Sleigh Bells' Alexis Krauss on Europe, SNL and Why She Digs California

Categories: interview
Patrick O'Dell
Having recently released their sophomore album, Brooklyn-based duo Sleigh Bells have been busy. They've completed a European tour, performed at SXSW and are in the midst of an extensive U.S. tour that will have them crisscrossing the country as headliners and conclude with several east coast stops opening for the Red Hot Chili Peppers. We caught up with Alexis Krauss to chat about the new album, French fries and what's to come for the band.
OC Weekly: Are the new songs from Reign of Terror being received? Have you played these songs live before recording them?

Alexis Krauss: We don't like to play the new songs until after we've recorded them because we use a track for all of our beats and it's impossible for us to test something on a crowd since it needs to be recorded in advance because we don't have a drummer. We rely on that electronic program track so we didn't debut anything until the record came out. It's always nerve-wracking to play new songs because you don't know how they're going to be received. When the record first came out, you could see a lull in the crowd since they weren't familiar with the material yet. As the tour has progressed, we're definitely noticing that kids are starting to sing-along, shout lyrics out and dancing to the songs. It's exciting to see that the momentum is building.

How was Europe? What were the crowds like?

We did a pretty quick tour of Europe. We flew over from Seattle to
the UK and played a copule of cities there including London. From there
we went to Paris, Berlin and Amsterdam. We also did the BBC Sessions for
Radio 1. Europe has been more challenging for us than the States since
we don't have as big of a presence as we do here. It feels like we're
still proving ourselves over there and we have to work a bit harder.
That being said, it was really rewarding. We finally reached a point
that our shows were full of fans as opposed to people who had read about
us on the Internet and were coming to kind of check us out. The shows
felt much more enthusiastic and the crowds were participatory and
involved in the music. I have to say that this time around it exceeded
my expectations.

What's the most interesting/random thing you ate while on the road over there? I'd imagine that the food would be a bit different than over here.

You'd be surprised. There's a lot of Starbucks, Burger King, McDonalds and those places over there. If you want to, you can eat the worst American food possible. This isn't very adventurous but we played Amsterdam and late night in Europe, there aren't many things that are open, but those places that are include kebab shops, which are literally everywhere. But if you don't feel like eating a falafel or a kebab, you don't have many options. There's the late night fries spots, like Belgian style frits where you can get French fries in a cone and they have 50 different kinds of sauces. So with the sauces, it can get pretty random and incredible.

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