Bleach Lab on Writing Conversations with Guitar Tunes and the Influence of Producer Stephen Street |


Bleach Lab has always been frank with their emotions. They have a penchant for feelings of sadness, guilt, loss and more straight into your mind with devastating melodies and alluring mood tides.

Their second EP Nothing seems real has the once again reflective Buckinghamshire Quartet, with a wider tonal web that sees them branch out into a sound that feels much more expansive than what was heard before.

How has your sound evolved as a result of the Old Ways EP?

“Locking listening habits played a big part in shaping the aesthetics of our next project. I listened to a lot of music from the 90s because I found nostalgia to be the best way to get through things. Another big change was the use of more acoustic guitars. I used them occasionally on the first EP, but I think we ended up using them on all of the tracks this time around. We (myself and Stephen Street who produced) thought this would go a long way in improving the beats of each track.

Your music has always been saturated with emotions; How do you get such a strong feeling in your guitar sounds?

“I don’t think I’ve described my playing guitar like this before, so it’s a very flattering question! I think to be honest I have a little bit of an edge at home, because it’s so often the case that the guitar parts are the genesis of our songs and are the first things that are written. This means that we often write the vocals around the guitars, and I remember someone who said that our songs sometimes make the vocals and the guitars seem like a conversation with each other. This is more the case in some songs than in others, but I think this quality means that the guitars borrow a lot of feeling and emotion from the vocals.

I feel like you worked with a wider range of textures on this EP, was that something you knew how to explore when you started recording?

“Absolutely yes. In the past I felt more restricted and less adventurous when it comes to texture. This time I realized we could go a lot further so we did, but I think the bigger The change was the arrival of our new drummer Kieran, he is responsible for a lot of the texture changes that occur in the new EP.

What do you think is the best guitar part on Nothing seems real?

“There is an instrumental section in the track In my mind where guitar and bass have this very nice jam of calls and answers. I really like this part. I remember it was my favorite before recording, then passed so a lot of time when we were mixing the EP to make sure it sounded exactly as expected.

What was it like working with Stephen Street in the studio?

“It was amazing. We were totally in awe of his processes. And it was all so smooth and efficient. Probably the result of all his years of experience. He’s a busy man, so he definitely needs to be on the job. I found that being in the room with him really helped me to be more exploratory with guitars. I had spent years preparing myself, but working with him helped me a lot to find new ideas on the spot.

Who was your very first guitar hero?

“Saber! I got really interested in Guns N ‘Roses soon after I started playing guitar. Trying to learn Slash’s solos was the first time I really pushed myself as a guitarist.

What’s your number one guitar right now?

“I have two guitars now and I constantly feel guilty that one is getting used to a lot more than the other. Number one is a Daphne Blue Fender American Pro Tele. I fell in love with it because it has a beautiful roasted maple neck. Even though I’ve only had it for two years, I’ve used it for all of our concerts and played it on most of the songs we’ve recorded, so it’s already played a huge role in my career. I find the more punchy sounds of a TV combined with all the pedals I use to make a great combination. If I’m being honest I have a few issues with the guitar (namely the mic switch and volume knobs) and feel like I haven’t found the guitar that stays with me the longest yet. .

Do you have a pedal or a guitar that you swear by?

“When it comes to the sound of the Bleach Lab, I would say there are two pedals that are vital. But in the interest of answering the question as it was written, I should choose the Walrus Audio Julia Chorus / Vibrato Pedal. I remember when I was starting to build my pedalboard, I constantly thought that the time would come when I would buy the hardware that would start to define the sound of my guitar playing, and it was after I bought this pedal that I got first this feeling. This is a truly distinctive sounding pedal and one of the most important in establishing the sound of Bleach Lab guitars. I use it on almost every song. I live in constant fear that it will break right before a show, in which case I’ll be pretty drunk!

Nothing seems real by Bleach Lab is out now.


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