As most of us know, one of the biggest bands in the rock industry is coming our way next month. This is Evanescence’s first ever concert in Dubai and they are pretty excited. This American rock band was founded in 1995 by lead singer and pianist Amy Lee and former guitarist Ben Moody. They became famous with the release of their first public album called “Fallen”, which sold over 17 million copies worldwide. The album made it on the list of the Top 10 best-selling albums of the last 10 years, allowing the band to receive seven nominations, win many awards from music award shows like MTV and Kerrang and even 2 Grammy awards.
Recently, UthMag had the privilege to talk to the band’s drummer and song-writer Will Hunt. We asked him about visiting Dubai, their tour so far, his involvement in other bands other than Evanescence and even advice for the young aspiring musicians out there.
Here is the edited version of the interview.
UthMag: Is this the first time you are visiting the Middle East?
Will: We’ve played in countries close to Dubai but this is the first time the band is visiting Dubai, definitely. We are really excited about playing there because we have heard so much about it and seen so many pictures. It looks like an amazing place.
UthMag: Do you think you’ll have time to do some sight-seeing or will you carry on with the tour?
W:It’s going to be really tough because we fly in the day before the show and we leave the day after the show. We have a few hours here and there but not as much time we would want to actually explore Dubai.
UthMag: How has the tour experience been so far?
W: It has been great! We started the tour in September and it has been going steady since then. We’ve been really busy and the crowds have been amazing. The new record is being received really well too.
UthMag: What is the hardest part of being on tour?
W: The hardest part of being on tour is staying away from my wife and daughter. And of course, the 2 dogs.
EvanescenceUthMag: You left Evanescence for some time. What was it like getting back to the band?
W: We finished the “The Open Door” tour in 2007. We all took some time off because Amy wanted to just have a normal life. During that time she had been writing. Then we all got together and started writing and that is when we really started to work on the new album. But I was really busy during that time. I was working with a band called Static X. I also worked with Zakk Wylde – the guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne – in a band called Black Label Society, which is a big deal in the US and Europe. Playing music may sometimes be thought of as a business but I really like playing my music and working with other people.
UthMag: What is the best part of being a musician?
W: The best part of being a musician is that feeling of unity and power you get by playing songs that you have written in front of 50,000 – 60,000 people.
UthMag: 50,000 – 60,000?! Do you ever get nervous before a gig?
W: I don’t nervous anymore. I just go up on stage and do my thing. But there was one instance when we were playing for the Nobel Peace Prize Concert in Norway in December. It was televised internationally. There were many diplomats and even the prince of Norway was there. We played two songs and that was the most nervous we had ever been before a show.
UthMag: Which Evanescence song is your favorite?
W: Well, it is a toss up between two songs from the new album, “The Other Side” and “Never Go Back”. “Never Go Back” is about the tsunami that happened a year and a half ago in Japan. It is full of feelings and emotion and a really cool tune to play at gigs so I’ll go with that one.
UthMag: Do you have any favorites from the previous album?
W: Probably my favorite to play from the previous records would be…. “Going Under”.
UthMag: What would you do if you weren’t a musician?
W: If I weren’t a musician..? What I should’ve done was go to school and become a lawyer. They seem to be making all the money. (laughs)
UthMag: How many hours per week do you and the band practice?
W: When we are on tour, we play every night, so we don’t need to practice or anything. We normally do sound checks when we are planning to throw a new song in the set. For me, I spend about 30 – 40 minutes warming up before the show. But when we are writing songs, we spend from 8 – 12 hours, with breaks of course, because that is how we get things done.
UthMag: Besides the music, what else do you guys do to relax?
W: Me and the guys like to go to the gym and work out, to stay healthy. I’m not a huge video game fan but I play Pinball Arcade on the iPad and iPhone. We also listen to a lot of music.
UthMag: What kind of music do you listen to?
W: A LOT of 80′s music.
UthMag: Are there any present bands or artists you listen to?
W: I listen to just about anything. I like the Deftones. And Slipknot. The new Korn album was really neat. It had dubstep in it. I listen to Skrillex and Deadmau5. I listen to a lot of different stuff.
UthMag: Are there any musicians you admire the most?
W: I really like Tommy Lee. But there was moment when I saw him at the press and wasn’t so sure. After some strange twisted events, I ended up being the drummer for his band. I really got to know him as a person. He’s a really genuine, cool, sweet individual. Really down-to-Earth and also extremely talented. it was cool to meet him and I’m really lucky to call him my friend.
UthMag: Do you have any advice for the young musicians that are trying to make it big out there?
W: You should really love what you are doing! If you are trying to be a musician or whatever you want to be, you have to love what you are doing and believe in yourself and that it could happen to you. For me it was my love for music and playing that helped me through it all. If you are thinking about how rich you’ll be and how big your wallet is, then this is probably not the business you should get into.
UthMag: Last question. If you had a superhero power, what would it be?
W: If I had a super power, what would it be? (laughs) That would be to fly! I would get done with my gig and fly back home. I’ll reach there in 20 minutes like Superman. Then I could fly back to another gig and do the same thing. That would be the coolest thing to do.
Evanescence is scheduled to play at the Dubai World Trade Center in Dubai on June 22nd.
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