Evanescence Press Forward, Look Back In ‘What You Want’ Video

Gritty performance footage mix with dramatic New York scenes that illustrate the band's history and future.

In late July, Evanescence — and fans — crammed into a sweltering Brooklyn warehouse to hammer out the video for “What You Want,” the first single off their much-anticipated new album (and, for anyone keeping score at home, their first video in almost four years).

In between takes, frontwoman Amy Lee told MTV News that the clip, directed by longtime pro Meiert Avis (U2′s “Where the Streets Have No Name”), was meant to show “the history of the band.” They wanted it to evoke the times when Evanescence used to play in Little Rock’s “gritty, dirty club” Vino’s as well as the band’s more recent hiatus, which saw Lee and bassist Tim McCord relocate to New York City.

On Tuesday (September 13), we finally got to see the final product, as “What You Want” premiered on the band’s official site. And boy, was Amy spot-on in her analysis.

“Want” is most definitely a historical thing, capturing Evanescence’s early days, slogging it out in sweaty clubs. It also recalls the halcyon days of big-ticket rock videos, full of sweeping shots of the New York skyline, a dramatic scene in which Lee appears to leap off the Brooklyn Bridge and some claustrophobic, cathartic performance footage. It even has a striking ending, in which Lee and her bandmates disappear into the surf down at Coney Island, as the sun breaks over the horizon.

Lee has said many times that “What You Want” is a definite departure for Evanescence , and that holds true in the case of both the song and the video. The tune definitely snarls more than most in their back catalog, and the video feels very much like a true band clip; it’s artfully autobiographical and, perhaps most notably, features all of Evanescence.

So, “Want” is notable for several reasons, least among them the fact that it officially brings to end their hiatus from the world of music videos. It’s also important to realize that, for perhaps the first time in their rather tumultuous history, they’re unified and pressing on toward the future. By looking back.