AMY LEE Discusses ‘Bring Me To Life’ And Why She Was Against Male Vocals in EVANESCENCE

During an appearance on 93X Radio, EVANESCENCE lead vocalist Amy Lee looked back on the band’s early days, label struggles, and the massive success of “Bring Me to Life.’

She stated:

I was really, really against having any male vocal in our music. That was really hard. And it was an idea that came from the label – it suddenly all became about ‘Bring Me to Life.’ They decided that was the song. I actually didn’t think that should be the first one [the lead single from]. I wanted it to be ‘Going Under‘.

“They came up with this idea about having something in there that would be familiar to listeners in order to get us on the radio. I didn’t really understand what that meant.

“I was really inspired by artists that were unique, like, what’s great about all the artists – NIRVANA and SOUNDGARDEN and Björk – was that there was nothing else really like them. And that, to me, was the key ingredient and something that I believed – and still believe – that we have. And, in my head, the more you try and make it familiar, the more you’re taking away from our true power.

“The original fight was that the label wanted us to hold auditions and bring somebody into the band full-time to sing on most of the songs and make it a thing, ‘Try to be the female LINKIN PARK‘. And I was like, ‘I’ll think about it…‘ for, like, an hour. And then we called them back, and I was like, ‘We can’t do that. It’s not gonna happen. I’d rather start over. It’s just not who we are. And I don’t want that‘.

“And then they took away our funding and I moved back in with my parents. And it was hard after all the buildup – we got signed, I quit school, moved to L.A., and it’s like, ‘No, actually, we’re coming home.’ We didn’t get actually to do it. It was hard, but in my heart, it was broken, but I knew that it was better than the alternative. It wasn’t totally selling my soul.

“And then, a few weeks later, we got a call, and they’d kind of come around to a compromise, and decided, ‘Hey, we have a cool movie placement thing with this ‘Daredevil’ deal, and we pitched it to ’em as this male-female thing, ’cause there’s a fight scene, and that’s kind of what scored it.

“So now there’s a reason. And it’s only gotta be one song – it doesn’t have to be your whole identity changing. That made it OK for me. I tried one last time. I was, like, ‘Can we just make the first single ‘Going Under‘ first, and then do that?

“I just really was concerned that people would hear that sound. Like, this is the band – and expect it to always be that. And it was not who we were. I hate that. I hate it when you hear the first single from a band and you think they’re one thing, and then you hear the rest of the album, and it’s, like, ‘Oh, that’s not what I thought this was. You just did that to get me in, and you tricked me.’

“But I loved the song, and Paul [McCoy, vocals] was really sweet. And it took some sacrifice for him to be a guest vocalist on that song. He didn’t realize because it skyrocketed in a way that sort of overshadowed what he was trying to do. So I feel for him. And I don’t always wanna talk about it like I don’t like it [his contributions]. I love him. We were just kids in a crazy moment in time.”

Bring Me To Life” was released as the lead single recorded for their monumental debut studio album, 2003’s Fallen, featuring Paul McCoy of 12 STONES on guest vocals. According to Lee, “Bring Me To Life” has several meanings and inspirations; its subjects are an incident in a restaurant, open-mindedness, and waking up to the things which are missing in the protagonist’s life.

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