EVANESCENCE frontwoman Amy Lee recently took part in a conference call with members of the media to answer questions about the group's recent lineup changes and its participation in the Family Values tour. The interview follows here in its entirety:
Q: So obviously, it's been a dramatic couple of months, three months here, with everything that's gone on. What is your general sense of things and what happened and, I guess, were you surprised by the way John and Rocky kind of handled things?
Amy: Well, I wasn't really, yes, I guess I was surprised that things are handled, but it's something that had been building for a long time. I wasn't even sure what you were talking about when you said "dramatic couple of months." I was like, "Hey, which thing is he talking about?" I am also married and I'm stoked about that. It all sort of happened in the same weekend, actually, with the lineup change and getting hitched and all that stuff and finding Will and Troy. But yes, honestly, it's once again been something that is very, very good for the band and we are feeling a lot healthier. We're out there enjoying each other and we're out there because we want to be out there, not because we have to be or because we'd rather be somewhere else. It's made everything a lot better. It's made the shows definitely a lot better because everyone enjoys playing the music, so everything feels really good right now.
Q: Do you see is this the line-up of EVANESCENCE now? Can you see making an album with Troy and Will?
Amy: Troy and Will are both very passionate and creative. I love playing with them. Actually, I feel like we are creative with the music that's already there, and I think there's definitely potential there for us to write together at some point. I would love to. I don't even know what to say right now. We just wanted to really work on making sure that the tour for the rest of "The Open Door" was set and we're set now. So, I just don't want to get in the way of what they want to do with DARK NEW DAY because I actually really admire and respect the band. I think their music is really great. I just want to leave it up to them, but we're definitely having a great time playing together and I hope we get to play together a lot more. I would write with both of them; I think they're very talented.
Q: Is there new music around yet for EVANESCENCE?
Amy: Not like songs. I don't know how to put it, but it's the spin that they put on the songs that are already there and sort of formulating intros and in-betweeners of songs and things like that that we just couldn't do before. It was like we were sort of trapped, playing song after song and everybody's trying to get off …. It's like, I don't know, it's a little bit of a rebirth for the band right now; it's good.
Q: Are you at all documenting the tour? Are you planning DVD, live album, anything like that?
Amy: Actually, we have been documenting. I haven't really figured out exactly what I want to do with it yet. We got a bunch of pictures and I finally right now decided, okay, I'm just going to put a ton our pictures up because there's too many priceless photos from us in Japan, Russia and all over the place that are really fun with fans and stuff like that. I think it would be cool to make a DVD. I just don't want to do it any time really soon because we did do one on the last album. Every time we put something out, I just want it to be something new. I don't really want to make the same product again, so I think we need to find a creative way of doing it, so it's something different.
Q: Why did you decide to do Family Values, as opposed to maybe your own tour for the summer?
Amy: Well, we are going to do our own tour at the end of the year, so it's kind of the right thing to put. We couldn't decide whether to do our own tour right away or do something after. Since this is available for the summer, it's definitely good for us to hit more people. I think that being able to be a part of a festival with a lot of other good bands is a good thing. And it's fun; it's the whole summer vibe. There are so many festivals going on, and I think Family Values is a really, really great one to be a part of because not only are there, like I said, a ton of great bands, but it's $10. So, I think if I was going to choose which show I would go to this summer, it would be Family Values, so that's the one we jumped on.
Q: Can we expect any collaborations on stage?
Amy: Not as of yet. I know people keep asking if I'm going to do the acoustic version of "Freak On a Leash" with KORN and I, obviously that's totally up to them and I haven't heard anything about it. I've seen the set that they've been playing this summer. We played three shows together in Europe and it's awesome and heavy and I wouldn't be surprised if they just want to play all their songs heavy and sort of skip the whole acoustic thing, so don't plan on it. But if they ask me, I'm totally willing.
Q: Are you surprised at how many different radio formats have embraced EVANESCENCE? You guys, in the early days even in Christian formats, but now it's rock, hits, adult contemporary. You're all over.
Amy: I think it's really cool. I definitely think that's a huge compliment for us and it's something that makes sense to me because musically for me as a writer, I listen to everything. I listen to stuff on every format we're played on, so it makes sense to me that our music touches all those people because I'm definitely influenced by music all the way across the board. But I think it's a very cool thing.
Q: A lot of people are actually comparing Kelly Clarkson's sound and new album to you. Are you flattered or offended by that?
Amy: I haven't heard that yet. I've heard, I guess, the single, but that's it. So, I guess, I have to listen to it. I'm not a person who has Kelly Clarkson CDs in my collection, but I never want to just look at somebody and judge them and say, "Okay, I'm not going to buy your CD." It doesn't mean the music can't be good, so I'll check it out.
Q: You're co-headlining with KORN. KORN actually headlined the first Family Values tour. Are they offering any words of wisdom from their experience to you?
Amy: No, we haven't really talked. I think they're awesome. We love playing with them; we've played with them quite a few times just one-offs and festivals and things during summers past and this summer. It's really cool to be on stage with people that you admire so much and that inspire you. I think that is actually the best thing about doing a festival, really, as an artist. It's because you get to go out each day and kind of go to a show, you know? Stand on the side of the stage and watch what the other bands are doing and sort of go, "Oh, that's really cool." But I get inspired of what you could do better, so yes, they've been doing this since, I guess they started this thing.
Q: You're a classically trained pianist, it's obvious. Your voice is, though, so unforgettable. It's haunting, it's beautiful. Were you trained professionally to sing as well?
Amy: Thank you, no. I actually was a big choir nerd from the beginning of as soon as it was something we could do in school. I think probably when I was 13 years old all the way through high school and when I did take college for one whole semester, choir is really the big thing in my life. I love it. I think a lot of what I learned there was not only how to warm up the right way, but how to blend your voice and not always try to be standing out. How to make it fit, I don't know, as an instrument with other instruments. I definitely learned a lot in choir, but I'm not really vocally trained. No, I'm sort of self-trained.
Q: What can people expect from EVANESCENCE's performance at the Family Values tour in terms of production and such?
Amy: Thank you for asking. Actually, we've been all over the country this year and honestly for most of touring "The Open Door", we've been all over the place. I think we hit every inhabited continent in six months and that's not even an exaggeration; that's the real truth. That's just my awesome quote. So, we've been having to tour around with sort of a minimized production. I don't know if, that's not right grammar-wise, but with minimized production. It's cool because now finally, we have the opportunity to spend some more money and get some rad set going. My lighting director and I got together and brainstormed and came up with some, a really cool set idea. It's all basically LEDs and mirrors and things and it's just going to be really, really cool. We're just hoping that we're going to be on late enough that we get the sun down and it's not all in the light.
Q: How are you going to blend in your old music material with the newer and why does it all seem to work well together?
Amy: I think it works great together. It's still EVANESCENCE. "The Open Door" and "Fallen" are different, definitely, but I think they also fit really well together. We play about probably 50/50 of both albums.
Q: Do you keep in touch with your ex from the band SEETHER?
Amy: No. Unfortunately, I think keeping in touch with ex's is really hard and if you can make it work there's probably something going on that shouldn't be going on. No, that hasn't worked for us. I don't have any hard feelings whatsoever, it's pretty old news. But no, we haven't been able to keep in touch.
Q: What is it about KORN that made you want to join with them for this tour?
Amy: I'm definitely inspired by them musically. I loved them when I was younger, too. I remember going, I think, to Family Values a long, long time ago when I was probably 17 years old or something, if that's right. Maybe it wasn't Family Values then, maybe it was just KORN, but it was something that was very exciting for me. And especially them live, I think is something that's really inspiring. I just don't see the downside. I think they put on an amazing show and the other bands on the bill, there's a lot of other bands that are going to be really exciting to see this summer.
Q: In the music of EVANESCENCE, there's a lot of spiritual overtones. Naturally, a lot of people would misrepresent that with religion, but from your opinion, how would you differentiate spirituality from religion?
Amy: That's a really hard question. For me, music is spiritual. It's definitely something that, I don't know, is really deep inside me. I think when you're soul searching and putting it into art, that is a spiritual thing and music has always been that for me. It's definitely me sort of either trying to find myself or fix my problems somehow, just by talking about them. It's therapeutic and definitely something really special, so I do look at it that way. I don't know how else to put it other than music is just really, really close to my heart and the whole point, really, for me lyrically especially, but also musically is sort of this deep soul searching. It's cool. It just comes out that way and I think that's why a lot of people connect to it on a level that makes them feel like they can be so close to us.
Q: Do you listen to other music other than metal? Is there a lot of soul music that inspires you?
Amy: I don't listen to a lot of metal, that's for sure. I really do listen to all kinds of music, how can I even say? It changes all the time. I sort of go through moods. Right now I just got married two months ago. So, I'm listening to JOHN MAYER a lot and a lot of, I guess I'm feeling like I'm getting older and sappy. I love TORI AMOS, I always have. To me, she is very passionate and heavy. I don't know; it all depends on how you listen to stuff. I love DEPECHE MODE. I love KORN and I love NINE INCH NAILS. I love SOUNDGARDEN so much. Why don't they get back together? It doesn't mean I don't listen to MARVIN GAYE and love it a whole lot. So, there's definitely a whole lot of music that I embrace. It doesn't matter what genre, what feeling, as long as it's real.
Q: Are there certain songs that you didn't expect that you would grow to love more than others, or that you are looking forward to playing every night?
Amy: There's a song that's not a single and will be a single and I don't know, I don't know if it could be a single. It's called "Your Star" and it's on "The Open Door". I remember when Jay and I were writing it, we loved it so much. Well, we loved all his songs so much. When you write every song, you think it's the single for like two weeks and you're obsessed with it and then, you get over it. "Your Star" was definitely one that was special when we were writing and dreaming of playing it live and how awesome it would be. Then, when we first started touring, of course, Terry had had a stroke and a lot of the songs were harder for him than they had been before. That was one of the songs we couldn't play originally when we were touring this album. As his arm has improved and his playing has improved, we finally decided we were going to start really practicing it and try to play it. We started playing it probably, I don't know, four months ago or something. It's become the favorite of the set every night and we ended up putting it at the end and making it the big finale. Every night when we play that song, it's not only the most fun and passionate because it's difficult to play and it's heavy, fun and groovy, but it always reminds me of how lucky we are to have Terry and how grateful I am that he's been able to recover and shred again.
Q: And you mentioned that it's not going to be a single, do you guys have in mind what you want to do for the next one?
Amy: Yes, the next single's going to be "Good Enough", which is very, very different than any song that we've ever made. We actually just shot the video in Budapest.
Q: Can you tell us a little about the video?
Amy: I don't know if I can. It's not finished yet; we're still working on all the production, but it's very cool. We worked with someone who's awesome at special effects and has done a lot of really big things so there are some real special effects. A lot of it, it's not CG at all. It's actually really, really real special effects going on. I don't know, I don't want to say what it is.
Q: It's a very interesting time in your life when you just get married. You never experienced it before. Are you worried at all or think about how this may affect your writing?
Amy: Right now, I'm not writing. When you're writing, I definitely kind of delve back into the times when I've hurt when I'm writing. It's really hard for me to write when we're on the road just because I'm so focused on the show and the production of the show and the songs and how we're going to fill up all the time in between the songs and everything else. There's so much going on. Plus, interviews every day and sound checks, there's just too much going on for me to really zone out and get alone with the piano for hours on end and write a song. It hasn't affected me in any kind of bad way and I definitely think it's okay to be happy. It feels good to be happy and it doesn't mean that I can't write anymore.
Q: Do you think this will be the most diverse group of fans you've seen at a concert? You're going to have your rap metal enthusiasts from back in the day, your Top 40 fans and I'm sure you'll have some old PANTERA metalheads. I was wondering, do you think you will have seen a group of fans this diverse in any live show you've ever played?
Amy: I definitely think we have. Especially, I think, just now on our last tour in Europe, we went all over the place. We were in Scandinavia, the Middle East and Europe all together. Every show you play is with a different band or a different group of bands because it's a festival. We not only play with KORN. We also played with IRON MAIDEN, LAMB OF GOD. I'm trying to think — I know there were some that were completely different, bands I never heard of from Norway, France and all kinds of other stuff. I definitely have seen a lot of different crowds and there is a distinct difference between the pop crowd who just wants to hear "My Immortal" and the metal crowd who just wants you to get off the stage usually. So, I think it's going to be great. I think we fit pretty well into this despite what people think. I'm not really sure what people think. I think if people have seen us live then they understand that we fit here. But I don't know, I'm excited. It's always fun to turn people around because I feel like we do have the ability to do that at our shows.
Q: As a woman who's getting hard rock play on radio, did you think it was a little bit tougher to make that crossover to getting play on the same stations as KORN, your STATIC-Xs, your LAMB OF GODs and bands like that?
Amy: I think we definitely did face some, I don't know, what's the word, prejudice in the beginning, sexism, whatever it is. I just remember when "Bring Me To Life" was a single that we were trying to push at radio and get play. When they were going to the big stations that think they know everything in the big cities a lot of them were saying, "Look, you've got a song that the first power of any first ten or fifteen seconds of is a girl on the piano. There's no way we're going to put this on active rock or whatever it is." But I think, I hope, this is me maybe just being idealistic. I think that really good music is going to speak for itself. I think it was a great song and the fact that it picked up really, we owed to the fact that fans were calling and going, "Wow, why aren't you playing this song? This song rocks. They're playing it on this other station in this other town and I'm listening to it on the Internet. It's incredible; you should play it." Then, it sort of caught up and became a hit. I hope, honestly, that that can happen with great music still. But if something is good even though it's different, it can be good – that's how we grow and change and find new eras of music.
Q: You have talked a lot about being a perfectionist when it comes to writing and recording music. Does that apply to live shows as well, in terms of rehearsing and talking about production, things like that?
Amy: I wouldn't call it being a perfectionist. You can't be a perfectionist when you're talking about the live show. The whole point, it's live, and stuff's going to happen and stuff's going to be different every night. I think that's what's cool about it is we've already made the recordings and they're perfect. They're finished and they're like that forever and you can listen to CD any day and it's going to sound exactly the same. When you come to a live show, you get those little; I guess you'd call them mistakes, because they're there. Mistakes and changes and parts when you know the music moves you so much that you just have to do the solo differently or whatever. I think that's what makes it good is that you can just do whatever you feel, live.
Q: You've also talked about how the first album was a little more simple and a little more accessible. Is there a sense of relief with the reception fans have had for this album?
Amy: Yes, definitely, I would say relief is a good word, also just kind of excitement. It makes me happy and it makes me love our fans more. You have to know that the hardcore fans are pretty much usually going to like whatever you do, just because they love you and they're happy to hear something new. At the same time, it definitely has the opportunity to go the other way and go, "Ah, this sucks, nothing's ever going to be as good as the first album," and all of that. I don't feel like there's been very much of that, which makes me very happy because I definitely did write a lot more on the second album than on the first one. I definitely did take a lot of chances with writing with Terry and the way that we wrote and the way we abandoned structure and that sort of thing a lot of the time. So, I think it's really cool. Yes, I'm very happy about the reception to the new record. I love the fact and appreciate the fact that when we go and play a show it seems like most of the time people are singing along to the new singles as much as the old ones.
Q: Outside of EVANESCENCE, how has 2007 treated you so far?
Amy: Really good, I think. I don't even mean to say, "I think." It's been really good. Life wouldn't be life without its ups and downs. And, of course, with the band changes, that was the only really hard thing for me, making the call and having to make the call and sort of everything that went on that made the call have to be made. Other than that, everything has been really good. We've toured, like I said, all over the place and gotten to see a lot of new countries and a lot of new fans and a lot of old fans, too. Getting married kind of trumps it all. It has been a very good year so far.
Q: What does music mean to you?
Amy: That's such an impossible question. Why do people ask that question? Music means so much to me it would take me three hours to answer.
Q: Has the success you've experienced in the music industry so far kept you happy? Have you found happiness through everything? Is it comforting to you?
Amy: I'll put it this way — I found happiness, but I definitely don't attribute it to my success. I don't mean to say that I don't appreciate the success, I'm not very, very grateful for it and glad to have it, but success will not bring you happiness, that's for sure. It has made life a lot more complicated and a lot of music, especially when you become successful is business. And I think that's one of the saddest things of all. I think the hardest struggle for me is having to unplug my phone half the time and just turn off and remember that I'm an artist. I'm a musician and that's it and I don't want to do the business all the time. You know that when you do that you're probably being taken advantage of because you're not on the ball. So, I think the success is what makes it hard because people are constantly trying to take advantage of you. I have found happiness by remembering to stay grounded and by remembering the success isn't the most important thing in life and by taking chances knowing that I might lose the success, but being okay with that, if that makes sense. You've got to have a life separate from it, for sure.
Q: What's the worst thing about riding the tour bus?
Amy: Well, being the only girl on the bus most of the time usually means there's pee all over the floor and on the seat and seat's up and that's pretty miserable. So, I'm basically the cleaning lady of the bathroom all the time.
Q: Are there any other artists that you would like to collaborate with or work with?
Amy: There's definitely a lot of artists that I would love to collaborate with, but it would just have to be the right project. I definitely don't want to do any more of those ballad duets with some guy. I think it would be really great to do something unexpected with somebody that does, how do I put this...with someone musically who's completely different than EVANESCENCE or than me, to be able to come together and make something really cool that's not like either of us. I don't know who...I couldn't put my finger on it yet.
Q: If a local band came up to you and asked you for advice, what would you give them?
Amy: There's so much advice I would go back in time and give myself. I would really just say, "Stick to your guns and trust your instinct." If you're the one that created the thing, then you've got to know what's best for the music. There's a lot of people that are going to tell you what will be better, how to change what you've made, how to make it more commercial, to make shorter and more to the point and everything. That's not satisfying. You need to stick to what you know is the best thing, what you know sounds best and feels best to you because chances are people out there buying records are more like you than the big guy in the office with the cigar.
Q: What was your favorite stop on "The Open Door" tour?
Amy: I went different places for the first time so that was really cool. I really liked the way we went through Russia, that was something new. I don't know if that's my favorite, darn, we went to Israel. I think that something that, I forget exactly the number of bands, it's like 50% of bands that book to play there end up canceling for obvious reasons. So, when you actually get there, the fans are incredible. We were having a really, really great show and the fans were so awesome. I was sick and kind of blew my voice out because I was not only sick, but extra excited because the fans were awesome so by the end of it, I was just croaking, but it was the best.
Q: Do you ever find when you're playing a song live that it takes on a life of its own, different from when you initially recorded it?
Amy: Yes, definitely, especially lyrically. I think for me, depending on what I'm going through in my life, the lyrics take on new meaning. I don't know if I can give a great example, but, actually I can't. I can, I just don't want to be mean. There's a song called "Lacrymosa" on our album and actually from a Mozart song. When I wrote it, originally, it was kind of about this hard relationship and breakup that I was going through a couple years ago. Now when I sing it live, I realize how perfectly it fits with how I feel the recent band members leaving. As I sing it, it means it so much to me and it's like I'm singing it about that. I think it's really great how your life can change and you can still appreciate a piece of music and just see it in a different way.
Q: One of the great things about EVANESCENCE is you have this ability to sort of blend different genres and, like you said, draw from classical with all these different types of music and yet you have an ability to make it sound like it's your own. Is that a reflection of your own taste in music? What type of music did you grow up listening to?
Amy: Definitely EVANESCENCE is a big melting pot of different kinds of music that I love and that I've been inspired by. But, yes, there's also more that's not in there, definitely. I love, when I was growing up and when I was formulating ideas for EVANESCENCE, I was obsessed with the Baz Luhrmann version of "Romeo and Juliet" and Danny Elfman and Tim Burton movies and that was a big part of it. I would just listen to the scores and then at the same time I loved SOUNDGARDEN and DEPECHE MODE and BJORK, he was huge. I liked NINE INCH NAILS and SMASHING PUMPKINS and all kinds of, there was so much music right then, to me, that was so good. I guess I still listen to more music from back then than I do music that's current.
Q: What do you feel that the state of music is right now?
Amy: I think it's a little confused. I don't think rock is dead or anything like that, I just think that we're definitely going through a weird period with, I think, the Internet. A lot of bands are struggling and luckily a lot of new bands that I think a lot of times you would never hear are coming through, which is cool. If you have the time and if you know what you're doing you can Internet and just go to MySpace and search bands that don't have record deals. I think that is really cool. At the same time, labels are, I think, pushing signed artists to do things more and more and more that they wouldn't want to do and put out less music and everything else and water it down because they're so afraid of losing money. So, I don't know. I don't have a ton of bands brand-new that I absolutely love right now. I love MUSE. We've been listening to that a ton backstage lately. They're not that new, but I love them. I think they're incredible.
Q: What kind of music did you play at your wedding? Did you have a band?
Amy: We had a little band and they were really good. It was just actually two guys playing guitar and singing. They kind of sang half the time, mostly it was just guitar. I don't know, it was like from PINK FLOYD to COLDPLAY. There was all kinds of really cool, eclectic great music. My dad's a musician. He plays a billion different instruments; he's a music man. So, he found these guys and I don't know what he told them, I don't know. It was all really, really, really good. I was really happy and I was surprised. I was really scared. We got married in Arkansas and he got a band that lives there and I was really afraid, but it turned out great.
Q: Did you guys have a wedding song?
Amy: No, not really. It wasn't really like that. It was really just, it was really small, hung out with family, basically and listened to music and had a little champagne.
Q: How much influence do you have when you're making the videos on how they turn out?
Amy: A ton! I'm kind of a freak about it. I've written treatments before and sometimes, we do that and sometimes, we don't. It's hard. Sometimes when I'm writing a song, it has to be really specific in my mind. Other times, I don't and I'm kind of confused and want to have a third-party idea. If you find a great director, their head could be just so creative, it is the best, coolest ideas that I've ever heard. Mark Webb is the guy we used for "Call Me When You're Sober", and that one was not my idea. It was one of the ones I was the most hands-off on, like the actual treatment. But I love it; it's one of my favorite videos. I step back. I was like, "Okay, he thought of something really great." We talk about it together or I'll have an idea and it'll be a scene out of it. For "Lithium", I pretty much wrote the treatment; from rain to snow. I don't know. I definitely want to be able to guide the thing and make it something like what's in my head.
Q: How is it being the female, the frontrunner of your band, how is that for you?
Amy: I don't know it any other way. I definitely don't feel like I get treated badly or anything. I think at this point, I don't know. We definitely get treated pretty well. In the beginning, I don't know what you mean by the question, by being the leader of my band and being a girl, because I don't feel like I can't be a good leader. Within the band, the dynamic of that, I don't think is weird. I think that definitely as far as just getting respect from the public as a writer was the hard part for me. I feel like I've gotten it now, but for a long time in the beginning, it was a tough fight; definitely when Ben was in the band, because it was very important to him for some reason to prove to everyone that I wasn't doing anything, but that I was just up there singing and that there was some mastermind guy behind the whole thing. By the time he left the band and we made another record, it was really good and we sort of proved everything he said wrong. I think that that changed for us and just the fact that the music is good and there you go.
Q: Would you ever collaborate with a hip-hop artist and if so, who?
Amy: I would! I listen to people that are way too cool to hang out with me — DR. DRE. I like the older rap. There's not a lot recently that's my favorite. I guess I can't say that; there's definitely good hip-hop out there now. That's sort of what's dominated the airways the past few years. I don't know. That's the kind of thing that I would, when I was answering a question earlier about going and doing a collaboration with somebody completely unexpected. Actually, when we were writing one of the songs on the album, we were just goofing around, middle of the night. Terry and I would stay up until 6:00 in the morning working on a song and then sleep all day. The middle of the night, we were playing and jamming and just, "This would be so awesome. Oh, let's do this." We pulled NWA out and actually took part of it and put it in with one of our's song and played them on top of each other. It was really, really cool. It was just for fun, but then, of course, for 20 minutes got the most bad ass thing I could. DR. DRE could come in and like produce a song and be part of it. I'm sure that he's way too cool to work with us.
Q: How many songs will EVANESCENCE be playing on the Family Values tour and how does the band decide what the first and last songs will be?
Amy: Actually, I can't really answer that. We're leaving on Monday and we have three or four rehearsal days as a band and we're going to try to just tighten everything up and try to practice and work out all the songs. We have 60 to 65 minutes, so it will be a pretty full set. I don't know, it's all EVANESCENCE music. We're trying to think of one cover and we're all sort of brainstorming right now. I have a couple ideas; I don't want to give it away. I want to do something that's definitely very different for us and nothing like us. So, we're working on it.
Q: Do you plan on using any fog machines or pyrotechnics or anything like that to enhance your show?
Amy: We usually use fog, but I don't know since a lot of the stuff is outdoor and I think the sun is still going to be setting while we're onstage. I'm not really sure about that. We do have a really cool set design for this tour; it's brand-new and we haven't … yet, so it's going to definitely have to be some crew rehearsals for getting it all up and down fast enough. It should be really cool. It's a whole wall of mirrors and a whole bunch of lights playing off of the mirrors and doing a lot, they're sort of like fun-house mirrors. So, it should be really trippy and weird.
Q: How did the various lineup changes back in the spring affected the band's momentum or rhythm?
Amy: I feel like it's made us a lot better. I feel like before, since things were at a point that they were so bad, that something like that had to happen with the lineup change and that's never something you want – it's a last resort. It's kind of like a relationship. When you try and try and try to make it work and hopefully it does and sometimes, it just doesn't work anymore and you have to break up. The fact is that it did happen and that now we have Will and Troy, who are such passionate players and such cool guys. When we're up there now we're having a lot of fun. I think when you're onstage and you're in a rock band, you're playing in front of 10,000 people, you should be having fun. I think that that has made the show a lot better and given the show the ability to really grow and evolve. We are changing things more often now and getting more creative with the set because it's not like we're limping through and having a hard time working together. We enjoy working together and we enjoy playing, so I think it's really given the band the kick start that it needed and a real breath of new life.
Q: It sounds like you pretty much got married and then quick started getting ready for the tour. As a newlywed, you get married then you've got to take off. How does that affect the new marriage thing?
Amy: Well, we had one week. We went on a honeymoon for a week, so it's not like we straight to tour the next day. It's not too different from that because we pretty much came back from the honeymoon, repacked our suitcases and then went to Europe on tour. It's a little harsh. I think it would be more normal to be at home cooking and cleaning and talking about where to put the china cabinet for the first month or two, but we love it. It's fun to be able to be together and have an adventure and who knows how long this sort of thing is going to last and how long you're going to be able to have these opportunities. My husband's been able to take time off and come with me and then, we've been able to have a great time together, so it's all good.
Q: Could you tell us how you got involved with the JOHNNY CASH video and what made that so attractive?
Amy: Yes, I love the song! Johnny Cash is actually not somebody, I'll just admit this, not somebody that I listen to a whole lot in my life. It's definitely a little bit before my time. We started doing these interesting covers that really were awesome to me, like more recently, obviously. But it's not something that I was big into and then I heard the song "God's Going to Cut You Down" and loved it. It's so creepy and real and amazing. I fell in love with the song and got this weird mass e-mail from, I guess, the director [Tony Kaye] that went out to a lot of different people that are in the video that he wanted to be in the video. It just went out and said, "Hey, if you want to be a part of this we want to show different people in the industry," whatever, I don't know, in black, representing darkness or the "Man in Black" paying homage to the "Man in Black" in some way. I don't know – I just thought it sounded amazing and I really, really loved the song and it was the weirdest shoot I've ever done because I didn't see anyone else. We shot for like ten minutes and it was over. I think it was really cool. It's definitely something different for me and I'm glad I did it.
Q: You've obviously collaborated with a lot of different artists. Which one has been your favorite so far?
Amy: I think the KORN collaboration is my favorite so far. "Freak On a Leash" is a song that I've known for years and would listen to in my car before we ever got signed. It's really amazing to me that I can actually be considered to appear with people like that and that they would have called on me to do a different version of the song. I think it sounds really amazing, and I'm just really proud to have been a part of it.
Q: Are there any of your songs that you've gotten sick of playing live or you won't play?
Amy: There are songs we don't play. Sick of, yes, it's hard to really say that and then I go out and turn around, do them. I guess if there's one song that, I don't know, I definitely am sick of "My Immortal". I would never listen to the song by choice. There's something really special about actually playing it to a big audience because since everybody knows it. So many people do love it, to have everybody singing along and just to have that many people singing the same song at the same time is just a weird, awesome, amazing, creepy feeling. It's worth it and it makes the song good again, but that doesn't mean I'm going to listen to it for fun.
Q: With all of the bands getting back together like THE POLICE and THE SPICE GIRLS, which one are you most excited for?
Amy: THE POLICE, we're going. We're going to the New York show and we were trying to get tickets. This has been the big talk of the band and crew for the past couple of months is how we're going to get POLICE tickets because they all sold out instantly. We finally got our hands on POLICE tickets and Terry just went and said it was incredible and he wants to go again. I think Tim is going this weekend so everybody, I think, has jumped on and everyone's found their own way to get to THE POLICE. That's the one that everyone's been talking about.
Q: Are there any other ones that you saw?
Amy: Actually, last night I went and saw, let me try to say her name right — Dolores O'Riordan from THE CRANBERRIES and it was awesome. She's incredible! I loved THE CRANBERRIES and I was way too young to go really see them and they didn't come to our town. It was really cool to see her, but I really like her new music. It's really cool! It's strange and it gets really heavy sometimes, but it's very sincere and I think she's awesome. So, I don't know if you call that reuniting, because it's not that, but it's kind of the same thing. I thought she was incredible.
Q: You've talked a lot about the transition in the band with the new guys coming and John and Rocky leaving. There's been a lot written about exactly what went into it, a lot said from both sides. For the record, what you think kind of went wrong?
Amy: It's actually pretty simple. John and Rocky joined the band after "Fallen" was written and after "Fallen" was recorded. And they joined the band to be touring members of the band. I don't think that that means they should be treated any less and not have their picture on the album and all that stuff so they definitely were brought on like full members. We had every intention of keeping them around forever. After Ben left the band, there was sort of this new feeling that we would all really be a real band and all write together and everything would be perfect and [we would live] happily ever after. When it came time to write "The Open Door" and we tried to write together, their writing, and actually Will's writing, too, it just didn't work. It didn't fit with EVANESCENCE at all. It was really, really difficult to write together. Terry and I bonded really well as writers. I think that something that maybe not a lot of people know is that most bands the whole band doesn't just get together and write a song. It's written by one or two or three people out of the band and that's about it. This is the case with us. It wasn't like we could really just sit down and write together and that was very, very hard for John and Rocky and they became just very bitter about it, but decided to stay in the band anyway and stay on as just live guys. They got to play on the record and everything, but it just wasn't enough for them and they weren't satisfied creatively, which is definitely understandable to me. I'm very creative and I guess I wouldn't want to be a part of something where I couldn't be creative either. So with touring, the more it went out and the more the new album did well, the more they expressed that they didn't like the new music. That they were unhappy or they would rather be somewhere else and were trying, I think, to get record deals with different side projects that they had going on at the same and that sort of thing. They weren't planning on leaving us high and dry, so we went ahead and just made the cut where we could manage it and not cancel any shows. Not fun, but something that definitely had to happen and ever since, it really has been a much happier thing being in EVANESCENCE. It's not so much of a downer every day.
Q: One of the things that happened with you and Ben, one of the sticking points was that Ben wanted to go in a more accessible direction. But do you think he wanted to be more adventurous? He wanted to be a little more innovative and I guess I thought I'd ask how you think "The Open Door" reflects where you wanted to go in terms of being adventurous and being a little more innovative?
Amy: I think it reflects it in every way. I think all you have to do is listen to the two albums back to back, and you'll hear that exactly. I don't even know how to put it other than I think "Fallen" is a great record and I love it. I don't think I could have done better back then. With a lot of the growing that I've done personally and definitely musically also, it's just a more mature, more interesting record, period.