Taking cues from the worlds of classical and metal, Evanescence have always been a unique property amongst the early-noughties explosion of bands. But what records are responsible for changing the life and music of frontwoman Amy Lee? Let’s find out.
The first album I ever bought was…
The California Raisins– The California Raisins Sing The Hit Songs (1987)
“The California Raisins! Ha ha! It’s claymation raisins doing cover songs of The Four Tops etc. It was a big thing in the ‘80s and I was five years old. I must be the first person to ever be talking about The California Raisins in Metal Hammer.”
The album I wish I’d made is…
Nine Inch Nails – The Downward Spiral (1994)
“That’s a hard question! Oh man, The Downward Spiral. I want so many things out of music, but if that was my record… I could sing that whole thing and be very happy. I have all of NIN’s records, but …Downward Spiral is my favourite.”
The album that broke my heart is…
Björk – Vespertine (2001)
“Vespertine by Björk. It’s really eerie and mellow and it has pagan poetry on it. There are a couple of songs on there that are so beautiful and are, to me anyway, about letting go and accepting things in a really beautiful and kinda sad way.”
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Ahead of the release of their forthcoming new Synthesis Live DVD, Evanescence are premiering a show-stopping new clip of My Immortal, exclusively with Kerrang!.
Filmed last autumn on the band’s incredible Synthesis tour, Evanescence are set to release state-of-the-art footage from the shows on October 12 via Eagle Vision – but you can get a taste of what’s to come early with this amazing footage below. Watch My Immortal now, and be sure to pre-order Synthesis Live right here.
Their fourth release Synthesis is the opposite of an unplugged effort — rather Lee has re-recorded the band’s old material an even more dramatic and bombastic manner, with a full orchestra and heavy electronics. That includes their breakthrough 2003 hit Bring Me To Life. And there’s something missing from the version you know — that rap, by guest vocalist Paul McCoy.
“God bless the rap, it’s part of what got us on the radio I guess,” Lee says. “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.”
It’s not uncommon for an artist to go back and record their songs — Lee embraced being to able to revisit the band’s signature hit after performing it live at every concert they’ve played since it was release. “The recording of a song that ends being the one you hear the most through history is usually when the song was just freshly written. You’re still learning it yourself and getting used to what the notes are and how the parts go. That’s true for Bring Me to Life for sure. After doing it live for so long there’s different vocal choices I’ve made and different things we got to use in this version.” And no rap. “I forget the rap’s there now to be honest,” Lee says. “At the time it was a big issue, it was our first single. I wanted people to understand who we were. 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 any more. I’m so glad to put a new version out there without the rap though.”
Similarly there’s an adult version of another Evanescence anthem, My Immortal — like Bring Me To Life it’s been the subject of countless covers and soundtracked many moody memes. Lee admits My Immortal almost got cut from Synthesis. “People have heard it so many times, I’m pretty open about the fact it’s not one of my favourite songs, but I couldn’t resist the opportunity to totally re-record it again.” Despite a “band” version being recorded for their 17 million-selling debut album Fallen, most fans and radio gravitated to the early version of My Immortal, which Lee recorded as a teenager sneaking into the studio her dad worked at after hours. “I hate that version. I totally hate it. It’s an old demo from before we were even signed. Every time I hear it gets under my skin, but that’s the version most people play. I love the album version we did. But I wanted to do a new version so people know where I am vocally as a 35-year-old with all of this experience I have now behind me. As opposed to when I was 17. It’s beautiful because it’s pure and innocent but I was definitely still finding my voice. [Source]