Chatting With Bleech

Chatting With Bleech

I met up with Jen O’Neill (guitar and lead vocals), Katherine O’Neill (bass and vocals) and Matt Bick (drums) just before their show at Maggie Mays in Glasgow. With the support bands still going through sound checks we retired to the relative quiet of the small dressing room.

This has been a big year for Bleech with the release of debut album Nude. Have you been pleased with the reaction to the album?

Katherine: It’s been great. We’ve had a lot of positive feedback, especially on line. We’ve had loads of websites putting up great reviews. Kerrang reviewed the album too and they really liked it.

Matt: We’ve had three singles off it too which have gone down well. We haven’t actually had a scathing review yet which is great. There have been a few that weren’t quite so great but they all had something positive to say and that’s encouraging.

Much of the album was as I expected it to be, the big powerful sound, very energetic. – but there were a couple of surprises. Tell me about Flowerhands.

Katherine: It’s actually one of our older songs. We’ve been writing a bit at the moment and we have a few more mature slow songs but for that album the rest of them were quite youthful and Flowerhands came as a bit of a shock to a lot of people, I suppose. But we do quite a few acoustic sets now as well.

Matt: That one could almost be a crossover song. That’s not quite the right word – I mean one that will bring us to the next album. That’s not to say that they are all going to be slow but it will be a more mature sound in the second album based on the songs we’re already working on.

You’ve been out on tour across the UK promoting the album. How’s it been going so far?

Jen: We’ve had really good reactions, it’s been great. We’ve just got back from Germany as well, I think that was our fifth tour over there. It’s always good there but I think this was our best yet.

And you have a new video out for Break My Nose?

Matt: We’re actually going to be on Box Nation TV next week with that. It was all just a stroke of luck that it came together and we got the boxer Frank Bugliani to do it through a friend of a friend. It was a lot of fun to film.

The previous video for I Wanna Be Me was a brilliant send up of the jubilee. How did that one go down?

Jen: You know, we thought we might get a hard time for that. It could have gone either way but it was pretty much taken in the right way.

Matt: My mum did say that the tits were going just a bit too far!

Jen: Maybe we would have got more press if there had of been a negative reaction

Katherine: Everyone pretty much just laughed at it.

How is life on the road, travelling the country in Beryl, whose adventures everyone follows on Facebook? Do you guys get on well together or are there tensions?

Jen: We do genuinely tend to get on pretty well together.

Matt: But everyone has their moments. We had a bit of a moment in Germany actually. Still, you’ve got to live with each other pretty much twenty four seven, when you’ve got to share a hotel, bus, everything. If you’re not any good at that then you shouldn’t really be in a band.

Katherine: We’ve all got the same cold at the moment. We’ve just passed it around.

So what can we expect in tonight’s show. Will it be mainly tracks from the album or do you have some new songs too?

Jen: Tonight we’re playing a few new ones actually. A couple of songs that we hope will be on the next album.

Matt: The new ones have been getting a pretty good reaction on the road already, it’s very exciting.

Katherine: It’s a complete mixture tonight. Usually on tours we’ve concentrated pretty much on the album but sometimes it’s good to give people a bit more variety.

Matt: I think these are the highest energy shows we’ve done. We played a show in France and it felt like something just clicked and ever since then we’ve taken it to another level.

And where does Bleech go from here?

Matt: Hopefully we will start recording the new album before Christmas. We’ve got five or six songs that are ready. If not we’ll go into the studio in January.

Jen: Onwards and upwards hopefully.

Katherine: To the top!

Jen: It will be good to play festivals next year, to get in on some of the big ones. That would be cool, and also to get to a few more countries a bit further afield.

Matt: We’re rereleasing the album in France next year so we will do a tour over there. We’re kind of juggling that and writing the new one too. We’re hitting 100 gigs this year, so let’s go for 200 next year. That’s something to aim for.

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