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Guide Live Article

In conversation, Lacey Mosley doesn't sound like a blossoming rock star. Yet.

She's humble, apologetic and flabbergasted at times about Flyleaf, the Temple, Texas, emo-metal band that she fronts. Even after Octone Records signed the band in Dallas two years ago and the group supported Evanescence on the initial leg of its first nationwide tour. Even after a self-titled EP sold nearly 20,000 copies and caused big ripples in the United Kingdom. Even after the band wrapped a tour with Cold last week and is about to start another with Staind, P.O.D. and Taproot a month after its first full CD (also self-titled) hit stores.

"I never thought I'd be doing this for a living," she says during a tour stop in Jackson, Miss. "It's pretty miraculous, all of the doors that have opened, one by one."

The first signs that her charge was special were consistent opportunities to open for regional powerhouse rock acts such as Bowling for Soup, Flickerstick and Blue October. (Back then, Flyleaf was known as Passerby). Then, a gig at 2003's South by Southwest music festival in Austin caught more attention. Octone reps cornered the band later that year after a set at Club Clearview during the North Texas New Music Festival.

"It was an awesome show, probably one of the best we've ever played," she says. "The label basically signed us that night, which was great. I think they wanted to keep us to themselves, to keep us from playing for any other labels."

Flyleaf's heavy-rock sound, a dynamic blend of power riffs, thick rhythms and surging melodies, isn't terribly original. But the diminutive Ms. Mosley's pixie-to-witch vocal meanderings distinguish the group. So does her positivity, especially considering her own background: Growing up, she was one of six kids who were constantly on the move with a struggling but steadfast musician and single mom, Laurie Mosley, who now resides in Arlington.

In 2000, Lacey Mosley was 19, living in Temple and struggling with depression, alcohol and other dysfunctions as she performed with "a really negative band." She started collaborating with drummer James Culpepper, who soon teamed with guitarists Sameer Bhattacharya and Jared Hartmann, who lived in nearby Belton. By the time bassist Pat Seals was brought on board in 2002, they'd committed themselves to writing about life's positive messages instead of typical extreme-metal fare.

Yes, the members of Flyleaf are all Christians ("We always pray before each show," she says), and the band's already been earmarked as a Christian act by some. But Ms. Mosley isn't afraid of the tag; she believes the band transcends it.

"Our music is for everyone who appreciates that kind of music, no matter what they believe," she says. "I hope they can respect us like they would any other band, not just because we're Christians. We live in the same world as everyone else, and we want to share our convictions just like anyone else would, and does."

Ms. Mosley isn't even afraid of comparisons to singers such as Amy Lee of Evanescence, and that's a good sign that she'll be able to shake that aw-shucks, budding-rock-star nervousness.

"I'm not really influenced by a lot of female singers; I don't gravitate towards them personally," she says. "I never got the women's-lib thing, in that a woman could do just as good as a man at anything. For me, it was more like if you want to do something, just do it, whether you're a girl or a man.

"A lot of us girls grew up with some great rock music, so we're not afraid to let it lead us."

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