ARTISTdirect.com editor Rick Florino recently conducted an interview with FLYLEAF frontwoman Lacey Mosley. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
ARTISTdirect.com: "Memento Mori" sees each member of FLYLEAF personally delving deeper than ever before. How does it feel to listen to the album now?
Lacey: I think that's exactly it! It's really cool you pay attention like that…We're a lot more "self-examining" in the sense of recognizing things that we didn't recognize before about people around us and ourselves. The album feels really heavy when you listen to it from start to finish but, in the end, there's so much encouragement to be hopeful, march ahead and live the best life that you can.
ARTISTdirect.com: That's important for kids to hear these days.
Lacey: That's the whole point of us staying together. If we weren't doing that, we would've broken up 500 times [Laughs]. We miss out on things because we're in a band, but the goal is more important. FLYLEAF has been together for seven years — since some of us were in high school. We've been through at least seven gigantic life changes in each member's life. Every year, someone has had a huge life change. We're learning how to deal with each other, and we have that focused goal of giving the kids something hopeful to believe in. We want to make sure we don't waste the opportunity that we have.
ARTISTdirect.com: Your fan base is extremely diehard. What's it like interacting with them after shows?
Lacey: It's the best part of what we do! It's really amazing to get letters from fans, and that's how we hear their stories most often. However, it's better to stand in front of them, hear them pour their hearts out and get to hug them afterwards. We can say we're proud of them and tell them their story are amazing. They can help a lot of people with their stories if they will rise up, step over it and learn from everything. The best thing about doing what we do is that the kids are listening and you can speak blessing over them. You can say, "You're amazing, and you're meant for amazing things! You're gifted with influence — you can see it from how your friends look at you." If you see that in a kid, you have to say it. Maybe their parents never told them; maybe they never knew that, and they'll take that more seriously that they're influencing people. To hug them and tell them, "Go and do something amazing" is the best part of getting to do this.
ARTISTdirect.com: A lot of kids are looking for meaning, and they want music that speaks to them and speaks for them.
Lacey: TV accidentally parents kids. I love kids so much. I was the second oldest of six kids, so there were four under me that I took care of. For my whole life, all I knew was kids. My favorite thing was watching them grow and develop a new skill. It was an amazing feeling know that I was the one who taught them how to tie their shoes [Laughs]. When I was in junior high and high school, I remember learning things from METALLICA. "Holier Than Thou" taught me about self-righteousness. I started to find it in people, and the lyrics would play in my head. I remember being taught about being an anti-rock star by Kurt Cobain. He'd say something like, "They care so much about their hair and their clothes. Everybody get out of the hallway we're rock stars!" That really stuck with me. I thought, "Wow, there's someone so hugely influential and he's just like me!" That was one of the reasons why I wanted to name our band "PASSERBY" in the first place. That was our first name, but it was trademarked so we had to change it. On the first record, the whole idea was to relate with kids and say, "We're just like you. We're no different. We have a story and we're on stage, but you have a story and you need to use that however you can to learn, to teach and be comforted so you can comfort and to go through trials so you can help someone else go through them."
ARTISTdirect.com: How did you get into music?
Lacey: When I was younger, I really liked pop music. I knew all the songs on the radio. Since I was little, my mom used to impress her friends and say, "Hey Lacey, who's playing?" I'd know it was Sade, Stevie Wonder or whoever was playing. I picked up on melodies really quickly like that. I didn't have any profound connection with any music though. I loved Mariah Carey because I thought she had a pretty voice, and I loved Janet Jackson because of the way she danced. I learned her dances with my friends [Laughs]. My brother and I loved that song "We Built This City on Rock N' Roll". I liked pop groups with no purpose other than you could dance to them. THE JETS were my first favorite band [Laughs]. My best friend had a poster of them when we were five-years-old. Even since five, music was so important to me. In kindergarten, I remember listening to THE JETS. They had this song called "You Got It All". It was amazing [Laughs]. There's this girl singing it, and I always had this picture in my head of her out on a tree — on a limb somewhere [Laughs]. That's not really what happened though, and I don't think that's what she meant. Then I moved on to NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK. I loved Jordan Knight! He was my favorite! We did a show in New York for a radio station with them. My brother is ten months older than me. He went to a NIRVANA concert in 6th grade. He got a NIRVANA tape there, and my mom made him leave before they trashed the stage. He was mad about it, but my mom had a really great respect for Kurt Cobain. Kurt stopped the show and said, "If I see another guy grab a girl, we're going to make you listen to feedback for two hours." My mom was impressed with it, so she let us listen to NIRVANA even though she was suspicious about rock music in general.
Read the entire interview from ARTISTdirect.com.