice your feelings, scream “fuck” (both of us laughing) and get it out. I don’t think it’s the music’s fault when someone goes crazy and does bad things. These tragedies would have happened without the music, in my opinion. If you take the outlet of music away from people it forces them to bottle up all the negativity, which I believe is worse.
Rafi: Another fan asked “Given your success through the years, how do you see that it has changed you? Do you see yourself differently now?”
Amy Lee: That is a hard question. It would be interesting if I had a picture of myself, had I taken a completely different path. I would like to think I remained the same person through it all. I always had the mentality through it all that you have to stay grounded (both of us laughing). I always keep people around me who are honest, even if they have to tell me I have a booger in my nose. (Both of us laughing) I would say though that I am a better performer, but the personality I try to keep the same. These days I definitely have more of the guts to play in front of 50,000 people without getting nervous. I am very thankful for all the places this band and our amazing fans have taken me.
Rafi: You mentioned that you used to have more of the nerves, is there anything that you have learned that helped you get past that?
Amy Lee: Honestly the best way is falling down and messing up. As long as you get up it’s all a learning experience. That’s what live is all about. I have learned to get my confidence from my mistakes more than anything.
Rafi: Speaking of live experiences what has been the greatest one for you?
Amy Lee: There are so many, but the one that really sticks out now is when we recently played the Noble Peace Prize concert. It was this very different, special, black tie event. We were playing for the individuals who got the award and had risked their lives to make this a better world, I mean who are we? (Both of us laughing) We are just a band who play and talk about music like it matters. (Both of us laughing) It was very special for us, and I don’t know, I felt during the performance that something else took over like it was magic.
There is one other show, I think it was on my first tour in Athens, and the venue was like a crater with rock formations surrounding it. The place was sold out and everyone was holding up not lighters but glow sticks, I was about start singing “My Immortal” and the crowd was singing along so loudly I couldn’t even hear myself, which was awesome! The glow sticks made it look like an almost starry sky of people who were singing for me, it almost felt like the performance was for me.
Rafi: Quite a few fans expressed how your music has changed or even saved their lives, how does that make you feel? Do you feel any pressure being such a role model?
Amy Lee: It’s a little awkward in that I look back on my life and how I felt like that about artists, like Nirvana. I remember being thirteen and listening to ‘In Utero’ over and over again. During a time that I felt very alone, the music helped give words to the emotions I was feeling and couldn’t quite voice. When people tell me that all I can think is “wow how amazing it is to be able to pass that on.” It is the most surreal feeling and proof to me that we are doing something right.
Rafi: One fan actually went so far as to say that after her mother passed away she would listen to the song “Missing”, she was wondering about the meaning behind the song and if she is understanding it right being the missing of someone lost?
Amy Lee: As far as if she got it right, I would say you always get it right. When it comes to music and art it’s always about how each individual interprets it. Some of our songs are self reflective but some of them are also story telling. For me that song was all about running away, but its poetry so please do take from it what you can.
Rafi: Ok so on to a little less personal questions, quite a few people wanted to know if you have any tattoos and if you do not, would you consider getting the Evanescence logo or “E” done?
Amy Lee: (laughing) I don’t have any tattoos. I don’t think I will. I am thirty now so if I haven’t got one now I doubt it will happen. I do love tattoos; pretty much everyone I know has one. I think that actually may be the problem. Everyone I know has one, so my form of rebellion is not to have one. (Both of us laughing)
Rafi: What is oddest thing to happen on tour?
Amy Lee: Wow that is a really hard one. So many things happen on the road. One time a fan sent us a lock of hair it was actually braided, coiled, and put into a ring box. We were in the car and opening everything really fast, and it ended up springing out of the box and I thought it was an animal. So I screamed and threw the box while the car went crazy all over the road. (Both of us laughing)
Rafi: What about crazy studio stories?
Amy Lee: This last album we were held up in the studio for about a month, where every day we would come in and do it till I couldn’t sing anymore. One day I was sitting there with Nick Raskulinecz and we were all trying to get ready for the day. I just was not feeling it that day. Nick looked at me, sighed, and said “do you want to just say fuck it and go bowling?” (Both of us laughing) Which I replied: “actually yeah.” So we ended up leaving and going bowling. That wasn’t enough though; we had to pick up things to barbecue in the parking lot of the studio on the way back.
Rafi: Alright to wrap it up, what would you like to say to all your fans reading this?
Amy Lee: Thank you for being the best fans in the world. I really do think we have that. I feel so blessed to have so many people that not only support me, but I feel, truly get me. I think it is amazing after so much time that so many still come out for shows and even wait afterwards just to get an autograph and meet us. I am always humbled by it. We will be on the road all through the year so we can’t wait to see all of you!
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