Sleigh Bells' Alexis Krauss: "Everytime We Get Onstage, I See It As a Fight We Have to Win"
Sleigh Bells is long overdue for a Phoenix show. It's been more than three years since the noise pop duo rocked a sold-out show at the now-defunct Clubhouse with a wall of Marshall amps and lots of screaming. Since then, frontwoman Alexis Krauss says the band has developed significantly thanks to the addition of a live drummer and a second guitarist, and has gained more experience as a band.
Petra Collins Alexis Krauss (left) and Derek E. Miller of Sleigh Bells.
"I felt kind of guilty making people pay to see us play for 25 minutes, but that was because we were restricted by our very limited repertoire at the time," Krauss says, "We've been playing shows now for almost five years...it's done wonders for our confidence and our efficacy on stage."
We recently caught up with Alexis Krauss in advance of Sleigh Bells' concert at the Crescent Ballroom on Wednesday night to discuss recording a new music video in a True Detective-like setting, how the duo's live show has progressed, and her top picks are for Coachella this year.
I see you guys are in New Orleans right now. What are you up to?
We actually spent the past couple of days shooting a music video, so we were wandering all around the city, and then outside of the city in the more like swamp/rural parts, so I kind of got my True Detective Louisiana experience over the past few days, it was great.
The last time you guys performed in Phoenix was on the Treats tour. The show was fast, furious, and short. Two albums later, how have your live performances changed?
They've changed so much. That first tour we did for Treats was incredible, but it was much more stripped down than our show now. It used to just be Derek [Miller, guitars] and I on stage with our trusty iPod ,and now we actually have a live drummer and we have another guitarist.
So the sound live is much more fully formed and we're just much more confident on stage. We've been playing shows now for almost five years, which isn't that long in terms of the lifetimes of bands, but for us it's done wonders for our confidence and our efficacy on stage. I think our show is much more exciting and dynamic.
As you mentioned, we used to play insanely short sets. There were a few times I felt kind of guilty making people pay to see us play for 25 minutes, but that was because we were restricted by our very limited repertoire at the time and Treats is a very quick record, so even if we played every song off of it, the show would have never lasted more than 32 minutes.
So now, we have two additional records, [Reign of] Terror and Bitter Rivals, and the show's much more substantial. It's really interesting how the three records work together. Sonically, they're pretty different, but they integrate really beautifully in the live setting. We're just a much more interesting and exciting band than we were back in 2011.