Flyleaf is preparing to release their third studio album, New Horizons, in the next upcoming months. Although no official release date has been set, the lead single (which bears the same name as the album) is currently available to download at the iTunes store and Amazon. The new record comes highly anticipated by listeners after Flyleaf’s 2005 debut album went platinum while their second release peaked at no. 8 on the Billboard charts.
For the new LP Flyleaf once again reunited with famed producer Howard Benson, a man that has worked with just about every big name in rock and alternative music that one can imagine. Benson and the group have now teamed up on all of Flyleaf’s records thus far and as rhythm guitarist, Jared Hartmann, explained, the relationship has been nothing but great since its inception. “I love working with Howard. I think he brings a lot of good stuff out of us. He really concentrates mostly on vocals but it’s cool because he trusts us with his engineers so we get to play around; they have every amp and really everything a guitar player could dream of having so we get to use a lot of stuff and experiment with a lot of cool tones.”
While many bands will record over fifty songs for an album before selecting their final cut, Flyleaf couldn’t have been more different in this regard for New Horizons. In fact, the group instead chose to focus on a core selection of songs for the album and wasted no time on excess material. “For this record we didn’t write thirty or forty songs; we had like eleven or twelve and that was it really. It was really cool how much we loved the songs we had and Howard was saying how he thought it was our best record yet, and that’s how I feel too. I think we just focused in on the songs we had and I’m really happy with how they turned out.”
In contrast with Flyleaf’s previous album, for the recording of the new disc the band moved away from the concept album approach. And though Hartmann is still proud of what the group accomplished on Memento Mori, he was open about the fact he always prefers a more free-flowing writing process when it comes to making music. “I think our mindset going into this was to write songs we really liked. I know on Memento Mori we had a concept that we tried to stick to but now we’ve gone back to how we wrote the first record – just writing songs we love and not trying to write a certain way or in a certain genre. When you let the songs just be themselves, it usually turns out better that way.”
Earlier this year, Flyleaf was faced with the devastating loss of their close friend and sound man, Rich Caldwell. As one can only imagine, the band struggled immensely with the death of a person they all considered family. In May of this year, Flyleaf held a benefit concert for Caldwell and hasn’t performed a live show since. “It was a really emotional show and it had been over a year since we had played a show at the time. We were all crying right before we went on…Richard’s wife, Katy, is our road manager and we just have a really close family bond with them. Richard was with us for over eight years; it was just so emotional because he really was a part of our family. He brought a lot not only to what we do and our sound, but also as a person he was so amazing. He really believed in Flyleaf and we wanted to honor him with that show.”
As Hartmann put it, Flyleaf is a family above all else and that’s exactly what has enabled the group remain strong after the tragic death of Caldwell. And while coping with the passing of a loved one is never an easy thing to do, the band is clearly taking steps forward and are excited to hit the road again after the release of New Horizons. Fans should stay updated with the band as a release date for the new record could be announced quite soon.