Evanescence Say First Single ‘What You Want’ Was ‘A Natural Choice’

Band premiered song Monday night live on MTV

NASHVILLE, Tennessee — There were many questions Evanescence faced during the making of their new album — including, of course, whether they wanted to continue on as Evanescence . But throughout the process, there was one thing that wasn’t in doubt: what the first single would be.

It seems that from the very get-go, the band knew that if they did complete their self-titled disc (in stores October 11), the roaring “What You Want” would be the track they’d lead with. And on Monday night, after they premiered the song live on MTV, Amy Lee and Co. sat down to discuss the process that lead to the track’s creation … which, as it turns out, wasn’t much of a process at all.

“On one hand, we had a lot of songs that we all felt like we would like to be singles, but it was a really natural choice [to go with 'What You Want],” Lee told MTV News. “It’s kind of about coming back in some ways, about the fans, about this Evanescence renaissance we’re having. I think it makes sense.”

But that message was just part of the reason the band knew “Want” would be the debut single off their first album in nearly five years. Sure, it represented everything they’d gone through just to make it to this point (and sums up the reasons they chose to continue on in the first place), but more importantly, they knew the track flat-out rocked. And sometimes, that’s more important than anything.

“Before even the lyrics, we had the music going on, the riff comes in, and we’re all sitting there listening back, [nodding our heads],” bassist Tim McCord explained. “And we look at each other like, ‘Wait, we’ve got something going on here.’ ”

And that elastic-yet-lock-step energy not only makes the song the perfect comeback single for a band that’s been gone for far too long, but it manages to capture the very essence of what inspired them to press on. In short, it powers along in ways no previous Evanescence single has, and that’s because it was born out of intense collaborations between Lee and her bandmates. And that spirit informs everything they do in the present.

“[It's] the energy. I felt that a lot when we were making this music. I think ‘What You Want’ is probably the best example of the song on the record that feels like … it feels danceable. I had a lot of moments where we were smiling, we were having a great time [making it],” Lee said. “We had a lot of time … this was where we did our pre-production and wrote some of these songs, finished them off. ‘What You Want,’ for example. We had the song, but to really play it in the live setting, and … hammer it out, like we were going to play it live, before building all the other elements to it, it’s part of what makes it great. Getting the bounce the right way … it was, ‘let’s do this because it feels good.’ “