Sisters Jessie and Jennifer Clavin began performing as Bleached in March of this year. The two had previously spent time in Mika Miko. After the dissolution of Mika Miko, they decided to pursue another project together but the band was put on hold while Jennifer spent a year performing and touring with Cold Cave. After a brief stint in NYC, Jennifer returned to LA and they kicked Bleached into high gear. The band is now poised to release their third 7" in early December on Suicide Squeeze.
They are performing twice with Hunx and His Punx in the next few days, November 17 in Los Angeles at the Echo and November 20 in Palm Springs at the Ace.
During CMJ they stopped by the Palladium Lounge to grab some boots and perform at the Fader Fort. We caught up with Jennifer after they got home from tour to talk disappearing drummers, Metallica's Zodiac Signs, and Valley Pride.
How did your first tour go?
It was cool. We went down into the South then stopped in New York for a week for CMJ. Then we came back through the West. It was fun and really chill.
How did you feel like it was the same audience that Mika Miko played to?
A lot of people were there because they were fans Mika Miko. The tour was similar to a lot of Mika Mika tours in that one night would be really crazy and the next night would be terrible.
Did you feel like some people were coming with expectations? Was there a pressure to repeat what you were doing with Mika Miko since you guys were around for so long?
I do feel that pressure but I don’t really care. There’s a part of me that feels like people are coming to the show expecting this totally crazy show becasue of what we used to do. Some night are like that. When we play the Smell in L.A, it is like that. Mika Miko was more punk where Bleached has punk to it but there is also some rock ’n’ roll and there is some mellowness about it.
Do you think that shift is a reflection of you guys getting older?
Definitely that and knowing how to play our instruments. And being able to actually sing. We harmonize now which we never really did in Mika Miko.
Did that come about from your playing with Cold Cave?
At the end of Mika Miko Jenna, the other singer, and I started singing a bit more, less shouting. Then when I joined Cold Cave I actually had to sing for those songs. That helped a lot. It made me more comfortable and confident.
Are you consciously trying to create a really West Coast sound?
No. I think that just comes out in our songs. People keep saying that but I don’t think we’ve actually said that once. People always say how obvious it is we are from California just from the way we talk. We grew up in the Valley so I say “Like” and “I feel” all the time. There is definitely a part of me that has a lot of “Valley Pride.” And that is very California so in that way I could kind of see it. I get really excited when I find out people are from the Valley. And then it will totally make sense. The Valley is such a weird place that you grow up being a little bit weirder.
Is that because you’re isolated from L.A.?
Totally. You’re isolated but you’re still close enough to the L.A. and Hollywood that you go do things. When we were younger none of us drove so we would have to take the bus from the Valley to Hollywood. It’s where Korn started and Kim Gordon and Kristin Stewart are from the Valley. It is a weird place. Bethany from Best Coast is also from the Valley.
Are your parents big supporters? They excited that you and your sister in a band together again?
They are super supportive but I wish they didn’t know how to use the internet! They look up everything and then when I see them they’ll ask me about it and I’m just like, “Oh my God!”
Has that lead to any uncomfortable conversations?
Now I’m so used to it that I’m just like, “Whatever.” The other day it was funny, there is a photo of me and my boyfriend making out online. It’s a nice photo. He posted it and then my boyfriend and I came over to parents’ to visit and my dad said, “Oh so I saw that photo of you two.” And it didn’t even phase me because that sort of thing happens so often and after we left my boyfriend was saying, “Wasn’t that so weird that your dad brought up that photo?” I didn’t even think about how weird that would be. I’m totally immune.
What’s happening with your LP?
We’re trying to decide if we want to do another 7” or if we want go ahead and do a full length. I have so many songs it could go either way.
And when you record it is you and Jessica that record everything?
Yes but we do get a drummer to come in. We’ve gone through like 15 drummers at this point.
That’s insane! That’s like a new drummer every show!
I know! We’ve had so many people try out and play a few shows and we have different recording drummers. It has been so crazy. At some point we had Dean from No Age drumming for us because he was the only drummer I knew but he was so busy that ended up having to find someone else. Then we had Bob from Best Coast as our drummer.
That’s a lot dreamy female-fronted pop for one man to take. Why do drummers keep flaking out?
Sometimes it just isn’t the right drumming style, sometimes they’re just too busy like Dean and Bob. One of the drummers was the original Mika Miko drummer but he was so busy with work he couldn’t do it. It all sorts of reasons. But now we have a new drummer who is so good and we think he is going to stay. Also on top of that — our signs — me, my sister and our bassist, we all have the same signs as Metallica. The fourth sign that we needed was a Scorpio so we kept saying that we wouldn’t have the right drummer until we had a Scorpio. And our new drummer is a Scorpio.
Awesome. That is the best criteria I’ve ever heard for needing a new band member.
Also it is the Metallica with Cliff Burton.
Oh good. I’d be suspicious if it was the Jason Newsted-era. So what’s next for you guys?
We’re playing with Hunx this weekend. Then in January we’re going out with Smith Westerns and then in February we’re with Veronica Falls.
Check out the video for "Think of You" below.
Directed by: Lana Kim & Jennifer Clavinblog comments powered by Disqus