Evanescence’s Amy Lee on Her Wild Irish-Dance-Infused Sci-Fi Soundtrack
While Evanescence‘s post-Ozzfest future is still up in the air, Amy Lee is keeping herself busy by diving deeper into the world of film scores. Following a successful collaboration with Dave Eggar on the original score and soundtrack for 2014’s Mark Jackson–directed War Story, the pair have reunited and joined with Chuck Palmer to create the dystopian soundtrack for the short film Indigo Grey: The Passage. The award-winning short, directed by Sean Robinson and out now, is a sci-fi adventure following a young boy played by Aidan Lok and featuring cutting-edge neo-Irish dance troupe Hammerstep. Lee spoke with Rolling Stone about scoring the film, idolizing Danny Elfman and why choreography is “anti-rock.”
How did you and Dave Eggar start working together?
Dave and I have been working together 11 years now, actually. I think it all started a long time ago when we were going to make some cool acoustic versions of Evanescence songs for me, and we started working with that and we had such a good creative connection beyond just playing the songs that we’ve worked together a bunch ever since. We worked together on acoustic performances and stuff, and it’s gone beyond that in the past five years or so. Dave is just super connected, does a million sessions a day — insane — and plays with a huge variety of artists all over the world, so I feel really fortunate to know him and to have his friendship and respect because he calls on me with these really cool, out-of-the box opportunities sometimes, and I don’t think I would ever heard about if it wasn’t for Dave.
How did the two of you get involved with Indigo Grey?
[Dave] had worked with them and was friends with them. Actually, it started in 2013 when one of the pieces of music inside in this Indigo Grey film was written. He had me come to the studio because Hammerstep was working on a new dance and they wanted an original piece of music. Dave was like, “Hey, Amy, come to the studio, hear what this is like and see if you can help do something. It could be rad.”
So I went to the studio, and honestly, it started with the dance. I had them show me what the dance is like. They showed me, and the way that they dance is very rhythmic and percussive, and it’s actually musical — it makes sound when they do their thing with their feet and their hands and their body. So I was like, “I feel like the best way to do this is if you, Garrett [Coleman, a co-founder of Hammerstep], step into the vocal booth and we just put the mic on and recorded you doing the dance.” That’s what I built the song around. The song is called “Resurrection,” and it’s in the middle of the film. It’s built off the sound of their body. We call it like a body beat. The recording of that is still in there, and it’s sort of the core of the piece, which I think is really cool. It’s fun to watch the dance at home, and as their feet are hitting the ground, I’m like, “Put a bass drum there.” It’s a fun way to build a song [and] definitely very unusual.
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