Bleached: Jet lag and smoking pot is not a good combination
Photo courtesy of Life or Death PR & Managment
Most people can't imagine venturing into a career with their sibling, but it's safe to say that California sisters Jessica and Jennifer Clavin have what it takes. From growing up in Los Angeles, to playing in their former band Mika Miko, to branching off and touring the world as Bleached, they've been through quite a bit. Often clad in denim jackets, Doc Martens, punk rock attitude, and occasionally cat socks, the duo (often accompanied by a backing band) have gained quite a following prior to the release of their first full-length, Ride Your Heart, earlier this month. These girls are tough enough sound like the Misfits, fashionable enough dress like the Shangri-Las, and talented enough to get away with it.
Gimme Noise caught up with guitarist Jessica Clavin ahead of Sunday's gig at the Turf Club.
You guys are on the label Dead Oceans. Looking at their lineup (Night Beds, Bishop Allen, Akron/Family, and more) they only seem to have 20-ish bands, and they're all different genres. How does it feel to be on a label that isn't exclusively your style?
For one thing, we had met with Phil [Waldorf] who runs that label while we were meeting with a lot of different people, like Mexican Summer. But when we met with him, he just seemed so passionate about us and their label. He was really excited about the videos we had and what we were doing. I felt like it just connected right when we had met him. I feel like it was also fun to be on a label like that, where it is different. Maybe that's what will help us more. He seemed like he was really going to work hard and really help us. Ever since then, we go to the town and that guy still will always take us out to eat, go to our shows, hang out with us, and he's just really supportive of what we're doing. We've been on labels before where we didn't feel like that. We didn't feel like they were taking care of us. We ended up just signing off.
Even though you have built a pretty strong following through your 7-inches, do you feel you've gained even more attention having a full length?
For sure. Right before the record came out, we went to Europe. Me and Jen did a press tour. That was something really new to us. When we went to Europe, we were just going to play shows and tour. We'd go to Belgium, France, Amsterdam, England and stay at a hotel, but from noon to 6 or 7, we were just in the lobby doing interview after interview, photo after photo. It was pretty intense. This was before the record, but once the record came out it was still doing a lot of press.
What was your favorite place in Europe?
I really liked Belgium a lot. We were in Brussels, which is really cool, and Antwerp is really cool too. Going to Amsterdam too. Walking around the red light district was really crazy. When we were in Belgium, we went to their red light district but it didn't feel the same as Amsterdam. It's not such a tourist part as it is there. It was pretty crazy to experience that.
What else did you guys do? Any scary/bizarre situations on tour?
It's funny because when we were there we didn't smoke any pot. I don't know why we didn't. I think we were just like, "Eh. Not really feeling it." I feel like also we were really jet lagged. Being jet lagged and smoking pot is not a good combination. You already feel so stoned anyway.
It's not really bizarre, but it was kind of a funny situation. Me and Jen tried to travel to each country. It was just me and her on trains and subways just trying to get to the train station or airport. We both had our guitars and luggage and just a lot of stuff on us. So once we were on a subway and I exited, but Jen didn't get off in time before the closed. There was definitely this moment when you're like, "Oh my God. What is going to happen right now? I have no internet and no working cell phone." I looked back and she looked at me and the doors just closed. People around me were laughing because I think they saw what was going on, and this lady came over and she pushed this big button and it opened the doors back up. That was so crazy. I don't know what I would have done.
So what about the United States? What's your favorite place to travel?
OK. This is a really awesome place. We didn't go here on this tour, but this one tour, we played at this place called Dude Ranch. It's in Oxford, Mississippi, and that's where Dent May and one of the guys from Bass Drum of Death live. It's this really awesome cabin house in the woods, and it's just in this cute little town. We went there and played a house show. We learned all about wolf spiders. Do you know about wolf spiders?
Are those the ones that live in the caves and prey on animals?
YES! Exactly. They hunt and live in caves. They were telling us how you'll just randomly see one. I'm already so scared of spiders, like little spiders scare me. So that was just gnarly. And they make really crazy webs.
Where do you get your style from?
I feel like it comes from a lot of different things. We grew up in punk fashion. When we first started listening to punk music it was also watching the bands and what they were wearing, like Blondie and the Ramones. Also we're pretty fluent in '60s fashion. It's all so much of the bands we like and how there's always an image going with them. It seems really cool to have that.
Lastly, I have to ask, what's up with this picture of you, your grandmother, and George Burns?
Jessica: So I was very young, but I do remember. Our mom was good friends with this lady who was his caretaker. We would go over to his house. He had a huge pool and we'd go swimming. I kind of had an idea who he was before we met him. He was definitely like an older famous guy. I wasn't sure exactly. I remember knowing. That's my grandma in the picture. I feel like my mom was trying to hook my grandma and George Burns up, you know they could be a good match. Then she's like let's take a picture, so there's a picture of that day: me, my grandma, and George Burns [laughs]. There is another photo somewhere where I'm actually smiling in it. I have this feeling my mom insisted on taking another one.
Have you have any other odd celebrity encounters?
It happens a lot in L.A. You'll be in Whole Foods, mainly Whole Foods, and you'll see somebody. Like I saw one of the Lord of the Rings hobbits the other day. It's like, "Whoa! I just saw this person," then you talk about it for a second and then you kind of forget about it. Oh. Actually. Recently. Angeline, that one porn star that drives around in this pink convertible. And she's like really really really old. I see her a lot of times at the market I go to. I was with my boyfriend and he went up and said "Hi" to her. She was like, "Oh hey! What do you guys do?" and he's like, "Oh. Well my girlfriend is in this band called Bleached." I was like, "Oh my god. You're actually talking to her." She was super stoked. She was like, "Oh you should get one of my shirts and wear it on display!" Yeah. She wanted to sell me a shirt, but I didn't buy it.
Bleached at the Turf Club, Sunday, April 28 with Ex-Cops and Hollow Boys. 21+, $12, 8 p.m.
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