In the early 2000s, Evanescence singer Amy Lee was almost the only woman in mainstream rock. She talks to t-online about feminism in the music world. And not everything was better in the past.
Evanescence landed a big hit with “Bring Me To Life. The mixture of Gothic, Nu Metal and the voice of singer Amy Lee sold a few million copies worldwide. And if you remember MTV 18 years ago, with bands like Korn, Slipknot, Linkin Park or System of a Down, it was really only all-male groups. Well, there was also Avril Lavigne. But then Evanescence came along and paved the way for many other female-fronted bands.
“Worked just as hard as the rest of the band”.
“Yeah, that was actually the music world back then,” Amy Lee said in a phone conversation with t-online. “It was important to me even back then that we were authentic. I didn’t want to come across as the girl who was just singing in this band because some guy thought it was cool or could sell records. I often had to fight to prove myself as an artist and show that I work just as hard as the rest of the band. But that only happened piece by piece.”
The then 21-year-old not only had to convince fans, but at the same time she had to fight against prejudices of the music landscape. It took time, she says, for her to find her place as the frontwoman of a successful rock band. “Then the concerts were also very nice and no longer just a bunch of angry guys who wanted to rock out,” she laughs.
“Rock is no longer dominated by men”.
“As a man, I’m sure I would have been treated differently,” she admits frankly. “A lot of things just wouldn’t have been an issue then.” Still, the “Bring Me to Life” singer stresses that a lot has happened in recent years in terms of feminism and rock and roll.
Says Lee, “A lot has happened. And everybody has to fight their own battles. Men, too. Meanwhile, I see more and more diverse groups standing on and off stage. Rock is no longer dominated by men.”
And she proves that on the new album, “The Bitter Truth.” It’s the first LP of all-new material in nearly a decade. In the song “Use Your Voice,” Lee shares the mic with fellow rock ladies. Sharon den Adel from Within Temptation and Taylor Mommsen from The Pretty Reckless help out. Is Evanescence setting an example for female empowerment?
“I got stuck on this chorus and then a friend helped out. It’s nice to be able to rely on your girls,” Lee said. “I have so many amazing and incredible women in my life. They support me and I, in turn, support them. Together, we women are just stronger. And when we all use our voices, something loud can come out of it.”
Life as a good-humored goth mom
In recent years, much has changed in the life of the goth superstar. She got married and is a mother of a now seven-year-old son. And with him she could spend the pandemic year 2020. While much of the new album was already written and recorded, release and tour plans for “The Bitter Truth” have been pushed back.
“When I’m on tour, sometimes he’s with me for a few days and then back home while I continue on the road. The good thing now was that I really spent a lot of time with my son. We’ve been doing stuff, playing, crafting, making animation videos, all that,” the good-humored gloomy singer tells.
“He understood the pandemic well,” Amy Lee says of her child’s new reality. “He’s very interested in science. He realized there was something going on in the world and wanted to be able to understand it. We explained it to him and he handled it well. The pandemic is hard on everyone, but I think it’s even harder on kids because they don’t have their usual lives. They can’t meet friends and play. I’m glad he understands, though.”