Flyleaf’s Lacey Sturm Wants People to Know That Life Has a Purpose
When Flyleaf lead singer Lacey Sturm wrote the lyrics to her band’s forthcoming album, ‘Memento Mori,’ and played shows this summer, she had her younger siblings in mind, particularly her teenage sister.
“Maybe I’m too personal, but I can’t look at a 16-, 15-, 14-year-old girl in the audience and not think about my little sister,” Sturm told Noisecreep. “I can’t help but think she’s someone’s little sister, someone’s little girl. She’s somebody who wants to be loved just like my sister.
“I see my sister in so many faces of so much of our audience,” she continued. “I have two younger brothers as well. I want so much to be able to convince them or tell them that their lives are important. ‘You’re meant to be here. There’s a purpose that only you can fulfill.’ So many times, at that age, they feel like they’re in the way. They get in some kind of trouble or humiliated somehow and they feel that they can’t stand up afterward. Or they get hurt somehow with a relationship. They feel they can’t keep going because it’s going to last forever.”
For Sturm, this just isn’t the way it’s meant to be. And she wants to make that known. “I just want to say, ‘There’s more to your life than a couple years. There’s more to come. You can be stronger afterward.’ I want them to hear that, because I think that so many amazing people get squashed because of the circumstances in life. They could accomplish so many great things to make the world a better place but they don’t get to because no one ever encouraged them.”
With the title, ‘Memento Mori,’ Flyleaf took that feeling a step further so that it now encompasses meaning for the rest of the band as well. Essentially, it means to make the most of the time we’ve all been given. The album hits stores Oct. 27.
“We’ve been through a lot these past few years,” Sturm said. “On the self-titled record touring cycle, we had a lot of heavy experiences with loved ones dying or even ourselves facing death in one way or another. Having to deal with issues like that. When we looked over the songs that came out of those years — of those five years — touring this record, the theme just kind of came out itself. It was awesome to find a phrase that really defines the theme of what we’ve learned over the past five years. ‘Memento Mori’: Remember your mortality, remember today, your time’s short and your days are precious. Use this time you’re given as best you can.”
Flyleaf — which also includes guitarists Sameer Bhattacharya and Jared Hartmann, bassist Pat Seals and drummer James Culpepper — have been touring the world nearly nonstop since the September 2005 release of their self-titled debut album. Sturm explained that playing for thousands of people has been the highlight of her career.
“Before we play a show, we pray for the audience,” Sturm said quietly. “We pray for the kids that are coming to the show. There’s something in you, I guess when you pray for somebody, that makes you love them. It’s been an amazing privilege to be in front of so many kids and so many different countries and love them and fall in love with them. That’s probably the opportunity that I’m most grateful for — the opportunity to stand in front of all those kids who are really, really searching for a heart that loves them, or someone to understand where they’re coming from or something like that.
“So many kids have found that in Flyleaf music, which is incredible. It’s incredible to think, but we have thousands of letters from fans and e-mails from fans that say, ‘Your music helped me, and I didn’t commit suicide,’ or ‘Your music helped me through my parents’ divorce,’ ‘My friend died in a car wreck, and I got through with your music.’ That’s the thing that makes us want to do what we do. Every time we want to give up for whatever reason.”
Thanks to the performances and, on the strength on three top-charted rock singles — ‘I’m So Sick,’ ‘Fully Alive’ and the gold hit ‘All Around Me’ — Flyleaf soared to platinum heights. Their debut album spent 133 weeks on the Billboard 200 while staking claims in the top five of the Billboard Hard Rock Albums chart and the top 15 of the Billboard Rock Albums and Alternative Albums charts. Sturm said there was no pressure to follow up the success of their debut.
“Not for us,” Sturm said. “We’re not pressured. I feel like maybe the people that work with us to try to sell a million records; the industry people, they might feel a little bit of that pressure. I so appreciate them taking on that weight. Flyleaf doesn’t care either way. We just want to make sure we do something honest and real and that it’s in line with what we believe and the message we want to give to hopefully a new generation. What’s important to us is that we reach as many people as possible for something good. It’s sometimes that looks like album sales, which is cool, but it’s not really our burden. It’s really awesome that we can survive and do what we love full time. We are so grateful for that.”