Robby Lee was just 24 years old when he passed away on January 5, 2018. In a heartbreaking tribute to her brother posted on her Facebook page one week later, Amy Lee hailed Robby, who suffered from severe epilepsy, as “one of my best friends in life, one of my favorite people on earth”, and wrote “If you knew my family, you knew him. He was the absolute best of us, everybody’s favorite, our hero.”
Speaking to Kerrang!, Lee, who tragically lost another sibling, her younger sister Bonnie, in 1987, admitted that her brother’s passing is weighing heavily upon her as she works upon her lyrics for her new album.
“Of course, it’s the biggest thing on my heart,” the singer states. “Bigger than anything else. It changes your perspective. This is the second sibling I’ve lost. The first time I was six, so the processing was very different. That was more about fear; this time it was more about love and pain. The perspective is very valuable, but I’d rather not have it. I’d rather he be here more than anything.”
“It definitely made me look at my life and zoom out at the much bigger existential picture,” she continues. “Asking those type of questions is something I’ve always done in our music, but it had been a while since it had been fresh. For me, thinking about my brother is part of my every day. I’m still writing a lot of lyrics, but it’s all just very deeply from the heart on all kinds of things.”
Having recently released a taster of the album with the release in August of single Use My Voice, Lee estimates that The Bitter Truth, is “seventy per cent” complete, and promises that it will be worth the wait for fans of her band.
“It’s a rock record,” she says. “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.”