So much can change over the course of one year. Last spring, Knoxville metalcore merchants Straight Line Stitch made not one, but two inspired appearances in Boise: One at The Knitting Factory, followed by a successful showing at 2011’s Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival.
With the release of The Fight of Our Lives, the band was set to take it all to the next level. Then it all began to come unwound for the quintet. The new year saw the departure of sure-fisted drummer Kanky Lora followed closely by original guitarist Seth Thacker, and new guitarist Kris Norris. Record label E1 also dropped the group. All at once, remaining members Alexis Brown (vocals) and Jason White (bass) truly found out what the fight of their lives was all about.
On, Tuesday April 24, The Boise Music Examiner caught up with Straight Line Stitch, on the road as usual, in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Alexis Brown opened up about the sudden changes in the band.
“For me, this is all I know how to do,” offers Brown. “So I was kind of devastated when it looked like it was all starting to fall apart. But Jason and I just decided to take the bull by the horns, and we decided to just try and rebuild and keep moving forward. We figured we’d worked too hard to get this far to just through everything away.”
Putting the band back together again has seen the band return to a familiar face. “We actually got our old drummer back, Ian Shuirr. He used to play with us way back in the day,” reveals Brown.
In fact,Shuirr moved to Knoxville originally in January 2005 to join Straight Line Stitch. He wrote and recorded guitar and drum work for the album To Be Godlike. He quit temporarily in 2007 but returned to tour with the band in 2009. He appears in the band’s video for “What You Do To Me”.
Shuirr’s friend, guitarist Kris Hawkins, who shared the side project ARC with the drummer, came into the Straight Line fold as well. “I guess it was kind of like a package deal,” smiles Brown.
For the band’s current tour, departed guitarist Kris Norris has returned to help the band out. Still, Brown admits it can be sad not having all the familiar faces on stage with her. “It’s hard not seeing Seth or Kanky, or people I’ve pretty much really grown close to, not be there anymore.” Yet Brown also embraces the change and acknowledges the need to move forward. “The new line-up is great, though. I love the people. We always have a good time. We laugh,” she continues. “You move forward, you know. And I’m not on dwelling on the past and holding on to something. When something’s gone you just gotta learn to let it go. And that’s what I’m doing. I’m just wanting to move forward and move past it.”
With regard to writing and performing with new members, Brown believes the more things change, the more they stay the same. “There’s different faces, but the essence of the band is still the same. We have the same goals. We’re writing [together]. It’s good.”
Alexis says she is completely focused right now on Straight Line Stitch, touring, and keeping her sanity. When asked what she does to keep her sanity for long hours on the road with four guys in a van, she quips, “I pray”. She also admits to reading a lot of Harlequin romance novels.
“Regardless of everything that’s happened, Brown offers, “You just have to stay grounded.”
Straight Line Stitch is currently keeping busy on the road, but Brown says they are doing a lot of writing and hope to be in the studio by the end of the year, to record again and shop for a new label.
You can listen to the full interview at left.
Music is the universal language, speak it loudly!
Rustyn Rose is a veteran music journalist who owns and operates Metalholic Magazine and Mojo Radio.