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What’s Next For Evanescence’s Amy Lee?

Music
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Bring me to ‘Synthesis’

Amy Lee has a voice to be reckoned with. Haunting, powerful, and packed with poetic truth, Lee's voice is one of the strongest in the game—recognizable and unparalleled. Along with Evanescence, Lee soundtracked a generation of introspective misfits in the infancy of their virtual desire for human connection—particularly the band's 2003 debut album Fallen. Her writing is layered, personal, and though often pained, bent on rising above that hurt. Lee doesn't wallow, rather she understands the necessary lows one has to go through to get to the highs.

But save for some tour dates last year and a self-titled album in 2011, Evanescence has kept relatively mum for the last little while. This year, however, Lee and the band are fully back at it again. She announced Evanescence's new project, Synthesis, in May. It features complete reworkings of select songs from Evanescence's catalog with a full orchestra and a bevy of synthetic, electronic beats. Oh, and two new songs. But how exactly does one approach writing new material when past songs like "Bring Me To Life" and "My Immortal" are parts of the modern rock canon? Isn't that an intimidating prospect? Not for Amy Lee. Below, she explains how she approached her big return, and what her relationship to her past work is all about.

 

What are you most proud of so far in terms of your career?
I'm proud of the band we've become. When it started, I was just learning how to make music, how to pull it off onstage, who I was and what our sound was. Over all this time, since the inception of Evanescence, I have grown as a musician and performer; as a group, we've grown into a tight, powerful band. I'm proud of the way it sounds when we play live. I'm proud of the music we're making now. I'm proud of the musicians who stand beside me.

What's one quality about yourself that you are genuinely proud of?
That I'm not afraid to try things in new ways, break my own rules. Reinvent, change my mind, stay inspired.

What's next for you? I know Evanescence is returning. Can we expect a growth in sound? What themes will you be tackling in your lyrics?
We are currently making a very special album called Synthesis. We took specifically fitting songs from each album, recreated them in a world of full orchestra and electronica, and tied in two new songs, intros, outros, and everything in between. Synthetic vs. organic, pain vs. beauty, past vs. present. Its gonna be epic! David Campbell (the string arranger for all three Evanescence albums) dove in head first for this and orchestrated the most beautiful versions of these songs you've ever heard—and it's truly integrated from the floor up with the beats, arrangements, and ideas that Will Hunt (producer) and I have been creating simultaneously. It's been so collaborative and inspiring! We will be releasing it and going on tour with a full orchestra starting this fall.

It seems the world is hungry for rock again (I am, for sure!)—do you feel the pressure to maintain Evanescence's status quo, or are you embracing the freedom to push the project in new directions?
I always want to embrace the freedom of following my heart and going with the flow of inspiration. I push the pressure of expectation out of my head when we're writing; it just gets in the way. No matter what people expect, even demand—I have to do what feels right creatively. That's what I was doing when no one had ever heard of us, and we were writing the music we're most famous for. I don't see the good in changing that mentality. I've got to write the music that I love, that I bleed for—everything else will follow.

How has your relationship to albums like Fallen changed in the years since its release?
My outlook on life has changed somewhat over the years. I've lived a lot of life, learned a ton. I'm less afraid, kinder to myself, and I just have a wider perspective. I see now more than ever the sameness between us all, inside. I see people less as villains and more as hurting. That changes my feelings on some of the old lyrics. But it's all still very much a living part of me, actually more than ever since we have such a history together: Fallen, the fans, the band, and me. The meanings have just morphed and grown to mean new things in my mind.

If there was one phrase that best sums up your approach to making music, what might it be?
Just do whatever it takes to make your favorite song. We're not all so different, chances are somebody else will love it too. And if not, you've still served the right purpose—you're the one who's gonna have to live with it the rest of your life!

Photo by Imani Givertz

Premiering today via NYLON

Small Talks, aka Cayley Spivey, has come a long way since starting a band, then becoming the entire band herself and forging her own fan base from the ground up. On her recent album A Conversation Between Us, she began to unpack any lingering baggage with one particular song: "Teeth." Today, she premieres the accompanying music video exclusively via NYLON.

"'Teeth' is about my personal battle with letting go of the past," Spivey tells NYLON, admitting that it's easily her favorite song off of A Conversation Between Us.

Watch the video for "Teeth" below.

Small Talks - Teeth (Official Music Video) - YouTube www.youtube.com

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Photos by Joe Maher/Getty Images, Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for TIME

Must have been pretty awkward

Taylor Swift and Sophie Turner were guests on the U.K.'s The Graham Norton Show together, which must have been awkward for Turner's husband, Joe Jonas, seeing as he also happens to be Swift's ex. I wonder if his name came up?

The interview doesn't come out until Friday night, but promotional photos show the two sharing a couch. Swift is making an appearance to perform her new single, "ME!" while Turner is promoting her new film, X- Men: Dark Phoenix. But it seems necessary for the two to be asked about Jonas.

Swift was just on the Ellen DeGeneres Show earlier this month, where she brought up the fact that she felt bad for putting Jonas "on blast" on DeGeneres' show back in 2008 by telling the audience that he broke up with her in a record-setting short phone call. But, according to Swift, she and Jonas are chill now, since it happened pretty long ago, which means she's probably already hung out with Turner and maybe even gossiped about him with her.

We can only hope that they get the chance to spill some tea on television.

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Screenshot via YouTube, Photo Courtesy of HBO

"That's! His! Auntie!"

Leslie Jones has rewatched the Game of Thrones finale with a beer in hand, Seth Meyers at her side, and a full camera crew ready to take in all her glorious reactions. Spoilers ahead, but, if you haven't watched last week's episode already, that's kind of on you at this point.

When Jon Snow started to make out with Daenerys, also known as his aunt, only to stab her through the chest moments later, it was emotional whiplash for everyone watching. And, Jones' reactions—both from her first and second viewing—sum it all perfectly.

"That's! His! Auntie! [gagging noises]," Jones says before making an aside about calling the police if her uncle ever tried to do the same. But then the knife goes in, and Jones screams. "Did you see that?!" Jones asks, "Yeah bitch, that's a knife in you." Meyers points out the funniest part of all: "Why are you so upset about someone kissing their aunt but totally fine with someone killing their aunt?" Jones replies, "Because that bitch needed to go," and, well, same.

Other highlights from the comedians' rewatch include comparing Dany's victory speech to a bad improv gig, predicting that their dogs would have less of a reaction to their deaths than Drogon did to his mother's, and more.

Watch all of Jones' reactions from this Late Night clip below.

Game of Jones: Leslie Jones and Seth Watch Game of Thrones' Series Finale youtu.be

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These lyrics are a lot

Robbie Tripp, aka Curvy Wife Guy, is back with a music video, titled "Chubby Sexy," starring his wife and a trio of models. In it, Tripp raps about his bold choice to find women with an average body size attractive.

The video begins with a series of statements laid over some pool water: "Curves are the new high fashion," "Chubby is the new sexy," "We Out Here." Tripp posits that these queens deserve an anthem, which they do. What they do not deserve is this Cursed Song. As he lists all the names he knows to call them by (thick, thicc, and BBW), one model (who I really, really hope was paid well) squirts some lotion down her cleavage, and Tripp begins dancing.

"My girl chubby sexy/ Call her bonita gordita," Tripp states in his chorus, before going on to compare "big booty meat" to the peach emoji. Another thing he mentions is that his wife can't find a belt that fits her waist, and that's why he calls her James and the Giant Peach. He then tries to dab. Here are some of the other Cursed highlights from his, uh, verses:

Got those Khaleesi curves/ Knows how to dragon slay
She like a dude that's woke/ We like a girl that's weighty
Some say a chubby girl that's risky/ But they ain't met a curvy girl that's frisky
Imma dunk that donk like I'm Andrew Wiggins.
Thick like an Amazon/ Built like Big Ben.

Tripp says one thing in the video that I couldn't agree more with: "She don't need a man." No, she does not. Please run. If you must, watch the entire video, below. Or send it to your nemesis!

Robbie Tripp - Chubby Sexy (Official Music Video) www.youtube.com

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Photo by Emma McIntyre / Getty Images.

See the promo here

It was bound to happen. The Kadashians and Jenners have committed themselves to letting the cameras roll on their lives, for better or for worse. So if you thought that the Jordyn Woods and Tristan Thompson cheating scandal was off limits, you thought wrong. The trailer for Sunday's episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians was just released, and it involves the famous family working through the fallout of what happened when Woods went to a party at Thompson's house.

The teaser includes the infamous clip of Khloé Kardashian screaming "LIAAAARRRRRR." It's still not explicitly clear who prompted that strong response. She could be responding to Thompson, who clearly isn't always honest. Or she could be reacting to Woods account of the events on Red Table Talk. But the most revealing moment comes when we see Kylie Jenner—who was Woods' best friend before all of this happened—react for the first time.

In a heart-to-heart conversation, momager Kris Jenner says, "For you and Jordyn, it's like a divorce." Kylie only offers this in response: "She fucked up." Based on Woods' version of events—which I'm inclined to believeThompson is the one who fucked up. Still, I'm hoping for some kind of reconciliation between the two longtime friends. Perhaps we'll have to wait until next season for that.

Check out the promo video below.

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