“What do they call that thing? Imposter syndrome! I definitely felt like I’d snuck in the back door and somehow got to the Grammys." Amy Lee on why Evanescence's early success led to a lot of insecurity

Amy Lee in 2003
(Image credit: Getty Images)

This year marks the 20th anniversary of Evanescence's blockbuster breakthrough album, Fallen. The gothic rockers' debut record saw them go from relative unknowns to one of the hottest bands in all of music at the time, making Amy Lee both an instant icon for millions of young rock fans around the world, but also an easy target for cynics and misogynists eager to writer her off as a credible artist. 

In the brand new issue of Metal Hammer, Lee discusses her memories of those early years, and why she had to fight for recognition and acceptance in the wider music industry.

“I felt a lot like people wanted to see me fail, especially in the beginning,” she explains. “I think it’s partially that they want to see if you’re the real thing, and when you shoot up so fast and you have a lot of success really quickly, I think there’s a little bit of a human nature thing that wants to poke a hole in that. I felt on the defence, I felt misunderstood – I’ve got a badass, bitchy look on my face on the album cover, so obviously I must be some kind of bitch.”

Elsewhere in the interview the singer explains why the band's incredible early success, including a shock win for Best New Artist at the 2004 Grammys, left her feeling insecure about the band's place in the music biz.

“What do they call that thing? Imposter syndrome!” she recalls. “I definitely felt like I’d snuck in the back door and somehow got to go to the Grammys. Like, ‘I’m not supposed to be here and people do not know who we are and this is a prank.’ I think part of that is just it all happening so fast and being so young.”

Read more in the latest issue of Metal Hammer, out now. Later this month, Craft Recordings will be reiussing Fallen in special 2-LP, 2-CD, and digital formats, with a host of bonus tracks, exclusive photos and artwork and remastered audio. It lands on November 17.

Last month, the band released an official demo version of Fallen's legendary lead single, Bring Me To Life, with the infamous Paul McCoy rap not included. Amy Lee has been vocal about her displeasure at the rap being included on the single version, telling Metal Hammer earlier this year: "That part, that sound, that's not my style. That's why it was such a difficult pill to swallow, even on one song. But we won because we didn't have to change our whole sound.” 

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 has also presented and produced the Metal Hammer Podcast, presented the Metal Hammer Radio Show and is probably responsible for 90% of all nu metal-related content making it onto the site.