The existence of this title was known in August 2020 when producer Nick Raskulinecz posted a photo of Will Hunt's drums in which this song title is written on a drum snare along with "Take Cover". On December 4, 2020 it was confirmed to be the seventh track on the album when the official tracklist was announced.
A snippet of the song was heard in a new promo video of The Bitter Truth released in February 2021, as identified by fans using Shazam. On March 1, 2021 the band previewed the song in a puzzle game in which fans had to solve it to hear the song and enter for a chance to hear the song for the first time during a private Q&A with Amy Lee.
Amy explained on Twitter that the song is "about overcoming. Refusing to be held down and making my own way." This has to do with her relationship with former label Wind-Up who controlled her artistic freedom and also scrapped Evanescence's first attempt at their self-titled third album. Many interpreted the wind-up music box used throughout the song as a hint to Wind-Up, hence the label's name.
The first verse is about the "internal turmoil" between Amy and Ben Moody in the Fallen era, which led to Moody's departure in October 2003. The third verse is about the fight for democracy in the world, corrupt leaders, and the opression in the US government.
She explained on an Instagram post that the song is about what she went through and had to overcome in the music industry:
This song is about my journey, and some of what I had to overcome to get where I am, and where our band is, today. I’ve fought many battles for my self and my music which are very intertwined (some of them internal). Each verse is for a different obstacle along the way, starting in the past and ending in the present. There are parts of my story you don’t know unless you know me, and yes, V2 is for some of my experiences in the industry, but don’t get it twisted- this is deeper and darker than that. Obviously I still have some things from way back to get off my chest. I hope it serves to empower others who have been made to feel powerless.
Don’t let the voices telling you you’re not good enough live in your head. Don’t let them write your story. Don’t ever let fear stop you from being who you were born to be. That fear... I am. We are. Better without you.
In her Kerrang! cover story on March 10, 2021, Amy discussed the song:
“The song is really hard… I can’t lie in the music. And over time, that’s become truer and truer. I’m peeling away more of the layers of imagery and really being specific at times just saying what I really need to get off my chest. Some of what I’m saying are things that I’m not comfortable breaking down and explaining, because I don’t want to bring up old drama. Better Without You is a difficult song to describe and go into detail about. And so is Yeah Right, actually.”
“Better Without You, that’s real and in-the-moment. It’s not like there’s one big secret [person] to blame. Better Without You talks about all the obstacles along the way, moving from the past into the present time. I have different parts of the song that are assigned to different people and entities in my mind. But I don’t think calling people out when I’ve already defeated all my monsters along the way is really something I want to do.”
On March 23, 2021 during a Zoom call for the listening party of The Bitter Truth, Amy confirmed that a music video will be filmed and directed by Eric D. Howell, who previously directed "Use My Voice". Filming and production began on March 25 and wrapped on the 28th. It premiered on April 16 at 12PM PST.
The music video uses references from past albums and eras, but Amy didn't confirm any of them, saying it was fun to see fans interpreting all the "little references". She said the dress worn by the ghost dancer who follows her in the video was inspired by the underwater dress she worn in "Going Under."
- Amy Lee - vocals, piano, additional programming, lyricist, songwriting
- Troy McLawhorn - guitar, songwriting
- Jen Majura - guitar, songwriting
- Tim McCord - bass guitar, songwriting
- Will Hunt - drums, songwriting
- Tiago Nunez - programming
- Will Science - additional programming
- Nick Raskulinecz - production, mixing, songwriting
- Nathan Yarborough - recording engineer (at Rock Falcon Studio, TN)
- Logan Greeson - assistant recording engineer
- Ted Jensen - mastering engineer
- Raskulinecz, Nick (August 10, 2020). "The aftermath of tracking 9 songs with the “man of steel” Will Hunt!!!". Instagram.
- "Evanescence To Release 'Better Without You' Single on Friday". March 1, 2021. Blabbermouth.net.
- iRockCL's interview with Amy Lee (June 16, 2021)
- "Evanescence's Amy Lee breaks down 'Fallen' reference in new song, "Better Without You"". March 8, 2021. ABC News Radio.