Growing up in a broken home, she began experimenting with drugs at the age of 10, contemplated suicide as a teenager and finally found salvation in her faith. It's a backstory that's as sordid as it is public ... she talks about it openly, and, as a survivor, she's not ashamed of any of it.
In fact, most of her band's new album, Memento Mori, due November 10, is about that trip from darkness to light and about guiding others on their journeys.
"So much of this album is inspired by the mentality of letting go and trusting that good can come out of that. About trusting that God is going to work out the details that we can't control," she said. "It took me so long to realize that, and it wasn't until I did that my life got better ... so I'm hoping our fans will realize it too.
"A lot of our fans are kids who have so little hope in life and face so many dark things. And definitely there are times where you need to feel what they feel, cry with them, rejoice with them," she continued. "But there comes a point where we have to let them go on their own. We have to hug them and say, 'We have to believe that you're going to wake up tomorrow, because if we went through so much stuff and ended up here, the possibilities are endless for you.' "
In particular, Lacey points to a pair of songs on the album that are central to that theme: "Tiny Heart" and "Set Apart This Dream." Sure, they're about her struggles, but they're also about the struggles of those close to her, like Flyleaf's legions of dedicated fans, or, if she's being totally honest, her younger sister.
"There are definitely songs that came out in the studio, while I was in the vocal booth, that I was singing directly to my sister. Like 'Tiny Heart,' 'Set Apart This Dream,' those two songs specifically, I remember thinking of her face, singing to her, so it would come out in the most honest way," she said. "As much as we want to protect the people we love from everything bad, they have to make their own decisions. And if you're not walking beside them, they're going to make mistakes. I wanted to keep my sister from making mistakes ... I wanted her to learn from my mistakes, so she didn't have to do the things I did or suffer the way I had — and there's a lot of that on the record."
And if she sounds maternal, well, that's just how she was raised. And as the matron of Flyleaf nation, it's just another example of her past seeping into her present.
"They say that, that I'm maternal," she laughed. "I was the second oldest of six kids and took care of the four under me. From the time I was little, I was taught to look [after] the ones around me."