Bleech - Interview
Posted by Hunter on Fri, 15 Jun 2012.
Jen- Guitar & Vocals
Katherine- Bass & BVs
Matt- Drums & BVs
The press release for Bleech read:
The band have produced an eclectic record that demonstrates their early distinctive punk origins and high-energy teenage angst to their now heavier, more mature, ambitious rock arrangements. With its machine-gun rattle of wild language and tales of sweet revenge, this long player certainly packs a punch. These tracks are as raw and close to the bone as they come. From the vitriolic 'I Wanna Be Me', to 'Worthing Song's venomous overtones these tracks carry bold statements, seething with a dark, disruptive magic. BLEECH's softer side is also on show here with the wistful 'Flowerhands' and yearning 'When I Get Old', which adds contrast to the mix.
Live, BLEECH are something else entirely. Evoking Clash's anger, Nirvana's intensity and Zep's swagger, BLEECH sound like they were meant to happen. Vital, addictive, contemporary and thoroughly modern.
To list Nirvana, Led Zeppelin and Clash in one breath is a brave opening gambit, so of course I had to have a listen. I didn't totally get the comparisons to those three legendary acts (but L7, Foo Fighters, Elastica, Hole I do agree with), and having now listened to their music what is very apparent is the terrific talent that Bleech have.
We spoke to their drummer Matt to find out more.
Supporting (supported) Ash at their 20th Birthday bash, how did that come about (I know you toured with them, but did they approach you, and was it a daft 2am text)?
Well, we met them at the support show in Herne Bay, after the gig had finished at the bar where they were signing stuff and chatting to fans. They were lovely guys and they mentioned they liked the show and so they said they would try and get us on a few more. A week later their tour manager Brett calls us and tells us about the show at the Garage...naturally we were very excited indeed, peed our pants, ran around etc as it is their special 20th Anniversary show!!!
Your album launch party is on the 22nd, are you nervous at all (although you shouldn't be since all the reviews I've seen are positive)?
Hometown shows are always a tiny bit nervy, as the worst thing is playing in front of friends but the good thing obviously as you say the album has gone down well and we have over the years gained a solid following in London as we have played literally hundreds of gigs here. I suppose the exciting thing is that we know we are going to get a crowd in London, whereas we have gone to the ends of the Earth to play to a Man, Dog and Transvestite before, London is our safe haven.
In getting your debut album ready, what have been the toughest challenges you've faced, and with the benefit of hindsight, would you have done anything a bit differently?
We wish we had recorded it in the countryside away from London in a residential studio. Travelling to a Studio in Willesden Junction when you live in East London on public transport wasn't the best way to start the day before a session!
The recording was the easy part to be honest, mixing is always difficult because it is like putting the cherry on a very large cake and you have to be careful that you are walking out of a mix session with a fresh cherry not a nasty tinned garcia cherry malted in syrup. If you get my drift? In short it can be a nightmare, but luckily we found Gareth Johnson who is a top guy and listens intently to what you need and want.
Are there any tracks that are personal favourites, and can you tell us a bit about them, such as what inspired them?
My Personal favourite is "When I Get Old" as it was one of the newer tracks when going into recording and sometimes you go onto new unexpected paths with a song that's just cooked fresh out the oven. It explains memories from very young upwards towards going to secondary school where we all met bizarrely, Jen wrote the lyrics in a simple understated way which was cool to listen to, it was something new for us.
In reviews of "Nude", you've been compared to the likes of Foo Fighters, Feeder and Courtney Love. Do you take that as a compliment or do those comparisons get a bit tired after a while?
Well we can live with any Foo Fighters and Feeder comparisons anyday! Makes a change from Hole, Elastica and L7 three bands to be quite frank we don't ever listen to! I suppose any band gets tired of comparisions, but we all do it, you tell somebody who you are going to see one evening and they say: "So what do they sound like?" and you say " well, a bit of funk-death-jazz metally...medieval" etc, we all do it!
Janette Beckman has worked with you, just wondering how you found her, and what was it about her photography that prompted you to work with her?
Janette is a wonderful lady, who bizarrely found us through the internet through a friend of a friend for a Kangol shoot that was happening two weeks after her email. She was incredibly friendly and makes you feel at ease when she was taking photos of us. Her stories of previous shoots are Hiliarious...I mean she has photographed everyone from Debbie Harry to Paul Weller to the Sex Pistols pretty iconic figures, very cool indeed.
You did a show in France I believe, that was a tattoo convention. Do any of you have tattoos? What are they and why did you choose them? Any regrets?
Wish we had an interesting answer for this question, but sadly none of us have tattoos. There was a guy having his neck tattoed and was clinging on to his girlfriend for dear life. But the festival was insanely cool, playing on the same bill as punk rock Legends Eddie and the Hot Rods was a highlight for us. They are a bunch of nutters and if I was rocking as hard as they are at 60 we are on to a winner.
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The Bleech Jubilee shot of Matthew was somehow picked up by Reuters, how on earth did you find out they had, and how much of a shock was it? Any formal response from the Palace yet? :)
We have no idea whatsoever how they picked it up which was the funny thing, the picture went global in a matter of days, there was even a picture on the Washington post website! All we did was post a couple on facebook and the tags must have picked up on the net, crazy world. The royal family were great sports throughout the shoot, we thought getting the Queen to wear fake plastic t**s might have been a step too far but she was open to all suggestions.
The Olympics, looking forward to them, or wanting to get away? Do you think there's an opportunity there for bands to draw in larger crowds, or do you think that the focus will purely be on the sport to the detriment of the local area?
We actually live 5 mins away from the Olympics, It could go either way really in terms of what crowd bands draw in. Perhaps people might think " Oh, we have to go to Camden because that's where all the good bands are" in which case it might draw people to stereotyped tourist band areas or it will stay exactly the same because people coming to see the Olympics don't really care about the "scene" and, are here to see the er...Olympics! To be honest we're not that fussed about the Olympics, Mat applied for 200 pounds worth, all to the female volleyball and didn't get one, gutted.
Facebook's new money making idea doesn't seem to be going down well (even if you like a band you might only see around 10 - 20% of their posts), do you think Mark Zuckerbeasts leviathan has made an error in judgement and there is a danger that it might eventually shoot itself in it's foot (much akin to Myspace)?
Like anything that explodes and grown in the way Facebook has, eventually what goes up must come down, floating on the stock market has clearly not been the right decision for him as it has devalued his company massively. There is a danger that it could end up like Myspace when ownership is placed in the wrong hands and then bands move on to the next thing. It's just another case of bands getting ripped off when Facebook clearly see that they depend on the site to network with fans and others, to be honest if everybody stopped using it for a week we would soon see them reverse this stupid strategy ... Zuckerberg! Not so cool and indie now are ya.
You can catch Bleech on tour:
17th - London – The Garage ( Ash support)
22nd - London – Borderline
23rd - Life Festival
5th - Y-Not Festival
Bleech released their debut album 'Nude' on 4th June 2012
To find out more about Bleech their website is here: http://www.bleech.me.uk/