Dead In Your Head: an Interview with Jennifer Clavin

ISSUE #2

The following excerpt appeared in full in Issue#2 of TEENAGE NEWS. Issue#2 is almost sold out; buy it before you regret its high investment potential.

Bleached is from LA and they play the Bay Area all the time. But The Bay Area shouldn’t feel too special because Bleached is always on the road playing everywhere.  Keep your eyes out for that.  With three, wicked 45’s under their belt, they decided, on April 2, 2013, to grace the world with the release of their debut LP, “Ride Your Heart.” It is available to you closer than you think.

TEENAGE NEWS: When you opened for the Japandroids in San Francisco, you guys did a Ramones’ cover.  Tell us about the Ramones. What are your feelings on “End of the Century?”
Jennifer Clavin: Well the Ramones are one of my favorite bands, but I have a lot of favorite bands. The song “Today Your Love, Tomorrow The World” is one of their best songs. I even have a tattoo of it. I think “Do You Remember Rock n’ Roll Radio” from that album is so good! And I think the Johnny Thunders version of “Chinese Rocks” is way better. 

TEENAGE NEWS: I bring that album up because there is a Johnny Thunders connection there!
Jennifer Clavin: Yeah, totally! I read that Dee Dee wrote “Chinese Rock” about his heroin use but then gave to Johnny Thunders to use because Johnny Ramone thought it was too crazy. And then they later did a version of it. 

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TEENAGE NEWS: What are some bands fronted by gals that you dig?
Jennifer Clavin: I like a lot of older bands like Siouxsie Sioux, Blondie, The Runaways, The Slits, X-Ray Spex, Mary Wells, Shangri-Las, Fleetwood Mac, and No Doubt. 

TEENAGE NEWS: What are some bands fronted by dudes that you dig?
Jennifer Clavin: The Misfits, Black Sabbath, The Cure, The Smiths, New Order, Rolling Stones, The Ramones and Smashing Pumpkins. 

TEENAGE NEWS: How do you feel about questions regarding being a girl in a band? I mean, who cares, it’s all music, right?
Jennifer Clavin: Exactly, that’s usually how I feel. But then I also understand the side of just being a role model for other girls that maybe wanna start a band and need to be inspired to do so. That’s what did it for me when I eventually picked up a guitar and started my first band. 

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TEENAGE NEWS: How does a song form in Bleached?
Jennifer Clavin: Usually I’m just playing guitar in my room and I come up with a guitar riff and then create a vocal melody to that. If I can’t come up with a good vocal melody I end up moving on to another riff. Then I show it to Jess [Clavin, vocalist] and she comes up with a guitar melody. From there one of us will come up with the bass. And then we finally show it to our studio drummer when we record and work on drum ideas. It’s very different from how I used to write music in my past bands. 

TEENAGE NEWS: Tell us about your new record!
Bleached-Dead-In-Your-HeadJennifer Clavin: Okay, well it’s a combo of songs that were written from early Bleached days up until a month before recording. And a lot of them are about me growing up, falling in and out of love, and trying to understand myself. I was going through a really intense break up writing a lot of the songs and ultimately my favorite songs are depressing romantic love songs so I guess it kinda worked out that way. 

TEENAGE NEWS: It features some Bleached classics.  What possessed y’all to rerecord some of your ‘hit’ songs?
Jennifer Clavin: We actually only rerecorded “Searching Through The Past” everything else is brand new. We just couldn’t use the version we already did because it was on a 7inch on a different label. So we had to rerecord. We tried to make it sound the same except at the end there is a guitar line that isn’t in the first recording. It’s one of my favorite parts of the song. 

TEENAGE NEWS:  “Ride Your Heart” is a little less ‘punky’ and focuses on a more experimental, mellow sound. What made you guys shift gears when recording your debut release?   Did you guys even switch gears?
Jennifer Clavin: I think a lot of people are so used to Jess and I playing lo-fi punk because of our past band Mika Miko. So I think they are still adjusting to the sound of Bleached. But with Bleached, each records quality improves with every one up until the new record. And we have just gotten better with our instruments and working with a producer. I like when bands have period records that sound different from each one. I wanna make our next record or rock ‘n roll. 

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TEENAGE NEWS:  Who is in the current Bleached lineup?
Jennifer Clavin: Jess and I always. Then live we play with Jonathan Safley on Drums and Micayla Grace on bass. 

TEENAGE NEWS: Would you say Bleached is a band or a duo?
Jennifer Clavin: Duo recorded, and band live! 

TEENAGE NEWS: Do you feel you are part of the same scene you started out in when you first joined the music world?
Jennifer Clavin: I do and I don’t. I feel like when we first started I was so young and apart of this super underground LA scene that I loved so much. But now I feel like we still have that in our hearts but growing up made our music and the way we do stuff grow up too and become apart of a bigger scene. Like using our music on TV, and playing professional venues across the world. It’s still so fun to play house shows, but it’s all fun to play festivals. 

TEENAGE NEWS: Did Bleached plan on releasing three 45’s before an album or did it sorta just happen that way?
Jennifer Clavin: I actually wanted to release 4 and then make a record that had all four. But we skipped the fourth to work on the full length. 

TEENAGE NEWS: What does the future have in store for Bleached?
Jennifer Clavin: Touring a bunch this year and already demoing new songs for our next record! 

If you enjoy what you read, support the in print version of TEENAGE NEWS available here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/201876845/teenage-news-2-music-zine-features-john?

Post by August BernadicouTEENAGE NEWS 2

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