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Interview: Bleached

Sisterly duo, Bleached, first caught our attention last year but since then they’ve gone from strength to strength. Online New Music Editor Alex Cull caught up with them ahead of the release of their album ‘Ride Your Heart’ on 2nd April.

PlanetNotion: How has being siblings affected the working dynamic of Bleached? Any interesting stories you’d like to share about being sisters in a band?
Jennifer: I think we get each other on a deeper level being sisters.
Jessie: Growing up together in the valley, when we weren’t taking the bus to Hollywood, we had a lot of time being isolated to play our instruments together so we learned to play off of each other which maybe makes it easier for us to write music together…

PN: Who are your favourite music siblings, past or present?
Jessie: I would have to say the Wilson sisters, they seem like they have a similar bond as me and my sister somehow. Actually I’d really like to know how they started playing together. I love the Kinks’ Davies brothers, who maybe didn’t get along so good but it’s interesting to me how they made it work and the relationship between them.
Jennifer: The Replacements! They are one of my favorite bands.

PN: I remember reading that the two of you went through some quite interesting phases as kids (horses, vegetarianism, hair bleaching) but what’s the strangest thing you’ve both done?
Jessie: Strange? I dunno about strange but we did both get the numbers 818 tattooed in our mouth on the inside of our lip! Valley pride…
Jennifer: Yeah, totally. Also, I used to die my hair crazy colors like once a month. One time, I shaved the back of my head and died leopard spots on there.

PN: And, you taught yourselves how to play your instruments; how do you feel this has contributed to your sound as Bleached and the way that you write songs?
Jessie: When you learn to play your own instruments you learn from bands you like and grew up on, and from each other and sometimes you can hear it in the music we end up playing- I’ve always learned and written by ear not by theory. Now that I’ve learned more theory, I may have more technical knowledge but I’m glad I grew up with punk because a lot of those bands also taught themselves to play and did things their own way.
Jennifer: Yeah, I totally agree with Jess.

PN: You’ve both played in separate bands apart from one another but have now come together with Bleached. What was it that you missed about playing together?
Jessie: The connection we have. We’ve been playing together for so long, we just naturally understand each others role in how we write music together.
Jennifer: We can just come up with our own parts and know we both will like it. We don’t question what the other one is doing or really ever dislike it.

PN: Ride Your Heart feels like a very Californian record to me. Do you think it would’ve turned out differently had you grown up anywhere else?
Jessie: I kinda used to think that it didn’t really matter where you were, that that wasn’t so important or such a factor; but I’ve been realizing that it does play into it more than I’d thought-like it’s always pretty good weather here, which makes it easy to get together and play music…there’s a lot of great bands that came from here (especially punk bands) and maybe they couldn’t have been from anywhere else…
Jennifer: Yeah and when I lived in NY for a year I barely could write anything I was so nervous I was gonna be too loud for the neighbors. And adjusting with the weather I feel like that’s a distraction too.

Check out their track ‘Next Stop’ below which is featured on the album:

PN: Outside of the album release, what have you got planned for the rest of the year?
Jessie: We are leaving for 2 days to SXSW, then a US tour in April & then a  European tour in May…

PN: You’ve toured with some great bands (No Age, Black Lips, The Gossip), what’s your best memory of life on the road to date?
Jessie: I feel like I’d have to write a book to answer that question!…but i feel like most of my friends are people in bands and people I’ve met on the road…
Jennifer: Yeah seriously! It’s fun to learn all the little things about each band like how they hang, if they party or not, warm ups before playing the show. But yeah just making friends is the best and a lot of crazy nights.

PN: Excluding yourselves, whom are you tipping for big things this year?
Jessie: I’m excited for Veronica Falls, an awesome band & awesome people…
Jennifer: I love Veronica Falls! I think they are like the best band ever of right now.

PN: Finally, Ride Your Heart is coming out in the UK on April Fool’s… If you could prank anyone (alive or dead), who would it be and what would you do?
Jessie: For some reason maybe Henry Rollins?! But I don’t know why!…
Jennifer: Whoa I didn’t know that! Cause here it is the day after April Fools. Someone was telling me the pranks are really crazy over there like even the news gets in on it. If that happened here someone would probably get arrested.

- Alex Cull

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