Founded in 2002 by Lacey Sturm and James Culpepper, the American hard rock band Flyleaf toured around the United States until releasing their debut album Flyleaf in 2005. 

Shortly after the band was formed, Lacey and James joined forces with guitarists Jared Hartmann and Sameer Bhattacharya, and bassist Pat Seals. Flyleaf found great success with their faith-based first album, which went platinum, and many of their singles, including “I'm So Sick” and “Fully Alive,” have been featured in both Christian and mainstream radio. 

“Sameer and Jared are really experimental with melodies and pedals, and we all had different influences that were all blending together with the same passionate and hopeful heart, and that brought out this beautiful feeling,” Lacey explains.  It was magical.”

Lacey has openly professed her love of Christ, but never labeled Flyleaf a “Christian band.” Instead, the group says they are simply Christians who play music. 

When asked what it was like playing in a Christian rock band, Lacey answers, “Well, you know what? I don't know what you mean by a 'Christian rock band.' It's hard to say that because people all have a different definition of what that means. If it means that we're Christians, then yeah, we're Christians, but if a plumber's a Christian, does that make him a 'Christian plumber?' I mean, we're not playing for Christians. We're just playing honestly and that's going to come out.” 

In 2009, Flyleaf released the album Memento Mori, which hit No. 8 on the Billboard charts. Shortly before the 2012 release of their third album, New Horizons, Lacey left the band and passed the torch on to Kristen May, who became the new lead singer. 

Nearly a year after first joining Flyleaf, Kristen said some fans were already attacking her faith and questioning whether or not she was Christian enough to be the lead singer. 

“… I'm the new singer of the band and I am a Christian, but I'm already getting some kind of lashings from other Christians saying I'm not Christian enough to be in this band because Lacey was like an angel,” Kristen laughs. “It's really interesting. I don't think it's just people who maybe aren't Christian or believe in something else who maybe don't want to listen to Flyleaf because of that. I just think it's ignorance and it's people being judgmental or maybe afraid of what they can get out of it. I don't know, I think we all do that in our lives. We all kind of put labels on things and put people in boxes even if we don't realize we're doing it. I think it's unfortunate because I think the guys in Flyleaf all have really good hearts. The whole Flyleaf family, all their friends and family members are really amazing people. I hope people can give it a chance no matter what connotation people thing Christian adds to it.”

In July of 2013, Flyleaf released Who We Are, their first album featuring Kristen on lead vocals.


Back to Flyleaf Page