RGM INTRODUCING – WE INTERVIEW MANCHESTER BAND BLEACH BOY
Hiya lads thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today, grab a brew and take a seat.
Introduce us to all of the members and your musical history.
I’m Milo. I started playing music to help me get to grips with my thought processes. Picked up the guitar a bit later. I started in a 3 piece so always tended to play guitar like a bass (and it was easier) . Sometimes I can pull a shred out the bag though. I’ve always wanted to be a musician, I’ll never be anything else. Sometimes I think I just know what I’m meant for and there’s nothing else for me.
I’m Cian. I play drums and have done since I was 8 years old. Since being a little kid my parents always told me I’ve had a great sense of rhythm so I feel the drum kit is something I gravitated towards naturally. I started playing in bands when I was 16 and knew as soon as I was on stage that this was something I wanted to do forever.
My name is Tommy, master of 6 strings and slowly a dipin my fingers into the synth. Music has always been an escape for me, somewhere I can lose myself. Now I create what I want to hear, whether other people wanna hear it or not I can’t say!
My name’s Sam, I’ve been playing music since I was young and was a guitarist for the longest time, I didn’t pick up a bass until I was 16/17 and haven’t looked back. Now all I want to do is create a tone that could melt your face off
What was the first song you heard that steered you into a music path?
The name Bleach Boy comes from a mixture of two of those bands. Nirvana’s Bleach was really inspiring to me (Milo) and I fell in love with them while doing an essay for uni on The Beach Boys. As a band we have always absorbed elements of so many artists and genres so yeah they definitely had a steer. Recently it’s been inspiration from heavier acts that manage to still be ‘dancey’ .
For me in particular (Cian) I would say in the early stages Led Zeppelin were one that got me wanting to start a band. During school me and some mates learnt Good Times Bad Times along with some other classics which we would perform at open mics and jam sessions. As I’ve gone on in my music career I’ve really gravitated towards bands that are good at doing it all and not afraid to dip into different genres, bands like Deftones and Loathe do this really well and embrace the heavy alongside a more beautiful mellow sound.
I’m seeing a lot of debate about women not feeling safe at music gigs, any thoughts on what we need to do to help?
Milo: I think it falls on the shoulders of men really. Calling it out when you see it and do something about it rather than letting it slide. Everyone should be in this world to better themselves and others so it’s frustrating to see that this shit is very obviously still a thing but it goes further than just not feeling safe at gigs.
Tommi: It’s so important to raise awareness because as men, so many of us are ignorant to the reality of abuse that women face when they’re just trying to have a good time. There’s a collective called the cute cartel that go to festivals, gigs and club nights. They give people a chance to share their trauma anonymously, stand in solidarity with victims of abuse and show that however you present, it does not mean consent. We all need to be more like that, to create safe spaces for everyone and like Milo said call out the abusers, they could be your mate, your brother but you have to speak up otherwise it will never stop.
As you develop as an artist and develop using socials, what ways do you get new ears on your music? Any tips?
We’ve found that it’s best just to be yourself. If you wanna connect with an audience you’ve got to show them the real you – take them along for the ride. We’re all pretty closed off people so it was pretty hard for us to open up on the socials but that’s just what this game calls for now and it’s something we’re constantly getting better at.
What is your thought on Spotify’s monopoly on the music industry?
Cian: Being able to get your music out effortlessly to anyone in the world is an amazing thing and I think it’s a great platform for people to discover new music and artists. But there are downsides, I feel music has become very disposable. I am someone who has always loved the experience of albums, the way they can be put together to be listened to cohesively and the artwork that comes with that too in a physical format. This is something bands and artists put a lot of thought into and it’s unfortunately getting lost to playlists and singles which is quicker gratification for some people. Not to mention the $0.003 per stream haha.
Milo: the whole industry is gatekept right now, makes it way harder to keep that ‘punk’ ethos and actually be successful as much as it’s like yeah anyone can upload there’s no guarantee anyone’s gonna listen to it.
You say you’re a live band, what’s your local scene like?
Tommi: At times it seems like there isn’t much of a scene. In a city so big there are so many bands, genres and venues. Our best reception has been from the artY crowds in squats or at Antwerp Mansion. We’re trying to make something authentic and new, not just rehash the 90s (as good as they were). We’re trying to build a community and I think it’s working.
What was the worst experience on stage?
Cian: We played an amazing show in a packed out room in Shoreditch last year. During our final tune ‘Death Row’ my kick pedal went through the drum skin and I had to play the majority of the tune with no bass drum.
Milo: a long time ago in my first band I was playing the shed in Leicester. It was the last song and I went a bit too hard on the whammy bar, I ended up pulling the entire bridge out of my guitar. There were like 4 people in the crowd.
Tell us something about you / each member that you think people would be surprised about.
Some of us have spent a lot of time in squats, and through that we’ve been able to be a part of a true underground scene in Manchester. From the deep end of the abandoned Chorlton Baths swimming pool to the Curry Mile’s cavernous dilapidated bus depot, we’ve played places few others have and incredible support along with it. We’re very thankful for that…without squatting we wouldn’t even have a band van!
What makes you stand out as a band/artist?
I feel we stand out as a band as we don’t really fit into any bracket or genre of music. We all have a wide variety of music tastes and I think that shows. We’re very honest and critical of what we create and for that reason, we only record stuff that evokes feeling in all of us. Because of this we are always growing as people and musicians.
This next track is quite a departure from your previous releases, is this the new Bleach Boy?
To be honest this was one of the first songs we wrote together. We don’t have loads of material out so it’s easy to think that we just throw out these heavy, in your face tracks. If you come to a live show though, you get to see how we play with the dynamics and give people a break from the pit.