Your brother Robby tragically passed away last year. Has that given you fresh impetus to write and create?
“Strangely, yes. At first I couldn’t even speak and the fact that I had to get up onstage and play was something that I couldn’t even think about, or process. I didn’t practise one single song before getting up onstage in Australia when we did the Sydney Opera House. We had that booked and it was something I was so excited about, but after everything happened, it was like, ‘I don’t want to do this. I can’t do this. There’s no way it’s physically possible for me to stand up and be the leader in front of people right now.’ But then we went there – we had to do it. I wanted to do it.
“I was so grateful in that moment onstage, because I really felt the truth that was in the words I had already written. I didn’t have the strength to write anything new in that moment. You’re just broken, but I was able to hear my own words from a decade or more before and… If I had to get up and sing about sunshine and rainbows, I would have had to cancel. I couldn’t have done it.
“The fact that I had that real place to go to was therapeutic and transcendent. I was able to channel it and hear it in different ways, and just listen and be so tuned into it that I could hear the music singing at me. I felt connected to a much bigger picture than just me, myself and my show. I felt connected to my band, to the musicians onstage, to the people in the audience, live, in their realities, and I felt connected to the world beyond our world. But as hard as it was to come back, it was beautiful to come back, too. And it got easier, slowly, to be up there.”
You recently got your first tattoo – three pixelated hearts from The Legend Of Zelda video game – in tribute to Robby. What did that mean to you?
“It was a beautiful experience. I went by myself. It was a personal thing, but it made me feel happy. For the first time in my life I wanted something to be changed forever. I’ve always felt like, ‘Oh, I don’t know who I’m going to be tomorrow. I want anything to be possible, I don’t know what I’m gonna want to do, I would never get something permanent.’ But I’m never gonna wish that tattoo isn’t there to remember him by every day.”
How has being a mum on the road changed you?
“It’s beautiful, and it’s a lot more work, but it’s so rewarding. I’ve never felt so complete on the road as I do having my family with me. My son is four and he’s totally spoilt from the road. I’m not saying he’s a bad boy – he’s a good boy – but we’re home now and he’s like, ‘Where are all my friends?’ He wasn’t afraid of the crowd, he would run out there and by the end he was taking a bow with us every night. It makes everything more fun, because it makes everyone see how cool what we get to do is – they get to see it through his eyes. It made it a beautiful thing – for everybody, I think – to have him around on the road.”
Do you feel like you have any creative itches left to scratch?
“I don’t think you’re born with a set of itches that never change, that you scratch and then you die. I think you keep developing new ones. The itch continues, for sure. I’ve only been home for a week and I’m already working on a little collaboration idea. I do feel creatively inspired, but with a very open mind. We’re planning on starting the writing for the next Evanescence album next year, so yeah, we’re moving forward. It feels good to make music right now. I don’t have a big vision, but in the moment, when you feel creative, you just do it and see what it sounds like, following that trail until you’re satisfied.”
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