Better Without You

From The Evanescence Reference

All That I'm Living For
Anything for You
Anywhere
Artifact/The Turn
Ascension of the Spirit
Away from Me
Before the Dawn
Better Without You
Bleed
Blind Belief
Breathe No More
Bring Me to Life
Broken Pieces Shine
Call Me When You're Sober
Catherine
Cloud Nine
Demise
Disappear
End of the Dream
Erase This
Eternal
Even in Death
Everybody's Fool
Exodus
Far From Heaven
Farther Away
Feeding the Dark
Field of Innocence
Forever You
Forgive Me
Give Unto Me
Going Under
Good Enough
Haunted
Hello
Hi-Lo
If You Don't Mind
Imaginary
Imperfection
Instrumental 1
Instrumental 2
Instrumental 3
Instrumental 4
Lacrymosa
Lies
Like You
Listen to the Rain
Lithium
Lose Control
Lost in Paradise
Made of Stone
Me & You
Missing
My Heart Is Broken
My Immortal
My Last Breath
Never Go Back
New Way to Bleed
Oceans
October
Origin
Overture
Part of Me
Perfect Dream
Say You Will
Secret Door
Sick
Snow White Queen
So Close
Solitude
Spanish
Surrender
Sweet Sacrifice
Swimming Home
Take Cover
Taking Over Me
The Chain*
The Change
The End
The Game is Over
The In-Between
The Last Song I'm Wasting on You
The Only One
The Other Side
Together Again
Tourniquet
Understanding
Unknown Title
Unraveling
Use My Voice
Wasted on You
Weight of the World
What You Want
Where Will You Go?
Whisper
Yeah Right
You Got a Lot to Learn
Your Love
Your Star
* Cover songs


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General Information

Written by: A. Lee, J. Majura, Nick Raskulinecz, T. McCord, T. McLawhorn and W. Hunt

Better Without You is the seventh track from Evanescence's fifth studio album, The Bitter Truth. The title was first known in August 2020 when producer Nick Raskulinecz posted a Instagram photo of Will Hunt's drum snare with this title and Take Cover written on it.[1] It was released on March 5, 2021 as the fifth and last single in advance of the album.[2]

Instead of releasing a 30-second preview of the song, the band previewed it through a puzzle in which fans had to solve it and enter for a chance to be the first fan in the world to hear the song during a private Q&A with Amy Lee.[2] Everyone who solved the puzzle also received a free ringtone on their e-mail.[3]

Amy explained that the song "is about overcoming. Refusing to be held down and making my own way."[4] Many fans interpreted the wind-up toy used in the beginning and throughout the song as a reference to the band's former label, Wind-Up Records, known for controlling Amy's artistry.

Amy made an Instagram post explaining in detail what the song means:

Vin1.jpg This song is about my journey, and some of what I had to overcome to get where I am, and where our band is, today. I’ve fought many battles for my self and my music which are very intertwined (some of them internal). Each verse is for a different obstacle along the way, starting in the past and ending in the present. There are parts of my story you don’t know unless you know me, and yes, verse 2 is for some of my experiences in the industry, but don’t get it twisted- this is deeper and darker than that. Obviously I still have some things from way back to get off my chest. I hope it serves to empower others who have been made to feel powerless.

Don’t let the voices telling you you’re not good enough live in your head. Don’t let them write your story. Don’t ever let fear stop you from being who you were born to be. That fear... I am. We are. Better without you.[5]

Vin2.jpg


In her Kerrang! cover story in March 2021, Amy told this song touches on some elements of her past that she's moved on, “but apparently there’s still some things that I needed to get off my chest”, adding:

Vin1.jpg “The song is really hard… I can’t lie in the music. And over time, that’s become truer and truer. I’m peeling away more of the layers of imagery and really being specific at times just saying what I really need to get off my chest. Some of what I’m saying are things that I’m not comfortable breaking down and explaining, because I don’t want to bring up old drama. Better Without You is a difficult song to describe and go into detail about. And so is Yeah Right, actually.”

Better Without You, that’s real and in-the-moment. It’s not like there’s one big secret [person] to blame. Better Without You talks about all the obstacles along the way, moving from the past into the present time. I have different parts of the song that are assigned to different people and entities in my mind. But I don’t think calling people out when I’ve already defeated all my monsters along the way is really something I want to do.”[6]

Vin2.jpg

The "We're fallen" line on the bridge is a intentional reference to the band's debut album, Fallen.[7]

Although Amy said the song was difficult to go into detail about, she gave a lengthily of it in a Loudwire interview in May 2021:[8]

Vin1.jpg Part of it is [about the music industry], but it's not entirely about that. "Better Without You"... so each verse is dedicated to a different person or entity in my life along the way. And they go in order. I don't want to name-call, and I've carefully avoided doing that with this song and it's hard because they're about really specific things to me.

If you know me personally, then you know who it's all about. I don't really want to drag people into things many years later. So it starts out a long time ago (laughs) in the first verse with some battles there — a big one for independence. All of it was really a fight for independence.

The second one is the one that's more for the industry. And then the third one kind of brings us to today, in our world and the world around us. I sang the last few lyrics to "Better Without You," including the bridge, the day they called it for Biden. Not to make it political, because the song isn't really. But that was in my heart. I mean, "It's over. It's over now." Feeling it. And it felt so good to sing it knowing that it was true, at least in regards to Trump.

Vin2.jpg


In the same interview, she added that it's not only about her former record label, which fans thought the song was all about:

Vin1.jpg I don't want it to seem like it's all about the label. It's really not. That's been part of my journey, but there is stuff that's been way more personal than that, and harder. But when I say "the industry," it does mean more than the label. It's just the whole world of people that surround you when you're doing this.

And there was definitely more to it than the label that I was fighting against and struggling with during my journey, but one of the things that I remember being a threat at times was like, "If you don't do this or you don't do that, then it's just all gonna fall apart. You're not gonna have it. This is all gonna crumble. Everything that you have."

And I'm looking at it and going, "I don't want what I had. I want my future, I have an idea for something more." So the chorus, "As empires fall to pieces / Our ashes twisting in the air / It makes me smile to know that / I'm better without you," going like, "It's okay, go ahead. Let it burn down. Let the old idea of the tiny thing that you thought this could be go ahead and burn down because I have an idea for something bigger."[8]

Vin2.jpg


Versions

Studio Version

Better Without You

  • Recording date: July - November 2020
  • Status: Released on March 5, 2021 as the fifth single from The Bitter Truth
  • Released On: The Bitter Truth (Track #7)
  • Length: 4:05

Better Without You [Ringtone]

  • Recording date: July - November 2020
  • Status: Released
  • Released On: sent on e-mail for those who solved the puzzle
  • Length: 0:30

Better Without You [Radio Edit][9]

  • Recording date: July - November 2020
  • Status: Aired on SirusXM Octane
  • Length: 3:37

Better Without You [Instrumental]

Music Box [The Bitter Truth Evolution][10]

Red Stickers [The Bitter Truth Evolution][11]

Live Version

Better Without You [Live at The Kelly Clarkson Show][12]

  • Performing date: May 10, 2021
  • Status: Released on YouTube

Better Without You [Driven to Perform Livestream Concert by Cooper Tire]

  • Performing period: May 13, 2021
  • Example: Driven to Perform Livestream Concert by Cooper Tire, Nashville, TN, USA

Lyrics

Stand in the front but shut up till I tell you to go
Don't get caught up in pretend 'cause you're not in control
'Cause this is my world, little girl, you'd be lost on your own
Just hating and waiting and saving up

I'll do you a favor and save you if you sign on the line
Don't worry your pretty little head about the future, it's all fine
Whether you're wrong or you're right,
Doesn't matter, you're not up to the fight
Keeping my head down
'Cause they don't know what I know now

As empires fall to pieces
Our ashes twisting in the air
It makes me smile to know that
I'm better without you

Now look around and remember your friends if you can
Feeding the flames till there's no one to blame, it's on your hands
Lost in your lies, pay the price with our lives, you've gone mad
And there's no way out
'Cause we all know you're hollow

As empires fall to pieces
Our ashes twisting in the air
It makes me smile to know that
I'm better without you

Not enough, not enough
Not enough to throw it all away
We'd still be falling
We're fallen
Turn it up, turn it up
Never gonna shut me up again
Your time is over
It's over now

As empires fall to pieces
Our ashes twisting in the air
It makes me smile to know that
I'm, I'm better without you

Music Video

In a fan Zoom call for the listening party of The Bitter Truth on March 23, 2021, Amy confirmed that a music video for Better Without You is planned and will be directed by Eric D. Howell.[13] Production and set construction began on March 25[14] and filming wrapped on March 28.[15][16] On April 15, it was announced the music video will premiere on April 16 at 12PM PST, with the band taking part of a Q&A 30 minutes prior to the premiere.[17]

The music video makes references to past albums/eras, but Amy said she would "neither confirm nor deny any of them." And she added the dress worn by the dancer that follows her on the video was inspired by the underwater one from Going Under.[18]

  • Director: Eric D. Howell
  • Producer: Jillian Nodland
  • Director of Photography: Bo Hakala
  • Production Designer: David Weiberg
  • Art Director: Mark Wojahn
  • Editor: Nate Maydole
  • Production Company: Picture Factory, Inc.

Watch it here.

References

  1. Raskulinecz, Nick (August 10, 2020). "The aftermath of tracking 9 songs with the “man of steel” Will Hunt!!!". Instagram. Archived from the original on August 11, 2020. https://twitter.com/EvaWebsite/status/1293078449460895744.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "OUR NEW SINGLE Better Without You drops this Friday". Twitter. March 1, 2021. https://twitter.com/evanescence/status/1366341948731088902.
  3. "EVANESCENCE To Release 'Better Without You' Single On Friday". Blabbermouth.net. March 1, 2021. https://www.blabbermouth.net/news/evanescence-to-release-better-without-you-single-on-friday/.
  4. Lee, Lee (March 5, 2021). "Actually this song is about something very different". Twitter. https://twitter.com/AmyLeeEV/status/1367943561992417282.
  5. Lee, Lee (March 5, 2021). "This song is about my journey". Instagram. https://www.instagram.com/p/CMDzBM9ndyv/.
  6. Garner, George (March 10, 2021). "“I needed to face the abyss head on”: Evanescence’s Bitter Truth laid bare". Kerrang!. https://www.kerrang.com/features/i-needed-to-face-the-abyss-head-on-evanescences-bitter-truth-laid-bare/.
  7. "Evanescence's Amy Lee breaks down 'Fallen' reference in new song, "Better Without You"". March 8, 2021. ABC News Radio.
  8. 8.0 8.1 "The Tragedies That Inspired Evanescence's 'The Bitter Truth'". Loudwire. May 10, 2021. https://loudwire.com/evanescence-amy-lee-interview-tragedies-inspired-the-bitter-truth-lyrics/.
  9. "EVANESCENCE - 'Better Without You' (RADIO EDIT)". YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUmgK7wg8Ok.
  10. Music box used in the song.
  11. An audio of the band working on the song. "Red Stickers" is probably a working title for the song.
  12. Evanescence Performs 'Better Without You' On The Kelly Clarkson Show
  13. https://twitter.com/lostinamy/status/1374790346505342983
  14. "Setup/construction/fitting day"
  15. https://twitter.com/EvaWebsite/status/1376048720823918596
  16. https://twitter.com/EvaWebsite/status/1376162096799494147
  17. "It’s time. Are you ready? Join us for the premiere of our official music video for “Better Without You” tomorrow, April 16th at 12PM PST.". April 15, 2021. Twitter.
  18. Lee, Amy (April 17, 2021). "I love seeing you guys pick up on and interpret all the little references in the Better Without You video.". Instagram.