[artist id="1878881"]Flyleaf[/artist] have basically spent the past seven years on the road. Driven by a seemingly otherworldly determination, they've played hundreds of gigs (including shows in Afghanistan), logged thousands of miles and basically willed sales of their [article id="1528919"]self-titled 2005 debut[/article] past the 1 million mark.
Not surprisingly, it hasn't exactly been a picnic.
"We've seen so, so much. Good times, really bad, really trying times, all of it," frontwoman Lacey said. "We've encountered near-death experiences and death experiences so often within these past few years that we've been reminded that we are mortal and our days our precious. That's what we've learned from all this, and that's the message we want to spread."
So, driven once again by that otherworldly determination, and buoyed by a newfound sense of purpose, Flyleaf are gearing up to start the machine again. On October 20, they'll release Memento Mori, an album that takes its name from the Latin caveat "remember, you shall die." Working once again with producer Howard Benson, Flyleaf have expanded on the crunching, doomy guitars and soaring vocal melodies that made their '05 debut a hit, but this time out, Lacey and company aren't just exploring the dark and depressing. Like the title of the album implies, there's a newfound focus on realizing dreams and living life to the fullest.
"The whole theme of the album is summed up by the title — Memento Mori — that everything comes to an end and that we're mortal and we're going to die," guitarist Sameer Bhattacharya said. "But in all of that, there's hope and a bigger picture. It's beautiful, when you think about it, the idea that every day is precious."
It's a message echoed on songs like "Arise" — on which Lacey sings, "Arise, and be all you dreamed" — and the first single "Again," for which Flyleaf shot a green-screen-heavy clip last week in Los Angeles with director Meiert Avis. (Bhattacharya said the end result will resemble Radiohead's "Like Spinning Plates" video.)
The message in that song, according to Lacey, is simple: Don't waste time worrying about the stuff you can't change. It's something she's had to learn in her own life, and no, it wasn't exactly a picnic.
"With the songs that we write, we talk really openly and honestly about our struggles and about battling inner demons ourselves," she said. "So the kids just naturally want to tell us their struggles and the demons they deal with, and I love 'em so much. ... I wish I could hug them all and make it better, but that's not always good enough. It doesn't make it better. So you just have to trust that God's bigger than we are, and the kids keep going.
"In part of my maturing process, I have to learn how to hear those things and still be compassionate but also let them go and trust God with everything," she continued. "Because, you know, I'm not God, and that's a relief."