Sleigh Bells Talk Spike Jonze, M.I.A. and Being Years Ahead of Their Dreams

Sleigh Bells Talk Spike Jonze, M.I.A. and Being Years Ahead of Their Dreams
Brooklyn-based noise pop duo Sleigh Bells are virtually everywhere you look at the moment (even in Exclaim!). While they have plenty of blogs to thank for getting them everywhere, it was a joint effort by hipster filmmaker Spike Jonze and hipster music-maker M.I.A. that gave them a home for their speaker-decimating album, Treats.

In an interview with Exclaim!, Sleigh Bells guitarist/producer Derek Miller said it all started when Jonze caught word of their music.

"He had a blog for Where the Wild Things Are, and he wanted to use our music in a short film called I Am Here, which he did," Miller explains. "On top of that, he's friends with Maya [aka M.I.A.], and he thought that she would really love it. So he went over to her house and played it for her and she contacted us on the spot, actually. It was awesome."

So taken with Sleigh Bells was M.I.A. that she literally hopped on a plane to snap up the duo for her newly minted label, N.E.E.T. Recordings. But she had other things on her mind besides releasing Treats. Like, say, getting Miller to work on her own record, // /Y/.

"She flew to New York unannounced shortly after she contacted us," Miller says. "She was like, 'Let's go into the studio.' So I thought we'd be working on Sleigh Bells, but she said, 'No this is for my third LP.'" 

Miller says he found the whole experience to be years ahead of his dreams, especially when he actually stepped into the studio. 

"Obviously, I love her records, so in my head it was always a dream collaboration," he adds. "Like if we do Sleigh Bells for a few years, if anyone gives a shit about us, maybe I could work with someone like her. It's just completely ridiculous that it happened the other way around because the demos we had done or the hardware I used was really shitty. Suddenly I was in this really nice studio with a ton of sounds right at my fingertips. It was amazing, it was a blast. It really gave me the confidence to do the Sleigh Bells record because I was maybe going to get a co-producer. But I just felt so good after that."

Sleigh Bells' Treats is now available digitally, with the CD and vinyl dropping on June 22. M.I.A.'s ///Y/ is out on all formats on July 13.