With Evanescence, Korn, Atreyu, Hellyeah, Droid, Trivium
Verizon Wireless Music Center
Friday, Aug. 10, 2 p.m., $15.99-$65.50, all ages
Flyleaf is one of those bands that puts me in touch with my inner 15-year-old. Lacey Mosley’s vocals are occasionally full of such sweet longing that for the first time I understand why all my female classmates in high school swooned over Michael Tramp.
Not that anyone is comparing Flyleaf to 1980s hair metal, a subgenre that — preemptive counterstrikes by The Darkness notwithstanding — remains officially in disgrace. Mosley’s lyrics frequently speak of addiction, depression and emotional neglect. Yet, through her vocal swings and the basic Nirvana-esque phrases of guitarists Jared Hartmann and Sameer Bhattacharya, the band is committed to seeing an optimistic future.
“We’ve all been abused in some way,” says Bhattacharya. “Whether its physically, spiritually, sexually. But just because we’ve gone through those things, doesn’t mean we have to become those things.”
Though Bhattacharya is initially tight-lipped about any demons he might be exorcising, he eventually alludes to a lonely Texas childhood. While it may be true that every celebrity from the D-list on up claims to have been a dork in high school, Bhattacharya renders his geekdom in pretty convincing detail.
“I had a lot of anger issues growing up,” he says. “I was a really tiny guy, wasn’t good at athletics, had a lot of insecurities. My parents taught me really well, [gave me] a good, Christian moral basis. And I treated them really badly. Even now I have dreams about how I made my mom cry.”
This brings us to the other major point about the band — their religious faith. In Bhattacharya’s case, although he appreciated the social value of Christian ethics, for most of his teens he had a greater appreciation for scientific testability. Then one night in his later teens while he was out with a group of really close friends, he had an epiphany, though he didn’t much pretend to be able to relate the experience (Mosley has a similar story and loss for words).
“Everyone wants to be loved, we’re creatures of community,” he says, “and the more I read the Bible, the more it made sense. There’s a phrase in Proverbs that says, ‘It’s in the nature of God to conceal things, it’s for the kings to find out.’ The Holy Spirit is within us. It’s our job to love.”
The band frequently discusses the Bible together, taking pleasure in the diversity of their interpretations. Unfortunately, whenever their faith comes up in interviews, the band occasionally has to deal with the presumption of militancy.
“There are people who hate the very idea of God and Christianity but still come to our shows and hang out with us,” Bhattacharya says. “It’s nice not having to hide who we are.”