MTV News visited the Brooklyn set of the clip, which Amy Lee says shows ‘the real us.’
By James Montgomery
BROOKLYN, New York — Last Saturday, on a makeshift stage inside a cavernous (and slightly decrepit) Brooklyn warehouse, Evanescence took another step down the comeback trail: shooting the video for “What You Want,” the first single off their upcoming self-titled album.
Teaming with director Meiert Avis — who’s made iconic clips for the likes of U2, Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan (to name just a few) — the band and an army of their die-hard fans braved the sweltering temperatures and worked long into the night. They filmed a video that, like much of the forthcoming Evanescence album, is biographical, following them from their early days to their rise to fame and their recently concluded hiatus. … And beyond, as frontwoman Amy Lee explained.
“This video is sort of, like, the history of the band,” she told MTV News. “This club [set] is emulating old shows we used to play in the beginning — we used to play this club called Vino’s in Little Rock [Arkansas] — it’s sort of like back then, the gritty, dirty club, sweaty. And basically, it’s also [about] New York, where I’ve been, [and] where [bassist] Tim [McCord] lived in the past few years since we’ve been gone. And it’s sort of about escaping New York and … coming back out into the world.”
Like the song, the “Want” clip is a bit of a departure for Evanescence, eschewing the dark fantasy worlds they’ve created in previous videos in favor of good old-fashioned realism: the blood, sweat and tears that not only took them to the top, but have fueled their current comeback, too. Which is why, no matter how hot it got, or how many takes Avis shot, the band kept answering the bell, thrashing and wailing onstage, with Lee throwing herself into the outstretched hands of their fans, some of whom had waited nearly 10 hours just to be included in the video. It seems that, for pretty much everyone involved, “What You Want” was more than just another music video. It was a labor of love.
“This is more a personal video. We’ve done a lot in the past that [were] very ‘fantasy,’ and this is sort of the real us,” Lee said. “I just wanted to do something that really felt personal for a change. Obviously, I’m wearing crazy makeup, and that’s not my everyday, but, you know, I want … to connect with the fans again. We all do. We miss them. A lot of this record is about them, and that’s why they’re going to be here and be in it, too.”