If youâ€™re reading this, you must have a life. Congratulations.
That means that when the last iPhone was released, you weren't one of the millions of people camped outside an Apple Store, waiting all night to get their hands on Steve Jobs' latest flat-screen fiasco. You've seen the TV pictures, though; you know what this scene looks like.
Now, imagine all those people are Evanescence fans, and they've been waiting there for five years. Five long years spent hoping, and praying against all odds that Amy Lee still has enough life left in her vocal chords for one more album. It seems crazy, but maybe their beloved band isn't quite dead just yet. Troy McLawhorn was one of those people. Lead guitarist, man of faith.
"If you were to say that the break contributed in a positive way, that would be wrong. If you take five years off, I don't think a lot of artists can do that. I think we're very lucky that we've come back with an album and people are still interested. We have such loyal, loyal fans."
Troy chooses his words carefully, speaking with the faint suspicion of a man more accustomed to expressing himself with chords rather than consonants, harmonies over metaphors. Yet his utterances are decisive, carrying the amber warmth of a soft, Southern drawl that could only come from North Carolina.
The album he's referring to is, of course, Evanescence's third LP, a self-titled release that's garnered relatively warm reviews since its release last October. It's the first to include Troy as a component, yet while he only officially signed on to the band in 2011, his association with Amy Lee's outfit arches back years earlier. It's a story that seems to account for his slight mistrust of the press and, perhaps, of people.
"I met Amy when I was in Dark New Day on tour with Seether, and Amy and (Seether frontman) Shaun were dating. She had seen our band play and stuff. When I got the call, I didn't even hesitate. She was like 'Would you be willing...' and I was like 'Yeah!' before she even finished her sentence. I thought it was cool, I thought it was very interesting to me."
Troy would come to play with Evanescence intermittently from 2007 onwards, balancing his new band Seether with a burgeoning musical affinity with Amy Lee. Little has been said about the feud between himself and band mate Shaun Morgan that simultaneously developed; for the most part, Troy is unwilling to discuss it. From an outsiders' perspective, though, it seems obvious that his friendship with Amy was a catalyst for his eventual departure from Seether. In 2005, Lee and Morgan's two-year relationship collapsed, leaving both to endure an incredibly public and difficult breakup that left a profound impact on Seether's lead singer. As the jaws of alcoholism began to take hold of his wellbeing, it seems Shaun Morgan had no kind words to say about his guitarist's growing association with the girl from his past.
"It just wasn't working out for me. I don't want to get into the details because I don't feel like there's any reason to. Me and the singer just didn't get along."
In hindsight, the rift that developed was an inevitable one. While Troy mulls his words before expressing his thoughts, the Twitter page of his counterpart seems haphazardly awash with snide criticisms and
sarcastic remarks. "That dust will never settle. You ever find yourself at a party and you're like 'I need to get out of hereâ€™ ... like a situation where you've just gotta go, 'cause it's getting weird? I got in a cab and left."
For now, Troy feels he's in a better place, that the move to Evanescence "made sense". In his own words; "I probably wouldn't have taken the gig if it was some sort of jazz band". But business is business, and he faces a relentless touring schedule ahead.
"Being on tour is like Disneyland. It's not the real world. You're flying all over the place. The days don't matter. Don't matter if it's Monday or Saturday. You're playing a show that night. It's pretty brutal if you can't keep it together. Right now I love it, but we're just getting started on this tour. Talk to me in a year-and-a-half, I'll probably be like 'Oh, this sucks!'"
Evanescence play the Brisbane Convention Centre on Monday March 26.