Flyleaf confronts mortality on second album

Fri Oct 9, 2009 11:08pm EDT
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By Deborah Evans Price

NASHVILLE (Billboard) - When alternative rock band Flyleaf chose to call its second album "Memento Mori," it wasn't a tossed-off phrase or instance of pretension.

After a spate of tragedies and illnesses, the band's mindfulness of death is a constant theme on the album, which will be released October 20 on Octone/A&M.

"'Memento Mori' was very fitting, given everything we've been through over the past seven years," singer Lacey Mosley says. "We've seen a lot of everything."

The band has experienced plenty of success. Its self-titled debut was released in 2005, spawning the hit singles "I'm So Sick," "Fully Alive" and "All Around Me." The album stayed on the Billboard 200 for 133 weeks and sold 1.2 million copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan. In 2006, the Texas band released the four-song EP "Music as a Weapon," and the following year it issued a limited-edition two-disc version of "Flyleaf."

Rather than rush to release new music, the band (Mosley, guitarists Sameer Bhattacharya and Jared Hartman, drummer James Culpepper and bassist Pat Seals) focused on touring. Mosley says the primary reason the band took so long between albums was that the group wanted to tour heavily and get to know its fans.

The delay was also exacerbated by members coping with personal tragedies: Bhattacharya's 22-year-old cousin battled cancer, Culpepper lost his mother and his aunt, and Mosley had a health scare.


"There was a possibility that I might have an illness, but it ended up that I came out fine," she says. "It was a possibility that I might have cancer. I don't want it to be a big deal."   Continued...