Evanescence’s Future Uncertain, Says Amy Lee: ‘I Have a Lot More That I Want To Do With My Life’
The singer also talks about her fulfilling film project and becoming a mother this summer.
Evanescence may not be so immortal after all.
After the experience of working on her first film score -- for War Story with composer Dave Eggar, and the Aftermath companion album -- Amy Lee tells Billboard that her muse is in high gear and that there's "nothing really new" in regards to the band, whose third, self-titled album came out in 2011.
"I'm enjoying this new space," Lee says. "Evanescence has been wonderful, and I've gotten to do so many things with it. I'm really proud of that, and I have been for a long time. But at the same time, I feel like I have a lot more that I want to do with my life and a lot more that I want to express, and there's only so much that people are going to allow Evanescence to be.
"People hear the word Evanescence and they associate it with 'My Immortal,'" she continues. "We were working on that when I was, like, 15 years old, so now that I'm 32, you get into a different headspace where you're like, 'I need a new space to be able to be myself now.’ At the same time Evanescence is such a huge part of my life and has grown with me. It's still really close to my heart and close to who I am now. So it's all good, but mixed emotions to be sure."
Lee says the Aftermath project, which includes the song "Lockdown" as well as instrumental score material, was a genuine eye-opener and a refreshing change of pace from doing a conventional rock band album.
"In Evanescence it's me, me, me — I'm the center of attention and it's all about me," she explains. "In something like (the film) it's actually me in a more supporting role and working with a bunch of other people to create something I couldn't create on my own, and that feels really good to me. It feels really nice to be able to release something that is not just mine."
Lee studied film music at Middle Tennessee State University, and says she always wanted to work in that field before Evanescence took off. The Aftermath album, which debuted at No. 47 on the Billboard 200 following its Aug. 25 release, was the result of coming up a surplus of material for the film. "At the end of all that, when the film was finished, we had all this music and some of it made it into the film and some of it hadn't," says Lee, who also collaborated with co-writer Chuck Palmer and co-producer Johnny Nice on the set. "I was just sitting there looking at it going, 'We can't throw this stuff away. We have to put it out, somehow.' So that's what Aftermath is: it's our favorite stuff from the film and our favorite stuff that didn't make the film."
Lee says she's "casually" putting out feelers for another film project, but she's also been busy with her first child, son Jack Lion Hartzler, who was born on July 20. "It's crazy good," Lee says of motherhood. "It gives me a new perspective on life. I have new feelings I've ever felt before. I can't describe them, but it's going to be my mission, artistically, to define those things. I felt like maybe I wouldn't be interested in working or making music after having a baby, but I've really been more inspired to create so much more after this happening. It makes me want to just create and create and express myself so much because I'm feeling so many new things."
Don't hold her to a timetable, though. "I guess that's nothing really new," Lee acknowledges. "Every time we've put out a record there's been a few years in between where I sort of needed to find myself again. But I really like to keep that open mind and have nothing in place in my head about what's going to happen a year or two down the line. I've got to wait for inspiration to tell me what to do next. I just love making music and I'm going to make music for the rest of my life; whether that means it's called Evanescence or not, I don't know."