- Sun, 2008-03-30 16:26
Texas-bred quintet Flyleaf - vocalist/lyricist Lacey Mosley, guitarists Sameer Bhattacharya and Jared Hartmann, bassist Pat Seals and drummer James Culpepper - have been winning over crowds with their brooding beats, atmospheric textures and lunging riffs, complemented by Mosley's emotionally-charged vocals, which range from breathy and beautiful to scathing and aggressive.
Their debut album is a roller coaster of emotions filled with songs about abuse, neglect, addiction, dysfunction, and overcoming adversity. I Like Music caught up with Lacey from Flyleaf to talk about touring with Korn, the new single, I'm So Sick and why their music is filled with hope.
''I Like Music because… life is beautiful not just functional and music represents something beautiful, all the different colours of life. You can understand an emotion without having to have words, just through the music. We want our music to be a like backdrop to the message.” Lacey, Flyleaf
ILM: The new single I’m So Sick is out now. Please describe the track and its whole vibe?
Lacey: It’s a heavy rock song. The idea of it is like an urgent confession in a way. How this world can be a sick and messed up place and then the only way that changes is if we recognize what’s sick and messed up about ourselves and try to make things better for the people around us, otherwise it’s just going to keep going.
ILM: Your Flyleaf album is out now, which track did you have the most fun laying down in the studio?
Lacey: That’s a hard one because the recording was so sporadic and separated. That’s just the way that the producer chose to do it. But, as the singer, I got a booth up the top and you had to go up these stairs in this small dark room and I felt I was by myself and could really mean it without anyone looking at you or feeling any pressure, which was kinda cool.
The best one I heard, the recording I liked the most when I heard it was probably Sorrow. It’s funny to think that the record is what represents us to anyone who hasn’t heard of us before, because it doesn’t feel as much like who we are as our live show.
ILM: It’s great that you’re creating heavy rock music but music that’s positive and has hope and focuses more on surviving, rather than a lot of the negative doom and gloom stuff that’s out there. Do you find you’re happier in yourselves and your lives having that more positive attitude?
Lacey: I think we’re just honest. There is a lot of horror and terror in life, but that’s the thing about rock music, it’s a really passionate place, so we do have that in our music but, if you read the Psalms, it’s the same thing there, it brings you hope because you can relate to it, but at the end of it, it’s always grateful. And, in that gratefulness, maybe there’ll be some hope for someone else going through the same situation.
ILM: You write edgy, powerful rock anthems with a positive vibe. Please can you describe the FLYLEAF music making process? Lyrics first then melody or vice versa or just random?
Lacey: It is different with every song. A lot of times it’ll be the music and the lyrics and guitar will come together because it will fit. When I do write a song, normally the rhythm and the lyrics go together. I’ll sit down with a guitar and come up with a melody and a theme that’ going on in my head and then I’ll bring it to the band who make it Flyleaf. Otherwise it’s just me and my guitar, and nothing like what it sounds like on our show, just the skeleton of it, so everybody puts their heads into it and their own heart into it.
The thing that’s cool in our band is that each of us will go off and have a guitar and vocal idea, and we all have different tastes in music and different interests. If we were in high school together we might not have hung round in the same clique but we’d still have been friends with each other, we can relate to everybody. The unity is really strong in our band and agreeing with the message, no matter which song it is, we all share the same faith and we all fit together on stage.
ILM: You’ve toured with the likes of 3 Doors Down, Staind, Korn, and Deftones and have just supported Korn on their UK tour. How has the tour been so far?
Lacey: It’s been amazing. It’s sad that that it’s over. The last day of the tour is always really interesting. We’ve made friends with a lot of people here and it feels like family.
ILM: What’s been the funniest or most bizarre memory from tour?
Lacey: Everything that happens is pretty amazing, traveling with Korn on the tour bus, from the beginning until the end it’s still like that. It’s the coolest thing when we realized our life was going to change and that we could quit our jobs and work on this full time, that’s the craziest thing. It chose us, the doors opened and we were willing to work and do it.
ILM: You’ve survived all sorts including addiction which cost you everything that was important to you and literally almost took your life. What advice can you pass on to young people about peer pressure and/or overcoming addiction and adversity?
Lacey: Every time you wake up, it’s like God wakes you up in the morning, it doesn’t happen by accident, there’s a purpose to it. When you get to a place where you can not worry about what anyone else thinks and not trying to please people, you’re on your way. I try to focus on whether or not I’m pleasing God and everything else falls into place.
I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for finding that out when I was 16. I’d be dead. There are a lot of kids who listen to our music and say there’s hope in there and it’s helped them to not commit suicide. That’s exactly what we prayed for when we recorded the record. We asked that people would feel hope and understand life as a gift and that suffering is something that you learn from and suffering builds your character and out of that comes hope, you have foundations to stand on and a story to look back on.
Tragedy often evokes a blessing. The only way to keep your head is to remember where you came from. You can’t have something to look back on if you’ve never been through anything.
Lacey Mosley – vocals
Sameer Bhattacharya – guitar
Jared Hartmann – guitar
Pat Seals – bass
James Culpepper – drums