HOLLYWOOD — Amy Lee is returning to the forest, only this time there's no Big Bad Wolf.
"There's the me in all white and it's really wintry," the Evanescence singer said on the set of the "Lithium" video on Wednesday, pointing to an elaborate array of snow-covered trees. "And then there's the all-in-black Amy under the surface of the water of this lake in the forest. So it's the happiness and the sorrow and we're almost singing to each other, trying to figure out how both of us can work."
Unlike the Little Red Riding Hood concept for the "Call Me When You're Sober" video, which was an abstract take on somewhat literal lyrics, the follow-up is a literal take on somewhat abstract lyrics.
"So it's not so in-your-face to make the video more literal," Lee justified of the video, which Paul Fedor (Sarah McLachlan, Seether) directed based on her concept. "Really, though, I think it's all about touching somebody and I hope it does that."
"Lithium," the second single from the recently released The Open Door, is about making the choice between the comfort of sorrow and the idea of happiness.
"You get in these cycles where you're stuck in bad situations or relationships or whatever and it's hard to make yourself get out even though it's negative and hard," Lee explained. "So that's sort of what it's about, breaking free."
She chose the title "Lithium," which is also the name of a classic Nirvana song, because it's "a metaphor for happiness from a negative point of view." "It's looking at it like, 'I don't want to numb myself and not feel anymore,' " added Lee, adorned in an elegant white dress, pale white makeup and bright red lipstick.
Evanescence decided to release "Lithium" only recently, as Lee struggled with the single-selection process.
"It was a really, really hard call because there were like four different songs I thought would be awesome for the second single," she explained. "But I think we got a couple [more] singles to go."
"Call Me When You're Sober," which Evanescence also shot in Hollywood, has been a "TRL" hit, and The Open Door followed accordingly, debuting atop the Billboard albums chart (see "Evanescence Butcher The Killers In Battle For Billboard #1").
"It's been a big wonderful surprise," Lee said of the success. "I definitely wrote the record thinking about myself and what I wanted and pushing myself to do better than what I've done. And I almost expected a lot of people to hate it because I love it so much and I wasn't trying to do it for anyone else. And you have to imagine if you're not making any compromises, there's going to be haters, because it's definitely different from the first record. But everything I've heard has been very positive and it's a great feeling to have other people appreciate it too."
Evanescence left Thursday (November 2) for a European tour that kicks off Sunday in Germany.