For the release of the new album « The Bitter Truth » Evanescence-France had the chance to chat with the band members via Zoom. We started with the bassist, Tim McCord, on March 13th.
My name is Cindy, and this is Maïda from the website Evanescence France. To begin:
How are you? How’s your family?
Some days are terrible, some days are a little better, we’ve just taken a step forward, opened up and talked about what’s been going on freely. It’s like what I said before, some days are good, some days are bad. It’s like waking up in the morning, facing the day and seeing what’s going to happen. That’s how we’ve been operating for a while now.
We heard about your loss with Danielle and we are sorry about that.
It’s hard to go on with the rest but let’s do it:
We met you in 2006, you just joined the band, we have a video about this first meet with a message of you. (ED. Evanescence-France was BringMeToLife.Com before) At that moment you were so shy. What do you think about the person you were at that time? And how are you different now, in 2021 ?
Well, I’m definitely not shy anymore. I guess when I sent the message in 2006, I was brand new to the band and all that, but now, 15 years later, I’m the old guy in this band. I’ve been here for 15 years and I’m very comfortable with it. There’s no shyness you know, we’re all good friends and there’s nothing weird for me to join a famous band because it’s been a long time now.
Aren’t you nostalgic for that time when you were the new guy?
Sure, it was an exciting time obviously, and 15 years later it’s still exciting, even though I’m not the new guy anymore. I’m like a grandfather sitting in a rocking chair, reading old stories to the new ones [laughs]
Let’s talk about the new album The Bitter Truth:
How did you live the process of the album with the pandemic? Have you been involved as much as you would have liked? With the lyrics? And the fact that you live in California.
For the lyrics, no one really participated. The few times we were in the studio Amy asked me what I thought of this or those words and I suggested why not change it to this word. She told me her ideas. She wrote by herself but she was open to suggestions.
Musically we all mostly wrote together. There were one session where Jen wasn’t there at the very beginning, and that’s when « The Game Is Over » was born I think. For the most part we all wrote together for the album. We respect each other’s ideas, our instrumental parts.
Which song are you proudest of and which one are you most excited to play the most?
I think I’m proud of the whole album. I’m proud of « Blind Belief » . It started with me. I had this guitar riff in my head, and I played it over and over again and one night I gave my kids a bath, and I played with my guitar. What I had in my head, and I recorded it in the studio. Amy wasn’t there yet, she joined us later, there were Nick Raskulinecz (the producer) Will and Troy. They thought it was amazing and we were off to work on it. It was great to hear something that I had created. Amy came to the studio later and she heard what we did and she loved it. She wrote the backing vocals right away, the harmonies, that’s my biggest pride I think.
There are other songs that we wrote, that are not on the album because some of them were too close to Amy, to me, and it didn’t fit the purpose of the album.
I also really like « Broken Pieces Shine », it’s the first real song on the album I think that we wrote when we were all together. We were in Canada in the middle of nowhere . Jen had a keyboard and then we worked on it. We had different opinions on the chorus of the song, and it changed maybe 10 times, until we went to the studio, and Amy was like ‘Ok, this is what we’re going to do, I’ve got it,’ and we played the ideas she had when she was at home, and after she sang on it, and played it for us. I thought it was amazing. The vocals, the acoustics, make it one of my favorite songs on the album. I’m really proud of the band work on this song because we came from so far, especially with the chorus, we were like ‘we really did it’!
Sorry for the long answer [laughs]
What can we expect from the band after the release of the album?
I don’t know yet. It’s a strange time, we’re living with a pandemic, and what we can do is just virtual at the moment. It’s complicated to be together, so I don’t really know what to expect after the album is released. Maybe when the vaccines are well underway, and the pandemic is a little bit more under control, we can think about lives. I think we’ll continue to do virtual concerts when we have the opportunity. I don’t know, we have to wait and see what happens.
We talked about what we could do, while waiting to see the evolution but I can’t really talk about it
A tour with Within Temptation is scheduled next september, do you think that other gigs will be planned in France, in smaller towns than Paris?
It’s not up to me. No matter what the gigs are, they’re all important, whether they’re big cities or small cities, 10,000 people or 5 people. I’m a follower, if we’re going to go somewhere, I’m going there, I don’t impose cities like Paris or other cities that I’ve never heard of. It’s always exciting no matter where it is.
Now, let’s talk a little more about you
Back in September 2018, you had shared snippets of some songs.
Do you still have plans to release your solo album? Can you tell us more about that
[Tim is moved/touched] Well after what happened in my family last year, it’s hard.
You have to know that the day the tragedy happened, I was in the studio recording the vocals for my solo album. I came home, and I found out what happened, and of course it completely stopped the progress of my album. Every time I think about it, my heart hurts too much because I associate the day I was in the studio and the day it happened.
I can’t get used to the idea of going back to this project right now. But I’m still writing songs. I haven’t stopped. I just stopped this particular project.
I actually wrote a song about Alyssa, about the tragedy, the feelings I had before and after, what was in my heart. I shared it with the band, and they really liked it.
We actually recorded a version in the studio, it’s one of the songs that’s not on the album, but I hope one day it will be released.
This solo album is like a therapy. So I plan to do it.
What happened to my family and me, it changed everything, with this pandemic that happened too. But I have to start again. I can’t say when or how, but I will.
Theater/Cinema were closed. Gigs are cancelled. As a musician how do you feel about the last year?
It’s horrible, it’s depressing. The whole world is locked up at home. For me to have made music as a musician most of my life, and not being able to express myself by going on stage, and seeing the people that come for our music, it breaks my heart. To see so many of us shut down. The hardest thing for me is for the music industry, all the people in the staff, management, and all the people whose lives depend on our work. The staff of Evanescence, some of my best friends. Watching them struggle is very hard, it’s just miserable and my heart goes out to all the music professionals, who have it in their blood. It’s horrible. We’re all counting on the vaccine ‘Ok we’ll wait for the vaccine and get back to work’ so I really hope it changes very quickly, it’s been almost a year, I don’t see it changing as quickly as I would like but we’ll see what happens.
And you mentioned theaters and cinemas, I’m a big movie buff so not going is just horrible too.
With the pandemic, have you tried or started anything new?
Sort of, yes, I’m still creating music. I was approached to do a soundtrack for a video game. I’ve always wanted to do that since I was a kid, I was 6 when the original Nintendo came out, and it completely changed my life. A friend of mine that I met a few years ago through Evanescence asked me if I was interested to make a music for a video game. So I spent a lot of time creating a music program, which is a bit like Nintendo songs. It’s a little bit different than what I usually do, but playing guitar, drums, bass and all that, it was really fun to do that and it makes for something really cool.
Along with that during the pandemic, I supervised my kids with school, because with the virus they couldn’t go to school, and do traditional classes so they did classes on Zoom. I was with my daughter Maddie every day, making sure she did her homework, answering her questions, helping her when she needed it, so I guess I became a teacher. [laughs]
I also took advantage of that time to be with my family, to make sure everyone was okay, to try to move forward not just because of the pandemic but with the tragedy that happened. It’s pretty unique for us because there was this tragedy, and 2-3 weeks later we were in lockdown. It was a double pain for everybody here, we were already in a deep grief and the whole world stopped. It was and still is unimaginable, indescribable what we feel.
I try to do new things while I’m at home but most of the time I try to take care of the ones I love.
Do you have something that you always take on tour?
Yes, I always take my laptop, my bass, my guitar, so I can record ideas that I have in my head in my hotel room. I always take my PlayStation too, I love video games so when we have a day off, and I have nothing to do, I set up my PlayStation and play guitar, that’s what keeps me busy, otherwise I’m running around nervously in my room thinking and calling my family 40 times a day, so I keep myself busy with creativity.
Do you think it’s possible to have a special anniversary tour for the 20 years of Fallen?
I don’t know, I wasn’t there when Fallen came out, I came in for The Open Door, so I have no idea. I don’t remember us ever talking about it. If something happens about it, that would be great. It’s a good album, and we love to play the songs live, as far as I know there’s nothing in the works but I’m not opposed to that idea.
The next question is different.
Amy’s nicknamed is « Snow White ». So I asked her in 2011 which dwarf your personality was the most like. At that time she answered « Dopey ». Do you agree with her?
No I don’t think I look like Dopey at all. It’s almost insulting. [laugh] If I had to pick one I would say I’m Happy. I’m always making jokes, I’m always the one being sarcastic and making others laugh. That’s my role in the band. I’ve been described as maybe Jokey, dopey and grumpy. Even though I’m not a grumpy person. I have a reputation for not smiling in pictures and stuff but we’re a heavy rock band. When you see a rock band doing that (ed. moves closer to the camera and gives a forced Joker smile) in pictures that’s not how it goes. A sense of humor and having a good time is extremely important to me, and you can ask anyone in the band, ‘What’s Tim like? Is he a serious person?’ and they’ll say, ‘What are you talking about, Tim’s always making jokes’ So I would say I describe myself more as a Jokey, but wait a minute Jokey isn’t even a dwarf, it’s a smurf, is a dwarf funny?
If you want you can be Happy?
Ok that’s fine, uh I feel a little ashamed but I can’t name all the dwarfs..
Dopey, Happy, Sneezy, Grumpy, Sleeper… we don’t remember hahaha
Yeah me neither…[laughs]
To finish, do you want to say some words for the French fans?
Of course, as I said before, you are all great. We appreciate you a lot. Thank you for always being there. It’s always a good time to play music for you, it’s always a good time to interact with you. We love to know how you feel, to hear from you. From all these years of support. I can personally say that I can’t wait to see you again and play for you again. We hope you like the new album.
Thank you so much for your time, it was a great time with you. Say hello to Danielle and your kids for us.
Thank you and thank you. I’ll pass on the message as soon as we’re finish