Multi-platinum rock band Evanescence is currently recording in Nashville and intends to finish (except for mixing) its next album by the end of June, singer/pianist Amy Lee tells Billboard.com. The target date to release the album on Wind-up Records is Oct. 4.
"After finishing touring [behind 2006 album "The Open Door"], I just sort of took off and didn't know what I was going to do next and wasn't sure if the Evanescence thing would happen again or when it would," Lee says, adding that she took about 18 months off before she got the urge to start writing music again. "I ended up falling back in love with Evanescence again and wanted to work with the guys, and it became more of a group project."
The album will be the third studio recording from the band, whose massive 2003 breakthrough album, "Fallen," has sold 7.5 million copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan. "The Open Door," which contained the Billboard Hot 100 top 10 hit "Call Me When You're Sober," has sold 2.1 million copies in the States.
"The process has been much more of a collaboration between the whole band," Lee says of how the album is coming together. "Usually it's me and one main co-writer...This time everybody had something to do with it from the ground up." She observes that as a result the music has "a lot more about a live feeling about the band. The way everyone is playing strong, it's like we've been playing the songs on tour for a year."
Lee and her bandmates -- drummer Will Hunt, guitarist Terry Balsamo and bassist Tim McCord -- are working under the guidance of producer Nick Raskulinecz (Foo Fighters, Velvet Revolver). Lee had originally started recording tracks on her own with producer Steve Lillywhite (Dave Matthews Band, U2), but the sessions were shelved because the songs weren't jelling. "I've come to realize now I was making like a solo record, and if it was going to be an Evanescence record, we needed to come together and make it like a band," Lee says. "That was a hard time for me. I thought I knew what I wanted and it sort of didn't happen like I wanted it to...But I have to say I feel so strong about what we're doing now...We still have some of the same songs from those sessions but we've made them about the band."
Wind-up Records president Ed Vetri supported Lee's decision to start recording all over again. "One thing we do at Wind-up is, we're patient. It it's not right, it's not coming out," he says. "If it takes a year or four years, [we're] going to take the time it needs to write the right record." He adds that he's been to the studio several times to hear how the album is progressing, noting, "I think her core fans will be really happy."
The band, which hasn't performed live since 2009, is scheduled to perform Aug. 20 at Rock on the Range Canada in Winnepeg and on Oct. 2 at Rock in Rio in Brazil. Lee couldn't confirm if Troy McLawhorn (formerly of Seether) is joining the band as a second guitarist, but did estimate that Evanescence will tour for about three weeks in the United States and three weeks in Europe to support the new album.
"We're just getting excited to get back out there," Lee says. "It's been a long time and it's been a lot of work. We're starting to really hear [the music] back and feel like, 'Whoa, it's almost there.'"