L.A. hard rockers Stitched Up Heart recently released their sophomore full-length album Darkness. Vocalist Alecia “Mixi” Demner fills us in on the album and other topics (the interview was conducted before the coronavirus pandemic).
Chad Bowar: How did the songwriting process for Darkness compare to Never Alone?
Mixi: For Never Alone, we only wrote 30 songs in the writing process. We had a specific vision immediately and knew what our end goal was from the start. With Darkness, we wanted to experiment more and expand our comfort zone. We wrote 70 songs throwing paint everywhere trying to find a new sound that we were all happy with.
How did you decide to work with producer Matt Good?
After writing over 50+ songs pairing up with tons of different producers to find the guy we felt had the same vision once we knew what we wanted to do. It clicked instantly and we pretty much wrote the entire record with Matt aside from a couple tracks.
How would you describe his producing style?
He thinks outside the box. He’s very modern with the electronics and tries to make everything sound unique and innovative, which is what we wanted!
How has the band’s sound evolved from Never Alone?
I wouldn’t describe this album as our new sound. We want every album to have its own flavor so they aren’t the same every time. The main differences would be Never Alone was more guitar driven. Darkness is focused on vocals with more electronics mixed in with the guitars.
Did you struggle with track order at all?
That actually came pretty easy.
How did Sully Erna’s guest appearance come about?
We are so proud of that song and how everything came together with Sully. Couldn’t have asked for a better result.
What inspired your lyrics this time around?
I write from what I’m going through currently. This album was written after I had some pretty intense challenges. I pulled a lot from that and overcame once again.
A lot of the song titles would have made good album titles. What drew you to Darkness?
“Darkness” lyrically ties into the album as a whole. It’s about going through dark times over and over and not being afraid anymore. The track “Darkness” was dedicated to some close followers of our band as the album is lyrically written for the listener. We wanted to try to help them in some way through music. Just like the way music helps us.
One of the presale bundles included a limited edition shirt that benefits Guitars 4 Vets. How did you decide to work with that organization?
We wanted to partner with an organization for our single “Warrior” that worked with our veterans. Our label found Guitars for Vets as a partner for us and it was the perfect fit!
After the success of your debut, what are your goals and expectations for this album?
We just hope for it to reach as many people as it can and as deeply as possible.
What’s your favorite way to kill time on the road?
I play my acoustic guitar or paint usually.
What’s the most unusual venue you’ve played?
Would say Shiprocked since it’s a boat but we’ve also played at a strip club. That was pretty interesting.
Any memorable end of tour pranks you’ve been a part of?
We have done lots of tour pranks, which we have chilled out a bit on recently. One was baby-powdering the band opening up for us on stage. It was a pretty fun Christmas.
What are some of your non-musical hobbies/interests?
I’ve been playing a lot of video games lately. World of Warcraft has sucked me back in again.
What’s the last show you binge watched?
What’s currently in your heavy musical rotation?
I have been listening to some great Spotify playlists like ‘Heavy Queen’s or ‘Most Wanted Rock.’ They always have new stuff up there!
Anything else you’d like to mention or promote?
The rescue I’ve been fostering bottle baby kittens for is always in need. Anyone who loves kittens like me can donate to www.kittenrescue.org
(interview published April 14, 2020)
Watch Stitched Up Heart featuring Sully Erna – “Lost” Video