During an appearance on the "Hardcore Humanism" podcast, EVANESCENCE singer Amy Lee reflected on the losses of two of her siblings, sister Bonnie and brother Robby. Bonnie died in 1987 at the age of three from an undisclosed illness, while Robby passed away in 2018 after struggling with severe epilepsy for most of his life.
Speaking about her approach to understanding "darkness" and "light" in her life, Amy told podcast host Michael Friedman Ph.D. (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I've been through some stuff in my life. I lost my sister when I was six, and then, in a completely different world, so many years later and in a totally different situation, I lost my brother, just in 2018. It's like when the worst possible thing that you could ever fear comes true. I've seen the moments when that can happen. And I'm not alone in that. To me, going through that, surviving that, being able to continue on and find a way to make your life make sense afterward, that's really what I'm talking about. It's not that I like spooky things and darkness because it's fun to play with danger. It's that the time that I feel the most afraid or alone or whatever in my life is when it's like it didn't happen. It's like the world just went on living like nothing ever went wrong.
"I remember sometimes feeling really weird on beautiful, sunny days when I was a kid, because I felt like it should always be raining when I was grieving my sister," she continued. "It's kind of the same thing. To be able to talk about it, to be able to admit it, to be able to face it and say, 'Okay, it hurts this much, and I'm thinking about this stuff.' To be able to spill my guts is the thing that makes it better, and especially to be able to share it with other people. That's why music started for me in the first place. Processing the biggest wounds and the biggest challenges that I've been through in my life and in my heart, being able to make that into music that I love, and then, in turn, the even greater gift is to be able to see other love that music and have it speak to them on a level where they feel that it's doing something good for them to not feel alone in that moment too is such a blessing — something so healthy and so good. I think it's important to face the darkness, because it's real — it's really there — and if we can't face it, then we're just living a lie and letting that stuff bubble under the surface."
Lee also talked about how what she feared most was not letting go of the pain of loss of her two siblings, but rather forgetting the pain of loss. In this way, Lee felt that letting go of darkness would undermine her ability to feel connected to her authentic self.
"I don't wanna move past [the loss of my sister and brother]," she said. "I will always be their sister. So on a level, I feel like the thing about it is it's not that I'm ever gonna get over it. It's not that I ever want to completely get over it, because I'm never gonna let them go. They're always gonna be with me — really, literally — and part of that is the feeling of pain of losing them because I still love them so much. But the other part of it is laughing at memories and remembering the fun that we have too. I don't wanna just remember the people that I lost by their death. I wanna remember their life. I wanna remember our time.
"One of the hard things, in the aftermath of big losses I've had in my life, is being afraid that I won't remember," she explained. "Like, 'Oh, no. I'm gonna lose all my memories if I don't quickly try to ask my sisters or my dad, 'Remember that one time? What happened again?', and just trying to track things down, because suddenly it's this scavenger hunt for all of our time together that I don't wanna lose, I don't wanna forget. I forget stuff so much; so much has happened in my life. And I think, over time, they do start to kind of come back more.
"In the moment, when it's all fresh, you kind of feel like you can't remember anything, and then things sort of start to open up again after the grief subsides a little bit."
Upon its release, EVANESCENCE's latest album, "The Bitter Truth", charted at No. 4 in the U.K., making it the band's fourth Top Five album in the country. EVANESCENCE's first full-length release of all-new material in a decade, "The Bitter Truth" also debuted as the top-selling rock and alternative album in the U.S., according to Nielsen Music Connect.
Shortly after its arrival on March 26, "The Bitter Truth" rose to the top of the iTunes album charts in 22 countries. Recorded during the pandemic, it confronts the dark realities of the world head-on. Yet its resounding message is one of light, and that pushing through is better than giving up.
A kiss-off to the naysayers and the cheats in the rearview mirror, "Better Without You" explodes with the "metal catharsis" that runs through 'The Bitter Truth'" (Los Angeles Times). The official music video for the track was directed by filmmaker Eric D. Howell ("Ana's Playground", "Voice From The Stone"), who also directed the video for EVANESCENCE's "Use My Voice".
EVANESCENCE's new music was produced by Nick Raskulinecz, who also worked on 2011's self-titled LP.