Evanescence’s Amy Lee: 10 albums that changed my life

Amy Lee

Taking cues from the worlds of classical and metal, Evanescence have always been a unique property amongst the early-noughties explosion of bands. But what records are responsible for changing the life and music of frontwoman Amy Lee? Let’s find out.

The first album I ever bought was…

The California Raisins – The California Raisins Sing The Hit Songs (1987)

“The California Raisins! Ha ha! It’s claymation raisins doing cover songs of The Four Tops etc. It was a big thing in the ‘80s and I was five years old. I must be the first person to ever be talking about The California Raisins in Metal Hammer.”

The album I wish I’d made is…

Nine Inch Nails – The Downward Spiral (1994)

“That’s a hard question! Oh man, The Downward Spiral. I want so many things out of music, but if that was my record… I could sing that whole thing and be very happy. I have all of Nine Inch Nails’ records, but The Downward Spiral is my favourite.”

The album that broke my heart is…

Björk – Vespertine (2001)

Vespertine by Björk. It’s really eerie and mellow and it has pagan poetry on it. There are a couple of songs on there that are so beautiful and are, to me anyway, about letting go and accepting things in a really beautiful and kinda sad way.”

The album I’d want to be remembered for is…

Evanescence – Evanescence (2011)

“There’s a reason it’s called Evanescence. We are so proud of it. On the first one we were still kids and trying out a lot of things – we wrote My Immortal when I was 16 – and [2006 follow-up] The Open Door was a departure in some ways. Growth makes you a better musician.”

The album I break the speed limit to is…

Rob Zombie – Hellbilly Deluxe (1998)

“I haven’t driven in years! So in terms of what I work out to, it’s Rob Zombie and White Zombie. I love them both, and his movies. Although, er… I also work out to Janet Jackson! Ha ha ha!”

The best album artwork is…

Nirvana – In Utero (1993)

“I really love the In Utero artwork. The anatomy of that weird but beautiful angel; dirty, internal and raw. It’s very striking, and I love the record, too – that album was big in my life.”

The album I’d want played at my funeral is…

Harry Nilsson – Nilsson: Greatest Hits (1980)

“Harry Nilsson. It’s hard to pick an album – am I allowed to say greatest hits? That’s what I listen to the most, but he’s written so many great songs, and I didn’t even realise that he was the guy behind them all until a couple of years ago. I was like, ‘This guy wrote Without You and One?!’ I definitely hope that there’d be happy times at my funeral – it should be a celebration!”

A kid asks me what metal is. I’d hand them a copy of…

Pantera – Cowboys From Hell (199)

Pantera! Cowboys From Hell. That to me is the best metal. I’ve had phases in my life where metal is the thing, but even when it’s not so much, throughout the course of time when bands come and go, there is nothing like their sound, that feeling. It’s Dime, he was just incredible. There was something very special about that man.”

The first album I made out to was…

Smashing Pumpkins – Siamese Dream (1993)

“That’s a really good one! I’m trying to think of the first person I made out with. I can’t remember! Ha ha ha! Probably Smashing PumpkinsSiamese Dream. That’s quite an interesting choice, isn’t it? It’s quite up-tempo. Oh, Mayonaise is on Siamese Dream, so that’s definitely the right answer.”

No one will believe I own a copy of…

Katy Perry – Teenage Dream (2010)

“Okay, I’m gonna end up saying something like Christina Aguilera! Ha ha ha! Who’s great in pop? Okay… honestly, I didn’t buy it – it was given to me – but I put it into my iTunes, so it’s Katy Perry. Don’t be hatin’, it’s definitely a guilty pleasure. I like that song E.T. I wonder if there could be a heavy version of it…”

Originally published in Metal Hammer 298

Merlin Alderslade
Executive Editor, Louder

Merlin moved into his role as Executive Editor of Louder in early 2022, following over ten years working at Metal Hammer. While there, he served as Online Editor and Deputy Editor, before being promoted to Editor in 2016. Before joining Metal Hammer, Merlin worked as Associate Editor at Terrorizer Magazine and has previously written for the likes of Classic Rock, Rock Sound, eFestivals and others. Across his career he has interviewed legends including Ozzy Osbourne, Lemmy, Metallica, Iron Maiden (including getting a trip on Ed Force One courtesy of Bruce Dickinson), Guns N' Roses, KISS, Slipknot, System Of A Down and Meat Loaf. He is also probably responsible for 90% of all nu metal-related content making it onto the site.