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BLEACHED

Bleached

Interview — Mohamed Sqalli
Illustration — Marion Hanania

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The two ex-Mika Miko sisters seem to have left the teenage punk game for good. The sound they now develop with Bleached, harmonic and aggressive, reflects the sugary-sour duality of Los Angeles, the city where they were raised musically.

Hi girls. How are you? Tell me all about the story of Bleached.

Jessica: Me and Jen were playing in Mika Miko before that. We broke up and we made our own band. We use to bleach our hair all the time, and our clothes too, so we came up with the name Bleached. Plus, all cool girls in music have bleached hair. 

In what kind of musical background did you grow up?

Jennifer: We grew up in a lot of punk music: The Ramones, Misfits, Black Flag, … 

Jessica: Yeah, but for our first album, we came back to the artists we’ve been obsessed with, even before getting to punk music, like Blondie, The Velvet Underground or Siouxsie and The Banshees. 

BLEACHED close up

Your songs are mainly about love and romance. Are you that romantic in life too?

Jennifer: Yeah, of course. It’s based on real experiences. Falling in love and heartbreaking are part of our lives (laughs).

To prepare this interview, I googled you and …

Jennifer: And you found out Jess’s sextape? (laughs)

Jessica: I don’t understand people who do that. If you do that, you’re going to get caught, let me just say…

Are you comfortable with playing music in this day and age or would you have preferred being a musician in another decade?

Jessica: Yeah, right. We’re totally obsessed by girl bands from the past : from the 60’s, the 70’s… There’s not many current bands that we can obsess over but maybe it’s because there’s not mystery anymore. You can know everything from a band today if you want to. Except people like Ty Seagall, who give no information about them.

BLEACHED cat riding

Do you like Best Coast?

Jennifer: We’re friends with Bethany! We all grew up being friends. I even played drums in the beginning for Best Coast. They’re really doing great and we like their shows a lot. We’re also friends with Bob, who recorded one of our songs with Mika Miko.

After the success of their first album, they tried to give a more mature tone to their music. Do you think they managed to do it?

Jessica: I think they did, they’re sounding different. There’s a true difference musically between how the band was sounding in the beginning and now.

What do you make music for?

Jennifer: Mainly for myself. For writing and making music. It’s in our blood, we grew up doing this. When I was in Mika Miko, I was hit by the fact that I can’t stay in a punk band because I’m not getting anywhere in my life. With Bleached, I think we’re taking in it differently, maybe in a more mature way. 

Do you think it’s still possible to be subversive today? 

Jessica: Yeah, I think so. For example, I think Rihanna is. Everyone expects her to be that nice girl who sings for the kids, but she’s always talking about pot and sex. I follow her on Instagram and I love what she posts.

Jennifer: I think the wildest is Nicki Minaj. Her reality show was really something. I feel like Lady Gaga tries to hard to be subversive, and it doesn’t work.

BLEACHED sunset

And you, do you try to be subversive? You’re supposed to be a punk band, right? Do you break things?

Jennifer: I wish! But we were totally crazy with our old band, and now we’re more focused on our music maybe. We want it to sound good live.

Why is the West Coast is better than the East Coast?

Jennifer: In the West Coast, things are spread out. If you want to get away, you can. You can drive one hour and you’re still in LA. It’s quiet.

Jessica: Growing up in L.A, we just learned to love everything about it, even the dark side: the trashiness, the Hollywoodness of it, the porn industry in the valley, the murders. It’s such a crazy place, and it has so much history.

Jennifer: But Paris is also dangerous. Yesterday, we were in the 18th district and it was really gloomy. Some guys were hissing at us. It was strange.

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