The Bitter Truth
|The Bitter Truth|
|Studio album by Evanescence|
|Recorded||January - February, July 2020; Rock Falcon Studio, Nashville, TN|
|Label||Evanescence under exclusive license to BMG Rights Management (US) LLC|
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Amy confirmed that the new music will go back to its rock roots and that they've got some ideas in the bank, including previous songs that didn't make it to the self-titled record and Synthesis. There is currently no confirmed release date, but there is intention to release the new music in 2020.
After releasing 2017's Synthesis, Amy said the next album would go raw and focus on the band. Later, she confirmed that the new songs are in a "place that’s even more raw", adding they are "all different" from each other.
In an interview with Rock Sound in May 2020, Amy discussed the album's sound:
Amy said the songs from the album will be released one at a time as the album is still being written and recorded. "I want to live more in the moment with our music. To let each song have its own moment to be felt simultaneously by us and our fans. To connect us more", she told Rolling Stone India.
In June 2020, she indicated the new songs have a "90s, grungy alternative" sound:
|The songs are all different. I want this album to show all of our sides, really, but most importantly I want to create without thinking too much about what I want it to be, and just let it be what it is. There’s definitely a little bit of a 90s, grungy alternative thing emerging which is lovely, that’s a return to roots for me in the most honest sense since that’s the music that inspired me so much in my formative years.|
In late June, she said the album will be a journey and revealed that a song from the initial sessions for Evanescence was revamped for the new album:
|It's going to be a journey. One of the songs we’ve recorded so far is from 10 years ago, from the first time we went in to record our third album. Completely reformed into a special new thing. Up to now, some of the songs are being written now, some aren’t even written yet. And so much has happened this year, there’s so much to say. So yes there are themes, but I think the biggest one is about time. Past, present, and future all at once. And part of that has to do with how the album is still a living, growing thing, as it is being slowly released. Like life.|
|“There are songs that are a part of this album that have been in the works for a decade, and songs that just started up this year. I get inspired being in nature, walking through the woods, looking up close at weird bugs.” But her biggest inspirations are the emotional experiences she’s had in her life, something that makes Evanescence’s music “as dramatic as it is.” “Things like losing someone you love, being a part of creating a new life.” Lee says. “[They] rock me on a deep level to a point where I feel like I have to make music.”|
On Kerrang! cover story in September, Amy discussed the album:
|“It’s a rock record. We wanted to showcase the strength, fun and power of the band. There’s no holding back. It’s heavy sonically, and it feels good to go heavy. Really good. But it’s not heavy for heavy’s sake.”|
She went on to state that, despite now being three singles into the record, we “haven’t heard all the sounds of the album yet”. She promised songs with “score-like drama” and “aggressive power”. Sometimes the unbridled energy sparked by the group reconvening after months of quarantine spawned utterly joyous “balls to the wall” moments. Double bass drumming is mentioned. Perhaps most exciting is Amy revealing there is an infusion of the “catty vibe” that defined classic single Call Me When You're Sober.
Recording Process & In the Studio
The band recorded the first four songs with Nick Raskulinecz at his studio, Rock Falcon Studio, on January 20th and concluded on February 5th. One of those will be released as a single. They aimed at working with another producer on songs in the vein of The Open Door and "electronic, weird, mid-tempo world." Amy said she wants to release songs over the course of 2020 and in the end the full album will be released.
No orchestra was recorded for some of the songs from the album, with Amy saying "that's not because we couldn't get together with one because of the [COVID-19] pandemic!" Instead of strings, electronics (such as synthesizers, arpeggiators and sound effects) were used.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the band worked remotely by sending ideas to each other. By June Amy said they came to a point where they have to get together to finish the album and were trying to figure out how to safely get it done.
On August 10, producer Nick posted on Instagram that Will Hunt tracked 9 songs. On a snare it's written "Evanescence Bitter Pill Sessions" and also gave away two song titles. The post was later taken down.
On August 14, Amy revealed in an interview with Billboard that the band went back to the studio for a few weeks to resume recording. They tested negative for COVID-19, wore masks and had contact with no one else while they were together. She also revealed on the Zoom premiere of Use My Voice that Nick will handle the production of the whole album. Thus, the band will not work with different producers as originally planned.
On August 21, Amy revealed in a SiriusXM interview that all American band members finished their parts in one month, Jen has been working remotely since she lives in Germany, and she's been working on lyrics, keyboards, and programming. Amy has been enjoying the use of sound design, programming and synthesizers on the new material. No strings were recorded so far, but it doesn't mean they might not add string sections in some songs.
During a Q&A held on Evanescence's Facebook on September 1, Amy said she was writing lyrics to the songs that already had guitars and drums recorded. She also revealed that some songs written during the creation of the self-titled third album that "didn't get finished or was a piece that didn't fit that puzzle" were finished out for The Bitter Truth.
Amy told Kerrang! on September 9 that the album was "70%" done, adding "It’s hard to say because I’m still writing." She also revealed a song under its working title, Pickle Mustard. "It’s a tentative title. I’m pretty sure that’s going to change."
A 25-second studio clip showing Amy playing a new song on the piano was posted on the band's Instagram stories on September 30, 2020. Watch it here.
Album title and artwork
In a interview in May 2020, Amy explained the album title:
|There's a big theme of disillusionment for me. Just growing up and seeing that fairy tales aren't really real. And it's hard to be a grownup — it really is. Because somebody else isn't in charge, we really have to be able to make our own decisions, find out our own information, protect ourselves. People die — we're all going to. There's no magic castle. So that sounds like a lot of doom and gloom when I say it, but there's a choice to accept that truth and live in it and embrace it and choose to live and choose to live in a moment, and the choice to just give up. And there's a struggle there, but my choice is most definitely to take that pill.|
When asked why the album is called what it is, she answered:
|Even though the truth can be incredibly difficult and painful, it's still better than living a lie.|
In an interview in late September 2020, she said:
|The album's called 'The Bitter Truth' for a reason. It's not about showing your prettiest side; it's about showing your realest inside and being more of your true self on the outside at any cost. I feel like there's a way that you can have a strong opinion and still be respectful to your fellow humans that don't necessarily agree with you.|
Wasted on You was the first single that was released digitally on April 24th. The official music video premiered on YouTube later that same day. It wasn't originally planned to be the first song, but after the COVID-19 pandemic, the band decided to release it first saying "the feeling and meaning [changed] of what we wanted to say right now."
The second single, The Game is Over, was released on July 1, 2020. Amy Lee said that the song is "a promise to [herself] and out loud that [she's] going to be more of [her] real, inner self on the outside — not lock her up because she can't be contained anymore. It's also a prayer to become better, to not feel so messed up, locked up, and hurt inside."
The third single, Use My Voice, was released on August 14, 2020. For this, the band teamed up with HeadCount which is a non-profit, non-partisan organization, to help make it easy to register to vote for U.S. citizens. If you visit www.usemyvoice.org between now and September 30, 2020 to get yourself vote-ready (for U.S. citizens only), you will get access to a free, private online performance from Evanescence in October. For fans outside the U.S. they can pledge to vote here and they will also get sent the link for the performance nearer the time. With this song, Amy said she hopes "to inspire others to seek truth, find their own voices and use them as I step up to use mine. Don’t let anybody speak for you. Only you can do that." This was originally planned as the first single, but Wasted on You was released instead due to the pandemic.
Wasted on You is the first music video from the album and was shot by the band themselves on their iPhones. A second official video was put together with fan clips sent on TikTok, which was released on June 24.
Use My Voice is the second music video, which premiered on August 28. Directed by Eric D. Howell and shot in Nashville, Minneapolis and Germany, the video follows Amy Lee, her bandmates and a variety of other activists armed with flags, flares and signs in protest.
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