Yes! Finally, I got to connect with one of my top favourite bands, Flyleaf! I’ve been a fan ever since they released their first singles ‘I’m so sick’ and ‘Fully Alive’, and they’re one of the first few bands that turned me into a rocker – And Prrrroooud of it!!
Now, I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing them. Following their journey to success, their memorable stage moments, latest album, and of course getting to know their new rock-leading lady – drum rolls please – … MRS. Kristen May!!!
Here we go!
Kristen, I know it’s been a while now, but Congrats on being part of this awesome band! So could you tell us a little bit about Flyleaf’s rockin’lead songstress?
Kristen: Hey! Yah it’s been a great ride ever since I joined Flyleaf. What could I tell you about myself…I’m a Kansas City native who has been writing and performing for about fifteen years now. Music is my passion. I also have a heart for cooking, exercise, a good joke and animals! I just celebrated my eighth wedding anniversary and am so blessed to do life with the man I love.
When did you start listening to Flyleaf? What was your view on them as a listener?
Kristen: I knew a couple songs by Flyleaf before they asked me to audition. After I agreed to go out to Texas and see if being part of the band, I immersed myself in all of their albums. I was really touched by their music. It has such a rare, emotional quality. I love the way the lyrics tell stories of heartbreak, loss, and of the ups and downs that life can bring but there is always a message of hope underneath. Sometimes you have to listen closely for it, but it’s there. I think Flyleaf music can be very healing for people.
How did you feel when you knew you were gonna be Flyleaf’s new lead? And what’s it like performing alongside these awesomely talented guys?
Kristen: I was stoked when I got the call that I would be joining the band. It was a very natural progression though. I think we all knew it was a good thing and a bit of a kismet experience. I love playing with these guys. They’re all so talented and have hearts of gold!
How did you guys meet Kristen?
Sameer: We had compiled a list of our favourite singers that we thought were available. Kristen’s booking agent recommended we be introduced.
How do you think you guys developed since you started till today? Musical and lyrical wise.
Sameer: We were so young when Flyleaf started. Just teenagers. You can hear us growing up through our twenties as each album released. We went from being a local band in Texas to being an international rock band. It was a slow and steady progression. We went from young and angry to being in our late 20s early 30s and starting to actually get a grasp on what life might actually be about.
You guys are currently touring with P.O.D., what’s it like travelling on the same road with them?
Sameer: We toured with P.O.D. in the summer of 2013. They are the nicest guys and put on a killer live show. There were a lot of philosophical discussions.
Every performer has their own rituals or techniques for pumping up before heading up on stage… What’s yours?
Sameer: We always stretch our muscles and say prayer for the concert.
How do you motivate/ encourage each other? Do you guys have like a “Brave Heart” speech or inspirational saying (words of wisdom)?
Sameer: “They may take our lives, but they’ll never take OUR FREEDOM!”
Share with us your most memorable and funniest moments on stage.
Sameer: One time at a festival Pat took the most ungraceful fall off the front of the stage, hitting every obstacle on the way down and never missed a note. Very impressive.
Away from the spotlights, what do you guys do for fun? As a band and individually.
Sameer: I love to read. As a band we love to watch Ancient Aliens on H2 and contemplate our origins and future as a civilization.
Kristen, I read that you like making hats, do you plan on starting a “Kristen May” hattery or accessories line soon?
Kristen: Right now I’m too busy to start a hat/accessory line but I do enjoy making them for friends as gifts.
You guys just recently released your new album Between the stars as well as the music video of its first track ‘Set Me on Fire, tell us about them.
Sameer: ‘Between the Stars’ is our most mature album to date. Don Gilmore did an extraordinary job of capturing the energy and character of each song. The first single ‘Set Me on Fire’ describes that moment in your life when you realize what your purpose is and why you’re alive.
I believe that every song carries a certain meaning to it, whether through lyrics or even just instrumentals which listeners can relate to, but most importantly the artists that perform them. What helps you write yours?
Sameer: Life itself is inspiring. Even the seemingly mundane parts of life speak volumes, because in the end how we live our lives in those moments in between the big events, how we love and treat each other, where we expend our energies, all of that defines who we are.
For each of you, who were your inspirations to become rockstars? And if you could share a stage (or general collaboration) with any of them, who would it be?
Sameer: We all have different influences. I didn’t really dream of being a “rockstar”. I’ve always wanted to be a superhero and do something inspiring and world changing. Writing songs that inspire us to examine our lives and strive to make them better is my super power. “Rockstar” is just the by-product of wanting to do something great. If I collaborate with any person it would be Thom Yorke.
Do you have any plans on touring in the Middle East?
Sameer: No Middle Eastern plans yet, but it’s a place we would love to go someday!
Any advice to all the “new born” bands out there?
Sameer: Don’t play music to be famous, because that is an empty dream. Don’t play music for money, because there isn’t any. Do it because you know you have a purpose. Have a clear definition of what it is to “be successful”, because that will define what drives you and the direction you will go and what you will sacrifice to get there. Be the hardest working band you know.
Edited by: NJ Bakr