Long overdue, there finally seems to be a turn for more balance and gender equality in Hard Rock and Metal. Two genres historically dominated by males, thanks to trailblazers through the decades, more and more ladies are proudly rocking while rightfully taking their place in the rankings. Amidst it all comes Los Angeles, California’s Stitched Up Heart, a band founded by Alecia ‘Mixi’ Demner. Working hard and dedicating herself to her artistic vision, Mixi has led the band forward as they prepare to release their sophomore album, Darkness, in 2020. An anticipated follow-up to the positively received 2016 debut album, Never Alone, Stitched Up Heart are looking to keep turning heads and build their following. Excited for the new release, Mixi recently sat down to talk the last few years of the band, keeping their sound fresh, touring with Steel Panther, plus a lot more.
Cryptic Rock – Stitched Up Heart first came together back in 2010 and since then have released a list of EPs, your highly charted debut album in 2016, and toured heavily. What has the journey been like thus far for the band?
Alecia ‘Mixi’ Demner – It’s been an awesome journey so far. It’s like planting a seed, watering it every day, and watching it grow. We have had so many great experiences thus far that we would never have been able to experience without this band.
Cryptic Rock – That is great to hear, and it continues to grow. As a vocalist, you have an extremely dynamic range. You can go from harsh screams to softer singing, to even deeply emotional areas. How have you developed your voice over the years?
Alecia ‘Mixi’ Demner – When I first started singing I was against any form of classical training. I knew I wanted to develop MY voice that would be unique to what I would learn with lessons. Once I found elements that set me apart vocally I realized I needed to learn proper technique for longevity purposes. My goal has always been to really find my true voice as a singer.
Cryptic Rock – Well you certainly do have a unique style and exceptional range. As mentioned, the band’s 2016 record, Never Alone, made quite an impact – debuting in the Top 10 of both the Billboard Heatseeker and Hard Rock charts. How exciting was it to see such a positive response to Never Alone?
Alecia ‘Mixi’ Demner – I don’t think any of us knew the impact that album would have. We were all shocked with every milestone. Never Alone is a record we are very proud of.
Cryptic Rock – As you should be! It has been three years since Never Alone and now you are back with Darkness slated for release in 2020. Striking fans interest early, you have already put out three singles prior to the new album. What was the writing and recording process like this time around?
Alecia ‘Mixi’ Demner – We wrote 70 plus songs for the new record Darkness. This album we wanted to really explore our limits. I am a huge advocate on trying new things and stretching ourselves. There are some songs that evolve well from the previous album, yet there are some that are completely nothing like it. The point was to not do the same thing again and make an extended album of the one we just did, but to really challenge ourselves.
Cryptic Rock – Right, and it does seem like there has been a lot of growth as well. From what we have heard thus far, the material off Darkness seems slightly more refined. Do you feel like this new album is a step forward in the direction you want to take the band?
Alecia ‘Mixi’ Demner – I don’t see it as the direction for the band. I see it as the direction for this specific album. I just don’t want every record to sound the same. I want to change it up and try new things and never get pigeon holed into one sound forever. That would be so boring!
Cryptic Rock – Understandable. Among the songs already released, one is the single “Lost” where you team up with Sully Erna of Godsmack. How did you connect with Sully and what was it like working with him?
Alecia ‘Mixi’ Demner – Sully and I met a few years back when the label sent me to collaborate with him. Over time we just became really good friends. He is the kind of person that tries to help the little guys and pay it forward. That’s what he did for us and we are forever grateful.
Cryptic Rock – That is great to hear. Speaking of Godsmack, you were actually out on tour with them as well as Volbeat. You have certainly seen a steadily climb in recent years with bigger tours and sold out headlining gigs. Now more seasoned, what would you say are the most valuable things you have learned touring?
Alecia ‘Mixi’ Demner – Every tour you learn something new. The last 2 arena tours really catapulted what we had to learn as a band going from clubs to arenas. There is a different sound dynamic all together. I feel like we were in band high school before and went to band college once we hit arenas!
Cryptic Rock – It sounds as if the experience has paid off for the band. You are currently out on the road with Steel Panther through the end of the year. How excited are you for these shows, and can we expect a good amount of the new album to be performed?
Alecia ‘Mixi’ Demner – Steel Panther is a really fun band to watch! We have seen them many times and know it’s just gonna be a fun tour! We plan to play half new and half old songs.
Cryptic Rock – Sounds like it has been fun. Tell us, what are some of your personal music influences?
Alecia ‘Mixi’ Demner – Our influences vary all over the map. For right now I’m gonna say all the badass women out there in the Rock scene inspire me to keep going. They help me believe there’s hope and that we are creating a movement in heavy music for women. It’s really inspiring to watch.
Cryptic Rock – Yes, it is wonderful to see more equality among genders in all areas of music, especially with heavy music. Last question. If you are a fan of Horror and Sci-Fi films, what are some of your favorites and why?
Alecia ‘Mixi’ Demner – Recently we have been watching the new Swamp Thing. It’s a rad show that unfortunately only had one season.