Bleached are the perfect mix. Something new, with past references that sound refreshingly familiar. Sisters Jennifer and Jessie Clavin started playing music in the punk band Mika Miko, and after disbanding, they’ve released three 7″ singles as Bleached and toured with the likes of Franz Ferdinand and Japandroids, before appearing at South By Southwest last month. While elements of their old band are still there and while their musical influences are apparent, they find a way to make it sound refreshingly new. Their new album, Ride Your Heart is one the catchiest, most vibrant releases of 2013. Sara and I talked to the band about their influences.
Sara- Your new album is definitely heavy on the Ramones and Misfits references- who are your female influences? I actually hear a lot of undertones of Luscious Jackson strangely enough…of course the Runaways- am I way off? Are we picking up on any of your influences?
Jessie- You are totally right on Ramones and Misfits. Those were bands we grew up listening to. Also for female artists it was The Slits, the Shangri-Las, Blondie, Siouxsie, etc…. I remember Lucious jackson when I was in like… early jr.high. They are the kind of band I will hear and it will totally take me back to memory lane of the early 90s and have total respect for them since they were this cool all girl indie pop band and I think there is for sure a pop sound in our music too. Sometimes I dont really hear The Runaways, but I like when people do!
Todd- Lyrically, you write lots of great songs about the travails of love and relationships. How much of it is autobiographical?
Jennifer- When I sit down and write it all comes from my personal point of view of love, a relationship I am in or was in, but sometimes I may kind of amplify it a bit.
Todd- I adore the Next Stop video. Can you talk about the inspiration for the video? Some bands hate having to make videos. How do you feel about it and will you make more videos for this album?
Jessie- We really enjoy making videos because it just shows more about us and things we like. When I hear a song I really like and then I find the music video or even a live performance I feel so much more connected to the band. For Next Stop we tried to use the look of a 60s new wave film and the rare Andy Warhol footage of the factory people dancing! We also added in some of the fun things we like to do like… give each other stick n poke tattoos.
Sara- Is there anything on Repeat in your iPod?
Jessie- Ok, this is actually something I do all the time…… right now its MC5- Shakin Street…..oh man, that guitar part, so good!
jennifer- Mariah Carey – Heartbreaker
Sara- I, personally, can’t get enough of Electric Chair- can you look back and talk about that song for a moment? Why the electric chair- it sounds kind of like a love/hate/where are you kind of song…this is most certainly an electric song…so ridiculously catchy…booty-shaking music for sure.
Jennifer-Oh yeah it totally is kinda a love hate song. I was in a really crazy up and down relationship and we used to joke about the idea of the Electric Chair a lot. Not something to joke about but we are weird . But finally when it ended and I was super depressed it just came to me to say that. I was still in love but we couldn’t be together. I like my friends take on the song where they said it’s like the after life story of Romeo and Juliet.
Todd- How’d you feel about SXSW? After the fact, it seems like a lot of bands were complaining about the whole, set up in ten minutes, no soundcheck, play for 20 minutes, rinse, repeat premise. Not a new problem at SXSW, but it seemed to illicit a lot of complaints this year.
Jessie- All of that….setting up, 10 min, no soundcheck…..is what I just expect of sxsw. We went last year and had about 15 shows and this year we went with 9 shows… you have to not really think about it and just do, don’ t count the shows and days left!
Todd- Obviously Burger Records is no secret anymore. Any thoughts on why Burger and the retro sound that you and so many of the Burger bands share has become so popular in the past year?
Jessie- Theres a lot of excitement about it right now and there are so many bands and people working together and the more of that the bigger you will expand. There’s also just some common music us and these bands like to listen to and recreate but then we all have our own style and way of putting it to reference.
Sara- Which current/popular artist is your guilty pleasure? Why?
Jessie- My guilty pleasure is dancing a long with Beyonce trying to perfect the moves! I don’t feel too guilty about it though since I end up getting a good work out!
Sara- Bikini Kill- go!….
Jessie- A really cool riot girl band that I have a lot respect for because what they were doing something really new and extreme at the time and have inspired so many young girls to play music
Sara- Courtney Love- go!!!…
Jessie- One time someone told me that I looked like her before the nose job…..
Catch the band on tour!
Date Venue Location Tickets
Apr 11 Lowbrow Palace El Paso, TX
Apr 12 Mohawk Austin, TX
Apr 13 Club Dada Dallas, TX
Apr 14 Circle Bar New Orleans, LA
Apr 15 Bottletree Cafe Birmingham, AL
Apr 16 The EARL Atlanta, GA
Apr 17 The Pinhook Durham, NC
Apr 18 DC9 Washington, DC
Apr 19 Kenyon College Gambier, OH
Apr 20 The Fire Philadelphia, PA
Apr 20 Haverford College Philadelphia, PA
Apr 21 TT & The Bears Cambridge, MA
Apr 23 Bowery Ballroom New York, NY
Apr 24 il Motore Montreal, Canada
Apr 25 Silver Dollar Toronto, Canada
Apr 26 Metro Times Festival Detroit, MI
Apr 27 Subterranean Chicago, IL
Apr 28 Turf Club St Paul, MN
Apr 30 Ole Beck VFW Post 209 Missoula, MT
May 01 Chop Suey Seattle, WA
May 02 Fortune Sound Club Vancouver, Canada
May 03 Star Theatre Portland, OR
May 05 Independent San Francisco, CA
May 07 Casbah San Diego, CA
May 08 Troubadour Los Angeles, CA