Alexis Krauss Is Determined To Make The Best Sleigh Bells Record Yet

It’s been seven years since we first heard from Sleigh Bells and now the kickass duo are back and more energized than ever before to make their best album yet. Alexis Krauss and Derek Miller returned to their home turf in Brooklyn, the same city where years ago they were plugging in their own pedals and iPods for small venue performances, to play a special Northside Festival showcase with Run The Jewels. Their fiery, kinetic energy made for a performance to remember, considering this was most likely their last performance until a new record drops sometime in 2016. Once again, Alexis showed us that she is the badass babe around and a bonafide rockstar.

Alexis Krauss, Sleigh Bells, Northside Festival, Photo Credit, Shannon Kurlander, Galore

“I don’t know if I’ve yet achieved rockstar status.”

Alexis has come a long way since her just-out-of-college days when she was better known as Ms. Krauss, a teacher. “I had made a decision I wasn’t going to pursue music full time as a career,” she said. That was until Derek Miller came along. “I wanted to pursue activism and education and when I met Derek it disrupted all of that,” Alexis said. Fast forward to 2015 and Alexis is onstage in front of thousands of people who know every lyric to classic Sleigh Bells’ anthems like “Rill Rill” and “Infinity Guitars”.

However, Alexis doesn’t consider herself a true icon just yet. “I don’t know if I’ve yet achieved rockstar status, but for me, Joan Jett is a rockstar.” She continued, “When you’ve had a career like that then I think you deserve to be called a rockstar.” But for many fans, Alexis is both their rockstar and inspiration; a symbol of “you can do anything you set your mind to.” Alexis went from pursuing a noble career as a teacher to taking a leap of faith and working hard to make her dream become reality as a fierce musician. While Alexis may no longer be a teacher, a job she knows she could always return to, she continues to inspire and empower as the frontwoman of Sleigh Bells. Alexis said, “The idea that I’m a leader- I’m up on stage to motivate, inspire and bring people along with me – is really similar to being a teacher.”

Alexis Krauss, Sleigh Bells, Northside Festival, Photo Credit, Shannon Kurlander, Galore

And that’s exactly why fans adore Alexis. She inspires and commands as a truly energetic and compelling singer. “I don’t just look at my feet and feel separate from my audience,” Alexis said, “My show is about engagement and interaction.” It’s hard to take your eyes off Alexis during a Sleigh Bells performance because after seven years of shows, she’s truly mastered the stage. Whether she’s staring straight into the crowd or conducting some crazy scissor kicks, Alexis’ unwavering confidence shines through.

Alexis Krauss, Sleigh Bells, Northside Festival, Photo Credit, Shannon Kurlander, Galore

“Know when to say no and know when to be bold.”

A perfect performance wasn’t always the case. When Treats first dropped, along came a fandom of harsh critics. “When I started this band, I was much more insecure, shy and self conscious. I ultimately had to make a decision: I was either going to allow the press, critics and commentators on the internet to break my self esteem or I was going to rise above it and find inspiration from the people who were fans of the band and who were just bleeding this love and excitement,” Alexis said.

Alexis is extremely aware that this “all eyes on you” concept is something that plagues many young women and offers advice for girls looking to be just as powerful. “As young women, it’s easy for us to doubt ourselves, our image, and our self worth, but you just have to have grit,” Alexis said, “Know when to say no and know when to be bold.”

“Sleigh Bells will always be that cacophony of craziness and chaos but still with an essence of sweetness where you can sing along.”

Alexis is bold, all right, and feeling more energized than ever to join forces with Derek in making a mind-blowing new Sleigh Bells record. “We’re at a place where things feel comfortable, but we’re still insanely restless and more determined than ever,” she said. The fourth time around could come with all sorts of pressure to reinvent, but the duo feels nothing but excitement. “We’re more eager, not so much to prove ourselves, but to make a really good record which we’re working hard on right now,” Alexis said.

Alexis Krauss, Sleigh Bells, Northside Festival, Photo Credit, Shannon Kurlander, Galore

What can one expect on the fourth addition to the catalog? Alexis said, “Sleigh Bells will always be that cacophony of craziness and chaos, but still with an essence of sweetness where you can sing along.” While this album is purely focused on Sleighs 4.0, Alexis would love to collaborate with more female artists in the future like 2014’s “That Did It” with Tink.

“Claire [Grimes] and I are really friendly and I find her incredibly inspiring just in terms of how autonomous she is and insanely creative. It would be amazing to do something together at some point,” Alexis said. She also mentioned being a big Charli XCX fan, aren’t we all, and would love a future collab. So wait: could a Grimes, Charli XCX and Sleigh Bells jam be in the works? We’ll have to just keep dreaming for now and cross our fingers that a first glimpse of Sleigh Bells’ new record will arrive very soon.

Interview & Film Photos by: Shannon Kurlander


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