Flyleaf bassist Pat Seals said he didn't want to be a bassist. He wanted to be a guitarist.
"I really started playing bass at church," Seals said during a telephone interview from Los Angeles. "We ended up needing a bass player and no one wanted to do it. And I was, 'I know all the songs. I want to play guitar, but I guess I'll do this.' "
Little did Seals know that the bass would become his livelihood.
Flyleaf formed in Texas in 2000. The band — Seals, vocalist Lacey Mosley, drummer James Culpepper and guitarists Sameer Bhattacharya and Jared Hartmann — released its eponymous debut in 2005.
The album, fueled by the mainstream rock-charting single "I'm So Sick," peaked at No. 57 on the Billboard 200 and landed at No. 1 on the Billboard Christian Album chart.
Since Flyleaf is considered a Christian band by some fans and music business executives, the group has it's own set of challenges, especially in the light of success.
"Flyleaf" has sold more than 1 million copies to date.
The band will release its follow-up, "Momento Mori," next week.
"We all unspokenly understood we needed to do well," Seals said about working on "Momento Mori." "Let's write some new songs and focus on them. But we weren't all calling each other in the middle of the night, worrying about it.
"We did understand the pressure. But we knew how to do what we were doing and more than we did (the first time around)."
As for being in a Christian band that has toured with secular rock bands such as Disturbed and Stone Sour, Seals said there are other aspects that prove to be a bit difficult.
In the beginning, the band played any show at any time for any amount of people, Seals said.
"Having patience and being able to focus and not flip out is important."
Also, the politics of the music business gets old.
"Like how will we get money to tour overseas? Or this person will help us if we do something for him. It's definitely not as simple as what some people think," Seals said.
However, Flyleaf plays for the fans, and it's the fans that make all the difficult times worthwhile.
"When someone says, 'Man, your band really helped me,' or 'The lyrics in this song made me feel this way,' or 'You brought me out of a dark time' or 'You gave me some hope' — that right there is the reason why we do it, and re-enforces the world turning."
Seals also said regardless of the trials, he enjoys being in the band.
"Getting to travel and experience life in an unplanned way is great," he said. "God gave me something great. He knew I kind of craved that. And he's letting me enjoy it."
The bassist also knows that, like most things on Earth, the time in the spotlight will eventually come to an end.
"It's cool, but I won't be able to do it forever," he said. "When I get old and funny looking for example."
IF YOU GO …
What: Flyleaf, Paper Tongues
Where: Murray Theater, 4959 S. State
When: Nov. 6, 7 p.m.
How much: $25
Phone: 801-467-8499, 800-888-8499
e-mail: [email protected]