Alexis Krauss was a Brooklyn school teacher and she would have been happy to stay that way. Or she would have been, if she hadnâ€™t met Sleigh Bells mastermind Derek Miller.
You guys are a two-piece group with one live instrument on stage, but you generate so much energy. How does that work?
I'm actually a very calm, reserved person in my day-to-day life. I think it has everything to do with the music. It's very visceral. It's the kind of music you hear and you want to react to; you don't just want to stand and observe casually. Derek and I both love dancing. We love going to shows that are hot and sweaty and chaotic, so that's just the mood we try to create.
Performing live is nothing new for you, is it?
My father's a musician. It's all he's ever done his whole life. I started performing with him when I was five. I was singing at a really young age, so I've always been pretty comfortable onstage.
Did you have stage parents? Did they push you towards that?
No, I completely initiated it. I mean, certainly, growing up in a musical family, it wasn't foreign, but nothing was ever pushed on me. My parents were incredibly supportive, but they never forced me to do anything I didn't want to do.
Can you remember the first time you performed without your parents?
Yeah! I was Annie! I was in 'Annie' when I was ten. That was actually a big turning point for me, because after that I started auditioning in New York â€¦ From there I joined Ruby Blue, which was like a teen all-girl pop band. I worked at that 'til I was about 16, and by then I was sort of embarrassed and discouraged by the music business. I was writing music I was not passionate about, so I stepped away from the music business entirely.
Was there ever a point, when you were teaching, where you completely gave up on a career in music?
I wouldn't say I gave up on a career in music, but I would say I had no real interest in pursuing a career in music unless everything was right â€¦ I had no interest in fame or anything like that. I was really content doing what I was doing. If I hadn't met Derek, I would probably still be very content teaching fourth grade in the Bronx.
Sleigh Bells play Sunset Sounds at Brisbane Botanic Gardens and Riverstage, January 5-6.