“Music has been the therapy that I really, really, really need right now”
If Amy Lee hadn’t spoken up, she’d be in a very different place right now. In her nearly two-decade long career as Evanescence‘s frontwoman and one of rock’s top vocalists, she’s faced a series of familiar battles. From the day she emerged, falling from a block of CGI apartments, begging to be brought to life, she’s had to fight back against people in power who’ve tried to suppress her voice. Whether that was the old-school music press, who tried to reduce her into a two-dimensional caricature; 50 Cent, who attempted to interrupt her acceptance speech at the 2003 Grammy Awards; or her former record label, who reportedly tried to control her and her work (before she loosed herself in 2014), Lee hasn’t been afraid to use her voice, and to bring to light the iniquities she’s faced.
Until now, Lee’s songwriting has largely been inward facing — directed towards personal drama and sorrow — rather than towards the tensions of the world outside of her. In 2020, that all changed. For the first time in her career, and after almost a decade since Evanescence’s last album of original material, Amy has used her voice for political good. While gradually unveiling the songs for their fourth studio LP, The Bitter Truth, Lee has become a spokesperson for the non-partisan organization Headcount, which promotes a user-friendly website on which people can register to vote in just minutes. The band’s latest single “Use My Voice” is both a rallying cry for unity and the official song for Headcount’s 2020 campaign. Featuring all-female guest vocals from Halestorm’s Lzzy Hale, the Pretty Reckless’ Taylor Momsen, Within Temptations’ Sharon Den Adel as well as friends and family members, Lee is encouraging fans to sing with her, step up and be heard, and help unfuck the world.
Revolver spoke with Lee about the upcoming album, why voting is the best way to use your voice, and the experience of watching her son grow up following the tragic death of her brother.
FIRST OFF, DOES THE BITTER TRUTH HAVE A RELEASE DATE YET?
AMY LEE No. I’ve been looking at this kind of differently, since we’ve just been releasing singles every couple months. We wanted to do that from the beginning, but now we’re in a different situation where we have to do that. I want to live more in the moment with our music, rather than getting all the songs completely finished, then going in a studio and knocking it out all at once. We decided to do this when we could, and really throw things down and placing things as we went. Since we’re still creating the end of it — and we are coming to the end of it — until it’s all completely finished I don’t want to make a release date announcement. We’re not far off though.
HOW WILL YOU KNOW WHEN YOU’VE COME TO AN END?
I’m still writing some lyrics. That’s the one thing I can’t control. We can lay down a bunch of musical layers, but when it comes to thinking of the words to say what I’m trying to say, that can be a more difficult process. I have two songs left that I’m finishing the lyrics to. Once that’s done, I think we’re gonna fly.