Amy Lee on East Village Radio
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On March 23, 2010, Amy Lee was interviewed by Steve Lillywhite on his radio show at East Village Radio in New York. Lillywhite was the producer of the initial sessions for Evanescence's third album that were scrapped by the label in April that year. Here's the transcript of the interview made by EvanescenceWebsite.com:
Steve Lillywhite: Ah, Steve Lillywhite here on East Village Radio and I am joined by, shall we turn the microphone up for Amy? Um, do we have that? Is Amy? You’re on there? Hey, Amy Lee! Welcome to the Lillywhite Sessions!
Amy Lee: Test, 1, 2, 3… yeah… Hey! How’s it going? *laughs* Thanks for having me!
Steve: Here we are, yes, who would’ve thought? Um…
Steve: Everybody would’ve thought… they’re all listening, all those ten people now! We’ve doubled our listeners… so that’s wonderful, and um, I’m just going to play one more song and then we’ll get down to chat.
Steve: Okay, this is the wonderful Damien Rice and The Blower’s Daughter.
(Music Break: Damien Rice – The Blower’s Daughter)
Steve: There you go, it’s nice and quiet now. This is Steve Lillywhite with Amy Lee. And Amy, so, uh, I hear that you’re in town… you’re living in New York now.
Amy: Yes, that’s right.
Steve: Or more like Brooklyn.
Amy: Well, whichever.
Steve: Well, one of the two.
Amy: Yeah *laughs*
Steve: And uh, you’re here making a new album.
Amy: Yes, with you!
Steve: Oh, really!? Wow, that’s fantastic!
Amy: Yeah, in fact I think we’re headed there right after this.
Steve: Exactly! That’s why Amy came here towards the end of the show cause we’re both going to jump in a taxi afterwards and head off to the studio where we’re gonna be starting to do some singing.
Amy: Yup. Tonight.
Steve: And, tonight, which I’m so excited. Although, I have to say, even her rough vocals are sounding extremely, extremely good.
Amy: Ah! I’m ready to get rid of those rough vocal tracks, yeah… I’m ready to make it rule this time.
Steve: Make it rule, well, I think so far so good. I mean these people say to me, “Does it sound? What’s it sound like?" Do you have any ideas of how would you describe this record so far?
Amy: It’s really hard because I just feel like it’s so many things at once. But, um, I’ve always felt that way. *laughs* Like every time we make a record, but I do feel like this record is definitely different even more-so than before, but in a really cool, good, true way. You know, um, I think that there’s more influences from all over the place and honestly I’ve… in the creative process I had a lot more fun, I think then? I mean I had a lot of fun last time actually, making The Open Door was a great experience, but I don’t know… this is all the choices that you make when you’re writing. I feel like they were always about just what felt good and was really fun without thinking about any kind of consequences.
Steve: Right, you have a great new, um, guy you’re working with, like, Will?
Amy: Yes, Will, yes.
Amy: Yeah, that’s right! There’s two Will Hunts in the band now, so, we have to always stick with the difference... and much to Will’s probably, I don’t know he probably hates it, hates it! Yeah! *laughs* But, um, we call him ‘Science’ as a joke because he does so many of these cool beats, you know, and sounds… he’s really good at it.
Steve: Yeah, he’s a, I must admit, you know, he’s a young guy from Texas and his time will come. He is a very talented, talented guy.
Amy: I believe it. This may be that time!
Steve: Yeah! Oh, this will be his time and um, I must admit, I’m every excited by working with him and all of you.
Amy: Yeah, me too. Me too.
Steve: So, uh, Amy has chosen a wonderful track off the new Depeche Mode album to play.
Amy: Oh, yes!
Steve: And, um, we’ll play that and talk about that afterwards, the opening song, called…
Amy: In Chains.
(Music Break: Depeche Mode – In Chains)
Steve: Hi… Steve Lillywhite on the East Village Radio.com so, that’s it, it’s on the internet, it’s not on the radio. I’m here with Amy Lee and we are opposite the funeral home. Did you know, Amy, that in England we don’t bury our dead?
Amy: Hey, *laughs* really?
Steve: We just burn them.
Steve: Because we don’t have any room.
Amy: You don’t have the space, yeah.
Steve: We don’t have the space, so, um…
Amy: Well, New York feels that way. For sure, sometimes…
Steve: New York, yes! If anyone dies in New York, they’d probably burn you as well. But, there you go! There’s nothing wrong with that. We all die at the end as you well know.
Amy: You’re turning dark! Is that me rubbing off on you? *laughs*
Steve: No, no, no, no… so, um, so Amy! Someone has been instant messaging us about lyrics.
Amy: Yeah! What’s the question say?
Steve: Inspiration, maybe? Or?
Amy: Um, I missed the question… they’re just asking about inspiration! Where they come from, I guess…
Steve: Well, what was the question about over there? Yeah!
Amy: Um, just from my life! I mean, honestly, I’m always writing about what I’m feeling and a lot of times the things that I feel like I can’t say. Like to people around me or even to myself. So, it’s an interesting thing sometimes. I’ll listen back to lyrics, like a couple months later after recording them and writing them and then go, “Oh…”, like, I know what I was talking about. My subconscious was trying to tell me something. It’s really cool, it’s just very therapeutic for me. I definitely just write what makes me feel better and then sometimes the sense comes a little bit later.
Steve: Right, right. And I’ve always said to new artists I’ve worked with, actually, I said, “Journalists will always try and trick you, when they’ll always say ‘What’s that song about?’ You don’t, you never need to explain your lyrics because you always just say to them ‘What do you think?’”
Amy: Oh, that’s good to hear! *laughs* Yeah, well, it's art, you know. There’s so many ways that you can interpret it, and I think, um, it’s cool. I get all kinds of people saying that different songs mean different things to them.
Steve: Different things to different people.
Amy: And… I love that.
Steve: That’s the thing, you know, I think sometimes when an artist is so specific about the meaning of a song… I just, quick story… I remember with U2, there was song off the Atomic Bomb album which Bono said was about his Dad, called ‘Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own’. And I always thought that he should never have been so specific about this being about his father because, in fact, the song could really mean a lot more to people if they didn’t think of Bono talking about his Dad.
Amy: Hmmm. Right.
Steve: You know, it could just be about, you know… about whatever you think.
Amy: About whatever. Like something anyone could apply, yeah.
Steve: Yeah, yeah. So, anyway… that was that. We’re now going to play a little more music which is a band that I had something to do with, that we all love. Uh, it’s a band called MGMT. Who, uh…
Amy: Who I’ve been listening to a lot lately and I remember we were talking about that when we were talking about you producing the record.
Amy: And I mentioned that I liked them a lot, and you were like, “Oh, well, I’m partially responsible for them.” Yeah…
Steve: I know, I know. I was… I had a conference job, um, an A&R man at Columbia Records and this band came in and one girl I was working for said, “Steve. We really want to sign them. Can you talk to this band and give them the schmooze?" and I listened to the music and I said, “Yeah, we really need to sign this band.”
Steve: So, you know, we brought them in and had a long chat and actually I bumped into them the other day at a Phish concert funnily enough and uh, yeah, they're a great band and their new album’s coming out. But this is ‘Electric Feel’ from their first album.
Amy: Oh, cool… one of my favorites.
(Music Break: MGMT – Electric Feel)
Steve: Steve Lillywhite here on East Village Radio with, of course, the beautiful Amy Lee from Evanescence. Who’s actually on the phone with someone else, but there she goes… *laughs*
Amy: Sorry, sorry… I was on the phone.
Steve: She was on the phone!
Amy: We just got a call from Kuwait.
Steve: A call from Kuwait!? Oh, my goodness.
Amy: Yes. From Muhammad, who was very nice.
Steve: Muhammad from Kuwait. How are you doing, Muhammad? I’m going to play a song for you. Um… just to change it up and oh, make it different.
(Music Break: Monty Python – Always Look on the Bright Side of Life)
Steve: Hello, Steve Lillywhite on East Village Radio! I was just telling Amy that I did stand at the exact place where Jesus was crucified and I started singing that song. How cool was that? That I didn’t get struck down by lightning. There you go! Enough of that… *laughs*
Amy: There you go!
Steve: Um, yes, what can I say? Nut here I am, East Village Radio, Steve Lillywhite with Amy Lee and we’re on our way to the studio.
Amy: Good to be here.
Steve: But not after… not until another twenty-four and a half minutes goes by. Whoa, there’s the phone.
Amy: We’re getting a lot of calls.
Steve: We’re getting a lot… this is, uh…
Amy: My phone, guys, is kind of like not working now because there’s been too many tweets, so… ha-ha, it’s totally fried.
Steve: There’s lots, uh, really?
Amy: But I can’t really look at them for the next five minutes until they slow down a little bit.
Steve: Right, um… we’re going to play another Amy Lee choice… which is?
Amy: Oh, I chose… one of my very favorite songs from high school. It was sort of like my, one of my big anthems in high school is by Garbage, it’s called Stupid Girl.
Steve: Ah... we love this.
(Music Break: Garbage – Stupid Girl)
Steve: Steve Lillywhite here on East Village radio and the phones are ringing off, awww, this is so much fun here! I’m here with Amy Lee and we’re having fun, so… everyone wants to know, Amy, there was a fire at the studio, let's talk about that.[note 1]
Amy: Yes, okay… well, I was in a different room. I was in the library and playing the piano, um, I think I was writing a little part and yeah. And then, Derik, our wonderful assistant, busted in the door and goes, “There’s a fire in the building! We got to get out of here right now!”, and I was like “Um, okay!” So, I… *laughs*
Steve: Well, I’ll tell you, I’ll tell you what happened because we were in the control room and the technical guy from the studio came in and said, “Look guys, there is a fire in the studio.” So, um, of course, the first thing we did, which was really, what you’re not supposed to do was pack up our laptops. *laughs*
Amy: Right, right. Well, it was more than that because everybody started packing up, okay, I didn’t. I bailed on everything because I smelled something right before and I thought, “Hmmm, it smells kind of like a fire in the fireplace.” But it smelled kind of good to me at first? So, I didn’t think about it, we have a fire place at our place, so I was kind of used to it. Um, and then I ran out, and went, “Oh, no.” Ran back in the room which is what you’re really not supposed to do and I got my laptop, and my phone, and my stuff and then ran out. And then I heard, or I remember, Will ran back half way through or whatever and got the hard drive. So, that if all else was lost we would have the album. *laughs*
Steve: The hard drive, right. Well, yeah and, in fact, I, um, I was told that I shouldn’t use the elevator and go down the stairs. And I went down the stairs and walked through a lot of smoke. But, I was two minutes ahead of you and this just shows how fast fire does travel. Because you tried to go down the stairs but you couldn’t.
Amy: No, we couldn’t. Yeah, and we could not. That’s where it was coming from!
Steve: Yeah, yeah, so they had… it was actually from another building that shared the same fire escape.
Amy: Connected stairwell, and all that.
Steve: And the same stairwell, but you know, the firemen came and who knows whether it could’ve spread but they did their job.
Amy: They were great. Yeah.
Steve: Because, uh, there was a lot of smoke, but…
Amy: Well, I talked to the firemen after and I said, “How often do you guys do this?” and he said, “This is our second one today.” And it was only the middle of the day… I think it happens a lot in town, so.
Steve: Right, it does. But you know, there you go! So that’s for everyone who wanted to know about the fire.
Amy: So, we’re fine! Everything is fine from the fire… still smells a little smoky, but… we’re on track. *laughs*
Steve: The album’s [fine]… *laughs* It does! *laughs* We are on track. I’m going to play a song now, that I recorded, back in the day with a band called, um, The La's.
(Music Break: The La's – Son of a Gun)
Steve: Steve Lillywhite, East Village Radio and uh, that was The La’s “Son of a Gun”, off the album “The La's”, it was their only album. But in fact I did an interview last week for the box set, which is very strange, very strange. Ah, but anyway, I’m here with Amy Lee. …and how are we doing?
Amy: I just picked a song, last minute, so… he’s plugged it in for any second. Well, you can talk if you want. Talking’s cool.
Steve: [she picked a song, alright] Well, we’ll talk, we have fifteen minutes to go, uh, the weather here in New York’s a little bit gloomy. But, uh…
Amy: *laughs* I like it that way. That’s the most inspiring to me definitely.
Steve: Yes, yes, Amy… my sensible (?) opinion.
Amy: *laughs* What’s that supposed to mean!?
Steve: *laughs* Oh! I don’t know!
Amy: Well, it’s like you’re supposed to be inside and it’s raining or whatever and…
Steve: Well, yeah, the great thing when you’re making an album, is that you don’t want to be tempted by “Oh, the weather’s nice. I wanna go outside.” You wanna go “Oh I wanna go in and” which is… yeah!
Amy: *laughs* Yeah… and just hunker down in the cave and get creative and read.
Steve: Which is why I always thought the best music came from, um, from places that were not great weather.
Steve: You know, because…
Amy: Oh, right. Like Seattle!
Steve: Yeah, like Seattle, or London, or Manchester.
Amy: Yeah, mhmmm.
Steve: You know, although L.A., you know, all that sort of… although I have to say I love the Beach Boys as well, you know…
Amy: Hah… totally.
Steve: Um… what can I say? So, Amy, would you like to introduce this next song?
Amy: I just picked a song off my iPod. It is Teardrop by Massive Attack. It’s probably… it, it is my favorite song of theirs.
Steve: Fantastic. Here we go!
(Music Break: Massive Attack – Teardrop)
Amy: Hah, somebody said that?
Steve: Someone just tweeted: let’s, we don’t want to hear songs, let’s just…
Amy: Talk Amy, nobody wants to hear your song.
Steve: Aww, well, you know, if you wanna hear… I mean, that’s why we didn’t play any old Evanescence because basically if you’re listening to this…
Amy: You’ve heard it.
Steve: You can listen to it whenever you want.
Steve: So… Amy, we talked about the fire, we talked about lyrics, um, what about touring?
Amy: What, what are you saying? Oh, they’re asking…
Steve: Ah! The stomping! Well, that’s about me, that’s nothing to do… Steve’s stomping…[note 2]
Amy: No, it was pretty funny! Well, that’s us in the studio. I mean, I wonder if they know what we were doing.
Steve: We were doing some, some stomping, uh…
Amy: A stomp track.
Steve: A stomp track.
Amy: To, like, effect and filter and make into a really cool, like, beat.
Steve: Right. And I was stomping, we had to stomp on the beat. Now, I realized…
Steve: As I was, see these are all these thoughts that are all gonna happen within a split second, but as I was jumping up I realized I’m a little ahead of the beat… so I need to hold, I need to slow…
Amy: I need to defy gravity and stay in the air longer and that doesn’t work. *laughs*
Steve: Exactly! That’s what I was trying to do! And all these split second decisions happened in my mind that actually ended up me, falling over, and uh…
Amy: It was priceless.
Steve: I did say we should send that off to America’s Funniest Videos and we could earn $250.
Amy: Well, I was saying, they should have a show called um, America’s, well, not America’s, just like Funniest Celebrity Videos type show… [it'd be pretty lame]. But no one would ever approve of anything.
Steve: No, exactly. But, I want everyone to see me falling over.
Amy: Yeah, it’s pretty good.
Steve: That was awful.
Amy: I, I plan on tweeting more videos from the studio soon.
Steve: Yes, there will be more videos! Amy has been doing a fantastic job with her Flip camera…
Amy: Oh yeah, I have! I’ve been documenting pretty well.
Steve: Yeah! So… have you worked out how to edit them and that?
Amy: Sort of. It just takes a long time… I have to, like, take it from that camera and put it into the program. Anyway, it’s boring…
Steve: Into another program. Okay… so that’s good! So, um… just hearing that last song, I thought I’d play this song.
(Music Break: Seal – Crazy)
Steve: It’s Steve Lillywhite here, on the Lillywhite Sessions, with the special guest, Amy Lee and we’re coming to the end of this part of my career… and your career! And the next part of our careers will start about in a half an hour.
Amy: *laughs* Do you…? Yup, it’s been an honor, a pleasure, thank you for having me on the show.
Steve: Awww…. well, hang on!
Amy: It doesn’t have to end here!
Steve: Let’s not be too soon cause we have another minute and ten seconds to go!
Amy: Oh! Okay!
Steve: So, uh, where are you going now, Amy?
Amy: Well, I think… I’m just gonna get in the cab with you and then we’re gonna go to the studio *laughs* and make some more awesome sounding songs.
Steve: Oh, right! We’re going to go to the studio… *laughs* Yeah! We’re going to start singing. Do you have any ideas on how you would like to start?
Amy: I think I want to start on ‘You Got a Lot to Learn’.
Steve: Right, so you’ve just given away a song title. *laughs*
Amy: Right. Right, I guess. That’s cool! I was prepared for it when I, when it came out of my mouth.
Steve: *laughs* Yeah, so there’s a song called ‘You Got A Lot to Learn’ on the album.
Amy: Special drums by Questlove.
Steve: Oh! I’m excited to hear that!
Steve: Now, it sounds fantastic, as I know cause… I… recorded it. *laughs*
Amy: Sounds really cool so far.
Steve: So, it’s really good and, um, that should be a nice, nice one to get started.
Amy: I think that’s, I think that’s the vibe of the day. I think that’s what I’m feeling.
Steve: That’s the vibe of the day! So, again, thank you very much… it was a pleasure to have you on the show and for the last 23 seconds…?
Amy: Ahaha! and 20… 19…okay!
Steve: Oh, got it! Limping across the finish line here. *laughs*
Amy: Thank you, everybody for calling in and twittering me. Everybody’s been so sweet and…
Steve: Yeah! And there will be lots of, uh, juicy updates!
Amy: Definitely, definitely.
Steve: Of the video and any sort of kind, so, uh, keep listening and thank you so much.
Amy: Stay tuned! *laughs*
Steve: I’ll be back next week, okay.
Steve: Bye… bye! 3… 2… 1…!
- Lee, Amy (March 22, 2010). "Hey! I'm gonna stop in on Lillywhite's radio show tomorrow". Twitter. https://twitter.com/AmyLeeEV/status/10893825847.
- Lillywhite, Steve (March 23, 2010). "Another Tuesday, another Lillywhite Sessions on the incredibly hip @Eastvillageradio.com with the wonderful @AmyLeeEV 2-4pm EST.". Twitter. https://twitter.com/Sillywhite/status/10928664166.
- "Amy Lee Of Evanescence Live On East Village Radio". YouTube. March 23, 2010. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r7u4RmRB9x0.
- Weiss, David (May 21, 2010). "MSR Studios Hosts Kid Cudi, Evanescence, Lloyd Banks, + Cast Recordings". SonicScoop. https://sonicscoop.com/2010/05/21/msr-studios-hosts-kid-cudi-evanescence-lloyd-banks-cast-recordings/. Retrieved September 17, 2019.