Over the last decade, rock has welcomed female-fronted bands into the family, and have done so with open arms. Bands like Halestorm, Evanescence, and Lacuna Coil have captured the attention of metal fans, and have broadened the modern rock sound. A true stand-out of these female fronted bands is Stitched Up Heart. The L.A. alt-rockers released their only full length CD in 2016, Never Alone, and receiving praise from fans everywhere. Breaking in on both Billboard’s and the Hard Rock charts in the Top 10, Never Alone pounds out an industrial-goth sound, led by the emotions and passions of this up-and-coming band. The heavy-yet-introspective contributions of all three musicians: James Decker (drums), Merritt Goodwin (lead guitar), and Randy Mathias (bass) craft a tight catalog of tunes, carried by singer Alecia ‘Mixi’ Demner.
“Catch Me When I Fall”, and “Monster” from Never Alone still receive extensive air-play by radio stations worldwide, while the raucous “It’s So Easy” and “Event Horizon” blend with the album’s melodic and piano driven songs “Bleeding Out” and “I Can’t Breathe”.
Mixi’s versatility as a singer and as a performer garnished the band an opening spot on this year’s Godsmack tour. Making a stop in Milwaukee at the Fiserv Forum on April 20th, with Volbeat, Mixi shares her thoughts on touring with Godsmack. “I’m in this sure-real dream world right now. I don’t believe it’s actually happening, I have to keep pinching myself [laughter]. We’ve only played a few shows with Godsmack, as their ‘warm-up’ shows, but it was in front of 8,000 people [laughter]. I was talking to my Grandma about the tour, and she even knows who Godsmack is. She was at the YMCA, talking to a friend of hers, and she said, ‘my grandkid is on tour with THE Godsmack.’ It was really cute [laughter]. It’s great for us to go out and see the crowds and people who haven’t seen us live yet. It’s super cool when everyone knows the words to our songs, but I like winning over the hearts of new fans, especially ones who don’t know what to expect.”
With the success of Never Alone, Mixi herself was taken-aback by the praise received of their debut release. “No one was expecting the success of Never Alone for sure. ‘Finally Free’ was our first single, and I feel really proud of that. It blew-up on the radio and we went on tour really hard after that, we were road dogs. We went home for about a year and wrote songs. We actually forgot how to band for a little bit [laughter]. We played a few small shows that we didn’t tell anyone about, to get the kinks out before [this] Godsmack tour.”
Enjoying some time away from the road and being able to write songs for their next release, Mixi couldn’t hold back her enthusiasm for what is in the works for Stitched Up Heart. “I’m really bad at keeping secrets [laughter]. We have been in what I like to call ‘writing jail’. We’ve written about 70 songs for this new record. We finalized everything and I’m really excited about it. It was a lot of hard work and we really pushed the limits, as we tried to evolve and grow without losing ourselves in it. We are teasing it a bit with a few new songs in concert, about half the set is new and the other half from Never Alone.
The first single from the yet-to-be released album is a brilliant song featuring Godsmack’s Sully Erna. Mixi explains how it came about to work with Sully, “We actually collaborated on a few songs earlier in our writing for this album. When the album was done we couldn’t think of a song for him. I realized that ‘Lost’ would work well for him with an instrumental part and great bridge. Everyone agreed, and I actually flew out to Nashville, because Godsmack has their studio on the other side of the country from us. He said that he didn’t want to email his vocals, and he wanted to work on it together; it’s more sentimental that way. He came up with his part one morning, in about ten minutes, it just worked perfectly. I suggested that we change a few things or try it a different way, but he said ‘No, it just flowed right out of me, the way it is, is the way it’s going to be!’ It’s just really cool what he did on it”.
Mixi is truly enthusiastic about the band’s up-coming release, especially as it’s something that represents the entire band. “A lot of it is a collaborative effort. When you bring people together, that have different sounds, you can stretch the limits. We brought in a producer: Matt Good (Hollywood Undead, Asking Alexandria), which is something new for us. He brought something different out of us. We added some electronic elements and things we have never tried. All that actually gave it a whole new life. We’ve been playing some of these songs live for about a half a year, and we are ready for another album after this one [laughter].”
When pressed about the details for the new album, Mixi confides, “We don’t have a release date yet, but we do have a title. We went back and forth with names. In the end, I wanted to go with something like we did with Never Alone, after a song title from the record. On this record we have a song called ‘Darkness’ and I think that’s the name we are going to go with.”
Whether it’s being on tour with only one album for more than a year, or opening for Volbeat and Godsmack in Milwaukee, Stitched Up Heart has always put on an incredible show. Adding their new up-coming songs to their set list, including the new single “Lost”, as well as plenty others, it’s sure to be a show that can’t be missed. Asked if the band ever did any cover songs in concert, Mixi laughs, “For a little bit. We did ‘Bodies’ by Drowning Pool. It’s weird to do that song, because we are friends with the guys, and every time we did that, someone would send them a video of us doing it [laughter]. I ran into C.J. Pierce (guitarist) when we did Shiprocked this year, and I said, ‘Hey, I’m so sorry – we were just jamin’ it at rehearsals and we kept it.’ He said he had seen it on video, and he said to just keep doing it. That’s the only one, and it’s really hard as we all have different taste in music, so trying to agree on something is impossible [laughter].”
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