BLEACHED at the Silver Dollar (486 Spadina), Thursday to Saturday (June 14-16), midnight (1 am Saturday), $12 or NXNE wristband/pass; and as part of the NXNE Bruise Cruise on the Captain Matthew Flinders (207 Queens Quay West, pier 6), Saturday (June 16), boarding at 1:30 pm. $5-$10. nxne.com.
Breezy California pop-punk duo Bleached are wrapping up their month-long European tour when I reach bassist/guitarist Jessica Clavin. If the anecdote she offers up as a tour highlight is any indication, she and vocalist/guitarist sister Jennifer have been going hard.
"After one of the shows, I got stuck in a tree because my body just gave out and I couldn't get back down," she says, somewhere near Belgium. "Everyone just laughed for about 15 minutes until I got help."
The L.A.-based Clavin sisters are no strangers to the road. As members of noise punk high-schoolers Mika Miko, they toured non-stop until the band's breakup in 2010. They started Bleached almost immediately after, but got sidelined when Jennifer briefly moved to New York to study fashion (but ended up in Cold Cave).
"We for sure questioned what we wanted to be doing after Mika Miko broke up," Jessica says. "We were writing some Bleached stuff, but with Jen in New York and me in L.A. it was hard to communicate or write together.
"We really love being able to sit in a room and work on something. It wasn't until Jen moved back to L.A. that we both really knew how seriously we wanted to take Bleached."
The new project is less noisy, silly and weird than Mika Miko but still informed by the scrappy DIY all-ages scene the girls grew up in. The tunes on their three 7-inches are rough-hewn but consistently melodic and lovesick. They still cite the Ramones as a major influence, but also Fleetwood Mac.
"In MM, we were all responsible for writing parts for our own instrument. In Bleached, we're so much more involved in everything. But we've grown and learned so much about music, so why not make it more challenging? I feel like I'm still learning, and I can't wait to expand [our sound] even more."
Though their in-the-works full-length album won't be out till early next year, there will be plenty of chances to catch the band's notoriously fun live show before then, including three nights at the Silver Dollar for NXNE (where they'll double in size by adding a touring drummer and bassist).
"I love to see people dancing and getting crazy while we play," enthuses Clavin. "I feel the energy from the crowd. When they get crazy, we get crazy."