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Flyleaf 'reunite' with Evanescence

When Lacey Mosley takes the stage on each stop of this year's Family Values Tour, she'll be doing so as a veteran -- the lead singer of the Texas heavy rock band Flyleaf, one of the event's top returning acts.

She's excited about sharing the bill with Korn for the second straight year. And it feels odd that two of last year's main acts, Stone Sour and Deftones, won't be there this time around.

But Mosley, who put her band on the map with the Mainstream Rock hits "Fully Alive" and "I'm So Sick" from 2005's gold "Flyleaf" LP, said she's looking forward to some of the tour's newcomers in a June 19 interview from Columbus, Ohio.

The tour will stop in Hartford on July 29 at the New England Dodge Music Center.

"I'm real excited about seeing Hellyeah and meeting Vinnie Paul," said Mosley, a longtime fan of Paul's previous band, Pantera. "I know that if I ever get to meet Vinnie Paul, I'm gonna burst into tears. ... And Evanescence, of course, that's really an amazing crowd to be playing in front of too."

Before starting to achieve their own success, Flyleaf actually opened a show for Evanescence in 2003. Back then, Flyleaf was called Passerby and Evanescence had just released their debut album, "Fallen." The soldout show drew 800 fans to Houston's Engine Room.

"I didn't know a lot about (them), but I'd heard a lot of talk, like 'There's this really amazing metal band and they have a girl singer,'" Mosley recalled. "And I'm into metal. It's not really metal to me. But when I saw it, I was really excited because it did a lot for what we do and what we're trying to do. They're really different from us. They have their own thing going. And I think it's awesome for her to pave the way for, 'Hey, we're cool and I'm a female and we've done our thing and we're on active rock radio.' It's almost like saying, 'You can too.'

"Ben was in the band at the time, (guitarist) Ben Moody," Mosley said. "He actually saw our set and wrote on their Web site about our band, that he thought we were really great. And then we got all these fans from the Evanescence message board because of what he said."

Born Sept. 4, 1981, Mosley grew up in Arlington, Texas. Mother Lori, who has six children, worked at a TV station and runs a coffee shop.

Lacey Mosley began playing shows at a coffee shop when she was 16, after moving to Gulfport, Miss., to live with her grandparents. Her grandmother convinced her to go to church one day -- a life-changing experience for a teen using drugs, planning to run away and having "a death wish."

By 2000, Mosley began working with drummer James Culpepper in Arlington. Within two years, they formed Passerby with guitarists Sameer Bhattacharya and Jared Hartmann, and bassist Pat Seals.

Pantera wasn't Mosley's only influence at the time.

"I think the most important thing about singers was that they were passionate and they did it on purpose and they meant what they said," Mosley explained. "I think that way about Nirvana and I think that way about just the grunge era in general -- Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots back in the day, Smashing Pumpkins.

"I liked P.O.D. a little bit back in the day," she added. "It wasn't normally my style of stuff, but I loved their passion and I loved what they stood for and I loved that they went out and did it. (They) didn't care what anybody thought. They were just who they were. That's kind of where we're at."

After building a local following, Passerby inked a deal with Octone Records in 2003 and changed their name to Flyleaf. Reaching No. 60 on the Billboard 200 chart and No. 2 on the Christian Albums chart, the "Flyleaf" LP is packed with songs that tackle deep subjects while remaining radio friendly.

Flyleaf's third and latest single, "All Around Me," found them shooting a video where various colors of paint were dropped down walls around the band, which was wearing gray and white. Dancing on a slippery floor covered in swirling paint was "the most amazing freedom that I felt in a long time doing anything in our band," Mosley said.

"That song is really special and I think the video really captured what the feeling in the song is when we play it, what we mean by it when we play it," she said. "It's about an experience that you have when you're praying or when you're singing and you get lost in it. It's kind of like a worship song in a way. You get lost in being honest and being real and it's kind of like that freedom you feel from baring your soul in front of God and feeling clean afterward. That's what the song's about. It's how we can be wrapped up in that and enraptured in that.

"I guess it's hard for a lot of people to understand," she added. "It's not like everybody has that experience or seeks out that experience, but it's something we experience when we play every night. So it's really relevant to us. Hopefully when we play it and when they see the video and when they hear the song, they respect the fact that we mean it and we're honest when we play it -- even if they don't feel it themselves."

Meanwhile, the song "Perfect" has done extremely well at Christian rock radio.

"I had a friend who was trying to live her life a certain way that she thought was good," Mosley said. "And then she'd make a ton of commitments about how she was gonna be and what kind of relationship she was gonna be in. And then, slowly, those standards just fell lower and lower and then she just felt worse and worse. She got really burned in her relationships and she felt really kind of worthless about herself -- like she couldn't start over and she couldn't be good enough.

"The song is about how sometimes we're that way and sometimes we're weak," Mosley added. "But, at the same time, God's strength is perfect when we're weak. And we can stand up in that. And that's what the song says -- 'My strength is perfect in your weaknesses.' Even when we're weak, he's strong. And if his mercy, his powers are failing, that's what the message is -- turn and rest, and choose life and not death, and be loved, and don't condemn yourself."

Mosley, who lives in Belton/Temple, Texas, said Flyleaf hopes to have a DVD featuring behind-the-scenes footage available on the Family Values Tour. While the band wants to begin recording for its next album in January, Mosley understands that the record label may have other ideas.

"That's cool, you know, if they want to keep working the single or if they want to put another single out," she said. "I think we could put two more singles out. I would love to put 'Sorrow' and 'Cassie' out.

"We can be grateful or we can be complaining," she added. "So we've been both. We're in a grateful spot right now just because all of us are trying to keep each other's heads on straight. And we realize we have nothing to complain about. When the doors are open, we should walk through because how long are the doors going to be open and that kind of thing?"


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