Another crazy night in Detroit as I was given the chance to sit down with Alexis Brown from the band Straight Line Stitch. Having seen this band before I was excited to be talking with them. Straight Line Stitch has been around since 2000, yet it is after a slew of lineup changes where we find the powerhouse we see today. With a voice that projects the sweetest to the most dark incantations of metal music ,Alexis brings serious work to the table.
FM: So, who are you and what do you do?
AB: My name is Alexis from Straight Line Stitch, I am the vocalist
FM: So when did you join the band? Also, how did you end up hooking with these guy?
AB: Wow, that is a long story. 2003, I was in Clarksville, TN and we ended up playing a show with Straight Line Stitch back when they had some different members. We ended up becoming really good friends. At the time my band was really falling apart and they asked me if I wanted to join.
FM: I have read that you play something like 200 shows a year. How do you deal with that kind of grueling schedule?
AB: (Laughs) I don’t know. I guess we just take it day by day, we have to. If I thought about it any other way , I would just be overwhelmed.
FM: What is your favorite/ least favorite part about touring?
AB: Favorite this is meeting new people, being in different places I have never seen. Least favorite has to be missing family, birthdays and funerals. Stuff like that, also not being able to have a shower and a hot bath.
FM: I hear that a lot, people just want a hot shower.
AB: Me, I enjoy my baths. Just give me a bubble bath.
FM: Do you ever get the nice overnight hotel stay?
AB: It is very, very, VERY rare. We just stay in the van as hotels are way too expensive.
FM: So halfway through the tour how funky does the van get?
AB: It already smells so bad. We’ve been on the road for only a couple of weeks now and it just smells so bad.
FM: So, at parts in the tour do you ever switch the van’s up because of this?
AB: Oh no, that is our van. I’ll tell you, we have like four bottles of air freshener in there. I just sprayed today and it’s like the funk just ate up the air freshener.
FM: Yeah dudes can be pretty funky.
AB: You know, I am just as bad.
FM: Finally it’s been said, women are just as bad as men.
FM: You are now touring with Soulfly, and you have toured with some heavy hitters in the metal game. Who has been your favorite to tour with?
AB: That’s a tough question. We have been blessed to tour with some pretty amazing bands. My favorite? Well, I have my top three. Of course Devildriver, they were the first band to take us out. 36 Crazyfists hand down. They are like my favorite band, really nice people, I really love their music. Last abdn I would say is SNOT.
FM: Yeah, SNOT is a very underrated band.
AB: I KNOW! We toured with them when Tommy was singing with them.
FM: So your last album, Skies Wash Ashore is quite fantastic as well as brutal. You got to work with an awesome producer and guitarist in Rob Caggiano. H0w was that experience for you?
AB: To be honest that was a real learning experience. That was our first album and you are working with someone of that caliber, he was giving and getting a lot from us. I really enjoyed working with him, Rob is a perfectionist. Instead of taking the easy way out and using auto tune, he was like, JUST DO IT! Do it until you get it right. I really appreciated that about him.He believed in me that I can do it and get it right.
FM: Are you planning on working with Rob again on the next album?
AB: You never know, I don’t want to just say yeah. Life has a wird way of working itself out.
FM: What are your plans for a new album?
AB: We have started writing for our new album, the name we are still working on. It’s going to be released in March of 2011.
FM: So here is something that I read and I hate saying cause the internet is so full of shit. Still, I have read that a lot of your music can be taking from spirituality rather than say a horror film. With that statement being true would you say you find it annoying that people just assume that everything about metal is dark and horror filled?
AB: Really, you just get to a point where you really don’t even care. You just can’t change people’s minds and they will say whatever they want. I know why I am doing this.
FM: Going through a lot of your lyrics, they do not seem to come from the same place as a lot of I hate everything and everyone bands.
AB: See yeah, I take it all very personally. One thing I hate is someone just jolting down thoughts of nonsense. Me I like to write things people can actually relate to….life.
FM: Your voice brings an amazing duality quality to the music. A lot of bands try to pull this off and fail. How do you find that balance?
AB: I guess for starters I have been doing this a long time. We just play all the time. It comes natural to us after so long. We work at it and doing it everyday helps.
FM: Where would you say your influences come from?
AB: We are all pretty eclectic, all of us are into many different things. Me I love R & B music, Motown and stuff like that. Seth loves the 80’s, Jason is into In Flames and stuff like that. Very eclectic.
FM: Who would you say your favorite singers are?
AB: Stevie Nicks, I love her voice. Tina Marie and Brock from 36 Crazyfists.
FM: Can you tell me some about your writing process?
AB: Well, the band will put some music together. They will write on computers and they will come together and later when they hash out a song they will hand it over to me. That is when I go in by myself with the recording. I will listen to it over and over and the songs writes itself. It just comes to me , it really just writes itself and becomes about something real.
FM: How has that evolved from your first work with the band?
AB: That is how it has been from the start.
FM: What would you like to say to those who have not heard of you? What would you like then to know about Straight Line Stitch?
AB: I would say get to know us, surf. That’s how most people seem to find us. Check us out, we are really down to earth people. Like, if you hit us up on Myspace or Facebook, that is us. We are in control of that, so you are talking to us. I think if you like us as people, you will like the music even more.
FM: I know I do.