At the beginning of September, Flyleaf released a brand new album featuring new singer Kristen May. Flyleaf fans had anxiously been awaiting the release of Between The Stars to hear how Flyleaf’s music was going to sound with the absence of founding member and singer, Lacey Sturm. I had a chance to sit down with bassist, Pat Seals, to discuss the new album, Kristen’s transition into Flyleaf, and pastimes while on tour.
Between The Stars is the first album release since Lacey Sturm left. How did you transition Kristen May into the band?
Seals: We just began looking, compiling a list of new singers during that transition time. Somebody had tipped us off that Vedera had broken up and our manager said, you know, we can have an audition with Kristen, and turned out to be the only audition.
Great. With that being said, was it that she just clicked with you guys or was there a new style to writing the new album?
Seals: Well, it was kind of a gradual process, but it wasn’t difficult. It was all very natural. Kristen came in and like you said, clicked. For the first song during the audition, we used “Saving Grace” (from New Horizons). It felt right for her.
From the EP, Who We Are, that you released last year, I know a lot of fans were really excited about it. It had a couple of live versions of past songs plus a brand new song. Kristen got to show what she was all about. What was the reaction from that? Were a lot of fans hyped up about it, and for the new album to come out?
Seals: From the EP I think we gave our fans something to listen to, something new you know, and we didn’t have time to make an album at that point. So that was really what that was for, just kind of like a tastemaker for Between The Stars.
Has the reaction been really positive for Between The Stars?
Seals: Yes, yes. It’s been really cool!
So I know your new album just came out and all the fans are hyped up, but where do you see the Flyleaf going in the future?
Seals: It’s hard to say. I think for Flyleaf, you know, just wants to keep making music.
Which I know fans would greatly appreciate, me included! So you guys have been together as a band since 2002. What’s been a highlighting moment of your career?
Seals: Oh man, that’s hard to say. I guess getting to play at Download Festival in the UK a few years ago. And you know, so many people, we couldn’t like see over the entire crowd, that was really cool.
Any interesting fan interactions that you had over the years?
Seals: We have some great fans who will bring us food and drawings.
That’s pretty awesome. So for tonight’s show I figure with all the songs that you guys have to choose from, how did you select songs that you are going to play for tonight’s set? Did you all chip in on what songs you wanted to play?
Seals: At the beginning of the tour, we just kind of made a set list and basically decided on which songs are the best to practice.
Has it changed from the beginning of the tour, or same setlist every show?
Seals: We mix it up a little bit, but it’s pretty much the same.
Very cool. I was reading online that Kristen does yoga on her downtime during the tour, and Sameer seems to be an avid reader. What do you do to rejuvenate yourself while on tour during the downtime?
Seals: I have just been exercising. I usually make art, but I have been lazy on the tour.
What type of art do you usually make?
Seals: Drawings, collages, and sometimes woodcut. It can be difficult but it’s fun.
If you had to pick one venue or maybe a city that you love to play, like you have to hit every time you go on tour, what would be your favorite?
Seals: Oh man, that’s difficult. Albuquerque is always cool to Flyleaf. I like San Francisco a lot. What else? We were in Portland last night.
I really appreciate you meeting with me and I have been Flyleaf fan from the beginning, so for me it’s really amazing to me to talk with you about some of my favorite music! I am really looking forward tonight’s show.
Seals: You are welcome.
Check out the song “Set Me On Fire”