Psycho Beach Party at the Blue Star." /> L.A. Record

THE INTERPRETER: BLEACHED

July 29th, 2011 | Interviews


Gari Askew

Jennifer and Jessica Clavin are the sisters who went from Mika Miko to sidemanning (for Cold Cave and Puro Instinct, respectively) and now back to a band together with their new group, Bleached. They speak now about the albums that they think about when they make music of their own. Bleached has a new 7” out and will play with the Spits at L.A. RECORD’s Psycho Beach Party at the Blue Star.

DELTA 5, “MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS” and “ANTICIPATION” 7”s (ROUGH TRADE, 1979 and 1980)

Jennifer: “The first time I heard these, I couldn’t believe music this good existed. Both released on Rough Trade which is the reason why I love Rough Trade so much. They are ALL perfect songs to me. Simple and straight forward music is the best kind. The lyrics are weird and dark and you can hear them really well. I am also really inspired by their art. Very 70s DIY. Delta 5 is what introduced me to a lot of the early punk female UK and European bands. If I could have been in any band from this time, it would have been Delta 5. When I play drums or guitar, this is what I try and sound like.”
Jessica: “One of my biggest influences for playing bass. The bassist isn’t afraid to hit the highest notes.

RED CROSS, SELF-TITLED EP (POSH BOY, 1980)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZoFlwJuHmu0

Jennifer: “These six songs are so good. I like how they are so young and singing about an S&M party. Also it’s cool that they are brothers like Jess and I are sisters. I feel like Bleached sounds a lot like this album. I can’t believe how good they are at their instruments for being so young. ‘Clorox Girls’ is like a punk anthem!”
Jessica: “This album was totally our driving album for tour. His vocal effects are so good. The sound of the bass reminds me of Crass. It’s like a style that’s clean and poppy and not too simple.”

NEW ORDER, MOVEMENT (FACTORY, 1981)

Jennifer: “I love love love driving up the West Coast and this is the main record I will play. It’s like if the West Coast had a soundtrack it would be this album. Also the perfect record to play as background music while falling in love! The sound of the guitar is my dream guitar sound. This record is one of those records that comes in and out of my life. Every time I listen to it again—not to be too cheesy—I feel like I am hearing it for the first time and I am shocked at how good it makes me feel.”
Jessica: “I love this album but I can only associate bad memories with it right now.”

SIOUXSIE AND THE BANSHEES, JUJU (POLYDOR, 1981)

Jennifer: “Siouxsie was my total inspiration in high school and when we first started Mika Miko—the way she sang and danced and her make-up. Her singing has so much power so it makes whatever she says really intense. I like how eerie sounding the guitar is in this whole album.”
Jessica: “I used to sneak into Jen’s room and steal this album to listen to. I would dance around my room and pretend to be the guitar player.”

THE PETTICOATS AS HEARD ON THE SCALING TRIANGLES COMP (EUSTONE MUSIC, 1981)

Jennifer: “‘Dreams’ is one of my ultimate favorite songs. Her vocal melody goes from one style to another but it works so well together and it’s so catchy and weirdly dark sounding. I like the drum machine—it’s like the same simple beat through almost the whole song until the end and it sounds like a Linn Drum. I know she plays all the instruments herself, too, which I think was kinda rare back then.”
Jessica: “Chaotically organized.”

THE GUN CLUB, MIAMI (ANIMAL, 1982)

Jessica: “‘Mother of Earth’ is my favorite song on this album. The guitar tones are so warm and comforting. I love the slide guitar throughout this album. This is my all-time favorite album cover. It’s so L.A. with the palm trees and the wind in the trees and in their hair. It’s like the sunny weather outside right now. Also Jeffrey Lee Pierce sings like a babe.”
Jennifer: “He went to my high school in the valley so I feel a connection. With Bleached I for sure try and sing like him.”

MISFITS, WALK AMONG US (RUBY/SLASH, 1982)

Jennifer: “We love the Misfits! ‘Walk Among Us’ is so Oi. ‘Astro Zombies’ is like an end of the world love song and when they say ‘exterminate’ really deep, it’s so cool. The whip in ‘Devil’s Whorehouse’ is so clean and loud. It makes me feel like I am punk in the 80s doing donuts in an empty dirt lot.”
Jessica: “Yeah—and pumping your fist to it, too. And they make a point to end every song on a good note. The harmonizing and singing in ‘Hate Breeders’ reminds me of what we try to do for Bleached. You can tell they tried really hard to hit the right notes and they sound really pretty doing it, too!”

METALLICA, KILL ’EM ALL (MEGAFORCE, 1983)

Jennifer: “When I first heard ‘Jump in the Fire,’ I was like, ‘This is disco!’ So then Mika Miko decided to cover it. We actually have it recorded with Dean from No Age drumming but we never put it out.”
Jessica: “Because Metallica would sue our asses! Cliff Burton’s bass solo on the album is just awesome. It really makes me want to pick up my bass and play like that.”
Jennifer: “I think it’s so cool they have a whole song dedicated just for bass—and it’s a long song, too.”
Jessica: “Even though Lars isn’t the best drummer, his style added a lot to this album. But I love Kirk Hammett—I have a poster of him on my wall. I feel like I can hear the energy in this album. It reminds me of the energy and youth Mika Miko had.”

STEVIE NICKS, THE WILD HEART (MODERN, 1983)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tQcrf_iaRrE

Jennifer: “When I went through a really crazy break-up, this was all I listened to. It made me cry so much! Stevie Nicks writes my favorite lyrics out of any artist. They are so passionate, magical, evil, sad and tough. Her vocals are so tough and full of passion. I like how she quotes ‘Don’t blame it on me’ on the back of the album. It’s a phrase she uses a lot, even in Fleetwood Mac. The three images of her in her velvet cape as the cover are so cool. I love the synths and I love that Tom Petty is on a song, too. I actually saw her in Atlantic City and then in California and both shows were insane.”
Jessica: “I like how the song titles work off of each other. It almost sounds like a song itself if you read them back to back. ‘Stand Back’ is my favorite song to DJ, especially for Jen. I’m really into the reverb on the drums. It gives it this really heavy industrial sound. Also the photo on the insert with Stevie Nicks resting her foot on a keyboard just looks really cool.”

THE REPLACEMENTS, LET IT BE (TWIN/TONE, 1984)

Jennifer: “Every time a boy would make me a mix tape, there would always be a Replacements song on it! When I first heard this album I felt that the songs were more structured than I was used to hearing from punk bands. I also totally tried singing like Paul Westerberg in Mika Miko. The guitar reminds me of Jessie’s guitar playing for Bleached. ‘Seen Your Video’ is so cool—all instrumental until the end when his singing comes in for just a little. This album also just reminds me of growing up in L.A. and riding our bikes everywhere.”
Jessica: “When we are doing band photos and art, I always think about this album cover. The guitars have the perfect amount of distortion. The way he plays the guitar melody with the vocal melody is exactly how I go about writing solos with Jen’s vocal melodies.”

DEPECHE MODE, MUSIC FOR THE MASSES (MUTE, 1987)

(video won’t embed)

Jennifer: “The lyrics on this album are so intense. I like how dark this album sounds—but with pretty melodies on top. The arpeggiated synths are so hard and danceable.”
Jessica: “Yeah, kind of like the synth in Stevie Nicks ‘Stand Back.’ When I feel like my life is empty and I have no direction I like to listen to this album. It makes me feel better even though it’s really depressing. Kind of like a horror film. It makes me realize I don’t have it that bad. Leatherface isn’t cutting me up with a chainsaw!”