Evanescence's Amy Lee Thrilled to Return After Five-Year Break

'I needed to buy my own groceries for a little bit'

July 20, 2011 3:55 PM ET
Evanescence in the studio
Evanescence recording at Blackbird Studios in Nashville.
David McClister

Evanescence hasn't come out with a new album since 2006's The Open Door – but frontwoman Amy Lee is prepared for the October 11th release of Evanescence. Lee, who moved to New York just before getting married near the end of the band's last tour in 2007, says she's spent much of the intervening time "trying to find myself again as a human. The whole fame, celebrity, center of attention all the time thing, it’s not completely me. I’d rather be somebody’s friend and just be normal for a little bit. I needed to buy my own groceries for a little bit and not have a car and just be like every other New Yorker. So that was a big part of it, just me being me again without the Evanescence part."

But now, she's very happy to be back. "I sort of got away from that in my own heart and brain for a while," Lee says. "And to come back to it and have it just be, to me right now, better than ever, it feels great."

She even managed to find some ways to incorporate her hiatus into the new album, which was produced by Nick Raskulinecz (Deftones, Foo Fighters, Alice In Chains). Lee makes her recording debut playing the harp, which she took up after her husband got her the instrument as a gift. Then there are her own diverse musical tastes. "I remember when I first heard MGMT, their first record – I loved it, loved it. And I actually started getting inspired around that time with synthesizers and stuff. I have always loved Portishead, Massive Attack, those electro things," she says. "Some of that has made it here. But I think when I finally found the sweet spot was combining the two things, combining Evanescence with some new elements."

Lee says she has more confidence now as a musician than she ever did before – and that it's reflected in the new album. "We’re having a blast making epic dark music," she says. "I don’t need to feel like it has to be any certain thing, it doesn’t have to be all dark and spooky or whatever. It can just be great."

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