Recently A&GS sat down with Mixi, lead singer of STITCHED UP HEART. Their debut album Never Alone (Another Century) has been making some big noise since its 2016 release, and they have been a perpetual touring machine as well. I wanted to get a little insight into what the band is about, and Mixi was all-too happy to oblige. Plus, she’s got a big heart, and was super-cool to talk to. Check it:
Amps: I was fortunate enough to catch your set at Chameleon Club (Lancaster, PA) last summer with 9ELECTRIC and GEMINI SYNDROME. One thing I notice is that the record doesn’t really capture the energy that you have as a unit live. And that’s not to say the songs aren’t energetic because they are.
Mixi: I don’t know what it is, but it’s always been that way. I think part of it is just being trapped and confined in boxes in the studio, where we don’t entirely let everything out. And then when we perform live there is this adrenaline rush that happens and we just go crazy on that stage. We give every possible element of ourselves that we can. And after we’re done it takes a second to come back to reality. We give 100% of ourselves on that stage.
Amps: So it’s safe to say you prefer playing live to being cooped up in the studio?
Mixi: Yeah. I love recording, writing, and creating new music. But I do think performance-wise I have way more fun with the live show, you know? When you’re in the studio you’re just so focused on making sure you hit every note and all the little minor details. But live you feed off energy`of the people, not stuck in a room somewhere. I love the live show!
Amps: After this tour with LACEY STURM, what’s happening for the rest of the year with STITCHED UP HEART?
Mixi: This run has been awesome so far. LETTERS FROM THE FIRE and PALISADES are also on the bill and there’s such a positive energy among this great group of people. It’s super-energetic, everybody throws down. If you’ve never seen Lacey Sturm live, she can make you cry, she can give you chills. She is just such a presence on that stage. You can feel her soul. It’s an insane performance where she just pours herself out there.
This whole year we’re gonna do a mixture of touring and writing. We’ll start releasing stuff throughout the year, and make sure we pick the tours that will also allow us to create so we don’t completely drop off the face of the earth. We will just bug the crap out of everyone! We stay on the road, we’ve always been hardworking.
When we signed with Century Media we would book our own tours and route them out. We know that it is very important to meet people and build those friendships all across the U.S. and it’s been really cool meeting so many different people that never knew about us.
It’s gotten to the point where I would hang out all through the shows, especially when only five people would show up. Now there’s several hundred and I wanna hang out with EVERYBODY, but we only have so much time, you know?
Amps: I know you’ve done a lot of interviews today. After you finish, will you shut it down vocally until you play tomorrow night, or no?
Mixi: Yeah, today’s supposed to be vocal rest day for me, but any days off are always good to not talk. I TRY not to speak, but I have a really hard time with that. I talk too much (laughs). The guys love it when I’m on vocal rest!
Amps: Other than that, what steps do you take to make sure your voice will be strong for an entire tour?
Mixi: You have to get a lot of sleep, which is really hard to do on the road. I sometimes feel lame, but I force myself to not hang out after the show too much. You know, after the bar’s closed and everybody wants to go to karaoke I know that’s a bad idea for me. Even though I want to and I feel left out because I wanna hang out with my friends, I know myself, and I’ll be yelling and screaming over the music, and yappin’ away. I try to drink as much water as possible. I drink tea with honey but I don’t always have that option. Most gas stations give you free hot water, so I can usually get some tea there. But really, trying not to talk during the day as much as possible.
Amps: A portion of your merch proceeds go to kitten rescue. How did you get involved in that?
Mixi: I think it runs in my family. My Dad adopted about 14 cats 16 years ago. There’s only one left at this point but my aunt is very into fostering cats. And as a band when we tour Seattle we stay at her place, and one time she had three kittens. So I was like, “Wait…so you can just borrow kittens until you find them a home??” That’s the hardest part, finding them a home. And when we were back writing I got really into fostering. I foster a dog, I foster cats, and then I found bottle baby kittens, which I fell in love with because you have to feed them and they’re little furry babies. I just love doing that. Obviously it’s not possible when we’re on the road so what we do is donate a percentage of our merchandise sales to kitten rescue. We’ve raised around $4,000 for them so far I think. This tour we got hit with a HUGE bill for a new bus engine, so we’re renting a van. We won’t be able to donate this time, but I personally donated some of my own money because I feel so strongly about it. Plus, it’s good karma, right?
Amps: What do you like to do to unwind outside of music?
Mixi: I like to create art. I paint, I do photography. And when I get bored I like to play video games, or I just watch stuff on Netflix. I get obsessed with certain things and then I get sucked in. I’ll get sucked into World of Warcraft and then I won’t be able to get out for months, then I finally make myself get out of it. Then I get sucked into photography, then I learn Photoshop and Lightroom.
Amps: What do you want to say to all the STITCHED UP HEART fans out there?
Mixi: Believe in yourself. Mainly that everybody goes through stuff. Life has its ups and downs and no matter what you’ve gotta have those down times, otherwise you’re never gonna appreciate the good things. You just gotta truck through the hard times and know that they’ll pass. I’ve had to go through some really horrible stuff, after it’s over, there’s something really good right around the corner. You’ve gotta wade through it, and get to that point. I promise you, it will be worth it.
I don’t think I need to say anything else now, do I? Mixi did it better than I ever could have. If for some reason you haven’t grabbed a copy of Never Alone yet, I strongly suggest you do. And get out to support this great band on the road, willya??