Earlier this summer, Evanescence took over a very cramped warehouse in Brooklyn to shoot the back-to-basics video for “What You Want,” the first single from their self-titled (and subsequently chart-topping ) comeback album. For several sweaty hours, Amy Lee and company rocked and roared, performing the song in front of a jam-packed crowd of superfans, most of whom had spent the day queuing up outside, in the heat, just to be part of the production.
In the end, all that perspiration was worth it: The “What You Want” video was definitely one of the most visceral the band has ever made, capturing both the throttling energy of their live sets and the genuine joy Ev (and their fans) were feeling after four years apart. It was a reunion — a super-charged, super-sweaty one.
But now, with their return clicking on all cylinders, Evanescence are prepping the video for “My Heart Is Broken,” the second single from their album. And when MTV News caught up with Lee on the set in Los Angeles, she explained that this time, they’re not going for visceral; they’re going for ethereal. And a lot less sweltering too.
“We have an air conditioner this time,” she laughed. “This is going to look a lot different. Actually, I kind of wanted it to be the opposite. The first video, for ‘What You Want,’ was very real, and this is very surreal.”
To help get that surreal feel, Lee explained that she drew inspiration from a decidedly below-the-radar source: the 1988 British fantasy/horror film “Paperhouse,” which stuck with her since she first saw it as a teen.
“[It’s about] this girl, and everything that she would draw would come to life in her dreams, and she was creating this dream world for herself. And at first, it was cool, but then it’s like this nightmare,” she explained. “So I sort of thought it would apply, and be cool, to have it be this dream that you’re trapped in. So you’re in a place that, at first, is a magical world, but at the same time, you’re isolated and trapped there, and that’s the reason you want to come back to reality after a time.
“We’re playing with fiber optics, and so it’s basically like I’m drawing the world around me from nothingness, and when I draw things with my hands, it’s like they actually come to life,” she continued. “So it’s a lot of fun with creating this surreal dream world, and the guys’ performance is sort of like the dream within the dream, in an abyss of darkness; it’s very cool.”
Even though the “Broken” clip delves deep into fantasy, the song itself was actually inspired by a very real (and very awful) situation: sex trafficking. Which is why, Lee said, the idea of being trapped in a nightmare applies so well. A friend of the band’s had started Restore, an organization in New York that helps rescue victims of sex trafficking.
“We were having conversations with her, and I was writing at the same time,” Lee said. “And a lot of times when I write, I just sort of make up words, and something will stick, and I’ll be like, ‘Oh, that’s from my subconscious. That’s what I need to write the song about.’ And that sort of happened halfway through. I was like, ‘I think I’m writing about this thing, it’s on my heart,’ just imagining being in such a trapped place and how that might feel, so the song was actually inspired by that idea.”
What are you expecting from Evanescence’s new video? Let us know in the comments!