Tag Archives: interview

May13

Lindsey Stirling, Amy Lee, Evanescence tour: We ‘lift each other’

From upi.com: Violinist and dancer Lindsey Stirling said touring with Amy Lee and Evanescence offers an important message about how the best way to empower women is for them to support each other.

“Rather than waiting for everybody to let us into those offices, we’re going to be the ones to lift each other,” Stirling said, adding she is interested in composing music with other women and chose to go on tour with Evanescence, in part, because it is led by a woman.

The artists will perform their own concerts with various live orchestras throughout the country and will also make guest appearances in each other’s sets. A female conductor has also been employed for their upcoming road show.

Stirling and Lee told UPI they have been fans of each other’s work for years and are excited to tour together this summer.

“What I really love about Lindsey the most is I feel like she created her own genre,” Lee, 36, said recently during a Live Nation press day in New York. “I don’t know of another person who has gone out as an instrumentalist, like a violinist, and had this amazing, mainstream presence.”

“I have been a huge Amy fan, huge Evanescence fan. When I heard ‘Bring Me to Life’ for the first time, I was just so struck by the contrast in the music,” said Stirling, 31. “When I started to create my own music, I wanted to have that same contrast in my music, this light versus dark and this edgy versus smooth and soaring.”

Stirling — who is famous for viral videos such as “Crystallize” and “Shadows” — said she doesn’t expect the inspiration she draws from Lee to fade now that they are working together.

“I think that is really a unique story for me to get to tell as I enter the stage every night. Hey, I never would have expected as a teenager that I would one day get to share the stage with my idol. And to be like: ‘Guys, dream it, believe it, see it. Because it could happen.'”

Lee said she is thrilled and a little anxious about performing Evanescence songs such as “My Immortal,” “Lithium” and “Everybody’s Fool” with new orchestral musicians in each city they visit.

“It’s a beautiful tightrope live,” she said. “It’s weird and it’s scary. Anything could happen.”

Lee said she has wanted since she was a teenager to perform with a full, live orchestra, but always thought it was too expensive and difficult to organize until her new management team came along and helped her realize her dream.

“I simultaneously wanted to be in a rock band and wanted to be Danny Elfman and score film and the sound of the band really is sort of a combination of those things,” she said. “It just felt like it would be so fun and fulfilling to finally show a whole other side to the music that I really feel very connected to.” [Source]

Apr18

Amy On Evanescence’s Success: ‘I Feel Proud When I Look Back’

From blabbermouth.net: Amy Lee and guitarist Jen Majura were recently interviewed by Belgium’s RTBF. You can now watch the chat below.

Asked how she looks back on Evanescence‘s success so far, Amy said: “I feel proud when I look back. I look back to those early times and see my face, especially if I see an old an interview or a performance when we were on that ‘Fallen’ tour, and I look like a kid. I was a kid; I’d only lived outside my parents’ house for, like, four years. So I see it and I’m, like, ‘Woah! What an incredibly crazy thing to happen.’ And I know that, behind it all, I was juggling a lot, just adjusting emotionally and trying to keep the band together and everything else crazy that goes along with doing this.

“This has been a very retrospective era for us,” she continued. “We made this box set of our history, and now we’ve done ‘Synthesis’, which is a beautiful reflection of our music throughout my career, and then adding some new things in it.”

Evanescence and acclaimed electronic violinist Lindsey Stirling will embark on a co-headlining 2018 summer amphitheater tour across North America. The trek, produced by Live Nation, will kick off July 6 in Kansas City, Missouri at the Starlight Theatre and will make stops in 31 North American cities. The tour will wrap September 8 in Ridgefield, Washington at the Sunlight Supply Amphitheater.

Both artists’ shows will be accompanied by a full orchestra, highlighting both acts musicality and their incredible performance abilities that continue to blow fans away. The orchestrated performances will also perfectly accent the astounding amphitheater venues across the U.S. and Canada that the two will be performing in, making for a magical summer evening.

The two artists recently collaborated on the song “Hi-Lo” from the latest Evanescence album, “Synthesis”, which features a virtuosic violin solo by Lindsey Stirling.

“Synthesis” was released in November. The disc sees many of Evanescence’s songs reworked in new ways, incorporating orchestral and electronic elements into the original compositions.

The “Synthesis Live” tour launched in October and like the album, it features a full orchestra and electronics.

 

Feb27

Jen Majura Made No Compromises On ‘InZENity’ Solo Album

Evanescence guitarist Jen Majura spoke to Lords Of Metal about her recently released second solo album, “InZENity”. The disc features guest appearances by Mattias IA Eklundh (FREAK KITCHEN), Jeff Waters (ANNIHILATOR) and Alex Skolnick (TESTAMENT).

Said Jen: “The big difference [between] ‘InZENity’ [and] my first solo album is mainly that I decided to not make any compromises this time. On my first solo album, I tried to find a compromise of how I do wanna sound and of how I am expected to sound for the music industry. That, of course, went totally wrong, and for ‘InZENity’, I didn’t let anyone tell me what I can or cannot do, how I do have to write songs, etcetera. I listen to a lot of diverse music, so why should I limit myself with staying in a genre box?!”

Majura also talked about the musical direction of “InZENity”, which covers everthing “from pop to hard rock to metal with death growls,” she said. In addition, it “contains background vocal work in the style of EXTREME, QUEEN or KING’S X. But the intention for me as a musician is always to write a solid song, and if the song doesn’t [require] a guitar solo, then there won’t be one. Many people expect a whole lot of shredding guitars when they listen to a guitarist’s solo album. My goal for ‘InZENity’ was to put out an album that is just entertaining, honest music instead of showing off on my instrument.”

In a separate interview with Make Weird Music, Jen said that the black-and-white “InZENity” artwork was inspired in part by the music’s diversity. “It’s ‘InZENity’ because you find your inner peace, your inner zen, as soon as you accept and acknowledge all those opposites inside of each of us, like black and white,” she explained. “You have mellow and happy, fast and slow, and all those different opposites together give you that inner calmness. That’s my inzenity that I found in this album, because the opposites are not only in the black-and-white artwork, it’s in the songs that I picked to record, it’s in each song. I tried to be very dynamic. A lot of songs nowadays lose dynamics, so I really wanted to keep the verses so smooth and sweet and then go, like, ‘Oh my God. Here’s a big chorus that changed the entire song!’ and then go back to the very sweet verse. So, it’s the whole philosophy in everywhere.”

Regarding the differences between performing with Evanescence and being a solo artist, Jen said: “[Being] in Evanescence, you know, it’s a gig you might get once in your life when you’re really lucky. It’s a great, great world I was allowed to dive into, but, to be honest, as a guitar player, what I’m playing in Evanescence is not as challenging, like some stuff that I played before. But that is mainly because, like I said, I want to play guitar that supports the song. A lot people ask me, ‘Are you going to play the songs different now in your style?’ I’m, like, ‘Hell no. Somebody wrote that song. Show respect to that somebody who wrote that song.’ Because the way that it’s been written is perfect the way it is. So why would I change it? So it’s not a sort of creative process in Evanescence right now for me when it comes to playing guitar. We’ll see about that in the future, but for right now, I’m literally having Troy [McLawhorn] show me what to play. And, of course, I try to keep my sound and my style, but it’s not that I’m changing anything. So it’s a whole different ballgame when you get to play what’s just coming out of you. It’s, like, ‘Okay, here’s me and a guitar. Let’s do something.’ It’s a different approach than, ‘Okay, show me what to play.’ So you can’t really compare it to each other.” [SOURCE]

Feb05

Will Hunt: “Synthesis has done is broadened our horizons”

“When I’ve gone into all these different projects, I’ve always tried to be the chameleon. I feel like… I’ve actually conformed to the music,” Evanescence‘s longest standing drummer Will Hunt admits, struggling for the right phrase. “Whereas in Evanescence, I’m encouraged to be myself, and be okay with that.”

He’s talking from the perspective of having played with bands from Black Label Society, to Device and Crossfade. But by the time he joined the group – fronted by iconic vocalist Amy Lee and formed back in 1995 – for third album Evanescence, he was ready to dive into the inherent challenges: complex rhythms, classically-based composition, and Lee’s penchant for originality.

The band’s latest release Synthesis from November, a masterpiece re-configuration of past classics with orchestral and electronic composition, is no different.

Ahead of the quintet’s nearly sold-out Australian tour in four days, Hunt sat down to chat about being thrown into the deep end with these orchestral shows, relating to rhythm guitarist Jen Majura‘s initial struggles after joining in 2015, and embracing his imperfections.

Amy’s described getting to play the Opera House as a dream come true for her. Do you feel the same way?

“It doesn’t matter if you’re from Australia, if you’ve ever been there or it’s something you’ve seen in person. I think as a musician and performer… Even in America, I grew up seeing pictures of that place and knew what it was from a very young age. I remember being in Australia back in 2012, and we were staying across the street from there [the Opera House]… I saw it and was just like, ‘Wow, man! What an incredible-looking building’.

“I was never thinking in the back of my head that in four or five years I’d be playing there… I was thinking about everything that’s happened and the people who’ve performed there. Now we’re doing it. I remember when our manager said that we have sold-out nights at the Sydney Opera House, and I was like, ‘Hold on a second, you said what?’. It’s very surreal (laughs).”

There’s this raw live energy created from you guys only having 30 minutes with the band and orchestra before a show, which is awesome! Was it more invigorating or challenging?

“Yeah the orchestra thing is very different for us, and no-one’s really doing this the way that we are. Therefore there’s not really a road map where we can take cues from other bands and make it ours. So for us, going into this initially, it was – I don’t want to say scary – exciting, but also like, ‘Whoa, what do we do here?’.

“We’ve had a lot of shows with orchestras now. We’re in a really good place where we’re happy and comfortable with the show, and having a lot of fun with it. It is very cinematic, but we’re having a good time. It’s a cool thing. [Source]

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Dec06

Amy Lee Says ‘New’ Song ‘Hi-Lo’ Was Written 10 Years Ago

Amy Lee spoke to the 105.7 The Point about the two new songs that are included on the band’s latest album, “Synthesis”. The set is a reimagining of some of EVANESCENCE’s best-loved tracks is the band’s first full-length effort since its 2011 self-titled release.

“[The song] ‘Hi-Lo‘ we’ve had in the bank for a long time,” Amy said (see video below). “I wasn’t quite finished [writing it before], but it’s just a song that never fit anywhere that I’ve been holding on to and waiting to find its right home for 10 years. So it’s this weird thing that I feel very close to already that I’ve had to listen to with my family and my friends to now finish it out and have the orchestra on it. That’s what it needed — it needed that beautiful, luscious emotion that [longtime collaborator, orchestra arranger and composer] David Campbell put on there. But I wrote that song with our producer on this album, the guy that did all the programming, Will [Hunt, not to be confused with EVANESCENCE’s drummer, also named Will Hunt]. It was our first collaboration together 10 years ago. And the other one, ‘Imperfection’, is brand new. We just wrote it this year. And it was very collaborative between Will, again, and also David Campbell, the arranger. He’s done all the string arranging for EVANESCENCE for all of our albums, but this one… We went in [and said], ‘Let’s go in and go really deep and rip [the songs] apart and elevate ’em to another place together and make something new.’ So for all of it, and the new [song] included, he was a real part of what laid the foundation of what was gonna happen. So it gave the music and the writing and everything a chance to grow in some different directions.”

“Hi-Lo” includes a guest performance by famed violinist Lindsey Stirling.

In support of “Synthesis”, Evanescence — Lee, bassist Tim McCord, drummer Will Hunt, lead guitarist/backing vocalist Troy McLawhorn and guitarist/background vocalist Jen Majura — is currently in the midst of its extensive “Synthesis Live” headlining tour of North America. “Synthesis Live” features Lee and the band performing with a live 28-piece orchestra and electronic programming.

Lee told Forbes about the fan response to the “Synthesis Live” tour: “I think our fans like it a lot. It’s a way to experience this music, for them and for us, in a different way. We’ve been playing the straight-up original versions of our songs for many years now. So to have an opportunity to go to a different venue for most of these shows, go to a concert hall, sit down and listen to it, it’s a lot more like going to a show, like going to a movie, than going to a rock concert where you’re gonna jump up and down and make noise. There are parts that are very intimate before it goes big and epic and 28 orchestral musicians are going off. So it’s a very personal experience. The reaction I’ve seen has been really good, but it’s definitely different. It feels still weird to us on stage, we’re getting completely used to it. It’s definitely not a rock and roll show, but I think it’s really special and I’m absolutely positive I’m gonna remember these performances and this very special experience for the rest of my life.”

 

Read more at http://www.blabbermouth.net/news/evanescences-amy-lee-says-new-song-hi-lo-was-written-10-years-ago.html#VdtxpXq0vCiTOyP9.99

Dec01

Amy Lee Has Had To Fight For Her Art

Amy Lee spoke to Billboard about her beginnings in the music industry, saying that “it was sometimes difficult to distinguish the difference between just being treated like a young idiot — you know, ‘You’re just a kid, everybody knows better than you’ — and being treated that way because I was female. I learned as I got more experienced, and a lot of it was because I’m a female,” she said. “People naturally see us as the softer sex that’s going to step aside and let the men do the real work, so there’ve been plenty of times when I’ve had to look at that, recognize it, and go, ‘No, this is what’s going to happen, because I’m positive that I’m right, and it’s my art and you’re not going to change it.'”

One compromise that Lee had to make along the way was including a rap verse in EVANESCENCE’s original 2003 breakout hit “Bring Me To Life”. The song was recently re-recorded in a more stripped-down format — without the rapping — on the “Synthesis” album. Lee explained to News.com.au: “God bless the rap, it’s part of what got us on the radio, I guess. At least according to all the rules of radio that I don’t agree with or understand. The rap wasn’t part of our original idea or sound, it was a compromise in many ways. So to be able to go back to the original vision for the song was great.”

Lee added that she had made her peace with the original version of the song, saying: “That’s a struggle you always fight as an artist. If we only had the one hit, if no one ever heard from us again, then nobody would understand who we were. We’ve made it past that point, so the rap doesn’t make me angry anymore. I’m so glad to put a new version out there without the rap, though.” The rap on the original version of “Bring Me To Life” was performed by singer Paul McCoy of the band 12 STONES.

“Synthesis” was released on November 10. The disc sees many of EVANESCENCE’s songs reworked in new ways, incorporating orchestral and electronic elements into the original compositions. The “Synthesis Live” tour launched in October and like the album, it features a full orchestra and electronics. [Source]

Nov27

Amy Lee talks about the message behind “Imperfection”

Amy Lee recently talked to amazon.de about the meaning behind Evanescence’s song “Imperfection” from their brand new Synthesis album. Which has sold over 34,000 units in the week ending on November 16th. Synthesis is a combination of organic and synthesized sounds featuring the lyrical talents of Lee and her band Evanescence. The new album also features the talent of Lindsay Sterling in the song “Hi-Lo”. You can read the rest of the interview here!

Nov16

Amy Lee: ‘I Think This Is Just A Really Cool Moment In Time’

It’s the day after Halloween and Evanescence frontwoman Amy Lee is in between shows during possibly the band’s most ambitious tour to date. Out in support of their new Synthesis album, a collection that finds the group reworking signature songs like “Bring Me To Life” and “My Immortal” into orchestral versions, the band is playing on a nightly basis during the limited tour with orchestras.

Lee has also her three-year-old son Jack and husband Josh Hartzler on tour with her. It’s a lot to balance, as she says, “I feel like I’m the busiest I’ve ever been.” But it’s also clear talking to her it’s one of the most gratifying times in her life.

The ease and calmness in her voice as she talks about perspective and the joy she found at being on stage but still having Josh being able to take Jack trick or treating in the arena is very clear. It’s a prosperous and creative time for Lee and Evanescence.

Even she is not sure where this orchestral period will lead for the band. But as she also tells me, “I’m absolutely positive I’m gonna remember these performances and this very special experience for the rest of my life.” [Source]

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Nov14

Amy Lee: I had to step away from being a rockstar

When Evanescence unleashed Fallen in 2003, they inspired a generation. But for Amy Lee, it was the start of a decade-long struggle to control her own destiny

Amy Lee is in a playful mood. Despite talking to press all day, the Evanescence singer and gothic rock superstar is warm and chatty, anticipating our next question with a, “C’mon, what you got, whatcha got?” and giggling. “You’re my last in a looong block of interviews,” she tells us in her throaty, sing-song voice before we begin – but to her credit, it’s clear that when it comes to talking about Evanescence, she’s so fiercely proud of her band that she relishes the chance to set a few things straight.

Over 22 years, Evanescence have continued to defy expectation. From their humble, teenage beginnings in the 90s to the overwhelming breakthrough of Bring Me To Life, the song that became ubiquitous on every music channel for its iconic depiction of Amy Lee as a kind of gothic Rapunzel, to their new record Synthesis, an orchestral retrospective of their career, there’s a lot of ground to cover. Yes, with just three studio albums in 20 years, they’ve appeared to have some long breaks, but Amy is adamant that it’s all part of a process that’s allowed the band to continue.

“People are like, ‘Oh, so you’ve been hanging out and doing nothing for five years, how come?’” she says sardonically, referencing the last hiatus following their third, self-titled album, released in 2011. “It’s never like that! We toured for a year and a half, and then, you know, I had a baby, blah, blah, blah…” she trails off, laughing.

It quickly becomes apparent that she has a tendency to inject humour and gloss over some of the more personal aspects of her life, serving as another reminder that we’re talking to someone who at one time was a bona fide megastar, thrust into the limelight at 21. When she gets serious is when talking about her music, explaining the need for her latest break: “To make something you really mean, for me, means I have to go live my life for a while, figure out who I am again and have some experiences I need to get off my chest. I need to step away and not feel like a–” she hesitates before saying the next word – “a ‘rockstar’ any more. I need to go be Amy.”

“And it’s beautiful, because as much as I’ve been ready and willing to abandon it completely, it always leads me back to Evanescence,” she says with certainty. “I’m very proud, still – more than ever, even – of our oldest music. It’s not anything I’m ashamed of.” [Source]

Nov08

Amy Lee Chats With Paste About Synthesis, Perform a Solo “Good Enough”

Evanescence are back—again. Six years since their last album, 2011’s Evanescence, and 14 since their Grammy-winning breakthrough Fallen, the Southern gothic stalwarts are set to return with their most unusual project to date: Synthesis, an album featuring orchestral arrangements of some of their best-known and most-loved songs, with Amy Lee’s unmistakable voice out front as always.

Evanescence—now comprising Lee, drummer Will Hunt, guitarist/background vocalist Jen Majura, bassist Tim McCord and lead guitarist Troy McLawhorn—have always thrived on a deliciously dissonant sound, a potion of gothic imagery, metal guitars and pop craftsmanship that produced early hits like “My Immortal” (from 2000 demo Origin) and “Bring Me to Life,” the Fallen smash that would solidify the group’s signature recipe. The relationship between organic and electronic has always been at the core of Evanescence’s music, and on the sprawling Synthesis, Lee has brought it to its most dramatic form.

“That is the basic idea of the title of everything: Synthesis,” said Lee, who joined Paste at Steinway Hall in Manhattan recently for an exclusive listen to Synthesis, out Nov. 10. “Those two seemingly opposite things married together in a very beautiful way, where it’s not about contrast, but about them actually working together.”

The record will also include two new songs, “Hi-Lo” and “Imperfection.” Lee explained that the converging of old and new also echoes the project’s vision, noting, “That’s the other point of that word ‘synthesis’—past and present. Revisiting songs like ‘My Immortal,’ but in a place of now. Also, tying the new music into it and creating this thing that all flows together into one moment, but it’s actually going back and into the future.”

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