Q&A: Derek Miller of Sleigh Bells on Treats, M.I.A., and Opening For Yeasayer

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Sleigh Bells is opening for Yeasayer tonight at Neumos.
You may not have heard the Brooklyn experimental/electronic/noise-rock band Sleigh Bells , but I'm making it

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Q&A: Derek Miller of Sleigh Bells on Treats, M.I.A., and Opening For Yeasayer

  • Q&A: Derek Miller of Sleigh Bells on Treats, M.I.A., and Opening For Yeasayer

  • ">

    sleigh bells resize.jpg
    Sleigh Bells is opening for Yeasayer tonight at Neumos.
    You may not have heard the Brooklyn experimental/electronic/noise-rock band Sleigh Bells, but I'm making it my goal right now to change that. The duo of Derek Miller and Alexis Krauss is making some of the trippiest, most high-octane, exciting music I've heard this year (their debut record, Treats , will be released next month on M.I.A.'s N.E.E.T. label; in the meantime, hit up their MySpace) - they're 50% of the reason I'm so stoked for the Yeasayer show tonight at Neumos (they're opening). Plus, Sasha Frere-Jones, music critic of the New Yorker and one of my favorite writers, recently called Sleigh Bells his favorite band in New York. I just spoke with Miller as he and Krauss headed into Seattle for tonight's show (Sleigh Bells' first appearance here).

    How was the Portland show last night?

    Portland was incredible. San Francisco was kind of rough. There was strange vibe, a weird mood in the room. It's a Yeasayer show. I respect that. People are hearing you for the first time, so they're kind of evaluating, which is fair. But yeah, last night there was a little more energy.

    How was Coachella?

    Coachella was great. It was really different context for us, the really huge stage. It's a tent but it's pretty much outdoors. I think you have to get used to that type of setting, because we play clubs, but it was pretty rad.

    How are the guys in Yeasayer so far?

    Extremely cool. I'm kind of amazed at how talented all of them are. They all sing extremely well, they're all multi-instrumentalists. It takes a lot of discipline.

    What can we expect of your show tonight? The show is sold out, but sometimes people will skip the opener, so why should people come watch you?

    Hopefully it's a party. We aim to please. It's supposed to be a lot of fun. You can just nod or jump around, do whatever the hell you want. It's not a heady music. I don't want to say it's party music, in that it's disposable, because it's not, but ultimately it's just supposed to be loud and a lot of fun.

    "Ring Ring" is one of my favorite songs I've heard this year. Why does it sound so much different from the other songs you've released?

    This is a trend that hopefully continues with us, where we don't really have a sound, and we don't know what it is. We're just writing songs. I wanted to write what is hopefully a good pop song, that doesn't rely on noise or dynamics, that's really strong.

    What's the balance between the heavy electronic stuff and the lighter pop stuff on your record?

    By and large, it's a pretty heavy affair. The beats tend to be harder, and the vocals are more melodic.

    What's M.I.A. like?

    She's amazing, really friendly and super creative.

    Have you picked out a single? Are you going to make a music video?

    We're actually in the process of doing all that stuff right now. There are a couple singles on the record. We're trying to figure out the first one.

    If you're hitting up Neumos tonight, make sure you get there on time to see this band. I don't think it'll be long before they're selling out their own headlining tours.

     
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