Los Angeles band Stitched Up Heart have recently release their debut album Never Alone. We caught up with their gorgeous rock goddess vocalist Alecia ‘Mixi’ Demner to chat about the new album and how life has changed for her in recent years.

SCENEzine
How’s your American summer going?

Mixi
It’s super hot right now luckily we’ve got half of our van AC working so we are all crammed up in the front trying to get as much AC as we can.

SCENEzine
Congrats on your new album Never Alone it’s awesome, you must be stoked with how it turned out?

Mixi
Thank you that’s really cool to hear. We’ve been working really hard for a while now so it’s good to know that the other side of the world hears us a little bit.

SCENEzine
Is there a story behind the decision of the album cover art?

Mixi
It’s kind of a long story but there’s a running theme of hopefulness in a lot of the lyrics. In the time that the writing was going on there was a lot going on in my life where I was starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel. So the lyrics ended up being something like that. When we got into the creation of the artwork for the album we wanted to emulate the idea of having dark flowing to light and giving a sense of hope that’s where the peace doves come in.

stitched up heart album

SCENEzine
You teamed up with pledge music for the album pre orders how did that all come about?

Mixi
It was actually interesting it was really the labels idea from the beginning. We hadn’t had a merch site up online for a while. So it was perfect for us with the release of the record for people that wanted shirts or posters that hadn’t gotten them. The majority of the stuff on pledge was exclusive also it was actually cheaper to get it from pledge than from our shows so it was a great deal for people. It really was beneficial to the release of the record for the first week it helped out a lot.

SCENEzine
“Finally Free” has had a massive response are you amazed by how well the song has done?

Mixi
Yeah we definitely weren’t anticipating it to do as well as it has. Before “Finally Free” we didn’t even know what an active rock chart was, we didn’t know anything about radio. That was our first song that made it to any real radio station. It kind of just took off on it’s own organically we were just putting it out as a song so people could have a taste of what the new record would sound like. It paved the way for “Monster” and that ones gone over pretty well also. It’s been really exciting for us.

SCENEzine
Throughout the album it seems like melody is really important. Was that a conscious decision to make every track hold its own?

Mixi
When it comes to writing the album we obviously wanted it to have some consistency but no matter what we do with the music it always ends up sounding similar to the other songs. With every song we tried to have very single word and note make sense.

SCENEzine
You recently released a video for “Monster” was it fun to tap into your crazy side?

Mixi
Yeah “Monster” was actually the very first song we started writing for this record. It was like hey you’ve got a new label and new team behind you they are all expecting new music so what are you going to bring. The night before I went and got tattooed and my tattoo artist’s name is Mr Monster. He’s like write a song for me and I’m like sure why not. The next day we went in the studio with the idea and it went from there. “Monster” is really just about when you are pushed up against a wall or times a tough you fight back. The monster inside of you that little beast always prevails.

SCENEzine
I feel like your channelling Harley Quinn form Suicide Squad a little in the video.

Mixi
Wow I’ll take that as a huge compliment thank you. She’s hot I’ll take it (laughs)

SCENEzine
You were saying before about hope in your lyrics is that the message you want people to take from the album?

Mixi
Yes but it wasn’t what we meant to do in the beginning. I wanted to write songs that are meaningful and not just words. I wanted something to change peoples day and to have a meaningful message in each song. When you write it always feels as if something’s speaking through you. It feels like it’s almost not even me like I’ve been taken over. At the time there were positive things happening in my life so hopefully that translated into the message that the songs gave. Originally we just wanted meaningful songs but they ended up being from a optimistic point of view also.

SCENEzine
One of our favourite songs from the album is “Now that you’re gone” are you able to tell us a bit about that song?

Mixi
I don’t really go into it too much but lets just say that everybody has lost somebody whether it’s a relationship or somebody has passed on. It was written on memorial day and I really wanted to write it for people that had lost someone. It’s one that is very hard to sing because every single time I almost cry. Also when I get off the stage at least one person per show will cry or tell me that they cried and I don’t want people crying at the shows I want everybody to have a good time. It’s pretty emotional but it’s just a heartfelt song that needed to be said.

SCENEzine
A lot of people may be under he impression that Stitched Up Heart is this new band that virtually started yesterday. It’s been a long road though. Is it cool to finally get some recognition?

Mixi
Yeah it happens at this level where a band has been working for so long and no one takes you seriously until something happens then it starts to snowball. I see it happen with a lot of artists. People have no idea how much work has gone in before that point of recognition. But it’s really cool and kind of surreal to see it from our side because we are still driving in a van with a trailer with half air conditioning working. So we are still working as hard as we can. We still want to get better and better.

SCENEzine
Did the band just start as an idea from yourself one day?

Mixi
Yeah I had a musical heartbreak back in 2010 so I decided to form this band and start off fresh and just not give up. That’s kind of been a running theme for Stitched Up Heart it’s about picking yourself back up and putting yourself together. No matter what life throws at you no matter what job you have there’s going to be hard times and challenges but you have to rise to the occasion. If you can get through it only makes you stronger. You just have to stick with it and go for what you really want.

SCENEzine
On earlier songs like “Grave” you almost had more of a punk sound. Would you say with the new album you’ve more found your sound as a band?

Mixi
Oh yeah we’ve grown up a lot musically as far as writing goes. Previously we would write like 30 songs then pick 6 of the best it was very fast paced writing. With the new record we put a lot more thought into each individual song on the album.

SCENEzine
What’s it like currently being Miss August on the Hottest Chicks in Hard Rock Revolver calendar?

Mixi
Yeah it’s kind of surreal because there’s all these amazing talented women on the calendar. I’ve been in the magazine before but it was the first time being in the calendar. Plus it is my mums birthday month so that was really cool. Ironically enough the very first time I got in the Revolver hottest chicks magazine it used to be from fan voting. So I asked my mum if she would send an e-mail to Revolver and maybe they would put me in. So she sent an email then she sent like 10 emails. Then she told me she sent like 50 emails and they weren’t going through I think that Revolver blocked her (laugh). So I emailed Revolver and said sorry about my mum so it is very ironic that I happen to be on August when her birthday is. She’s the reason that I think I even got in, in the first place. It’s been 4 years now.

SCENEzine
You have a lot of awesome tattoos. Is there a story behind your hip guns tattoos?

Mixi
I saw them in a magazine one time and really liked the style. I have traditional tattoos mostly. It’s kind of like if you mess with me down there… (laughs). I’ve been getting tattoos since before I was old enough to legally get tattooed. I’ve been around tattoo shops for a long time and I just love the art.

SCENEzine
Getting recognition now from other countries outside of USA must be quite surreal for the band?

Mixi
Yeah when I was a little girl I wanted to be a national geographic photographer. I wanted to do that before I knew I wanted to learn music because I wanted to travel the world and see animals and photograph them. Then I discovered the guitar and thought well I can travel the world and play guitar. So I’m starting to see my dream of travelling around the world come to fruition. I have a feeling that in the not to distant future we will be travelling overseas. The furthest I’ve ever been past America is Canada and Mexico. I’ve got my passport but not much stamped on it yet (laughs).

SCENEzine
Many years ago you won the TV show Redemption Song hosted by Chris Jericho. Did that experience help you decided what kind of artist you didn’t want to be?

Mixi
That was a very random thing. I’ve always been in bands. When I did that show I had just gotten off tour with a band. I didn’t have anything to do in LA so I looked on this website called Craig’s List it said if you want to sing and be on a reality show this is just for you. I was like why not I like experiences I’m bored it might be interesting. I signed up I got the gig and won the show. That’s actually how I met our drummer he got hired to play in the music video for the song. Then it was all downhill from there (laughs). I never wanted to do the solo thing that show kind of pushed for more of a solo act and it wasn’t really me. I like having a band where everybody works together.

SCENEzine
Lastly can you leave us a message for your Australian fans and is there any chance you’ll make it down here someday?

Mixi
There absolutely is 100% chance I will make it down there whether it be on a tour or one day just visiting because it’s one of the countries I have to go to. My message is that there’s been a lot of times that I wanted to quit. I packed up my car and moved to Los Angles. I’ve almost given up so many times but I’m so happy that I didn’t let people stop me from quitting my dream because it’s starting to finally pay off. It just takes time, hard work and perseverance. If you really know what you want to do with your life never ever stop, always go for your dreams.

(interview by Christian Ross)

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