It's been nearly four years since Evanescence have released a single, and during that time, it appeared very likely they'd never release another. But on Monday (July 11), the wait — and all the drama that surrounded it — finally came to an end, because Evanescence are officially back, with a roaring new single called "What You Want."
Last week, MTV News traveled to Nashville's Blackbird Studio, where the band were putting the finishing touches on their upcoming, self-titled album (which their label, Wind-Up Records, just informed us is now due October 11 — one week later than previously reported), and they gave us an exclusive first listen at a handful of tracks, including "Want." And now, we're going to give you a sneak peek.
Frontwoman Amy Lee had previously described the song as being "really different" from anything in the band's back catalog, and, as you can tell, she wasn't kidding. "What You Want" is most definitely a departure, quite possibly the heaviest song Evanescence have ever made. The guitars buzz like a hornet's nest, the drums are pounding and primal, and the strings (arranged by Beck's dad, David Campbell) swell and stab. Throw in a positively massive chorus and Lee's vocal pyrotechnics, and you've got a song that's powerful enough to shake rock radio to its very foundation.
And that's pretty amazing, considering its simple roots.
"[Bassist] Tim [McCord] and [guitarist] Terry [Balsamo] and I wrote that song at my house in New York. We were just jamming, like, recording demos, and obviously the song has grown a lot since then, with everyone else," Lee told us. "For me, it was — and I need to remember this, so I can apply it in the future — it wasn't trying so hard to be some epic, massive chorus. I was just doodling around on the piano and the guys were like, 'Do that. Whatever you just did, that's an awesome melody.' And I was like, 'Really?' Sometimes you just need your friends to be like, 'Do that!' "
Though it came from humble origins, "What You Want" deals with heady concepts, a trait that's readily apparent throughout Evanescence's new album.
"It's about freedom — that's definitely a constant theme on the record — but, it's like Evanescence, and me, and my relationship with the music and the fans, and coming to that [realization] of 'This is what I'm supposed to do ... I want to do this,' " Lee said. "And when it says, 'Remember who you really are,' that's exactly everything you could assume it means."
For the time being, Evanescence fans are just going to have to make do with a snippet of "What You Want" (the full single is set to premiere in early August, Wind-Up said). But rest assured, you're going to be hearing the song a lot in the near future, because, as Lee said, it's not just the band's comeback single, it's also the beginning of a mission — one Evanescence are taking very seriously.
"I feel like, not that I'm trying to do what's important for the music industry, I'm doing what I want — we're doing what we love. But, at the same time, it's so refreshing for us to play music that we want to hear," she explained. "It rocks, and not that there's nothing going on that does, but less and less; that's definitely not what's dominating the airwaves. And it would be so amazing and it's totally our dream to have that happen for us; not even just for us, but, like, we want to hear rock music again.
"I think that, as a band, we're really strong," she continued. "Everybody's just playing at the top of their game right now, they're just putting it all in ... and it was, like, that mentality the whole time we were working. Like, whatever it takes to make the most amazing thing possible."
What do you think of the "What You Want" sneak peek? Share your reviews in the comments!