Sleigh Bells vocalist Alexis Krauss used to be in a teen pop band called Rubyblue. The band was started by Nickelodeon and was focused around Krauss as the front woman of an all-girl group, similar to a female version of The Monkees. Rubyblue signed a record deal with Sony but by the time she was 15, Krauss realized that the market was saturated with similar acts and that she was growing away from playing that type of music.
In grade five, Sleigh Bells vocalist Alexis Krauss played the title character in a school play version of the musical Annie. Krauss says her parents were very excited for her but in the play, she had to wear an awful wig.
Sleigh Bells guitarist Derek Miller says he likes to work with restrictions on guitar, drums, and vocals. He cites Jack White as an influence on this ideology and says he's "on the same page as him" in terms of relying on restrictions to guide his creative process.
After she finished college in Manhattan, Alexis Krauss became a teacher for Teach for America. She did the gig for two years before realizing that her passion was still playing and performing music.
While attending college in New York City, Alexis Krauss continued to keep a foot in the music business. She wrote and recorded demos for several well-known Pop singers. One of her songs turned into a Britney Spears track, while another became the theme song for the movie Freaky Friday. Krauss also did gigs in a wedding band to make money while still in school.
Sleigh Bells' single "Rill Rill" contains a sample from Funkadelic's "Can You Get to That." Front woman Alexis Krauss says that the band won't be doing any more sampling because samples are just too hard to clear. She believes that using other people's material is a big gamble so Sleigh Bells will be steering clear of them in the future.
Despite speculation, Krauss and Miller are not a couple. Krauss says the band works because the focus has always been strictly on music and that the lack of romance between the two creates tenacity that drives them forward as a band.