Had been they goth? Nu-metal? Rock? Possibly a Christian band? No one was fairly certain what precisely Evanescence, a female-fronted rock band from Little Rock, Arkansas, was doing after they first began climbing the charts. All anyone knew was that it was working. “There have been loads of irritating years the place I felt just like the mislabeling and the regurgitation of articles about issues like that had been simply nearly an excessive amount of to beat,” mentioned Amy Lee, frontwoman of Evanescence, who cofounded the band in 1995. “However you realize who you’re and all we are able to do is be who we’re and create what we create.”
In 2003, a yr when world pop sensations like Britney Spears and Beyoncé each launched albums, Evanescence crashed onto the mainstream music scene with the track “Convey Me to Life.” The immediately recognizable, eerie opening piano riff crept onto radio waves throughout the nation and paved the way in which for his or her debut album, Fallen, to turn out to be one of many best-selling albums of the twenty first century, incomes a spot not far behind artists like Adele and Woman Gaga, with over 17 million information offered worldwide.
It’s been 20 years since Lee and the band made their debut, however their affect stays. After I communicate to Lee, who’s piercing blue eyes nonetheless pop towards her lengthy black hair as they did on the duvet of Fallen, like a goth Priscilla Presley, Grammy nominations have simply been introduced. The album was so distinctive with its darkish, piano-forward sound that no one fairly knew categorize it, although they endlessly tried to. It skyrocketed the band, racking up 5 Grammy nominations, together with greatest new artist and album of the yr. “We had been new and I used to be a 22-year-old, boot-wearing…I don’t know—I simply felt like I used to be being punk’d,” mentioned Lee from her house in Nashville. Whereas the group accepted the award for greatest new artist that evening, rapper 50 Cent, who was additionally up for the award, walked onto the stage and did a lap round them. “It’s a type of issues the place it was wild and loopy and I’ll always remember it,” she recalled. “However I used to be simply as stunned as 50 Cent was that we received. I had my footwear off.”
Being misunderstood grew to become one thing Lee and the band had been accustomed to, and defying expectations grew to become their secret weapon. “I believe that’s the true angle and spirit of rock,” mentioned Lee. “It’s not about me becoming right into a field that you simply like or me promoting you the product that you simply need to purchase. It’s about me doing me with none disgrace, and I hope you prefer it. And if not, fuck you.”
The music spoke for itself. Throughout an age of boy bands created by music trade execs, Fallen, 12 tracks about an abusive relationship, lower via the industrial noise and resonated with younger individuals the world over. “Go for distinctive. If in case you have distinctive in your aspect, maintain onto that, raise that up,” mentioned Lee of their success. “I believe that turned out to be true. I believe simply being genuine, being ourselves, making one thing that we actually believed in and liked and never compromising on what that was, beneath every kind of strain, I believe that was proper.”