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Comprised of vocalist Alexis Kraus and producer Derek E. Miller, the Brooklyn-based duo known as Sleigh Bells has garnered the attention of other musical heavyweights like M.I.A. and Diplo thanks to their genre-bending sound. With their second alum Reign of Terror finding them in a darker place, it’s always a risk to move away from what people expect from them as artists. Recently HYPETRAK editors Petar Kujundzic and Aymen Ahmed had an opportunity to talk with the band about a variety of topics. The entire interview can be read at HYPETRAK while choice excerpts appear below.
Thanks for your time. You are currently promoting your new album Reign of Terror while its lead single, “Comeback Kid,” is catching up steam. Could you tell us a little bit about the relation between the tune and the LP, and how it is comparable to the last album?
Derek E. Miller: That is one of the few songs on the record that conveys a positive message. It is also the last song we recorded for the album. Reign of Terror is not like a downer record but it’s on its toes, but lyrically and informatically it is much darker than Treats. Having now recorded the entire record, we put off all the darkness and negativity out of our chest, so it was really nice to switch gears and turn into a whole new lane.
Alexis Krauss: I feel that song is an answer to all the other things that we have mentioned in the other songs. It definitely is in its own place addressing all the issues that drive the album.
DM: It is a really positive thing, being a “Comeback Kid,” you know, getting your stuff together, moving passed the darkness.
DM: “Comeback Kid” is the bright spot on the record.
AK: As Derek already said, it was the last song that we recorded and if we would be still recording right now, we would certainly pick up the vibe and direction of “Comeback Kid.”
DM: We had like two days left until we had to turn in our album, and it was just a handful of power chords and I made the beat in an hour or two and then we just went with it. It’s just one of these songs that happen really quickly, because it was easy and it felt just right.
How did u experience the success of your debut album Treats and how do you want the people to experience Reign of Terror?
DM: Honestly, I just hope they like it [Reign of Terror]. We are not like, “We are doing this for us, and we don’t give a fuck about what our fans think.” Fuck that. I care. I want people to like it. If we would put the record out and everyone hated it, I won’t pretend, I would be bumped as shit. I care. I want. We invested in our art form. Everyone likes to be understood, so we are no exception in this field.
AK: We are both very ambitious people, so it is just obvious that we want our music to be appreciated and to be heard. As far as the success of Treats is concerned, it definitely exceeded our expectations. Every show that we played had a bigger and better crowd which is a good feeling. Now, while recording Reign of Terror, it was really good to know that somebody will buy the record (laughs).
DM: Definitely. Knowing that we have a fanbase out there definitely helped us recording this piece. You know, some people out there will be psyched to hear it. It’s not like we started from scratch with this album. That’s a first.