Alexis is a two piece electro pop duo from Grand Rapids, MI. They will have a new LP out via Synth Records in September called Love or Temptation, and they've shared the stage with The B-52's, Electric 6, The Fixx, Man Man, Animatronic, Flosstradamus and Stepdad. They have also had performances at large events such as Grand Rapids Festival of the Arts, Founders Fest, Taste of Kalamazoo, Motor City Pride, Ferndale's Pig & Whiskey, Ypsilanti's MittenFest, and Detroit's Metro Times Blowout.
We jumped on the chance to chat with this up and coming band!
Give us some background on Alexis…
Dan and I met at our local Irish pub in the mid to late 2000s. We immediately connected on music but on total opposite ends of the Spectrum. He's very jazz and classically trained. I'm very pop, rock, verse chorus verse. We messed around with a couple different ideas musically, but finally settled on making a synth pop record. We had 2010's "The Night" recorded and on iTunes before we ever played a show. We started at open mics in our hometown as the band was too hard to describe to booking people. They didn't really seem to get if we were a rock band or a DJ. We immediately began to gain a local following from those open mic nights and by the the time 2011 rolled around, we had a slot on a local tv news program. On 1/11/11 we appeared on WOOD TV8s daytime show, EightWest. In our conservative small town the appearance caused some controversy and the video went immediately mini viral in GR. We were welcomed with open arms in the scene and have had great shows there ever since. From there we branched out to gigging in Detroit and Ann Arbor as much as possible in an effort to keep getting noticed. In the last couple years we've had some great shows with national artists like Future Islands, Man Man and Electric 6. We've also gotten a great boost from east coast connections with Synth Records and DHM Agency. We're excited to see what the future may hold!
Picking a band name can be is as hard as naming a child, in my opinion. How did you come up with yours?
I agree completely. I've always been really particular about song titles, band names etc. Sometimes a good name can truly make the difference in how much I enjoy a book, album, whatever. Game of Thrones and Star Wars would not be so amazing if it weren't for all of the characters and locations having really cool, perfect names.
We wanted something really sophisticated and opulent when we were first starting the group. We looked at a couple different options but some of them were too dark and not glam enough. (ie: Fatality)
My mother was a huge fan of Aaron Spelling's prime time soap "Dynasty" when I was younger. I remembered all of the Rolls Royces, shoulder pads and the show's main antagonist, Alexis Carrington. She was a perfect combo of glamor, naughtiness and sophistication. Throw in the androgynous twist and we had a winner!
You have shared the stage with some eclectic bands. Do you have a favorite memory of a performance?
One highlight that stands out was during our show opening for The B52s at the Frederik Meijer Gardens. It's a big outdoor amphitheater in our hometown of Grand Rapids. It was the beginning of June but the weather was terrible. It was like 45 degrees and pouring rain. The place was still packed with people in raincoats, tarps and umbrellas. We managed to stay dry during our opening set, but afterward watching the Bs, we were soaking wet and freezing. No rain gear or even warm jackets. As the band finished one of their songs, Kate Pierson grabbed the mic for some banter. She preceded to thank us for opening and referred to us as "The Fabulous Alexis." They kicked right into one of my favorite songs of their catalog, "Roam." Needless to say, she made our night! The rain and cold didn't matter much after that.
What can one expect to see at an Alexis show?
We absolutely love performing to a crowd that's ready to party. As you'll hear every performer say, you get what you give. The more nuts the audience goes, the higher we'll jump. We're both cardio machines so it's always our plan to be in constant motion from the time we prance onto the stage. That's probably founded in our feelings in the early stages of the band that we had to work two times as hard to make up for being just a two piece. In short, just be prepared to sweat.
What is next for Alexis?
Dan and I have been spending as much time as possible on our new full length album, Love or Temptation. It will be out late summer/ fall and we're planning on heading back out to support it. Hopefully with a more east coast oriented focus. We love our older material but we're really looking forward to playing a brand new live set.