Alexis was kind enough to sit down and talk about past pain coming out, bedbugs, and a hair malfunction on the scale of Teletubbies bad.
Alexis Brown (Vocals), Darren McClelland (Bass), and Jason White (Guitar) are back with a new Straight Line Stitch album. The band is currently on the Civil Unrest Tour with Ill NiÃ±o among others. With honest answers, the always dynamic Alexis shares the parts of the band and herself many might not have seen before. So, without further delay, please enjoy the interview.
NRR: I recently got a copy of the new EP, Transparency. It sounds great. What makes this album special to you, if any thing?
Alexis Brown: The EP is monumental to us because we did it ourselves without any support at the time. I feel like this EP embodies a lot of our strengths as a unit. It’s very special because we went through so much just to create it.
NRR: You’re about to go out with some pretty slick bands for the Civil Unrest Tour. Does being out on the road have the same feel to you as it might have when you first started or has it sort of turned into going into the office for you at this point?
Alexis Brown: Oh yes and all the bands are great! Touring can definitely become a grueling task, especially when you’ve been out on the road for long periods of time but I love it immensely and it could never feel like an office job. It’s an adventure every day. I might not feel exactly the same as I did when I first started touring, but that’s because I was very naive at the time and didn’t really know what to expect. It’s a lot more then partying every night on the road, one learns that very quickly.
NRR: There have been few line-up changes over the years since the band formed in 2000. Has the way the songs get written changed or has it been fairly consistent? Or for that matter, what is a typical way the songs got put together for this new EP?
Alexis Brown: It has definitely been hard with a revolving door of members, but you have to weed out the wheat from the chaff, those who really want to make it and those who want to play at making it. The way we’ve always written music has been fairly consistent with us sending each other different ideas through the computer. Since we all live far away from each other it’s always just been more convenient to write that way. Transparency came about from both writing from the road as well as using programs on our computers to write and send songs to one another.
NRR: One of my favorite questions, even if I can’t always print the answers, is to see if there is a funny, embarrassing, or Spinal Tap like moment that every time it gets brought up people can’t help but laugh about it now. Is there one that you can think of and wouldn’t mind sharing with us?
Alexis Brown: I think I had my moment actually on The Hell Hath No Fury Tour a couple years back when we supported In This Moment. I had a huge hair malfunction. My Spanish Wave hair weave decided to form a Max Cavalera dread at the top of my head and I couldn’t cut it because it would have left a humongous hole on the top of my head so I had to wear a wig. Long story short there was a show where I got tired of wearing the wig so I told the audience and I ripped that baby off. I performed looking like one of those Teletubbies.
NRR: What would the Alexis of now give to the Alexis of 2000 for advice right before starting out with Straight Line Stitch and why?
Alexis Brown: There is so much I would tell my 2000 self, but mainly I would tell her to be more business minded and I would encourage myself to be stronger and less dependent on others.
NRR: I know this is a dreaded question for any artist, but if you had to pick one of the songs off the new disc, which you would you lean to as being your favorite and why?
Alexis Brown: It would definitely be the track “Human Bondage” because I’ve carried so much pain for so long. This is the song where it comes out and I say everything I’ve wanted to say for so long, but didn’t have the words until now. I’ve basically done all I’ve can to ask forgiveness from those I hurt or those who hurt me. They have refused and want to continue to carry a grudge, so then that’s on them. I’m not going to kill myself over them. I’ve said I’m sorry. I choose go on with my life.
Tear Down The Sky
NRR: Are the rumors true that the EP is basically the advanced release for a full length album to be out hopefully before the end of the year? And if there is even a single grain of truth to it, are there any hints about it that you can share?
Alexis Brown: You know we are playing it by ear at the moment. We are awaiting how good the EP sells and that in turn will determine whether we decide to put out a full length or not.
NRR: With you being from the Knoxville area, how did you get your metal or hard rock vibe in a part of the country not really known for it? Was this sound always the goal or did you start off with other musical inspirations and it just developed to the Straight Line Stitch’s sonic uniqueness on its own over time?
Alexis Brown: I actually didn’t come from Knoxville. I moved to Knoxville to join the band. My family background is military, so I got moved around a lot. We eventually settled in Clarksville, TN and at first I was determined to be an R and B singer but school and my brother changed that. I credit my brother for getting me into the heavy genre at the time. Korn was the first band that was a huge influence on me and got me looking to join a band.
NRR: Is there any insect, rodent, or other spawn of the Devil that if seen in a hotel room, or even say a venue, that must die before you don’t want to set the place on fire or the show can go on?
Alexis Brown: I hate the thought of bedbugs!! When we rent a room I always bring my Lysol disinfectant spray and spray the heck out of a room. I’m always checking out the beds with a fine tooth comb and I still lay wrapped up in my blankets.
NRR: Has the importance of social media increased since you started out and is that a good thing or a bad thing in your opinion?
Alexis Brown: The importance of social media has increased since we started out. Nowadays everyone is a star. Someone puts up a silly video and ten million views later they’re an overnight success. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. I think social media is a great tool when it’s used properly. When people use it to air out dirty laundry every two seconds, bully people, or use it to tear down other people just because they can then I think that’s BS use of social media.
NRR: If for some reason you woke up tomorrow and decided you wanted to do anything but music for a career, what would you do?
Alexis Brown: I’ve always wanted to be a model so maybe I would put energy into that.
NRR: What do you do in between shows to relax and recharge for the next one?
Alexis Brown: Hang out with my band mates, laugh, and joke around. Sometimes I’ll have a beer but usually I’m always hanging about. Most of the time I try to catch up on sleep.
NRR: When driving from one show to another, who gets to control the radio and what might we hear riding along for a day or two?
Alexis Brown: Jason drives majority of time, so he dominates the radio and he pretty much listens to things we all like. Most of us just listen to our headphones some times.
National Rock Review got a chance to listen to the new EP coming out soon. You can find the article and let us know what you think about it, here.
Straight Line Stitch
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