A light in the midst of darkness


At first glance, Alecia “Mixi” Demner presents a paradox. On the one hand, as the singer of the hard rock band Stitched Up Heart, Mixi is known to write heavy themed songs and cry her voice over crisp riffs. But on the other hand, Mixi has a bubbly and radiant personality, especially when she talks about the kittens she raised.

It all starts to make sense when you consider the songs from Stitched Up Heart’s new album, “Darkness”. Much like yin and yang, Mixi’s lyrics show that there is a duality in our lives. You can’t triumph without struggling, and this is the last part that Mixi tackles on one of the album’s singles, “Warrior”.

“With ‘Warrior’, we wrote it as a super strong song, ‘I can do anything’, and it just didn’t catch me,” says Mixi. “It didn’t feel authentic to me if the song was all about strength, because I hadn’t learned anything about strength until I went through things. We realize how strong we can be after overcoming some of the scariest things in our life.

After coming back and rewriting the verses, the song ended up being exactly what Mixi was looking for – a genuine tribute to the soldiers. Confronting the PTSD that affects so many of those who serve, the song is much more powerful than just a hymn of well-being.

Throughout its 10 tracks, “Darkness” isn’t afraid to go to incredibly dark places. But that doesn’t mean he’s wallowing in misery. “There are a lot of introspective lyrics that examine our deepest and darkest secrets,” says Mixi, “bring those thoughts to life and try to connect with people as deeply as possible. With every song we write, I would meditate ahead of time and really try to reach out to the darker parts of the soul, bring it to light and turn it into a more upbeat and positive message.

Before preparing to enter the studio to record a sequel to 2016’s “Never Alone,” Stitched Up Heart wrote 70 songs. Seventy. Just looking at that number can be staggering – it wouldn’t be surprising if the group would feel overwhelmed. But, as Mixi explains, it was all part of the process.

“We threw a lot of paint in all directions to try to get out of our comfort zone and create something unique, as unique as possible,” says Mixi. “We could have easily made the same record as ‘Never Alone’ and made it an expansion, but we really wanted to try to push the boundaries and push ourselves as artists.”

Photo by Curtis Noble

There are definite parallels between the songwriting process of Stitched Up Heart and the history of Mixi’s tattoo collection. Looking at her now you see a nice collection of well done tattoos covering her body, but it took a lot of painting to get to where it is today. Mixi first got a tattoo when she was 16, not at a store, but at a tattoo party hosted by older friends. Given the experience, it’s a tribute to her resilience that she’s never had another.

“The first tattoo I got was a tramp’s tampon, of course. Excellent,” Mixi laughs. “I was so nervous I took a whole handful of Captain Morgan – there were probably about two or three left. thumbs down – and I blew it all out before I sat down. Then when I sat down the guy started and he said to me, “You’re bleeding way too much, you have to stop.” Then I did. threw up and passed out.

When she woke up in the morning, Mixi had a partial diamond inked on her lower back, miles from the finished tattoo she had imagined. The tattoo was supposed to come from a notebook by Lisa Frank. “I drew this thing in art class,” says Mixi. “It’s a whale tail and it has waves and butterfly wings and all that cheesy stuff you draw when you’re a 16 year old girl.”

Eager to finish her tattoo, Mixi quickly learned a valuable lesson. Sometimes if you walk into the right tattoo shop with a really bad tattoo, they don’t bother asking for your ID. And his journey had begun.

To say that Mixi is an animal lover is probably the understatement of the century. Naturally, her tattoo collection reflects this. Some of her tattoos include a unicorn (mythical animals count!), A lion, a tiger, and soon she will add a wolf.

“My dad got his first tattoo last year and he’s in his 60s,” says Mixi. “He never thought he was going to get a tattoo. I took him on this rock cruise called Shiprock, it was his first time listening to super heavy bands and he fell in love with them, and he immersed himself in the rock community. He had bought these temporary adhesive ship sleeve tattoos and he loved the way they looked. So he decided he wanted to get a half sleeve.

“So my dad sat for 10 hours and had a wolf half-sleeve on his arm,” Mixi continues. “I’m planning on having my neighbor on the back of my leg, a matching wolf tattoo so I can always think of him.” And he’s a guy who never, ever thought he would ever get a tattoo.

Like everyone else, Mixi has tried to make the most of the lockdown. All this time spent at home gave him the opportunity to pursue one of his great passions: raising kittens.

After making the decision to get sober over five years ago, Mixi was looking for things to occupy her time. She stumbled across a kitten bottle feeding class and decided it looked super fun and hit and miss. Shortly after, she found herself at a kitten shower, like a baby shower but much cuter.

“During the kitten shower, they were like, ‘Oh, did you ever learn to bottle feed? Do you want to welcome one of these babies? ‘ Says Mixi. “I ended up with, like, this tiny little black and white kitten, I think he was two weeks old. I named it Oreo.

Oreo was the first of 33 kittens to be bred by the singer. She also raised a puppy, but the experience was, to put it mildly, very messy. Once each kitten is ready, she hands them over to Kitten Rescue LA to handle their adoption. “I can only say goodbye once,” says Mixi. “It’s the hardest thing to do when you’ve grown up with this little baby who thinks you’re his mom. But I have to say goodbye at some point, otherwise I would have 33 cats by now. ”

Mixi would never have found the deep love she has for each foster kitten if she had never sunk to the point where she needed to get sober. Once again, showing that even in our darkest times, there is a light to be found.


Leave A Reply