Sleigh Bells to toll in Bowling GreenWritten by Vicki L. Kroll | | firstname.lastname@example.org
The cover of Sleigh Bell’s second disc, “Reign of Terror,” is disconcerting — and intriguing. It’s a still life: worn, white-canvas tennis shoes splattered with blood.
“I think the image of the blood on the Ked is a good representation of what ‘Reign of Terror’ is about, you know, without sounding too pretentious,” said lead singer Alexis Krauss. “I think the album is definitely a conversation about losing loved ones and struggling with the different blows that can come to your personal life, but also the music is definitely very youthful and explores a lot of topics that kids confront every day in their lives.”
They are her shoes.
“I wear Keds often on stage just because they’re so comfortable and I do so much dancing and moving on stage it’s impractical for me to wear anything else but sneakers,” she said. “Keds are such a classic American shoe and obviously sort of reference high school and innocence and definitely something that we associate with me at this point in the band.”
It’s not her blood.
“We were performing in Atlanta and [guitarist] Derek [Miller] accidentally came down on my head with the guitar stalk, and I definitely had a head wound and I continued performing the show with a bloody rag on my head. Derek likes to say the blood came from that night, but it didn’t; we added the blood,” she said and laughed.
The New York duo known for guitar-driven electronic pop formed in 2008. Two years later, Sleigh Bells’ debut, “Treats,” was gobbled up by fans and critics. The disc was named to more than 150 best-of lists in 2010.
“We could have never anticipated the success of ‘Treats.’ And I certainly, when I started working with Derek, never expected Sleigh Bells to become my career,” said Krauss, a former teacher, during a call from Chicago on a day off from the tour.
“We didn’t feel outside pressure, but we did feel a lot of internal pressure [making ‘Reign of Terror’]. We’re really hard on ourselves. We’re constantly coming up with ideas and just knocking them down and trying to come up with better ones. We’re very analytical, we’re very self-critical, and I think that’s where most of the pressure came from,” she said.
And there was heartbreak.
“‘Reign of Terror’ has a darker story behind it than ‘Treats’ did. Derek’s father was killed very tragically in a motorcycle accident a couple years ago, and then his mom was diagnosed with cancer, and he had a lot of personal turmoil,” Krauss said.
Sleigh Bells will roll into Bowling Green for an 8 p.m. show Nov. 7 at the Clazel Theatre. Araabmuzik will open. Tickets are $23 in advance and $25 day of the show.
“I think our music is showcased best in the live setting because our music is really bombastic; it’s loud. We depend on volume,” Krauss said. “We try to cultivate an environment on stage that’s a bit chaotic and in your face and very physical.”
Sometimes fans get physical — and toss breakfast treats.
“When we were recording ‘Reign of Terror,’ strawberry Pop-Tarts were my go-to snack. So in the liner notes, we just decided to make a little joke of it. It’s funny because I frequently get Pop-Tarts thrown at me on stage; it actually happened last night,” Krauss said and laughed.