Texas hard rock quintet Flyleaf will be heading down under for their first Australian headlining tour this August. Ahead of their first visit in over six years, bassist Pat Seals took the time out to talk to killyourstereo.com to talk about their latest album, ‘New Horizons,’ a change in vocalists, and wood carving.
Hey Pat, how are you doing this morning?
I’m doing very well thanks, and yourself?
I’m great. Thanks for taking the time out to talk to us today.
Thanks for hollering!
Alright, well let’s get straight into this. You guys are heading back to Australia for the first time in six years this August, How are you feeling about it? Anything in particular you’re looking forward to?
We’re very excited to be coming back down under! Unfortunately, we don’t really have too much time between dates this time around, so we don’t really have any time off, but we’re definitely not planning on this being the last time we’re in Australia, so I’d hope we would get to come back and do the whole sightseeing thing eventually.
So you guys have been down to our country once before, when you played Soundwave in 2007. Can you tell me a bit about your experiences there?
Our first Australian tour was awesome, y’know. The people and the places in Australia all ruled, and it was great being able to play alongside the Deftones, 44, and a lot of those other fantastic musicians on the lineup there.
Do you think things will be very different this time around with you guys headlining?
In some ways, yeah. We’re definitely expecting a different kind of vibe at the shows, being at theaters rather than festivals, but I would expect and hope we would have the same positive experiences with the people as we did when we played at Soundwave.
Last year you guys released your 3rd record, ‘New Horizons,’ can you tell me a bit about the writing and recording process and how it differed from previous releases?
Yeah, it differed from the others a bit in that we wrote some in Pittsburgh with Lacey, and we wrote some of it down in Texas where the rest of the band lives. That was definitely a bit of a departure for Flyleaf, but we’re all incredibly happy with the way it all turned out, and we’re all really excited to have the record out.
Howard Benson’s produced all of your albums so far, what was it like working with him again, and what is it that gets you guys to keep on working with him so much?
We always have lots of fun working with Howard, which is great, and we’ve definitely built up a strong relationship with him over the years. I think what keeps us coming back to him is the way he treats songs and the way he thinks about them really just puts a lot into it.
What do you mean exactly by the way he treats songs?
I guess you could say he looks at songs very mechanically, so to speak. It’s not to say that he looks at them with some specific formula in mind, but it just helps him to really zero in on things.
You guys have recently had a fairly major lineup change, with Lacey stepping down and Kirsten May taking her place as lead vocalist for Flyleaf. Do you feel as if the group dynamic has changed at all a result of that?
There’s definitely a whole different dynamic there now. Kirsten brings a new sensibility, and a completely new presence to the stage. We’re very excited for our Australian fan base to see her, and for everyone to hear her songwriting style and her bright approach to everything. We’re very excited to introduce her to our Australian fans in August.
How do you think your fan base has responded to the change?
It was a pretty positive reaction from the fans on our recent US tour, and people seemed very impressed, with like, all eyes locked on her the whole time. We can’t wait for the rest of our fans to see what Flyleaf is like with her at the front.
On that note, how long do you think we’ll have to wait before we hear some new music with Kirsten singing?
Very soon, actually. We’ve just finished working on an ep of 5 live songs and 1 new song, all with Kirsten, and we’re hoping to have that out probably in July!
Awesome, I can’t wait to hear it! Alright, word has it that you’re quite the keen wood carver.
(laughs), yes, that’s true.
I was looking at some of your designs last night, which were very impressive I might add, and noticed that there seems to be a lot of inspiration drawn from Flyleaf songs there. Do you think there’s a strong relationship at all between the two art forms for you?
Not in the beginning, no. There wasn’t really any crossover at first, but I listened to all of the songs on New Horizons, and so there’s wood carvings that I’ve done that kinda relate back to each of the songs on the album, and how I felt listening to them, and the images that they kinda brought out for me.
You guys have been playing together as a band for over a decade now, so you’ve no doubt had some pretty cool experiences. what would you say is the craziest story you have from everything you guys have done together?
Oh man, there are just way too many stories to choose from. Some not even worth mentioning too, (laughs). I think for me personally, the coolest thing that’s happened was getting to play bass for Korn during one of their soundchecks. It may not seem like much, but for a guy who grew up listening to them and at 15 would’ve given anything to be in the band, that was just an absolutely amazing experience!
Alright, well on that note, I’m sure you have plenty more interviews to take care of this morning, so I’ll leve you to that. Thanks for taking the time out to talk to me this morning! I’m looking forward to seeing you guys in August!
Thanks Rob, see you then!