Flyleaf hopes to leave musical ‘Memento’ in Pittsburgh

By Larissa Gula


Mr. Smalls Theatre

Nov. 11, 8 p.m.



Its new album, Memento Mori,… Flyleaf

Mr. Smalls Theatre

Nov. 11, 8 p.m.



Its new album, Memento Mori, dropped on Tuesday and this week it’ll be making a stop at Mr. Small’s on tour. Welcome to Pittsburgh, Flyleaf.

Flyleaf began playing alternative rock in Texas as a two-member band, according to bass player Pat Seals.

Since 2000, the band has expanded, toured, released two albums and been voted as Best Artist and Best Band by MTV and the public on Yahoo! Polls, respectively.

Despite the fact that its first, self-titled album went platinum, selling more than 1 million copies in the United States, its goal remains fairly humble.

“Flyleaf’s mission is definitely to use our music and personas/careers as a platform to convey what has changed our lives,” Seals wrote in an e-mail interview.

“Our band would not exist today the way it does without the many people from home who believed in/helped us,” Seals wrote. “We had a really wonderful base of support from our friends and families, with [guitar player Jared Hartman’s] parents … letting us use both of their vehicles to get ourselves and equipment to shows for just about two years. My folks allowed me to drop out of college and crash at home while Flyleaf was betwixt showcases and recordings.

“Also, a cadre of other local bands in the Belton/Temple, Austin, Dallas and Houston areas provided us a ‘scene’ in which to exist and gather influences,” he wrote.

Music composition can be difficult, but Flyleaf can make even the difficulty of combining many different and musical tastes work somehow work together well, he said.

“We have a pretty functional system in Flyleaf so far, so it’s only about as hard for us to write a song we feel good about as it is to mow a medium-sized lawn with a push-mower, but in April or so when it is not too hot outside,” Seals wrote.

Topic-wise, the band’s lyrics lean toward the dark and emotional.

“Frequent themes for me are dissatisfaction and longing,” Seals wrote.

“I’m no brilliant or prolific writer, but when I manage to write something I feel good about, it seems to be the result of many ideas I’ve culled by happenstance in a pedestrian manner that have been ‘put into my brain blender,’ so to speak, and then ‘poured into my song cup’ for others to enjoy … or ignore.”

“I feel great about Memento Mori as far as quality — I also have very high hopes for it,” he wrote. “I feel that [Memento Mori] is a big step forward for us musically and sonically. When our self-titled was released in 2005, I had no idea what to expect or if it would be successful at all.”

With the release of Memento Mori and a tour to complete, the band’s life is surprisingly quiet, according to Seals. Occasionally a prank is pulled or a friend is seen at a show.

“Exploring creepy/haunted venues is fun, and seeing the sights of places we haven’t been before is always a blast,” Seals wrote.

The band continues to set up concerts for its tours, but Seals admits things could change if something unforeseen happens.

“We can’t predict the future — our careers could easily peter out in a few months,” he wrote. “We of course hope to keep doing this, but we are very happy to have what we have at this moment in time. If Flyleaf was over, I would not feel ungrateful for what we got to experience of the past six years.

“Many moments have arisen that made me question the lot in life I have chosen, but for each of those moments there are a few dozen others that confirm Flyleaf’s and my own decision to exist and persevere as the correct one. God has blessed us so immensely with each other, our crew and the ability and resources to do what we do. It’s not roses all the time, but it is honestly wonderful,” he wrote.