by Deb Rao
In this exclusive interview with Hardrock Haven, guitarist Troy McLawhorn discusses the making of the new self-titled Evanescence CD. From the moment that Evanescence launched onto to music scene, the band has captivated audiences worldwide with the unforgettable vocals of Amy Lee. Now they band is back with new single “What You Want” climbing up the charts.
HRH: Troy, Thank you for checking in with Hardrock Haven. Tell us about the writing process for the new self-titled Evanescence album.
TROY: It was pretty much a collaborative event for the whole band. We pretty much got into a rehearsal space for six weeks. There were some ideas that had been written prior with Amy, Tim, and Terry. I think there were four songs that they were working on earlier. Basically, some of the songs were written in that rehearsal space. It was a lot of fun. I think it was the first time that Amy involved the band in the writing process for the record. It was a lot of fun to get together and write like that.
HRH: What was it like working with Grammy Award winner producer Nick Raskulinecz?
TROY: He’s great. Nick is a really fun guy to be around. He is fan or rock music. He has a lot of great stories. He brought a lot of energy to the pre-production sessions. He was there when we were writing the songs and arranging the songs for the record. He helped us raided the bar. He was so positive about everything. He had a lot of great ideas.
HRH: Would you say this album is more aggressive than previous albums?
TROY: Yes, as the core of it. It is more up-tempo songs. heavier guitar riffs. I think some of the guitar riffs on this album are fun to play. The strings help to mellow it out a bit. When we initially recorded this … we finished all the music first as a band. It was really heavy. Then the strings were added and it softened it up a little bit. It makes it more dramatic.
HRH: Evanescence has also had its own unique sound. When it hits the airwaves you can always tell its one of your songs on the radio. How has the band evolved over the years?
TROY: Just over the course of time the band has changed. The music they listen to and the music they are inspired by and the writing changes. I think it is a natural progression. I think this line-up is really tight. The vibe on the road is really good. Everyone gets a long good. The band just progressed in a positive progression.
HRH: Tell us about the first single,” What You Want?”
TROY: That was one of the songs that was worked on in pre-production. We all felt like it was a really good rock song. What we wanted to do on this album is just write a really good rock record. Not try to do anything. We all just knew it was going to be the first single.
HRH: What are your favorite songs on the album?
TROY: We had so much fun making this album. I love every song on the album. If I had to pick a couple there is a song “Never Go Back.” I think we all like because it is one of the heaviest songs on the album. The guitar riff is fun to play. “Made Of Stone” and “Ocean.” It is really fun to make an album where everybody likes the song on the album. Usually there are one or two songs that a band doesn’t like.
HRH: How long a process did it take for you to record the album?
TROY: I think the actual recording took eight weeks. It didn’t seem like that long.
HRH: The band is currently on the road. How is the tour going so far?
TROY: It has been going great. Every show has been sold out. The set consists of a lot of new material. But we are definitely playing the songs from the catalog that the people expect to hear and all the hits. So far I haven’t heard any complaints. The album is out and people know the songs. They are singing the songs.
HRH: What are your future touring plans?
TROY: We have only done a couple weeks of shows here. We haven’t even begun to touch all the places we go to. We went to Europe in November and we hit the Southeast in January. Then we are going to Japan. We are going to bounce from continent to continent. Try and get the whole world.
HRH: Troy, thank you for giving us this update. Is there anything else that you would like to say about the album?
TROY: I want to say thanks to all the fans who waited so patiently for us to get the album out. Go pick it up!