For the release of the new album « The Bitter Truth » Evanescence-France had the chance to chat with the band members via Zoom. This interview with Will Hunt was made on march 15.
My name is Cindy from the website Evanescence France
Nice to meet you Cindy!
1: How are you? How’s your family?
We’re doing great. We’re in Orlando, Florida. Everything here has been open for a few months, it’s almost back to normal here but not totally you know, let’s say it’s better.
Yes, it’s the same for us, except for a few details
You joined the band in 2007. What do you think about the person you were at that time? And how are you different now, in 2021 ?
Well I’m certainly more mature. [laughs]. You know I think we try to do the best we can, day in and day out. I’m not really any different, I think I’m in better shape now than I was before. My mind is healthy. I’m a better husband, better father, better musician.
Better in every way?
Yes, that’s right. Even though it comes in stages every time, I always try to be a better person.
Let’s talk about the new album The Bitter Truth:
How did you live the process of the album with the pandemic?
Well we started in January last year, before the pandemic was here. We first recorded the first four songs (Wasted On You, The Game Is Over, Use My Voice, Yeah Right) and then of course in March, everything happened. That changed everything. But one thing that didn’t change was that we always planned to release the songs, one after the other, until the album was released. That aspect of it hasn’t changed.
But you know we had a tour with the band Within Temptation, which was supposed to be in April 2020, then postponed to September 2020 and finally to September 2021.
I think it was in June 2020, that we realized that the tour couldn’t happen in the same year. So we said ‘Ok, let’s finish the rest of the album and we’ll see what happens next’. And that’s what we did. That part was not planned of course. [laughs] But I think we did well. We made a great album despite everything that happened.
I was lucky to get it early, and it’s really great! I show the album to the camera] It’s really a combination of all the old Evanescence albums
Thank you, thank you. I agree, I think it’s really special.
Which song are you the proudest of ? Which one are you most excited to play live?
So wait, I need to get the album. [he gets up, takes the album, and shows it to me]. I haven’t got the final titles down yet, I still have the drafts in my head, so I need to look at the album. [laughs]
The song I’m really proud of is the last one on the album, « Blind Belief ». I’m proud of it because I think it’s different from what Evanescence has done so far. And I think it’s cool to be able to take risks. Because you know we write a lot of stuff, we try, we put together. Amy has the inspiration for the melody first, and then when the music speaks to her, the lyrics come. For me it’s the best song on the album for all these reasons. Because it’s different, so cool, beautiful.
And it’s also the one you’re most looking forward to play live?
No I wouldn’t say that, I would say it’s tied between « Broken Pieces Shine » and « Better Without You ». Those are the two songs I’m really looking forward to playing live.
I’m also really looking forward to hearing Better Without You in live.
Yes it is! It’s a really great song. It’s also a song that I love from the album with Blind Belief because as I said before, it’s really different.
What can we expect from the band after the release of the album?
There are things coming up that I can’t talk about yet because it’s not finalized. But one thing we can talk about, even several, [he hesitates], first of all there’s the Collide Tour, hopefully that can happen. We don’t know yet.
There’s a book series coming out, short stories created by a team of graphic designers and a lot of other talented people.
There are several versions of the album that will be released, with different bonus.
Also, we’re shooting the video for Better Without You at the end of the month.
Yeah it’s going to be epic! It’s the same director as « Use My Voice », Eric D.Howell who will be in charge.
That’s all I can talk about.
I’m so happy to hear that news!
I also read that you are working on a future virtual concert. Amy mentioned it in a recent interview
Yes, if she mentioned it, then I can too [laughs].
Yes we are working on it, it’s going to be special. It’s not going to be like the one we did at Rock Falcon Studio last year. We just played a few songs, it wasn’t really a classic show. I think the one we’re working on will be like a real show, that we’re used to do.
Are you planning to play in other cities than Paris for upcoming tours? I’m from Bordeaux for exemple, and I know that you love drinking wines..
I would love to come to Bordeaux. [laughs] Yeah, even just visiting. Taste all the different wines. [laughs]
I know we have a date in Paris but I don’t think there are any others.
Yes, there is, there is only Paris
Yeah, this tour with Within Temptation is special, we only targeted a few cities in different countries. There is always this cliché of going to the capitals. But in the past with Evanescence we came to do smaller cities.
Yes like Montpellier
That’s right Montpellier and Lille too. I remember it was our first European tour with Troy when we joined the band.
Do you have any upcoming solo projects? Can you tell us more about it
Yes I do! I have a band called Rival City, with the lead singer of Stone Temple Pilots, Jeff Gutt. He and I have been working on this project for several years now. And I think it will be out in 3 or 4 months. It’s going to be 5 songs, we’ve already shot the videos. It’s really cool, it’s unique, it’s a heavy, electronic sound. I can’t wait for people to hear it, it’s very different and cool.
Theater/Cinema are closed. Gigs/tours are cancelled. As a musician how do you feel about the last year?
A mess, horrible. [laughs]. I think there are different ways to look at it. If you look at the good that came out of it, we made a good album, we got to spend time with our family, which normally wouldn’t be the case. And I think in this point of view, our family has to ask ‘when are you going on tour? [laughs]. They are more impatient than we are.
It was also nice to be able to slow down, to reconnect, to focus, on just spending time with your family. There was some good in it, but of course there was some bad. For people who no longer have a job, these are hard times. Plus the many deaths. It’s hard.
With the pandemic, have you tried or started anything new?
I’m more into recording sounds. In my studio [he shows me his drums].
I’m also running a lot, focusing on my mental and physical health. I think we all have to be a little concerned but [laughs] during the months of quarantine, we all drank a little bit, more than usual. A lot of wine! And then one day you think ‘hey, maybe we need to slow down’ [laughs].
Do you have something that you always take on tour?
[he thinks] Yes! I always take my iPad. It’s the best way for me to watch American series. If it’s in season, soccer. FaceTime with the family. It’s small so it’s pretty handy, I just have to pack my bag quickly, and take it with me on the plane, the train. No matter how long the journey, there are games, so it’s very convenient. And there is good sound, to listen to music is important.
Do you think it’s possible to have a special anniversary tour for the 20 years of Fallen?
I’m just throwing the idea out there haha
I don’t know, when is it? Next year?
It’s two years from now
In two years it’s Fallen’s 20th birthday. So in 2023?
Yeah, that’s right.
I don’t know. I haven’t heard anything about that yet. But you know what, I’ll tell you, personally, it’s obviously a very important album for Evanescence. It introduced the band to the world, it was the album that gave us the fan base that we still have today. We have incredibly loyal fans. So I think, something should happen to commemorate that. Something special. So yeah, I guess something will happen. You can always hope.
What’s your dream collaboration with the band?
Wow. I think the collaboration that can be cool for us, after that it’s just my opinion, [he thinks], I have some ideas, really different ones too. An electronic rock band called Phantogram. It could be a really unique collaboration between us. They have a female singer and what they do is really cool.
And another collaboration that would be great is with Matthew Bellamy, the lead singer of the band Muse. Having him and Amy and the band, writing something together, their voices together, could be really cool.
What’s the last series or movie you watched?
It was a movie. What was it again? [thinking].
Otherwise we watched a show, even several, that were cool. There was Pennyworth. It’s about Alfred Pennyworth, Batman’s butler. It’s really good.
We also watched For All Mankind. They show a world in which the space race that happened during the Cold War between the US and the USSR never ended.
And I’ll tell you the movie we watched, [he searches on his phone] ah here it was on Netflix, I’ll find it, it’s called… [he’s still searching] maybe it wasn’t on Netflix. I can’t find it, but anyway it was really good [laughs]
The next question is special..
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 « Happy ». Do you agree with her?
[laughs] I think that’s probably true. I try to always be positive, and you know, try to enjoy the moment, even if it’s not always easy. I think most people when they’re in a band like this, not only the members, but also the staff, when you’re on tour, they can go through ups and downs. Sometimes it’s amazing and sometimes you face adversity. Some people can handle the pressure better than others. So I’m like, ‘Okay I’m going to make sure I’m a positive person,’ make sure people stay motivated in what they’re doing. [laughs]
To finish, do you have some words for you french fans from Evanescence-France?
Yes, thank you! Thank you very much for being here, we love you very much, we have a lot of respect for you. We really hope you like this album, because we loved doing it. It’s special, you French fans are amazing, and I can’t wait to see you again, hopefully in September.
I got my ticket, so I hope so too!
Cool. We’ll keep our fingers crossed
[we cross our fingers together in front of our cameras]
Will, thank you so much for your time. See you soon, take care!
Thanks, take care of yourself too