Latin Music Week
Your Guide to 2019's Billboard Latin Music Week
Billboard Sounds Showcase Lineup Features Voz de Mando, Pipe Bueno & More
Here Are All the Artists Performing at the 2019 Billboard Latin Music Awards
Latin Music Week 2019: J Alvarez to Headline Billboard Sounds Showcase, Sponsored by Glad Empire & ASCAP
Exclusive Video Premiere: Watch Flyleaf's 'Set Me on Fire'
Watch the new visual from Flyleaf's upcoming album, which guitar Sameer Bhattacharya calls "one of the coolest records we've ever made."
Kristen May has been a comfortable fit for Flyleaf since she joined the hard rock outfit in place of original singer Lacey Sturm in October of 2012. But the quintet felt it was important that its first video with May -- for "Set Me on Fire," the first single from the forthcoming Between the Stars album -- be a fairly straightforward performance clip. Watch the video below, exclusively on Billboard.com:
"We have tried to do all these narrative videos in the past, and they never really translated. The ideas were always a little convoluted," guitarist Sameer Bhattacharya tells Billboard. "I think for our first video with Kristen, we wanted it to be just a performance video to show everyone that this is what it is. I think it was a great move."
The approach to the clip is just one of a number of changes Flyleaf made for Between The Stars. May's arrival -- heralded on the 2013 single "Something Better" and the Who We Are EP -- has brought a different sonic sensibility to Flyleaf's music, showing off what Bhattacharya calls "a great sense of melody. Lacey had a really good sense of rhythm, and her vocals were very percussive, where Kristen's are melodic and soaring. It's definitely something we needed in this time."
But, the guitarist acknowledges, the somewhat more commercial sound "caught me by surprise, I think. This stuff was just coming out -- we weren't trying to make it sound like this. It was just what was naturally happening as we were writing these songs. I don't know if it's just the growth in our songwriting, or the fact we've been doing it for so long that we've cut a lot of fat out of what we do. We were trying to let each song stand on its own and speak for itself. It was definitely an easy recording to write, and I think it's one of the coolest records we've ever made."
After three albums with producer Howard Benson, Flyleaf switched this time to Don Gilmore, which Bhattacharya calls a vastly different experience. "Howard runs his studio like a laboratory, which I love -- you go in there and you know exactly what's going to happen and it's all about getting these perfect sounds and these perfect takes. And with Don you go in there and it's total, like, 'Let's feel it out, man.' It's all about the spontaneity and the energy and the moment."
With Between the Stars due out Sept. 16, Bhattacharya says Flyleaf plans to hit the road in the U.S. for a headlining run during October, with overseas dates planned for early 2015. "I think we're just gonna go raw, balls-to-the-wall," he says of the shows. "Flyleaf has never been a big production band. We rely heavily on the energy we put off the stage. I remember one time we had these chandeliers with us, but we're so crazy on stage we wound up breaking all of them in just the first few shows. I think we'll just have a great light show and a great live show and let the songs speak for themselves."