We are Sleigh Bells. Our latest record is Bitter Rivals.


We are playing a ton of shows in 2014. It is way too cold in NYC.

We will answer as many questions as we can in the next hour and a half -- ask us anything!

xo D+A


Thank you so much for all of your questions. We had such a blast! Signing off now but check back throughout the day as we may come back and answer some more. xo D+A

Comments: 649 • Responses: 58  • Date: 

Mdita426 karma

Hey Derek, it's your English Teacher!! I enjoyed seeing you live on SNL and I hear your music all the time on the radio. When do you think you'll be back in South Florida for a concert? Ms Ditaranto

_SleighBells238 karma

Ms. D! So good to hear from you. Definitely planning to play in South Florida sometime this summer. Would love to have you out to a show sometime.

Electricdonut110 karma

Long time fan, I was wondering where are your A machines and where are your B machines at this present time?

_SleighBells55 karma

Could be anything but I'll stick to equipment...A) Hot pink Jackson USA Soloist from the custom shop (what up, Mike) and Teenage Engineering OP-1 synth. Great tools. As far as domestic products...I bought a blender and a juicer.

twojaguars90 karma

Hi Alexis and Derek, can you guys settle a bet?

What the hell is the first line of Infinity Guitars?!

Every site has it as deaf chords, dead ends, but I swear to god, the second part is "deaf hens". I know that might not make as much sense, but that's what I hear every time.

_SleighBells162 karma

You are right! It's "deaf chords, deaf hens, sling set can't meet the demands..." Chickens with hearing loss.

twojaguars72 karma

I...I think I just got trolled. I honestly can't tell because that's what it sounds like!

¯\ (°_o) /¯

So uh...it really is "dead ends?"

_SleighBells172 karma

No it's "deaf hens" for real! You were right.

Frajer58 karma

Are you ever watching tv and you hear one of your songs on a commercial and it's like "wow that's me"?

_SleighBells93 karma

AK: It's definitely exciting. I think my mom get's the biggest kick out of it. She always texts me after she hears Rill Rill on the iphone commercial.

blink--18249 karma

Hey Derek, my mom had you as a student in High School. You would know her by Ms. D. She wanted to say that she still talks about you to students and that you always called her a teacher and a friend. It means a lot to her. She hopes that you can come to West Palm sometime and play a show so she can see ya. She's just got two questions: 1. What is the inspiration for many of your lyrics and 2. How has fame affected you Derek? Thanks so much! She can't wait to see your reply!

_SleighBells45 karma

Ms. D! Amazing she is the best tell her I said hi. We hope to play West Palm on this record. I'm terrible when it comes to explaining lyrics...they tend to be abstract, which is how I prefer it. I'm not really a famous guy, so I don't think it has affected me at all. I make records and play shows. I'm in love with music. Miss you, Ms. D.

BuckeyeSean48 karma

Hi Alexis and Derek,

One of my favorite episodes of Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations was the Austin, TX episode featuring you guys (along w/ other great groups)! Was Tony a chill dude to be around? Sleigh Bells + Anthony Bourdain = out of this world combo.

_SleighBells46 karma

My dad used to say Anthony seems like the type of guy you'd want to have a beer with...and that totally turned out to be the case! It's not an act, what you see is what you get. Great dude. Hope to run into him again some day. DM

SonicTheHipster37 karma

What do you guys think of M.I.A?

_SleighBells47 karma

She is rad. We haven't spoken in a while but she gave us so much confidence in the beginning. Still a fan x DM

Erillon34 karma

Hey guys, fan since Treats here. When I heard about this AMA a few days ago I tried to think of this super awesome question that I could ask you. After thinking all weekend, I got nothing.

That being the case, I wanted to let you guys know that when I listened to your music in 2008, when I was just 17-18, it was like my coming of age soundtrack. I was a pretty awkward kid, but listening to the music you make really freed me from worrying about myself and how others see me, I just wanted to be as badass as you guys. I remember going to a concert you had with Diplo (btw, if you ever find a way to tour with him again, go at it) in Miami and thinking halfway through "Wow, I guess I'm growing up" Anyway, I'm sure you guys hear it a lot, but your music is truly, truly appreciated.

_SleighBells37 karma

That's amazing to hear! We are music fans first and foremost, so hearing that never gets old. Means so much, thank you. I'm sure we will do shows with Wes/Diplo in the future. We have matching FL tattoos.

pjgpv28 karma

Hey Derek and Alexis.

Where would you say is the biggest inspiration for your varied sounds? When I first heard Treats, I felt like I hadn't heard anything else like it.

Thanks hella loads.

_SleighBells19 karma

Thanks! The band is maybe an attempt to reconcile the different sounds we grew up with and currently love. Genre has always been a non factor.

JAG_327 karma

Hey Alexis and Derek!

I attended one of your shows about a year and a half ago in Boston and had a great time. I wanted to thank you guys for providing us with sweet music.

My question to you guys is have you ever considered adding a couple musicians to tour with you guys? I thought the one thing that would've made the show more awesome is if you guys had a live drummer. On some songs especially! Thanks!

PS... Are all of those Marshall full stacks actually turned on when you guys are playing live?

_SleighBells58 karma

We added a live drummer. His name is Chris Maggio, he is a maniac. Come see us in the spring/summer!

pingy3422 karma

First of all, thank you guys for doing this AMA. My girlfriend and I saw you live in Minneapolis back in 2010 at a place called Triple Rock Social Club. We don’t see as many bands as we used too, but back then it was practically all we did. That being said, both of us are in agreement that watching you guys play live was by far the best concert experience we’ve ever had. When we got the tickets we had no idea it was at a place with a max capacity of 400. The energy in that place while you guys performed was unparalleled to anything else we had ever experienced. It felt like a private concert. Alexis was stage diving and even letting the front row fans (my girlfriend included) share the mic with her during some of the songs. When you guys were done it felt like everyone had backstage passes. Afterwards you talked with the fans, and Alexis even let me take a picture with her. I don’t know how she did it but that’s the happiest smile I’ve ever had, so thanks. I was so jacked after that show. It really felt like a once in a lifetime experience. Anyway, all of this was backstory for the following question(s). Answer any of them or none at all. I just hope you read this. Thanks again, and congrats on the iphone commercial!

-How come you guys played at such a small venue?

-How different does playing in front of 400 fans feel than playing in front of thousands?

-Alexis, how did you get the part in the nickelodeon magazine commercial you were in? (I read about it on pitchfork. If anyone is interested in checking it out, she’s the one who winks two thirds of a way into the video.)

Edit: That was pretty in depth but I'm not a stalker....I just took my Adderall to write a good question.

_SleighBells28 karma

AK: Thank you for sharing the picture. I totally remember that show. It was a blast. We really enjoy playing intimate venues for exactly the reasons you described above. There is nothing more exciting than a packed room of sweaty people singing along to our music. It is the reason why we make music to begin with! We love playing larger festivals as well but I personally prefer the reciprocity that can be cultivated in a venue like the Triple Rock. As far as the Nick Mag commercial goes I auditioned and got the job. I guess I was the best at winking ;)

YoungLegends20 karma

What song from Bitter Rivals are you planning to release as the second single/music video?

p.s. I'm a HUGE fan :) You're one of my favorite bands ever

_SleighBells20 karma

Thank you! Currently deciding/working on it.

hepi9018 karma

Hi Guys,

What is your favourite girl-boy duo?

_SleighBells63 karma

AK: I love all of the Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell recordings. As far as contemporary duos I'm a big fan of Purity Ring.

prisonmike99917 karma

Hi guys, love the new album, and I saw you in DC a couple months ago and the show was absolutely killer! But I just wanted to ask how come you guys usually only play for like an hour? I feel like you left so much great material on the table!

_SleighBells40 karma

AK: Thank you! We love playing the 9:30 Club. For now 60 minutes feels like a good set length for us. The more material we have the longer we'll play. You gotta remember when we started we were playing 25 minute sets so 60 mins feels like an eternity :)

lavidacontinua16 karma

Hey guys, thank you for doing this AMA. Like Derek, I am from the WPB area. I grew to love Poison The Well. I didn't know about Sleigh Bells until my ex (your schoolmate at the Bens) told me that you had since moved on and formed Sleigh Bells. I became instantly hooked! Although I have never seen you perform live unfortunately (SNL doesn't count) your music is rhythmically captivating! Cheers!

_SleighBells17 karma

Thanks...561! Proud Floridian.

emgr14 karma

No questions, just wanted to let you guys know that you're awesome and to keep doing what you do. I was so excited to hear you guys in Girls!

_SleighBells15 karma

Us too! We're fans of the show and were super flattered to be a part of it.

battlesmurf13 karma

Massive fan, can someone acknowledge my presence so I can die happy?

_SleighBells35 karma

AK: Your presence has been acknowledged. But please don't die :)

thewaybaseballgo12 karma

What is the record for how many Marshall Half Stacks Derek has used at a show? There were around 8 the last time I saw you in concert in Dallas.

Edit: Related question: Will that badass leopard print robe from the Bitter Rivals video be for sale at shows? I must have it.

_SleighBells24 karma

I think I played with 27 cabinets in Copenhagen on the Treats tour. We called it "aesthetic volume" cause only half were in use!

bropez12 karma

Alexis about two years ago at a show in Detroit my friends little brother asked you to prom and refuses to listen to your new album until you call him. Whats it like breaking a 16 year olds heart?

_SleighBells19 karma

AK: Wow I really am a terrible person aren't I. Damn. My bad.

DrHiggins12 karma

Hey Sleigh Bells! I saw y'all in Dallas and it was the most fun I've had at a show before. Thanks for all the kickass albums you've put out the last few years. Only one question for you Alexis:

Will you marry me?

_SleighBells15 karma

AK: Haha very sweet but I'm going to have to say no. Dallas is always incredibly good to us. The Granada is one of our favorite venues.

mpdreisbach11 karma

Sleigh Bells! I just wanted to say that I pretty much listen to all three of your albums all the time. You guys are super talented. On a personal note if I ever get to meet you guys I wanna do the dance that Alexis does in the Bitter Rivals music video with Alexis. It would be a dream come true. You guys ROCK!

_SleighBells14 karma

AK: I'd love to dance with you!!!

No_fomo9 karma

Do this, film it, and post it here. Please.

_SleighBells15 karma

We are easy to find at shows...make it happen! DM

[deleted]11 karma


_SleighBells31 karma

AK: Some guy grabbed my leg and bit my thigh REALLY hard once at a show at the Stone Pony in NJ. It hurt like hell! However, for the most part our fans are wonderful and incredibly respectful.

RichardDome11 karma

Have you considered letting fans vote on the setlist for an upcoming tour? Maybe not all the songs, but at least a portion of the show.

_SleighBells20 karma

AK: That's not a bad idea!

rambogizmo9 karma

Just wanted to say thanks for a great show in Nashville back in November, I ended up with a bloody nose from getting elbowed in the face half way through your set but it was well worth it. Hope to see you at Roo!

_SleighBells12 karma

AK: Damn what a trooper! Glad you are ok. Sucks when people get injured at our shows but it sounds like you had fun regardless. Xo

polvitos9 karma

What was the inspiration behind creating a basketball jersey in the likeness of the Chicago Bulls? A play on words - Bulls/Bells? Anyhoo, I bought one. I love it. and I love your music!

_SleighBells11 karma

I'm a Heat fan, but I'm also a massive Jordan fan. The Bulls/Bells thing just worked. Thank you for listening x DM

basicbreakfast9 karma

Hey guys! I've been a huge fan for a while! I'm so stoked you're doing an AMA! Anyways, how would you describe the direction the band is going in? All of your albums are distinctly different, but still amazing! Thanks!

_SleighBells14 karma

Can't give away too much at this point, but we have been writing for months. New stuff feels really, really good!

sheeyat2239 karma

Hey guys! I love your music and how badass you are and I've been listening to you since the early days of Treats.

I saw you live a couple years ago in Cleveland and Alexis I want to apologize for my friend ripping out some of your weave when you crowd surfed. I love how much you guys interact with the crowd while still playing really well, not a lot of bands can do that. I don't really have a question, but I hope you guys come back to CLE to mosh with us again!

_SleighBells11 karma

Thank you! That's Alexis' real hair haha x DM

Subzerofux9 karma

Not trying to be a fangirl here, but my boy and I met you after your show in Philly a couple months ago. Twas the day before you played Jimmy Fallon. I just wanted to say thanks for what you do. We've been huge fans from the get-go.

And PS. the extra treats you put in your newest vinyl... DEAD, so dead.

_SleighBells14 karma

AK: Thank you for reaching out. That Union Transfer show was a blast. I'm pretty sure I remember meeting you guys through the fence. Hope to see you again soon.

chetwilliams9 karma

Did you have trouble getting people to release your stuff when you were first starting out? I feel like your style is especially abrasive/gritty, and I could see labels being a little hesitant with not "cleaning it up".

Nonetheless, your albums sound incredible. I love your stuff! You also killed it when you opened for LCD Soundsystem at the Philly Naval Yard. One of my favorite shows!

_SleighBells12 karma

Thank you! Even my close friends thought I was weird for blowing everything out, but it sounded right to Alexis and I. Our songs made their way around the internet before anyone wanted to sign us. Labels were reactive in that respect. Naval Yard show was killer x DM

MarkIsRight8 karma

Just want to say your albums help me a lot in the gym, and keep me motivated on the treadmill or whatever. You with some other bands helped me lose like 20lbs so far, so thanks! Also cant wait to see you in concert, you coming to LA?

_SleighBells11 karma

AK: Hell yeah! Congrats and glad we could help. We played LA in October so I'm not sure when we'll be back. Coachella?

joecity8568 karma

Which city on tour has the best food?

_SleighBells19 karma

AK: I absolutely love the food in SF. Austin is a close second.

pretzelresearch8 karma

Can you tell us when and where you're touring again? Aside from the awesome festivals!!

_SleighBells13 karma

We'll be doing dates around the festivals already announced -- more details to come in the next month or so.

mynameisnotjonas8 karma

What's your favorite Pop-Tart flavor?

_SleighBells23 karma

Strawberry Frosted for sure!

mynameisnotjonas23 karma

the members of Sleigh Bells acknowledging my existence


_SleighBells20 karma


pretzelresearch7 karma

DEREK, what tattoos do you have??

_SleighBells13 karma

They are all totally random. I got my chest tattooed first when I was 19 or 20...it's a hardcore lyric, surprise! I have the Challenger shuttle from the FL license plate, a diamond, Jaws, FL state outline. My good friend Jason Boyer, who played guitar with us, tattooed an eagle with a lightning bolt on me. They happen randomly. DM

daythirteen7 karma

Ryan Primack is a cutie. Will he be my prom date?

_SleighBells8 karma


_SleighBells3 karma

AK: You should come to a show and ask him. I'm sure he'd be down!

wornwhite6 karma

Hey Sleigh Babes - Do you feel like there is still a big divide when it comes to loving your music? Or do you feel with each progression of the records, people understand it more? I remember Derek saying in some interviews that people seem to have polar reactions to it.


_SleighBells5 karma

What up Kerissa we miss you! Three records in...I know enough to stay as far away from whatever conversation is happening around the band as possible. I'm human, when I read negative shit it frustrates me. I've learned to close my laptop and interact with whoever or whatever is right in front of me. It's a great way to live. Hope you are well x DM

midnightdragon6 karma

Hey guys! So excited for your AMA! I have a question for Alexis: I've coveted your awesome hair/bangs since I saw them in the "Rill Rill" music video a few years ago. I've had bangs here and there since but never could get them to look quite like yours. What's your trick? Or are they just naturally incredible?

_SleighBells12 karma

AK: Thank you! I've had bangs my whole life so I'm pretty sure they are just permanently stuck in one position. A good flat iron helps too :)

myhusbandsrepublican6 karma

Hi Derek and Alexis,

Going off of Reign of Terror, Bitter Rivals is much cheerier and poppier in comparison to the previous album. I know Derek was going through some very heavy stuff during Reign of Terror, which was the result of a much darker album. What kind of space was the band in during Bitter Rivals? Do you think light and upbeat will be the route the band takes going forward or can you see yourselves going back to something harder and darker like Reign of Terror?

_SleighBells10 karma

New stuff feels different from the other three. I wouldn't call it light or up beat, no. Sorry to be vague. It feels really strong and affecting. I couldn't be more excited about it. Thanks for listening. DM

LightObserver6 karma

Oh man, I'm so pumped you're doing this. You guys are my favorite. I've been listening to Bitter Rivals on repeat since it came out. Anyway, I have two questions.

1) In Reign of Terror, you included lyrics in the booklet that came with the CD. But I noticed there were no lyrics in the insert for Bitter Rivals. Was there a reason for this?

2) What's your favorite kind of cereal?

Thank you guys so much for doing this. You're awesome.

_SleighBells7 karma

AK: Thank you for your support!

1) We decided not to publish lyrics for Bitter Rivals because we felt they were much more audible and decipherable than the lyrics for Reign. 2) My favorite cereal is called OH's. They are really hard to find. I grew up in New Jersey. Maybe they're a Northeast thing...

ereid36 karma

Alexis, what is your favorite pop tart flavor?

_SleighBells6 karma

AK: Wow this is proving to be quite a popular question. Strawberry Frosted for sure!

akeemythedreamy5 karma

Hey Alexis and Derek! It's the twins from Chicago <3 What was the reason to bring back To Hell With You from the EP? Did you find it difficult to rewrite?

_SleighBells5 karma

AK: Hi! Since we recorded the demo back in 2008 we were interested in reworking it and making it stronger. It came to us pretty quickly especially once we decided to speed it up. I'm super proud of how it turned out. Take care guys. Xoxo

YoungLegends5 karma

oops, i have a second question that i forgot to add earlier

What advice do you have for a teenager hoping to eventually get a job in music management?

_SleighBells10 karma

Our manager is actually sitting on the couch next to us right now. He says "You got two fingers and laptop?!" But seriously, an internship at a music management company or record label is good start for your high school/college years -- look on the Facebook page of bands you like for management contacts and email them!

_foxy_mulder4 karma

Oh shit! Just want to say I saw you guys at Big Day Out last year and you were by far the best performance of the day. You two are just too fucking cool. Can't wait to see you again at Firefly!

My question, what is your favorite song to belt out in the car while driving?

_SleighBells13 karma

AK: Thank you so much! We love touring Australia. Currently my favorite song to belt out in the car is Beyonce's Drunk in Love. I'm a big fan of her new record.

_SleighBells8 karma

Thank you! The Four Tops "Baby I Need Your Loving" or something by the German metal band Acme.

basicbreakfast4 karma

Is there a meaning behind 96 power in Never Say Die?

_SleighBells9 karma

Miami's Power 96 circa early 90's was a big influence on me. Stole the title from The Goonies. Lyrically it's all over the place I think. I hadn't heard it in a while, but I listened recently and still really love it. Take care x DM

jdubs64904 karma

hey guys! First, Sleigh Bells is a go-to when my friends and i decide to have our ... "dance" parties. So, thanks for doing us a solid and providing sweet sounds for our bodies and minds!

My question is, i recently read that Lorde has cited you (Sleigh Bells) as an influence to her music. Do you have any thoughts about that? What about her as an artist?

Also, if you could only eat one food for the rest of your life what would it be?

_SleighBells6 karma

Lorde is totally her own thing. Crazy amount of talent, really happy for her success and glad she is a fan. I love "Royals" like the rest of the planet...I have her record but haven't spent time with it yet. I'm working on news Bells music so I haven't been listening to much else. One food forever: Alexis likes bananas, I would go for chicken wings x DM

Floe444 karma

Hey guys, saw you at the Union Transfer in Philly this past November. Beyond awesome. Wanted to see you guys play with Danny Brown in NY but couldn't make it up. How was it playing with Danny Brown? Did you guys chill after at all?

_SleighBells2 karma

AK: It was a blast. His energy is insane and we were psyched to have him on board. We only got to hang out a bit. He's a wild man!

EnterSamMan3 karma

I absolutely can not wait to see you two at CounterPoint Music Festival. How excited are YOU?

_SleighBells3 karma


heyimpumpkin3 karma

Hi guys! Any chance to see you in Moscow?

_SleighBells8 karma

We'd love to get there. No definite plans now but maybe sometime next year.

boobastank3 karma

Just wanted to thank you for one of the greatest live shows I've been a part of!! (Cats Cradle in Chapel Hill probably 2-3 years ago).
Also, Alexis, I once shared a story with you about how in my college days while raging to Crown on the Ground, someone was hit in the face by a calculator that was thrown across the room, the walls had holes kicked and punched in them, furniture was thrown all over the room; but that damn calculator did more damage than any of it. Love you guys.

_SleighBells5 karma

AK: We love the Cats Cradle!! I have such a vivid image in my head of the destruction in that room. Hilarious. Thanks for reaching out!

skypry2 karma

If you could go back in time and have sex with any historical figure, who would it be?

_SleighBells2 karma

Ronnie Spector circa 1963. x DM

[deleted]2 karma

hey, are you guys touring the UK this year?

_SleighBells13 karma

We're currently working on European dates in July, more soon.

nerdyheartbeat2 karma

Hey guys! Big fans of your stuff!

I really dug the direction on your new record. Reminded me of a lot of 90s pop I grew up with (Ace of Base etc) but if it was produced by Rick Rubin. What was the songwriting process like on Bitter Rivals? Was it different than on your other two records?

Thanks and looking forward to seeing you guys at GovBall!

_SleighBells3 karma

Thanks! Ace of Base and Rick Rubin, both massive influences. I wrote the music and lyrics, Alexis wrote the melodies. It was much more of a collaboration than previous records. Writing together is much more fulfilling x DM

samxmcg1 karma

I just wanted to say I love your music so much, been a fan since Treats was released. Would love to see you come back to the UK some time soon. Any plans for that to happen?

_SleighBells3 karma

Thank you! It's happening, working on it now. Look for dates in the next two or three months. We love coming over there x DM