Lacey of Flyleaf Talks "Unite and Fight", New EP and "Letters to Lacey"
Mon, 18 Oct 2010 11:00:47
Flyleaf continue to constantly give back.
Last year, they bared their souls like never before on their sophomore masterpiece, Memento Mori. Since the album dropped, they've been pouring blood, sweat and tears into every show supporting it, making for some of the most powerful performances of their career. Their "Unite and Fight" tour, starting last spring, has been a banner jaunt for the band. This particular run was so special that they had to extend it with a second leg featuring Story of the Year as support, and they'll be entrancing audiences until the end of October.
In addition to "Unite and Fight," Flyleaf is in the midst of recording a very special EP, which will tide fans over until their next full-length. Also, Flyleaf frontwoman Lacey recently launched her very own column on ARTISTdirect.com called "Letters to Lacey" where fans can ask her anything. Check it out here!
Flyleaf vocalist sat down with ARTISTdirect.com editor and Dolor author Rick Florino for an exclusive interview about "Unite and Fight," her collaboration with Orianthi, "Courage", "Letters to Lacey" and so much more.
Do you feel like Flyleaf is a tighter unit than ever before?
It feels like we're just comfortable in that place together on stage. That's where we connect more than anything. Obviously, music is something that we all have shared since day one. Sameer [Bhattacharya, guitar] and Jared [Hartmann, guitar] grew up playing together, and we can really encourage each other just by little things. Like you said, it is tighter in a relational way on stage for sure.
Has it been fun to bring the songs from Memento Mori into the live setting?
Yeah, I love it! Memento Mori sounds so much more frantic and chaotic on stage. There's definitely more urgency and craziness when we perform it than the first record.
You take that chaos and make it beautiful and melodic.
I think that's really important, if art is connecting. You can scream and get on people's nerves—and that's just how you feel at the moment—but I think bringing it back around and making it enjoyable and relatable is important too!
Were the Memento Mori sessions particularly special for you? The special edition tracks really stand out.
Yeah, we went through a lot of stuff. That was five years in the making so there's are a lot of really strong emotions that we went through during that time. A lot of songs came out of that, and those were really important to us individually so it was hard to pick. Then, we had played so many of those songs live that fans ended up knowing a lot of them. When we put the tracklisting out, they were like, "Why didn't you put this song on there? What about this other song?" Thus, the extended version! We're really happy that fans requested those songs. It's similar to what we're doing now. We're recording an EP, while we're doing this tour, to go along with it. We're putting out some really old songs that a lot of the Passerby fans knew. That will come out at the end of October right around the end of this tour.
What's on the EP?
There's going to be at least one new song, and there's one song that we play live that a lot of people have been asking for. We didn't have it recorded anywhere; it's a cover song that we're going to put on there for them too. It's called "He Loves Us," and it's by a guy named John Mark McMillan.
Is it fun putting your own spin on a favorite song? Your Nightmare Before Christmas cover of "What's This?" is really great.
[Laughs] I love that song too! It is fun whenever it clicks. Sometimes, it won't come together. We really tried to do The Smashing Pumpkins' "Today." We all love that song, but it didn't work out. Sometimes it comes together, and sometimes it doesn't. The voices are definitely different. We do "Something I Can Never Have" by Nine Inch Nails, and Johnny Cash did "Hurt." I'm not a fan of everything Nine Inch Nails does, but I really connected with those songs. We just connected with that particular message. Doing a cover supports the artist, and I'd love to support John Mark McMillan.
How did "Courage" come about with Orianthi?
It's definitely different from our style. Howard Benson produced our record and Orianthi's record. He suggested that I sing on that song because we've hung out so much for so long that he knows my heart and my personality. He knew that I'd love the message of "Courage." It was such a crazy thing for that song to come along when it did because we had done some mission trip work for Samaritan's Purse—which is a charitable organization that Billy Graham supports. They help people around the world. They were in this one very small community that has one of the highest suicide rates in the nation—especially among teens. There's this weird philosophy going around there where if somebody commits suicide, you'll hear someone say, "I wish I was brave enough to do that." How can you say you want to give up on life in a simple way though? Everyone deals with depression and feeling like they want to give up. It's about being brave enough to live though. When "Courage" came via email to me, I was thinking about this. The lyrics of the song straight-up said, "Courage is when you're in pain and you keep on living anyway." I was like, "This is important to do." So I did it.
Your voices meld together seamlessly. It shows some real diversity.
It was fun working with Orianthi. She's a really cool girl, and she has a great voice. When we were in between takes, she was sitting there with her guitar shredding for fun and talking to me at the same time [Laughs]. She's really talented!
What does "Unite and Fight" mean to you?
"Unite and Fight" is taken from the lyrics of "Beautiful Bride." The whole idea is in order to truly fight things that are really decaying the world, we have to be united. We highlighted this cause—World Vision—because it deals with such a terrible thing that affects whole generations of potentially amazing people. Sex trafficking and human slavery steals lives from them. You fight hate with love. You fight violence with peace. You fight thieves who steal children to sell them into slavery with generosity. If it's so simple that we can just text the word "Unite" to 20222. Then $10 is added to your phone bill. They made it so easy for people to help immediately. We wanted to give people an opportunity to easily give what they want.
Your music does help people, and that's a wonderful part of it.
That's what makes it worth doing in the way that we do it. We're out there really trying. It costs a lot to do what we do, but if it helps people it's worth it.
Would you ever want to do an acoustic EP like Jar of Flies?
That's actually the example we threw around when we talked about doing this EP. It's similar to that idea—or Nirvana's MTV Unplugged In New York. I think that's what I was wanting, but I always want something and then in the end it comes out way different [Laughs]. You never know what's going to happen.
Are you excited about Letters to Lacey?
I'm very excited about it. Having an outlet so I can talk to kids that way is really important for me. It's huge, and there's a great purpose behind it.
Have you seen "Unite and Fight" yet?
Check out "Letters to Lacey" here!