FLYLEAF's LACEY STURM Says PANTERA Inspired Her To Start Screaming

November 7, 2023

In a new interview with Rock Feed, FLYLEAF singer Lacey Sturm was asked if there was a band that she heard when she was young that made her go, "I want to do hard rock music like them." She responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "PANTERA. The thing about PANTERA was that my brother liked them. They're from Arlington, Texas, and that's where we grew up. So that was like cool to know PANTERA. You knew where Dimebag [PANTERA guitarist] lived and walked past his house. In Halloween, they had like these big claws that looked like a monster was gonna pull the house on the ground on top of the roof. It was this cool thing — legendary. And we went to this junior high that they went to. So you could look them up in the old yearbooks. And so, PANTERA was sort of legendary a little bit."

She continued: "But I liked pop music when I was in fifth grade. And then my brother went to a NIRVANA show at Dallas at Tree's, actually — he went to that legendary one — for his, like, 12th birthday or something. Yeah, 'cause I was 11. And he brought home a tape. And I had the only boombox in the house. And so he had to come to my room to listen to it. And so, I started listening to that. And there was something about that, that was different than anything I'd heard in music, that it was like — it wasn't just to entertain you; it was an expression of something that I didn't realize you could express through music, because it was a mess. And I wasn't a musician, but I was, like, 'This is so… There's something about this.' And I fell in love with NIRVANA. But then when I heard PANTERA, I was, like, 'This is so dumb. This is not music. This is just somebody screaming.' Like, 'Why are you listening to this?' And then I pick up the lyric booklet and I see there's crazy abuse and like rage and I'm, like, 'Oh, wait. This is the only way to sing these lyrics, is to scream them.' And I was, like, 'I wanna scream some stuff too. The world's a mess.' So then me and my brother started bonding over PANTERA. And I wrote one of my first songs screaming. And I thought there is an appropriate time for that."

Lacey will release her sophomore solo album, "Kenotic Metanoia", on November 17.

FLYLEAF played its first concert with Sturm in 11 years on April 27 at Schoepf's BBQ in Belton, Texas.

FLYLEAF, which hadn't performed live since 2016 prior to the Belton concert, made its final festival appearance of this year at the Blue Ridge Rock Festival in September in Alton, Virginia.

Sturm left FLYLEAF in October 2012. She was replaced by Kristen May, who recorded one album with the group, 2014's "Between The Stars", before exiting.

In an interview with Ned of Iowa's Rock 108 radio station at this past July's Upheaval festival in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Lacey spoke about how she ended up reuniting with FLYLEAF for their first live shows together in more than a decade. She said: "Well, actually, my assistant that was on tour with us from the very beginning of FLYLEAF; we were called PASSERBY at that time. We were touring in an '88 Ford Club Wagon van, and we had a bunch of gear in the back with a mattress on top, and you could climb in there and sleep. She actually came on tour with us to be a stylist or a merch person — whatever we needed. She was with us from the beginning. So she got married. And we hadn't seen each other in, like, ten years, nine years, and so we all ended up at the wedding together. And that's how it started."

Sturm went on to say that her reunion with FLYLEAF came together in a "more organic" way than has been the case with some of the other high-profile band reunions in recent years. "I think it had to be that way," she said. "There were some offers for us to get back together, to do reunion shows, but we hadn't seen each other, and everybody has different lives, lots of children. So it didn't really make sense in those times, but because we were already connecting, we figured it out."

At several shows last year, Sturm joined SEETHER on stage to perform the FLYLEAF song "I'm So Sick".

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