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Five things you may not know about Sleigh Bells



"It's like this guy who plays super-loud guitar and a girl with a really pretty high voice." That's what one person in the crowd at this year's SXSW festival in Austin, Texas, said to a friend not as familiar with Sleigh Bells. If you'd like to know a little more about the buzzy Brooklyn noise-pop duo of guitarist Derek Miller and singer Alexis Krauss (who play the Phoenix on Monday), continue reading.

- Sleigh Bells postponed its February concert here to play Saturday Night Live instead. The performance drew both applause and criticism, including a tweet from the unimpressed Anthrax guitarist Ian Scott: "I'm petitioning @JacksonGuitars to take those guitars back."

- Mr. Miller plays Jackson guitars, those pointy Stratocaster-inspired models first favoured by glammy shredders back when Michael J. Fox was making Back to the Future movies. Mr. Miller has been known to use a black DK2T Dinky model, which, according to the guitar maker's promotional literature, offers a "warm, chunky tone," as well as a fingerboard that allows for "low-action bends without fretting out."

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- Ms. Krauss's tattoos include the Virgin of Guadalupe (right arm) and a dagger piercing a skull (left arm).

- Freak-rap superstar and Sleigh Bells champion M.I.A. initially attempted to contact the band by sending an e-mail. But she had the address of the wrong Derek Miller. Fortunately, that wrong Derek Miller knew the right Derek Miller and was able to forward the career-helping missive. The band's debut album, 2010's Treats, was co-released on M.I.A.'s boutique label, N.E.E.T.

- Despite Mr. Miller's penchant for noisy riff-making, he's an unabashed pop enthusiast who credits Belinda Carlisle, Mariah Carey, George Michael, Roxette, Chicago and Def Leppard as major influences on the material of Sleigh Bells' recent album Reign of Terror.



Sleigh Bells and Black Banana play March 26, 8 p.m. $33.75, Phoenix, 410 Sherbourne St., 1-855-985-5000.

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About the Author

Brad Wheeler is an arts reporter with The Globe and Mail. More

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