MTV News recently spoke to the Belton, Texas-based quintet FLYLEAF about the band's forthcoming sophomore album, "Memento Mori".
Due on October 27, the follow-up to the band's hit 2005 self-titled debut sees the group again teaming with producer Howard Benson, who — in addition to FLYLEAF's debut — is known for his work with PAPA ROACH, MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE and THE ALL-AMERICAN REJECTS.
"The whole theme of the album is summed up by the title — 'Memento Mori' — that everything comes to an end and that we're mortal and we're going to die," guitarist Sameer Bhattacharya said. "But in all of that, there's hope and a bigger picture. It's beautiful, when you think about it, the idea that every day is precious."
"With the songs that we write, we talk really openly and honestly about our struggles and about battling inner demons ourselves," vocalist Lacey said. "So the kids just naturally want to tell us their struggles and the demons they deal with, and I love 'em so much. ... I wish I could hug them all and make it better, but that's not always good enough. It doesn't make it better. So you just have to trust that God's bigger than we are, and the kids keep going.
"In part of my maturing process, I have to learn how to hear those things and still be compassionate but also let them go and trust God with everything," she continued. "Because, you know, I'm not God, and that's a relief."
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The album's title comes from the well-known Latin phrase that, through the ages, has been uttered as a reminder of the mortality we all share. According to ancient texts, memento mori was historically acted out as a kind of ritual tableau in ancient Rome when a victorious general was welcomed back to the city with a parade: "Standing behind the victorious general was a servant, and he had the task of reminding the general that, though he was up on the peak today, tomorrow was another day. The servant did this by telling the general that he should remember that he was mortal, i.e. 'Memento mori."