Interview with Lacey Sturm
With Song River
Coming from a place that many might have called it quits, and at times Lacey Sturm came close, through self-discovery and a revelation of something which has become her guiding light, her faith, she overcame. Author of one published book, “The Reason” and book number two under way, along with her solo career after leaving the band Flyleaf, marriage and two kids later, Lacey has released her triumphant rock sound on her new album, Life Screams, and is now on tour. What Lacey brings in her own gritty, raspy sensual voice is a breathe of positive charged rock n roll lyrics and an essential element to what is her trademark… life deserves your full attention. Without question there is a hellacious amount of spirit moving through the lungs of today’s rock n roll songstress.
Song River: Hello Lacey, thank you for taking a few moments out of your day. How is life with family and your new album, plus touring all going?
Lacey Sturm: It is going real good. Everything seems to be falling into place little by little as it should. Plus, today the weather here is warm, so the kids are outside playing, which is great.
SR: I understand you have two little ones now?
LS: I have two boys, a two-year old and a four-year old. They are so sweet. I have never been loved, like they love me. They teach me so much and to be able to feel their delight in having me hug them, is crazy. The best gift I have ever has been given is them.
SR: Children really open our eyes. I was looking at a few press photos with you in them, and I was wondering how tall are you?
LS: I am actually 5’1”.
SR: Whenever I hear of someone complaining their short I always tell them to look at the positive… you can look up everyone else's nose and tell a lot about them!
LS: [laughed] It's all in how you look at things! I have always liked right where I am at.
SR: Listening to your new album, reading your social media feeds, Lacey you really are about finding that positive light.
LS: Yes, really and truly that is what is behind the title, Life Screams. When we really dug into it, it was to be about really paying attention to what life is telling you. All around there is something to learn about, be thankful for. We spend so much time worrying about our past or our future. We lose the present, we are robbing ourselves. I believe it was C.S. Lewis who said, “For the Present is the point at which time touches eternity.” Really in the end there is something so mystical, and empowering about paying attention to what life is saying to you, all around you. Be grateful, so you can look back and say I enjoyed it and I was present and the things that were around me. That was the whole idea. It is really wanting to be present in that life.
SR: I think many of us are looking for that way of living in the present. As it takes away the guilt of the past and the worry of the future.
LS: There are so many gifts right in front of us. Of course the present may not always be beautiful but at the same time if we can pace ourselves through life, and pursue what life is itself. Put into practice: I am still breathing, my heart's still beating, there is hope for me and we must learn to value self and surroundings.
SR: Looking back to the year 2012 and the things that had transpired up to that point what do you think was the major shift that brought about you become a solo artist. There seemed to be a culmination between the loss of a dear friend, your own struggles, marriage, kids, etc…
LS: I think there comes a time when you can choose to either harm your own soul or choose to organize your own life so your soul can become healthy. OR circumstance may force you. [laughed]. The circumstances during that time made me choose. I had to. I had lost my voice so many times around that period, and that is everything in what I am doing, yet my voice is not just my voice. Now not everyone honors me just as a person, that helps others, pays bills, etc… I respect the business machine that makes things grow in this business, it is very necessary, but I had to realize I was and am more.
SR: Do you feel then that contentment really does come from when we stop and assess or even reassess where we are and where we might be going?
LS: I think for myself personally growing up with my mom who was a single mother of six children, and I was the second oldest, and we literally had nothing to our names, we shared everything, we had to. There were six of us living in a one room efficiency apartment, boys on one mattress and the girls on the other mattress on the other side of the room, for me to be the giver I am, well I was naturally raised to be that way. There is so much beauty in being a giver, but there does come a time when you have to really think, am I really helping them? Can this be sustained?
SR: I do suppose in some ways if we give too much, we create a codependency environment.
LS: I just finished writing my second book and it is all about recognizing what codependency really is. We can’t be someone else savior without saving ourselves first. We can love all these people, but sometimes we need to make a choice. You have to decide what is best for you and your present state and future. I want my relationships to grow in the way that are healthy. And as a mom and more at times I feel very divided already. In order to give myself fully to this concept of being a mother, I had to step away. I actually had to pull all of myself back together. It was such a freeing thing, I know not every mom gets this opportunity to really pull themselves together. My mom never got that, she didn't know who she was at 16. Even with my dad who was an alcoholic at the time, she couldn’t. Yes, we all make choices, we have to, to be able to do things. What I got to do is such a gift to me. Even what I am doing now is such a gift, the record, touring, stability, doing it as a family, a solo project, the finances are stripped down, all these things because we love it. I am just so grateful for everything I am getting to enjoy.
SR: Gifts of joy really haven't any monetary attachment.
If I may is your mother still around and has she got to witness what has taken place in your life?
LS: Yes, yes she is. She lives in Texas and we talk daily, I am supposed to actually call her after doing interviews today. She has amazing dreams,and visions for everything. In Arlington, Tx she does an open mic and has been for years. She writes music and sings. We have been trying to get her out here to Pennsylvania to help her, but she is such a busy lady.
SR: On your books. You have one published, and you stated the next one is getting ready to be sent off for publication. Really to you Lacey it would seem words mean something. Between your song-writing and books… how much does this connect to your faith?
LS: All of it. [laughed] On just a basic level I don't think… I got another day, it's a gift, thank you God for another day. [paused] I think about death a lot [laughed]. Life is black and white in the realm of death after my experiences of losing those around me. It is or it isn’t.
We don’t have to control everything, we can’t and in honoring even my own children, they have to make their own decisions. Even for myself I have the resources to help bring light and goodness into my life. If it catches on, awesome, if not at least I know I stewarded it. We all choose to do what we can, the way we know how to do. I am just so thankful for that.
SR: You obviously use your gifts to help each other. We can take what we have and honor others in love. The music industry can be a hard road to travel, but through your faith you can carry on with what you’re doing.
In your downtime, when it is just you and your husband hanging out with the kids… what does it feel or look like?
LS: [laughed] It feels just like like is supposed to feel like. I think the best times we have shared and remember the most are the times when we connected with others all over the world and they became like family. We go to those times when they are the most tangibly beautiful. If we can remember those times when we are home… loving outward as a family and opening our circle continually wider.