Review of ‘Darkness’ by Stitched Up Heart

Review by Joshua Becker | June 30, 2020

Stitched Up Heart is a rock band originating from Los Angeles, California, and founded by Alecia “Mixi” Demner. Their latest album “Darkness” was released on Friday, March 13th, 2020.

Upon listening to the album, it seems be a nice mix of rock, and some industrial metal elements, with the electronic sounds in the background. Even though the band is labeled “rock”, it seems like they may have experimented with some industrial metal, given the heavy presence of electronic sounds throughout the tracks.

Another thing I am noticing about the album, is it kind of reminds me a bit of Paramore, and has a bit of a punk rock element to it as well. Lyrically, a lot of the lyrics from the album are very dark, and suggest a struggle, whether internal or external.

I get the feeling “Mixi” may have went through some very dark times during the song-writer process that inspired the somber lyrics. The first three tracks of the album, I get the sense of an inner struggle “Mixi” is doing what she can to face.

When we get to “Warrior”, it sounds like she has finally started to piece things together, and even build up the strength to know her worth and fight the good fight.

“I’m a warrior, and I know what I’m fighting for”. This line reiterates what I mentioned earlier: she has found her strength and knows how to use it.

In “Dead Roses” there is a line of the song “you can’t break a heart that’s already broken”.

This tells the listener “Mixi” has been through some shit, and it’s almost as if she’s saying “you can’t hurt me anymore, I have been down more than you can imagine, and what you are doing, or trying to do won’t make any difference to me.”

The next track “Crooked Halo” is very harrowing, with lyrics like

“I saw you making eyes, you don’t want none of this
I’m a one way ticket to a sinking ship
You can march to the beat of my awful symphony”

Why does it seem like “Mixi” is suggesting that she is a disaster and you should avoid her or you’ll regret it the rest of your days?  There seems to be a lot of deep pain being reflected in this track, and it is extremely disheartening.

Finishing off the album, we get to “My Demon”.
This would have to be the darkest most metal-sounding track on the album.
One of the lines in the song really speaks to the vibe of the whole album.

“I become one with my demon
Let the beast outside of my mind
I become one with my demon
My dark side keeps me alive”

Suggesting to me that through her journey (the album), “Mixi” has fought with herself, and fought with others, and she has become one with her demon (possibly herself and her experiences).

In terms of an overall, this was a very interesting listen, and it definitely stands out from a lot of other rock/metal albums I have listened to before.

I want to give this album a 5/5.

The composition and lyrics are very dark, and very telling of pain, of emotion, of anguish, so many multi-faceted emotions throughout. The production sounds great, the mixing and mastering sound very professional, and you don’t have any tracks where the singing gets washed out by the instruments, or vice-versa.

I am very impressed; great work!

Interview with Stitched Up Heart’s Alecia “Mixi” (2020)

Interview by Joshua Becker & Jessica Clingempeel | June 25, 2020

First, I wanted to say that I saw you in concert last year in Cleveland, and you guys were great.
Awww thank you! That means the world to us.

You were so interactive with the fans in the audience, acknowledging them in the crowd as they were singing along to your songs, and that was just awesome.
You’re very sweet. I try to connect with everyone I can at the show as much as possible. I know, for me as an audience member, I love when bands notice me, so I know how it feels and want everyone to know I see them and I’m grateful they took the time out to watch us!

Are concerts easy for you to get right into, or do you get nervous at times? From what I saw, you seemed so comfortable like you were right at home.
Honestly, it took me a while to be comfortable when I first started. I forced myself out of my comfort zone when I realized I wanted to play my songs in public. It took time to eventually be one with the stage. I still get butterflies before I go on for any show but it seems like as soon as I start a switch is turned on and I’m a whole different person.

Your latest album “Darkness” was such a powerful record, and the lyrics were so dark, and so profound.
Thank you. Hence the album title Darkness.

When did the decision arise to name the album “Darkness?’ and what led you to that?
We wanted to be consistent with Never Alone by using a song title off the album as the album title. The song “Darkness” was dedicated to a few close followers of the band. It was written to take them out of the dark and scary mental state they were in and bring them out stronger. The whole album is meant for every listener to attempt to do the same.

During the writing process, what was going through your mind? It seemed like you were dealing with some very personal things in your life.
I dug deep. I definitely had some major challenges that I was working through at the time. I decided to let myself be vulnerable and voice my thoughts and feelings honestly. I wanted to connect with anyone feeling that way and be their medicine.

When it comes to songwriting, do you have a certain routine like a cup of coffee, or something, to get the creative juices flowing?
I have found that meditation before I write is very helpful. When I’m in writing mode I also listen to a lot of motivational speakers to learn and teach concepts that I’ve attached to the music.

Continuing with the album, I could not help but notice the industrial metal influences in the background. What made the band decide to add the electronic sounds in the background?
It was really just to try something different. There are so many ways to create sounds through electronics and in rock we aren’t just limited to guitar, bass, and drums. It doesn’t have to be that way. We can make it sound much different by messing with synths and chopping up my voice to create its own electronic sounding instrument in the background. We just wanted a modern edge to this album.

I know the Coronavirus outbreak came about late in the making of this album, but did it have any influences on the writing, or even the instrumentals?
No. We were done writing this over a year before the virus hit.

Being that you are all in California, one of the hardest-hit states for the Coronavirus, how has this affected your day-to-day?
I am a homebody as it is, so I am pretty good at staying home. That part hasn’t changed. I haven’t been exercising as much and have been surviving on cupcakes since the pandemic started. Which, by the way, I have perfected the art of. Also, wearing a mask and trying to smile at people you pass at the grocery store is a little awkward. We all have to do our part.

Did you take up any new hobbies while you are waiting this out like everyone else?
Baking has been a new one, and gardening, which I have a lot to learn still. I also redecorated the house!

Is it possible the Coronavirus may be inspiring you to write material for your next album too?
It will definitely have some influence as I draw from current life events in the writing process.

I found in an interview way back that you experienced homeless when you first arrived in L.A., and that really made me tear up. I want to say I am so glad you have since found a home, and you are doing much better.
Yes. That was a scary time. I had just moved to LA with a boyfriend and it didn’t work out. I was lucky enough to find couches to crash on and at times would just sleep in the back of my car on a pile of clothes. But this city is tough and it made me who I am today by going through that. I’m definitely a road warrior from living like a gypsy.

If you knew you years ahead of time this would happen, would you do anything different, or plan anything different?
I would save more money. $1,000 was all I had and I didn’t realize how expensive it was gonna be to survive here. But I stuck it out and am now living comfortably.

Furthermore, with so many in the world facing homelessness, what can we do to really make an impact?
I try to give change if I have it on me when I pass by someone. Some aren’t mentally stable enough to take care of themselves and hold a job. Some have other reasons. Some people choose that life. It’s very sad. But $1 goes a long way.

Do you have any homeless charities you have worked with that we could donate to, for example?
I used to work for the Los Angeles Homeless Service Coalition when I was actually homeless. We would petition at grocery stores and raise money for the homeless. It was too difficult for me to do as I was currently living out of my car at the time, so I didn’t work there very long. I would suggest looking up a church that feeds the homeless or a local food bank in your area online.

What about advice for those who are homeless?
I would suggest staying off substances. For a lot of them, that is unfortunately what keeps them on the streets. Substance abuse is a real disease and is very hard to overcome. For some with mental illness, or who choose to fly under the radar, it’s difficult to tell someone how to live their life. Jobs definitely help and there are programs to help shelter and feed them.

I also see you are a huge animal lover and work a lot with Kitten Rescue. Did the passion for animals start with you as a child, or is this something you discovered later in life?
Animals are simple innocent creatures to me. There is something so simple yet so complex that draws me to them. There is a peace and sense of purpose I feel when I am helping an animal. Doing something selfless for something else is my soul food.

Do others in the band have the same passion as you Alecia?
They all love animals. You’re not allowed to be in the band if you don’t! Hahaha but I’m the one with the intense drive to keep doing the volunteer work and connecting with fundraisers.

At present, how many animals do you all co-habitate with?
Well… I have 3 cats. I am currently fostering 3 two month old kittens who will be going to a different foster mother soon. I am currently volunteering at California Equine Retirement Foundation (Cerf) that helps care of retired racehorses and rescues. It gives those homeless animals a sanctuary to live out their days.

With Covid, we wanted to do something to get others minds off it, so I have some additional questions I would like to ask (if you have the time, since there are quite a few).
Even when you don’t have much, do something selfless. That is all 🙂


Survey Questions

What made you want to become a musician?
I have just been drawn to instruments since recorder class in elementary school. It was my favorite class, so I continued band in middle school playing the tuba. Once I got to high school, I found the guitar and it was all downhill from there!

What are some of your hobbies outside of music/career?
Painting, animal rescue (obviously), art.

If you had to be anyone else for a day, who would that be and why?
I am comfortable being me, but maybe a bird so I could fly!

Do you have any pets?
I have 3 fluffy cats

What is your favourite animal?
This answer has changed over time but I’m gonna go with a unicorn this time!

Are you a Herbivore, Carnivore, or Omnivore?
I like to say a liberal vegetarian. I try to eat very little meat but sometimes I feel like my body needs the nutrients and I cave in.

A new law has passed where only one genre of music is allowed, which would you choose? (It is totally alright if you choose Disney music! No judgment here.)
Rock ‘n’ roll babyyyy!

What is your favourite country?
Well, I haven’t traveled anywhere aside from Canada & Mexico, yet, so I’m gonna say it would be the one I was born and raised in…USA.

What foods do you love to devour?
My grandma’s recipe of mac ‘n’ cheese!

Apple or Android?
Apple! 100%.

Where are you from?
Born in Atlanta GA. Grew up in Orlando FL. Lived my adult life in Los Angeles, CA and I am currently in Riverside CA

What was your favourite possession as a child?
My pets, even though they weren’t my possession. They’re my friends. They probably own me more.

What is your favourite possession now?
Same answer!

What motto do you live by?
Be kind.

Do you play video games? If so, what do you like playing the most?
I have a love hate relationship with video games. When I get sucked into a game I will play forever. I have to stop myself or it will consume me! World of Warcraft is my kryptonite.

Which gaming platform do you prefer?
PlayStation or PC

Any particular soundtrack you would recommend to people?
All of the God of War soundtracks or Doom is pretty sick too!

Are you into any comics, manga, or anime?
I was into anime for a while. Watched over 250 episodes of Nature till it became fuller and I got bored.

You are now stuck on an island with only one item (cannot be phone.) What is the item you choose?
Guitar

What is your favourite colour?
Fluorescent clear.

You can bring one famous figure from our past back to life, who do you choose and why?
Jesus would be interesting!

Any embarrassing moments to tell?
One year at Rock on the Range I was crowd surfing on this epic inflatable Pegasus pool float and it popped. That was pretty embarrassing.

Were you a good student or a class clown in school?
I was a B student artsy kinda kid.

Ocean or Mountains?
Beach babe.

If you had to play in a film, what kind of part would you want to play?
The rocker chick

Top 5 Musicians/Bands
The Beatles, Metallica, Louis Armstrong, NIN, and Linkin Park

Top 5 Shows/Movies
South Park, Ancient Aliens, Supernatural, Grandmas Boy, and anything with The Rock.

Top 5 Books
The Missing Piece. Mindfulness books and self help books.


Review of ‘Darkness’ by Stitched Up Heart

Review by Joshua Becker | April 28, 2020 | Band Facebook

Stitched Up Heart is a rock band originating from Los Angeles, California, and founded by Alecia “Mixi” Demner. Their latest album “Darkness” was released on Friday, March 13th, 2020.
 
Upon listening to the album, it seems be a nice mix of rock, and some industrial metal elements, with the electronic sounds in the background.
 
Even though the band is labeled “rock”, it seems like they may have experimented with some industrial metal, given the heavy presence of electronic sounds throughout the tracks.
 
Another thing I am noticing about the album, is it kind of reminds me a bit of Paramore, and has a bit of a punk rock element to it as well.
 
Lyrically, a lot of the lyrics from the album are very dark, and suggest a struggle, whether internal or external.
 
I get the feeling “Mixi” may have went through some very dark times during the song-writer process that inspired the somber lyrics.
 
The first three tracks of the album, I get the sense of an inner struggle “Mixi” is doing what she can to face.
 
When we get to “Warrior”, it sounds like she has finally started to piece things together, and even build up the strength to know her worth and fight the good fight.
 
“I’m a warrior, and I know what I’m fighting for”. This line reiterates what I mentioned earlier: she has found her strength and knows how to use it.
 
In “Dead Roses” there is a line of the song “you can’t break a heart that’s already broken”.
 
This tells the listener “Mixi” has been through some shit, and it’s almost as if she’s saying “you can’t hurt me anymore, I have been down more than you can imagine, and what you are doing, or trying to do won’t make any difference to me.”
 
The next track “Crooked Halo” is very harrowing, with lyrics like

“I saw you making eyes, you don’t want none of this
I’m a one way ticket to a sinking ship
You can march to the beat of my awful symphony”
 
Why does it seem like “Mixi” is suggesting that she is a disaster and you should avoid her or you’ll regret it the rest of your days?  There seems to be a lot of deep pain being reflected in this track, and it is extremely disheartening.
 
Finishing off the album, we get to “My Demon”. This would have to be the darkest most metal-sounding track on the album. One of the lines in the song really speaks to the vibe of the whole album.
 
“I become one with my demon
Let the beast outside of my mind
I become one with my demon
My dark side keeps me alive”

 
Suggesting to me that through her journey (the album), “Mixi” has fought with herself, and fought with others, and she has become one with her demon (possibly herself and her experiences).
 
In terms of an overall, this was a very interesting listen, and it definitely stands out from a lot of other rock/metal albums I have listened to before.
 
I want to give this album a 5/5.
 
The composition and lyrics are very dark, and very telling of pain, of emotion, of anguish, so many multi-faceted emotions throughout.
 
The production sounds great, the mixing and mastering sound very professional, and you don’t have any tracks where the singing gets washed out by the instruments, or vice-versa.
 
I am very impressed; great work!

Review of Stitched Up Heart’s Show in Cleveland

© Review, Photo, & Videos by Joshua Becker | December 9th, 2019

December 3, 2019
Stitched Up Heart Concert Review
Cleveland, Ohio House of Blues

Venue: The last concert I had, 3Teeth, I had some issues with the venue an my ticket and photo pass, to where I had to get the tour manager to interrupt what he was doing to get me settled. This time around, everything was already waiting for me.

Intro: I went to a concert at the Cleveland House of Blues on December 3rd to see Stitched Up Heart. What will follow are my experiences and overall impressions of the feature.

Start: For the first few songs I was in the photo pit, I was in awe. To start with, Mixi, from the very beginning, was already going out on stage full force and rousing the crowd.

Light Shows: The light shows at House of Blues always seem so stunning, but this feature was the best I have seen so far. There was this almost constant pulsating red light throughout the songs that further added to the
allure.

Fans: “Mixi”, not missing a beat started to interact with the group, pointing at people singing along in the audience, raising hands up to capture the crowd’s interest, twirling around on stage.

Outfit: “Mixi” had on these sequined black pants, and I could not ignore how sparkly and beautiful they were.

Overall: My overall impression of the show was I thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of Stitched Up Heart’s performance, and I want them to come back to Cleveland soon because I had an amazing time, and writing this review made those memories flood back.

Even though I am a reviewer, I still appreciate the shows for what they are. In fact, the songs they played, I actually looked up when I got home, and since, I am now a fan of them as well. How awesome is that?!

Clips: