Flyleaf Guitarist Sameer Bhattacharya Says He “Gets Away with a Lot of Different Sounds” on New Album

Image Courtesy of MSO Public RelationsFlyleaf's new album, Between the Stars, is a lot more dance and pop-influenced than the rock band's earlier work. As the first full-length album to feature new lead singer Kristen May, Between the Stars was sure to bring new styles, but as guitarist Sameer Bhattacharya explains it, the new sound is the result of a natural progression.

"If you look from our first record going to Memento Mori to New Horizons -- and you have all the EPs in between -- it's natural that [our sound] would evolve and that it would change," he tells ABC News Radio. "We've grown up so much from that first record. We were just coming out of our teens, and we experienced all of our twenties from the first record until [Between the Stars]. Now we're in our thirties, and there's so much life that we've experienced, and it's just an evolution of things."

That change in sound came not only from the pipes of the lead singer, but also from the instrumental techniques. Flyleaf brought in Don Gilmore, who has worked with Korn, Dashboard Confessional and Three Days Grace, to produce Between the Stars.

"[Gilmore] let us get away with a lot of different sounds, and it was a lot of fun. On 'Platonic,' I used this piece of gear called the Pocket Piano -- that's made by Critter and Guitari -- we call it the 'fun box,'" Bhattacharya says. "That was really cool, and that was a sound that we hadn't really used in the Flyleaf world."

"Don Gilmore got me to play softer too on the bass," adds bassist Pat Seals. "He said, 'You're scaring the ladies off the dance floor.'"

Even with the dance elements, Between the Stars still retains that heavy sound from the band's earlier days. The band's metal roots are especially apparent on the song "City Kids," which features a primal scream courtesy of Seals. As Seals explains, the scream came up because it felt right in the moment.

"During the writing session we were demoing 'City Kids,' and Sameer said, 'Scream right at this part,'" Seals says. "I'm like, 'OK.' It just turned out to be the little flair in the song."

Even through the sonic tinkering, the fans have stuck by Flyleaf, resulting in a debut at number one on the Billboard Alternative Albums chart.

"We just want to thank the fans for all your support over the years, and that we love you," Bhattacharya says. "We hope that Between the Stars will speak to you on a very deep level, and that you'll read between the words, and that you'll feel inspired."

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