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Music Interview: Bleached

Words By: Jordan Murray

Your latest album, Welcome the Worms, has received roundly solid praise from the music press. Given the chance, how would you describe the album to those yet to hear it?

I guess it’s real and raw, and talking about real experiences and feelings. Just being honest, and trying to just play rock and roll.

What influences, both personally and musically, played a part in the creation of the album?

At the time, I feel like I was in a relationship with LA and I was really struggling. Especially with the lifestyle I was living and the lifestyle I wanted to be living. I felt like I was drowning in a lot of pain I was putting on myself, being self-destructive. I wanted to get out of LA and get out to the dessert to recharge. I’d still be writing about LA and my friendships and relationships and the city itself, only to come back and partake in a dark, careless lifestyle. But I feel like I grew up here and it made me who I am. There are so many things about it that I’m nostalgic about. So much crazy history, from Charles Manson to Stevie Nicks. I think that’s really cool stuff to write about.

Did it feel cathartic writing lyrics about LA?

I feel like it was cathartic. I don’t think I realised it at the time, but any situation where you’re writing about yourself is going to be cathartic.

There seems to be a lot of comparisons of your band to The Go-Go’s, both positive and negative. What do you make of such comparisons?

I guess I don’t mind it if it’s a band I really like, just as I do mind if it’s a band I don’t like. I think it’s natural for people to compare. It’s easier than really getting to know what this band is about.

Do you ever get frustrated with critics making such easy comparisons?

It is something that annoys me, but I push it under. It is what it is. There was one review where people said we sounded like the ‘evil Go-Go’s.’ That was a good one [laughs].

Obviously, being a rock band composed of women carries connotations in a genre predominately fronted by men. Do you ever feel like you have to be careful between highlighting the significance of being an all-girl band and being pigeonholed by the press as an all-girl band?

Well, first of all, we have a guy drummer. So we’re not really an all-girl band. But it’s a question we’re asked a lot. I go both ways. I understand people wanting to talk about us as an all-girl band because I don’t think there’s a lot of girl bands making the music we make. I think people are excited about that. Younger girls, especially. After all, it took me seeing a girl-band to think, ‘I want to do that.’ At the same time, it’s annoying, because, why do you have to point out we’re girls? Because we play rock music and we have vaginas? I do see though how it can influence and excite a lot of younger girls.

Your sister Jessica insisted to Clash magazine that your previous band, Mika Miko, were best appreciated live, and that given the option, she’d prefer for the band to be judged for their live performance than their studio output. Would you say that Bleached are a better band live than on record? Or do you view your live performance as distinct of your recorded output?

I feel like we know how to make it equal. We’ve worked hard on our recordings and live shows and I couldn’t say that one’s better than the other. I feel like when we were in Mika Miko we would say something like that, because Mika Miko was a live band. Our songs just came across better live because they were such simple pop songs. They sounded better in a live or lo-fi recording. But then you can only go so lo-fi. When we took it into high quality, it lost so much magic. With Bleached, I feel like we can go both ways. We’ve really honed in with our recordings and our live show.

Are you ready excited for your upcoming Australian tour?

We’re so excited to come to Australia. We’ve never been and I don’t know what to expect. All I know is that it’s beautiful. It’s exciting not knowing what to expect.