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Heavy music and pained lyrics go together like cake and ice cream, and Belton, Texas quintet, Flyleaf, aren't about to breakwith tradition.But while many loud rockers reopen old wounds by singing about their broken homes and broken hearts, Flyleafconfront past traumas toheal old scars and prove in the process that hope shines brighter than despair."I used to be in a reallynegative band, and that seemed to almost fuel my emptiness because that's what the songs were about," sayscharismaticsinger Lacey Mosley. "That's why I think what we're doing is important because there needs to be something h ...read more
Heavy music and pained lyrics go together like cake and ice cream, and Belton, Texas quintet, Flyleaf, aren't about to breakwith tradition.But while many loud rockers reopen old wounds by singing about their broken homes and broken hearts, Flyleafconfront past traumas toheal old scars and prove in the process that hope shines brighter than despair."I used to be in a reallynegative band, and that seemed to almost fuel my emptiness because that's what the songs were about," sayscharismaticsinger Lacey Mosley. "That's why I think what we're doing is important because there needs to be something heavy outtherethat has a positive message so people see that it's possible to get through the worst situations..
Flyleaf's self-titled debut album echoes with songs about abuse, neglect, addiction, and dysfunction, and messages aboutovercomingadversity. And the band's wide array of brooding beats, atmospheric textures and lunging riffs compliment Mosley'semotionally revealinglyrics, which range from breathy and beautiful to scathing and aggressive.
"I'm So Sick," starts with a moody bass line throbbing over a haunting ethereal vocal before guitars crash in like a rock througha plate-glass window. The track see-saws between rage and reflection, guitarists Sameer Bhattacharya and Jared Hartmannproviding texturalflourishes and atmospheric touches that bridge the emotional shifts. "Cassie" layers stop-start guitars atop anurgent backbeat and buildsto an exultant chorus. "All Around You" augments a wall of power chords with evocative jazzy licksand "Fully Alive" is a cinematic numberwith angry muted riffs that segue into another glorious refrain.
Flyleaf's infectiously heavy positivism is all the more surprising considering Mosley's struggles while growing up. "My mom was ayoungsingle mother of six," she explains. "We didn't have money and things were hard for all of us. We moved whenever wecouldn't make endsmeet in one place, and that happened pretty often so there was a lot of struggling, suffering, and characterbuilding..
"It's easy to get depressed when you're dealing with that kind of stress," she continues, "especially when it looks like things willnever getbetter. There was nothing constant in my life, and nothing to believe in. I got into some really bad stuff that I thoughtwould make me feelmore loved, or maybe just numb, but it cost me everything that was important to me, and literally almosttook my life..
When you take a dive, sometimes you have to hit the bottom before you can swim your way back to the top. For Mosley, writingsongs aboutsurvival helped her reach the surface and breathe again. "I had to lose everything to look up and see that there is atruly constant hope of ahappy ending and that's what we make music for," she says. "If my music helps one person, than it'sworth having been through what I'veexperienced..
Five years ago, Mosley started playing music with drummer James Culpepper. The two joined up with Bhattacharya andHartmann, who werein a local band that had just split up. "Our first practice together was awesome," Mosley says. "Sameer andJared are really experimentalwith melodies and pedals, and we all had different influences that were all blending together withthe same passionate and hopeful heart, andthat brought out this beautiful feeling. It was magical." Bassist Pat Seals joined in2002. "The doors were open and I just happened to walkthrough at the right time," Seals says.
Flyleaf played anywhere they could slowly but consistently increased their fan base with local bands and national acts likeRiddlin Kids,Bowling For Soup, Fishbone, and Evanescence. Eventually they landed a show at Austin's legendary annual musicconvention South bySouthwest in 2003. Although their set started at the un-rock -n' roll time of 5 p.m., they rocked the house,which lead to a showcase forvarious labels. After many meetings and much deliberation, Flyleaf signed with Octone.
In early 2005 the band's self-titled debut EP-- produced by Rick Parasher (Pearl Jam, Blind Melon) and Brad Cook (Foo Fighters,QueensOf The Stone Age)--was released and listeners got a taste of the band's poignant song craft through tracks like "BreatheToday," "Cassie,"and "I'm Sorry" (which also appear on Flyleaf's full-length). To support the EP, Flyleaf toured with Saliva,Breaking Benjamin, 3 Doors Down,Staind. and Trust Company. Though many of the audiences had no idea who Flyleaf werewhen they started playing, every night their spiritedperformances earned them new fans.
"We think about where we started and where we are and realize, 'Wow, we are playing in front of 1000 people tonight.' Andthen we just can'tbe thankful enough to those bands who gave us a chance to play with them, even though we are sort ofnobodies..
In spring 2005, Flyleaf recorded their full-length debut with acclaimed producer Howard Benson, who has previously workedwith PapaRoach, My Chemical Romance, P.O.D., and All American Rejects. Flyleaf stayed in Los Angeles for two months andworked on more than 20songs with Benson at Bay 7 Studios. Together they decided on 12 of them to arrange, fine tune, andshape so they best reflected the group'spowerful messages and experiences.
"He really took an interest in what we had to say and helped put all the parts in the right places," Mosley says. "We were soused torecording with our friends and finishing whole EPs in a few hours. So it was great to spend two months with Howardhaving this surrealprofessional experience in every part of the process..
"A flyleaf is the blank page at the front of a book," explains Mosley. "It's the dedication page, the place you write a message tosomeoneyou're giving a book to. And, that's kind of what our songs are: personal messages that provide a few moments ofclarity before the storybegins..
With their tight-knit chemistry, compassionate approach ,and songs that haunt the mind hours after they've stopped playing,Flyleaf areturning heads and leaving crowds wanting more. Indeed, their story has just begun.Written by Record LabelFrom:http://music.yahoo.com/ « hide
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