Seattle folks love to talk about the weather as much as they love to talk about how much everyone talks about the weather. But damnit, it's getting warmer around here! Bleached—a Los Angeles–based, sister-founded lo-fi rock outfit formed by ex–Mika Miko punks Jennifer and Jessica Clavin—are perfect for your sunshine enjoyment. Their recent full-length, Ride Your Heart, is sweet with a little salt, like a fast-melting margarita in a pink plastic cup. Sandy guitar hooks with catchy drumming, A-plus harmonies, and a faded-heart-shapes-on-acid-washed-cutoffs-style nostalgia for the recent past—music you could (and should) pop in an old boom box and start a night-swimming party to.
I e-mailed a few questions to Bleached while they were on the road, older sis Jennifer responded.
Where did the name Bleached come from? When I first saw it, I thought, "Nirvana cover band?" But only for a second.
Ha-ha, no—I was trying to come up with a name that I thought sounded cool and reminded me of a punk-style name, because those are always the best. And bleaching something can last forever, like sisters.
At what point did you decide it was time to teach yourself how to play guitar?
When I was in high school, I used to go to shows every weekend. One time, I saw this girl band and I thought, "Wait, why am I not in a band?" My dad had guitars, so I went home and taught myself how to play so I could start a band. I think I was 16 or 17.
Y'all are from LA—did you grow up on LA punk? Ever get to see neat shows growing up?
Yeah, we went to shows all the time. I remember seeing Bad Religion with Descendents. Also seeing Rancid with AFI was cool, ha-ha. Every show I ever saw at the Smell growing up was always awesome.
Tell me about being sisters and playing in a band together. Is there fighting? Are your parents supportive?
It's actually pretty easy. We're both really chill and don't get on each other's nerves. Maybe every now and then there is a small fight, but we get over it. Our parents are totally supportive—I think our mom is our number-one fan.
How has touring been? Do you like the lifestyle?
I love touring and going to new cities and meeting people, imaging what it would be like to live in that city. You just go with the flow and it's easy. I get stir-crazy when I'm home for too long.
Any awesome/awful tour stories?
Actually, on like the fifth day of this tour, we were going a little crazy partying—we were all on top of Hunters' van (the band we were on tour with). Jon, our drummer, jumped off and hurt himself, and now he's walking with a cane! At first, he thought his foot was broken, but now we don't even know. It's the foot he drums with, but he can drum fine, so thank goodness!
What are your top tour foods? Do you go for the fast food or do you try to stay somewhat healthy on the road?
It's so hard to be healthy, but we try to go to Whole Foods and health-food restaurants whenever we can. But of course we love junk food, too. I try not to snack, except when I go to Canada—they have the craziest chips that I always have to eat.
Your new album, Ride Your Heart, is perfect for us Northwest kids who don't get much sun this time of year! How long did it take you to get the songs together?
OMG, I know. I always wanna move to Seattle, but then I think the weather would drive me crazy. The songs were demos from early Bleached all the way up until a month before recording. We recorded all of October—I love that month 'cause the weather is the best! Maybe LA is a little like Seattle during October. But it's nice knowing the sun will come out again.
I can't get enough of your song "Waiting by the Telephone." Were you inspired by the Nerves/Blondie?
Oh thanks! Yeah for sure, the Nerves song "Hanging on the Telephone" that Blondie covered and made amazing! But I also kept trying to make it kinda early-Rolling-Stones-sounding, too—like off Aftermath.
What's your favorite sibling band? Heart are from around here, and I just saw Sparks the other night! Do you think you'll be in your 60s, still playing together?
Jessie loves Heart! I love the Replacements. I actually don't foresee that, but I do think we will maybe have a restaurant together one day. We always say that.
Do you have pets? I always want to know about peoples' pets.
Our parents have the best dog ever named Scooter. We grew up with him. I used to have cats, but they kinda got stolen... long story, ha-ha. But when I'm done touring, I will have cats again!
You've had photos in magazines like Nylon, Teen Vogue, and Flaunt recently—there seems to be some major fashion overlap in Bleached.
I love fashion. I went to school for it for a second. And because it does overlap, it works perfectly for me! I hope to have a line one day. I think being able to express yourself in that way can be magical.
What music are you into right now, old and new?
I love Siouxsie and the Banshees, the Cure, Metallica, the Wipers—those are all the best bands for driving. For new bands, I love DIIV and Veronica Falls.
It seems you've traditionally had a revolving drummer, has that changed?
Yeah—our touring drummer, Jon Safley, has been with us for more than a year now and he rules. Dan Allaire is the drummer we've been recording with since the beginning. He rules, too.
How was your tour in the UK last summer?
OMG, it was the best! We got to play Primavera, and it was amazing. Also, we had so many days off to go chill at the beaches in the south of France. It was like heaven.
Do you bring anyone else on the road with you? Roadies, buddies, hot babes?
Yes! All three!!