Sleigh Bells ride out of the darkness
For someone who comes across as a too-cool-for-your-school badass on-stage, Alexis Krauss is pretty wonderful in conversation. You want nice? That would be the Sleigh Bells singer, who, when reached on her cellphone in New York City, seems on a mission to usurp the Flaming Lips’ Wayne Coyne as the most charming interview subject in rock ’n’ roll.
Along with her bandmate Derek E. Miller, Krauss is enjoying a week off in the Big Apple, which she calls home. That’s a nice change, as Sleigh Bells has been busy since the release of its bold and bombastic sophomore album, Reign of Terror, on which the duo makes a seemingly effortless transition from Brooklyn-based buzz-band to mainstream pick-to-click. This year’s major career-boosters have included landing the cover of the newly revamped Spin magazine, scoring the musical guest spot in late February on Saturday Night Live, and getting greenlighted for the upcoming Pitchfork Musical Festival. It’s not just the music world that’s embraced Krauss and Miller; given that the two have what Pavement would describe as miles of style, it’s no shocker you can see them in a GQ fashion spread this spring.
Sleigh Bells is a band on the rise, this being doubly admirable considering that Reign of Terror isn’t exactly calibrated for mass consumption. But if all the above has gone to Krauss’s head, she’s doing a great job of sounding refreshingly down to earth.
“You’re going to be jealous of me,” the outgoing singer teases from the streets of NYC, breaking into a delighted-sounding laugh. “We’ve got a couple of days off between tours, and it’s 75 degrees here and sunny—so beautiful.”
The way that’s she’s utilizing her downtime gives you a pretty good idea that the raven-haired Ray-Ban fan isn’t out to become the reigning queen of the Williamsburg hipster scene.
“I have an 11-month-old puppy, so I’m spending time with her,” Krauss reveals. “I’m kind of a homebody. When I get home, I just sort of den up and watch lots of TV and read. I hang out with my dog and eat good food that I can’t normally get when I’m driving around the country. My excitement comes from touring. When I’m home, it’s all about resting and relaxing.”
What comes across most during Krauss’s interview with the Georgia Straight is that she couldn’t be happier with how her life is unfolding. How odd, then, given how great a place Reign of Terror has her in today, that Sleigh Bells’ latest was born out of a time of epic sadness.