When bands break up it can often be depressingly messy business with friendships broken and unwise things said in the heat of the moment. Every once in a while one member of the band will have the good sense to keep their mouth shut, choosing instead to focus on building a new, stronger, better band that learns from the mistakes of the old.
In the case of the King Blues that man was guitarist Jamie Jazz, who opted to maintain a dignified silence and eventually let the music of his new outfit Bleach Blood do the talking.
Now Jamie has opened up to NoisenewsUK about his hopes for his new band, his move to being a frontman and the healing powers of finding a new voice and sound in Bleach Blood.
How have you found the transition to being a front man?
“It was okay actually, it wasn’t something that I really planned on doing, more something that just ended up happening. I’ve always enjoyed singing, as most musicians do, so I thought to myself ‘well, why not just do it’. After all, playing music is something that should be done because you love it no matter what instrument you’re playing.”
The new Bleach Blood E.P. is a lot less politically charged then material you’ve been involved with in the past, was that a conscious decision?
“It wasn’t a conscious decision at all, more that I had to write about what was on my mind and in my heart and anything else would have been a lie. I’m still a very politically minded person but if I’m honest, I don’t feel the need to always write political music.”
Now that the E.P. is out and you’ve started playing shows, is it a relief to let your music do the talking again rather than the speculation and public airing of problems that surrounded the break-up of the King Blues?
“Oh totally. Bleach Blood is like a breath of fresh air as I’m sure everyone else’s new projects are to them. It’s hard when a band breaks up and there a splinters flying everywhere, I’m just happy to have moved on and have a new project off the ground.”
The E.P. has a very carefree, optimistic and experimental feel to it. Would you say it’s a reflection on your mental state at the moment?
“Haha, I guess so. I don’t want to be tied down by expectations or genres with Bleach Blood, I just want to do whatever the band and I want to do. As for a reflection my mental state, well, I’d like to think so!”
What are your hopes for Bleach Blood as a band?
“My hopes are the same as they’ve always been; I want Bleach Blood to be the best and biggest band that it can be. I want to tour the world, meet people and make them dance! I never really understood the point in being in a band and saying ‘okay, so we’ll only ever play to our mates’ that’s not what being in a band or making music is to me.”
How long after the Kings Blues split up did you start working on the Bleach Blood tracks and how did the band form?
“It took me a few months to start writing stuff again. Initially I was writing for a hardcore project I was working on but I kept writing more pop and dance stuff. Around the summer I started focusing on Bleach Blood. I didn’t really have a plan, just the ideas that I had written. So I took those ideas into the studio and started working on them.
At the same time I moved back to London to Manor House, in the warehousing district and met Paul Mullen and Frank Invisible. I played them the stuff I’d been working on and they we’re into it. Frank brought Charlie in and that was it, we were a band!”
The mix of sounds on the E.P. is eclectic to say the least, how important do you feel it is for bands to try and blend a large mix of sounds and styles?
“It’s very important to me to not limit myself to what I can and can’t do. In fact, I don’t even accept that there is something any band can’t do. Certain bands have their sound and what is expected of them, which I find kind of dull after a while.
I love it when bands, particularly rock bands start taking influences from other places, borrowing sounds and arrangements that you wouldn’t really hear in a ‘rock’ song – and I don’t just mean putting a dubstep wobble or some synth on a track, but actually really thinking about the instrument and making it work with the whole song.”
Was writing and recording the E.P. a cathartic experience coming at the end of what seems to have been a pretty challenging year for you?
“Oh yeah, totally. More so than any other record I’ve worked on. I had very tough year, both professionally and personally – I really am happy that I found my feet through music and found such wonderful people to work with. I don’t like to think where I would be without music.”
How important has the continued support of King Blues fans, and music fans in general, been to you during that time?
“Totally important, people who knew me from The King Blues waited quite patiently for me to get a new project off the ground and most have been so supportive of Bleach Blood already.
Over my time in The King Blues I became friends with many of the people who came to see us, and it was them especially that kept an interest in what I was doing musically and pushed me to start another band.”
Would you say that the songs are a more honest and accurate reflection of your feelings and influences as an artist then music you’ve made in the past?
“Bleach Blood is just another side of me, the feelings and influences of this band are as real and honest as they were with any other band I’ve worked with. I still have a great deal of love for the things that influenced The King Blues, both musically and in spirit, but for now that’s not what I want to do.”
How do you feel Bleach Blood’s recent debut gig went?
“I couldn’t have asked for a better debut gig! It was amazing. I was so proud of my band and my label and to everyone who had been involved in making it happen. Considering the short amount of time we’ve been a band for, I was happily shocked when the room was full and people were singing along. I can’t wait for the next one!”
Bleach Blood’s debut E.P. ‘The Young Heartbreakers Club’ is available now and the band play Huddersfield Parish on March 15th.