BETWEEN THE LINER NOTES
Flyleaf: Fully Alive
By Chris Carpenter
CBN.com Program Director
It is a wintry Wednesday afternoon in a non-descript city as an equally non-descript tour bus rolls to a stop in front of a revitalized inner city theater. From the bus’s environs bound five road weary musicians. A couple of them take a long exploratory look up and down the street while the other three busy themselves unloading equipment from the underbelly of the bus. The side of one of the equipment cases simply reads Flyleaf.
This scene seems like forever ago now for Belton, Texas based quintet Flyleaf. With their eponymous debut album firmly entrenched in the number three spot for the year on the Billboard Christian/Gospel chart, they have quickly become the darlings of the Contemporary Christian music scene. Appearances on MTV’s TRL and Jimmy Kimmel Live, have only heightened their popularity.
But they aren’t exactly your garden-variety rock and roll band. Fronted by the ferociously searing vocals of diminutive lead singer Lacey Mosely, Flyleaf is a flaming ball of energy fueled by seemingly tortured, dark, goth-tinged lyrics. For parents, it is music to cover your ears by. However, Flyleaf makes no allusion about their decidedly Christian beliefs.
“God has put us where we are for a reason,” explains bassist Pat Seals, in a recent interview with CBN.com. “At the beginning of the band we all sat down and said, ‘Ok, what kind of band are we?’ We just see this real world out there that is hurting so we made the decision to play churches as well as bars. We have done this since the beginning.”
“A lot of the kids today, when they hear about Christianity, all they hear about is judgment and hypocrisy and they can’t get clear answers, adds Mosely. “All they hear about is damnation and all that stuff based out of fear. We want to show them who God really is.”
Mosely knows those feelings all too well. The second oldest of six children raised by a single mother, Lacey slowly drifted into deep depression and eventually into addiction by the time she was a teenager. At age 16 she was contemplating suicide.
“I tried everything that I could get my hands on to try and make life make sense,” says Mosely. “The only thing that saved my life when I was going to take my life was Jesus. I am talking about the real Jesus – not the religious, churchy Jesus but a personal Jesus that you can relate to you and go through your life with you. When people hear our record, we pray that the Holy Spirit would touch them.”
Flyleaf’s sound is an enigma of sorts. With a decidedly aggressive approach to their sound, the band which also includes guitarist Sameer Bhattacharya, guitarist Jared Hartmann, and drummer James Culpepper, deliver sharpened, visceral lyrics that address the battle between good and evil. Their first single, “I’m So Sick”, reveals the need for deliverance from living in an infected world of darkness. “Perfect” is a direct reflection of II Corintians 12:9, while “I’m Sorry” poignantly illustrates Christ’s redemptive love in the face of our human frailty.
“Our lyrics have been drawn from, in some cases, personal, first hand, first person experiences with Lacey,” remarks Seals. “These are feelings that she has really walked in. They are very real.”
In a characteristically bold move, Flyleaf has opted to tour this summer with Korn, the antithesis of faith-based values. Whereas Flyleaf is all about shining light into a darkened, broken world, Korn is a case study in betrayal, alienation, and self-loathing. Their hope is that hearts will be softened both backstage and in the audience through their music.
Points out Mosely, “I just think it is cool that Korn lets Christians come out on tour with them. I do know that they are very anti-Christian. Just pray that we have strength and maturity and that we might be able to demonstrate all of the different fruits of the Holy Spirit. That we would love each other and that people would know us by our love for each other.”
With a fierce intensity that belies their youth, Flyleaf is positioned to be a force in the music industry for years to come. But ultimately their career ambitions have nothing to do with record sales but everything to do with facilitating positive change in hearts that are hurting.
“Everyone in this world needs to be valued, explains Seals. “That is what we are trying to do. Show people that they are valued.”
But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. – II Corinthians 12:9
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