Alexis Krauss Continues to Sleigh It
Sleigh Bells front-woman Alexis Krauss is the type of front-woman I lose my damn mind over. She makes me consider crowd surfing, which, PS, is some ‘Fear Factor’ types of shit for me. So yeah, that’s how incredible she is. Let me remind you of her rafter-reaching pipes complete with confident soft spoken purrs to insane rock roars, all of which give me many an eargasm. So thanks for that, girl. Then there’s her sartorial-slaying style. We share an affinity for Obesity & Speed, so naturally we are meant to be BFF. Also, don’t even get me started on her killer bangs. I got her to spill the secret behind that immaculateness, in addition to chatting with her about Sleigh Bells’ forthcoming album (!!!), freaking out after Dave Grohl revealed his Sleigh Bells admiration, and performing in a hot pink bra as a result of her frisky fans. Read on whilst I rock out to ‘Reign of Terror’ for the 391753th time.
Rumor has it you’re already working on album three?! What can you tell me about it?
We’ve been hard at work on our third record for the past few months and have several songs completed. Now that we are off tour, we’ve been dedicating all of our time to the studio. It’s an incredibly exciting time for us as the album is really starting to take shape and come to life. I don’t want to say too much about the sound as the release is still months away. I will say that this is the most proud we’ve ever been of our music. It brings together the best existing elements of Sleigh Bells while simultaneously exploring several new directions.
Where do you do your best songwriting? Tour buses? Bubble baths?
I personally do my best songwriting in the studio. We generally work on one song at a time and as Derek [Edward Miller] is building the track, I’m sitting in the vocal booth focused on writing melodies and lyrical ideas. I’ll often take ideas home and record demos sitting on my bed late at night. It’s a solitary and peaceful environment that really allows me to think. That being said, you can never predict when a great idea is going to strike. I’ve had to bolt out of yoga class in the middle of eagle pose to hum a melody into my iPhone voice recorder!
That’s so amazing. So, do you have any pre-show rituals?
After I change and finish my makeup I generally just bounce around! It’s impossible for me to sit still the hour before we play. I’m either stretching, warming up my voice or doing jumping jacks. It’s really important for me to build my energy level so I can give 200% on stage. Derek and I also love having pre-show dance parties to Ghostface. He never fails to get us pumped!
Got any strippers on your tour rider?
We’re pretty simple and don’t make many demands. Derek likes lots of Bud Light and beef jerky and I prefer dried mango and coconut water. Our rider is nowhere near as interesting as our friend Diplo! Maybe we should start asking for a gorilla!
What’s the last song you belted your face off in the shower?
That would have to be Belinda Carlisle’s “Heaven Is A Place on Earth.” I heard it last night in the bodega and it’s been stuck in my head ever since!
When’s the last time you got starstruck?
I was definitely starstruck the first time I met Dave Grohl. He literally just walked into our dressing room unannounced at the MTV Woodie Awards and started telling us how our first record was a huge inspiration for the latest Foo Fighter’s album. The thought of him and Butch Vig sitting in the studio discussing ‘Treats’ was mind-blowing for Derek and I. Plus he’s just so goddamn sexy!
What posters were on your wall as a teen?
There were several but the best was my black light Smashing Pumpkins poster. I remember falling asleep staring at D’arcy Wretzky and thinking she was the coolest f***ing person in the world.
Top secret behind achieving your amazinggg bangs… Spill it!
I think they stay so straight because I’ve essentially had them since I was two! I also see Brooke Burbee at Woodley and Bunny. She’s a bang master!
LOVE Woodley and Bunny. Okay, so what’s the most recent album you were super impressed by?
I’m really into the ‘Northern Lights’ EP by Kate Boy and very excited hear what they do next.
What would you name your memoir?
I have no idea. Probably something like ‘Tales of a Sparkly Unicorn Banshee.’
What’s been the craziest fan experience?
Recently on the S.S. Coachella, I was given an actual-size custom made frosted strawberry pop tart necklace. Pretty darn sweet!!
What’s your favorite venue to play?
I love Cain’s Ballroom in Tulsa Oklahoma. It’s a legendary venue and there’s even a door backstage with a hole kicked in it by Sid Vicious. The energy in the room is like nowhere else in country.
Which city boast your wildest fans?
Kids in the mid-west tend to go pretty nuts. Our Chicago fans never cease to surprise us with their antics. I’ve even had my shirt ripped right off my back in the middle of a show. It was really no problem though…I just had to finish the set in a hot pink bra!
All super great photography by Patrick O’Dell!