Bleached to Van Thief: 'Give Us Our Stuff Back or We'll Break Your Neck!'
Sisters Jen and Jessie Clavin have been making music for years. Whether it was in Mika Miko or on their own, the self-described rock-n-roll/post-punk rockers always had the desire to form a band on their own terms. That's what they did with their current project, Bleached. After releasing three earlier 7-inch singles, the girls released their debut album, Ride Your Heart, on Dead Oceans in April. They've been touring since. But we managed to catch up with Jessie Clavin in the middle of the girls current jaunt through the States. Catch them this Sunday at the big Costa Mesa birthday extravaganza.
OC Weekly (Daniel Kohn): Though you've been in bands together before, what's it like working with your sister on a daily basis?
Jessie Clavin: Working together is really awesome, of course we have our sister moments but for the most part we get a long and know each other the best out of anyone.
Do you ever get in sisterly disputes or are you both above that at this point? If so, how would have you resolved the problems when you were younger?
I feel like when you fight with a sibling, in the end it's always like what were we even fighting about and you kind of just let it go since Jen and I just really don't like to fight with each other and usually on the same page. We let it all out when we were kids. I don't really remember how it was resolved. I think one of us would just go outside and kick a ball around or something or like go climb a tree.
When did you first start playing music together? When was the first time you thought that this music thing might go somewhere?
Jen and I started in our garage in the Valley, in Northridge, so we were like deep in the Valley feeling very isolated at times, if we weren't taking the bus to a show, we would just play together and cover The Slits. I was on bass and Jen was playing guitar. I feel like there were a lot of different moments of having that feeling where I felt like the music thing would maybe go somewhere but gradually getting more and more serious. Once we were finally touring Europe a bunch and seeing fans there to see us play and being so far from home was that feeling of like, "Wow we're really doing this!"
Were your parents initially supportive of the two of you playing together?
They are so supportive and being music fans themselves. Our dad plays guitar and our mom loves to sing. They love coming to our shows and hearing new songs we have. It can be a little overwhelming because they are our parents.
What was it like touring Europe? What were your favorite places? Did you see places and play venues you hadn't been before?
Europe is awesome, and when we have time we will go see some places like this one tour we had a lot of time in south France and went to the beaches. It was beautiful! All the venues have the best hospitality and some of the coolest people that will come see us play. Some of the venues were the same and kind of cool to revisit and some I had never been to before.
What was the best thing you ate there?
Hmmmm. Well, in England you have to eat the English breakfast. So good!
Sorry to hear about the van being broken into. If they ever catch the culprit, what are you going to do to him/her? What sentence do you want him/her to receive?
Give us our stuff back or we'll break your neck! Man, that was really hard. It's funny because only Jen and I had our stuff stolen. Her awesome mustang guitar and my pedal board.
The album fuses several sounds. What did you listen to growing up/have been around that molded the distinctly Bleached sound?
We grew up on punk, I mean before that Adena Howard and spice girls, but punk is what made us want to pick up instruments and going to a lot of punk shows seeing girls playing there instruments. We would listen to bands like The Ramones, Black Flag, The Germs, The Slits, Blondie, and then our music taste got into bands like the Rolling Stones and Dwight Twilley. Our music selection and taste is so big and were still constantly discovering new things and old things.
What's on tap the next few months?
We're kind of doing this festival thing right now. we flew to New York for a couple days and then were playing festivals in Costa Mesa, San Francisco, Denver! This way is kind of exciting since we will have more time at home to maybe start writing more songs!