Evanescence encourages speaking up in the new single “Use My Voice,” the latest offering from the band’s upcoming album The Bitter Truth, out later this year.
“Cover my ears and close my eyes/Just long enough to stop the noise,” Amy Lee sings over subtle instrumentation. “Go and take everything and throw it away/But I will use my voice.” The song erupts into a chorus featuring several female vocalists, including Halestorm’s Lzzy Hale, Taylor Momsen of The Pretty Reckless, Sharon den Adel of Within Temptation, and violinist Lindsey Stirling. Lee’s sisters Carrie South and Lori Lee Bulloch, guitarist Troy McLawho’s wife Amy McLawhorn, and the song’s co-writer Deena Jakoub of Veridia also lend a hand on the track.
The title doubles as a campaign Lee launched last week in partnership with HeadCount, a non-partisan, non-profit voter registration organization. (A PSA featuring a portion of the song accompanied the campaign.) “This year is going to be more complicated than normal because of Covid,” Lee tells Rolling Stone. “Every state has different rules for registering and voting, and things will be different because of the pandemic. It doesn’t have to be overwhelming. UseMyVoice.org is a neatly organized place where you can easily find out how to vote safely in your state, when to get your absentee ballot sent in by, even who the candidates are and a little about them. Our hope is to empower people with this information.”
“It’s always been a personal rule for me not to talk politics, because I want our music to be a place where we come together, where we put our differences aside and connect as one big unified spirit through music,” Lee tells Rolling Stone. “But the state of our nation right now weighs very heavily on my heart, like never before. I feel too much to keep it in this time and a responsibility to do something with my platform to try and help — to empower the people. To shine a light. To fight for freedom because it’s not free, it takes work. We can’t just expect things to go as they should and for people to be honest and fair, we have to keep them in check. I believe it’s time for us to take our country back.”
“The concept of playing a private show for fans who check their voter registration status is strong,” adds HeadCount’s executive director Andy Bernstein. “We think we’ll see several artists do this as the election gets closer. With a dedicated fanbase like Evanescence has, and an artist as personally engaged as Amy Lee, it’s a can’t-miss idea.”
“Use My Voice” follows the singles “The Game Is Over” and “Wasted on You,” the latter of which was recently nominated for Best Rock song at the 2020 VMAs. It marks their first nomination since 2003’s Fallen. “Kinda makes me regret spending 400k on the ‘Call Me When You’re Sober‘ video when we could have just filmed ourselves on our phones for free!” Lee cracks. “Who am I kidding, I didn’t have an iPhone back then, times have changed. We all feel very proud of the ‘Wasted On You‘ video because we were all a part of it in a way that we never have been before, and we all shared ourselves more intimately than before. As much as 2020 has sucked, I have enjoyed finding ways to use limitations as a creative tool. It’s like learning a new instrument.”
The Bitter Truth, the band’s fifth LP, marks their first new music in nearly a decade. Lee is optimistic about releasing new music during this unusual time. “We can’t be out there promoting like we normally would, we can’t be onstage performing these songs live for fans in the moment, but we can still connect through our music in a way that is just as real and make people happy,” she says. “It’s definitely made us happy. And anyway touring comes second to music making. We’ve just been forced to focus on the most important part of what we do this year, which isn’t a bad thing. It’s been so fulfilling to finally let these songs fly.”