After a decade of multiplatinum sales, two Grammy awards, and the messy departure of band cofounder Ben Moody, Evanescence siren Amy Lee took a hiatus from her painfully earnest public existence to be a wife, learn the harp, and, perhaps counterintuitively, listen to M.I.A. “She’s so freaking powerful and awesome,” the singer-pianist gushes. “I love her voice because it’s weird, almost like she doesn’t care.” Lee, 29, does care, so much so that the admitted perfectionist needed five years to finish this October’s Evanescence (Wind-up).
The New York City resident phoned from home before the video shoot for hair-blowingly grandiose lead single “What You Want” to discuss some personal misconceptions, Hot Topic, and Juggalos.
How often do you regret naming your band after a word no one can spell?
It’s pretty fun, actually. It’s always a test of true fanhood. Like, “Oh my God, I’m your biggest fan, I’ve loved Effervescence since I was 12 years old.” I’m like, “Oh, okay, you have?”
One of your biggest hits is “Call Me When You’re Sober.” Do you drink?
I wouldn’t say I’m a drunk or anything. When I was young and we were first out there, there was more of that. I think I badly needed the release because everything was crazy. But I’ve calmed down a lot.
Have Al-Anon groups approached you because of that song?
No. It’s mostly a chick anthem: “You only want me when you’re drunk. You only want me because I’m not there.” I definitely get a lot of girls who are like, “That’s my song. I assigned that ringtone to my ex-boyfriend.”