Though Evanescence frontwoman, Amy Lee, has dealt with many hardships, she seems to be affected most by the sudden departure of Evanescence's co-founder - guitarist/songwriter and former boyfriend Ben Moody, someone she calls "toxic."
"Ben leaving the band was a really good thing, actually, because I felt like the band was going to die if he stayed in it," Lee said recently in an interview at a Toronto hotel."
"Ben was becoming very unhappy and going through personal things that I don't think had anything to do with the band," says Lee. "He was making everything miserable for everyone. For a while there I thought, 'Oh God, this band is just going to dissipate, Ben is going to bring us all down.'"
"It just got to the point where he hated the band, he hated being on tour and his negativity made everyone around him miserable. He was trying to pull the whole ship down with him."
Amy says she refused to let that happen. With Ben's departure, she has regained a creative freedom she lost somewhere along the way.
"When he left I felt like I could become a new person," says Lee.
"At one point, all my piano-playing rights were stripped away from me because Ben felt like I was getting too much attention, so we hired a keyboard player," Lee said. "But now, on the new album, it's my turn to be the main writer and piano player again.
"I really wanted to make it better than ever, and for me that means incorporating a lot of my natural, classical influence into the music. The writing of this record was the best process of my life because I had free reign. I could do whatever I wanted without being judged or being told it's stupid."
Many are wondering if Ben and Amy are friends...
"We're not friends, we do not talk. Sometimes it's much, much healthier to just walk away. I know as much about what he does as everyone else does from the news. I think he's writing music for people, mostly pop stars, which is cool, I guess. ... I think it shows the artistic clash between us, where he wanted to pull the music into something commercial, and I wanted to be more innovative and try something more artistic."
With Moody gone, Lee says she knows people will be listening to see if the band still has what it takes. But the 24-year-old rocker couldn't care less about criticism.
"This new album is far better than the first. The first did really well, and that's wonderful -- but this is about a piece of work, hands down, and I really feel confident in it and I don't care what people think."
Lee wrote Fallen between the ages of 15 and 21. At the time, she didn't feel comfortable sharing all of her feelings, especially the positive ones. "I was only sharing part of myself on Fallen, the gloom and doom and the torment and pain -- things I needed to say back then," says Lee. "I'm in a different place now, my writing has become more broad. This album is stronger and more empowering. I've grown up and I know it's not the end of the world anymore."
'The Open Door' hit stores recently. The 14-track CD sounds similar to its predecessor: haunting melodies mixed with hard-rock guitars and drums. But it also reveals subtle differences in the band's music. Although still heavy in sound and laden with metal-toned guitars and drums, 'The Open Door' draws on classical choral arrangements (all done by Lee) and is backed by the gothic strains of the Millennium Choir.
Labels: Amy Lee