Can't Judge a Book...
by Charles White
Photos courtesy of D. Levitt
The pages at the front and back of a novel are blank. They mark the beginning and the end of infinite possibilities that are only revealed when you read further. Ever wonder what the blank pages at the front and back pages of a novel are called? They are called the flyleaf.
If the term, Flyleaf, sounds familiar, it might be because it is also the name of a band that has streaked up the rock and pop charts with multiple hard-hitting hits. However the choice of the name, Flyleaf, for this incredible band was not an accident. It actually represents their life journey and the new story that they hoped to write.
Lacey Mosley, Flyleaf’s lead singer, explains in the group’s bio that life before Flyleaf was much different for her.
used to be in a really negative band, and that seemed to almost fuel my
emptiness because that's what the songs were about.”
up was far from easy for Lacey. "My mom was a young single mother of
six," she shares on the group’s website. "We didn't have money and
things were hard for all of us. We moved whenever we couldn't make ends meet
in one place, and that happened pretty often so there was a lot of struggling,
suffering and character building.”
result of her difficult upbringing was not a desire to turn in on herself and
embrace the darkness. Instead, she made the decision to take a step back and
use her pain to help heal wounds and create a positive message-a message that
really put God first.
As bassist Pat Seals puts it, members saw the symbolism in the name Flyleaf and equated it to “God’s appearance at the beginning and the end. We thought it was a pretty neat symbol for a moment of clarity.” Although a mainstream hard rock band, their message remains positive and their faith is a central part of their identity.
Music became their pure mode of expression; the clean white page that was not stained by ink. “Everyone responds to it. It connects every human being,” Pat shared. “It is amazing to be able to know others and to share my own thoughts without the restraint of speaking or writing. Sometimes words get in the way of what we are really trying to say.”
Although not a “Christian band”, a strong belief in God permeates their collective identities. As Seals attests, faith in God is “definitely a very important factor.” “I haven’t lived my life in a great way or anything,” he explains. “I’m not a perfect person, but I say God, I have faith in you and let me know what I can do.”
Pat was raised in a household where he and his sister were encouraged to develop a personal relationship with God. “My parents are really cool,” Pat shared. “They raised us to have faith and morals and they always encouraged my sister and me to think for ourselves and find God for ourselves and not just follow what somebody else told us. That has definitely mattered in my life and held our family together and been kind of the common vein of focus.”
In 2002, Seals joined Flyleaf and jumped on an amazing rollercoaster ride that saw the group’s popularity explode. The small group from Belton, Texas went from local talent to opening act for powerhouse bands like, POD, Staind, and Evanescence. Their music began to climb the rock and pop charts and they found success in the music industry.
However for Pat Seals, joy can still be found in the little things: friends, family, music and faith in God. “Being around my family and some of my good friends. Being around people I love. Being connected. I think God appears that way.” Success is not something that Pat takes for granted, though. “ It’s when I am very busy and when I notice everything I have been given and remember how I’ve been brought up,” Seals states, “that really makes me very thankful!” “Just the fact that I am healthy and alive and can pay my bills doing something that I enjoy is far beyond anything I deserve.”
So what kind of advice would the bassist for a successful, edgy rock band give to youth and young adults? Pat offers a few pearls of wisdom that he has gleaned.
“Don’t settle for life as it is thrust on you by our culture or by convenience. There is a lot in life and a lot to be aware of. There is a whole lot that God wants to tell you! Don’t shut that off. Don’t be afraid of it. Don’t settle. Don’t fall asleep in your life. Just open yourself up to His will and be who you are.”
There is much more to Flyleaf than meets the eye. Opening for folks like Staind, and Saliva, most people might think that they are just another hard rock band spewing forth inane, negative lyrics. However, Flyleaf is a shining example that you can’t judge a book by its cover.
For more information, please check out their website: