It’s to the credit of burgeoning band Grimm Twins that they place such high importance on style, actions and aesthetics as well as sound. Forming in Macclesfield, with ties to the larger creative consortium Bleichpop Corporation Ltd.; their creative ambition and eye for detail make them an intriguing prospect, despite a dearth of recorded material currently accessible online. They play their first city centre show at Free Vibes tomorrow night, alongside Move, Chevron Shawl and Demur. Ahead of the show, we reached out to the band to further discuss their creative drive, relationship with Macclesfield and future plans, and secured a conversation with Bleichpop spokesperson BLEICH0.
How and when did the group form and was it done so with specific ideas, sounds and working methods in mind from the outset?
BLEICH0: The group formed in 2017 in Macclesfield. I heard a rumour, so I got the best frontman, guitarist, bassist, keyboardist and drummer Macclesfield had to offer, and found them a rehearsal space in an old warehouse to write and record in. One had just finished cleaning a coach, another had just finished their degree, another had just finished a 10 hour shift at McDonalds, another had just finished stroking Bradley, their cat, and last but not least, one had just had their iPhone wiped completely. They eventually grew into what is now known as Grimm Twins. 3 are Grimm 2 are Twins. Macclesfield was once the world’s biggest producer of finished silk, and it is also the original home of Hovis Bread, so there are dozens of unused warehouse spaces where you can make as much noise and as much of a mess as you want. Work started immediately.
The visual side of your work, namely your poster design and photography, is really impressive. Do you feel that a band needs a compelling visual identity to connect with their audience and find longevity, or do you think bands can be understated in that respect and still effective?
The age of the band tour/show poster being a piece of art in itself is extinct. This is something the group love about some of their favourite bands and musicians. They wanted the visual side of their work to be as impressive as possible.
The best bands have a compelling visual identity, but they also have brilliant songs and a strong work ethic. No matter how a band looks, there will be only one thing that matters, and thats how good their music is. The same goes for longevity. Haircuts don’t last forever, but Music & Myths do. In terms of connecting with an audience, any band who are striving for something wants to have the whole package. Whether that’s a setlist comprising of the best cover songs for the Karaoke night at the Swan With Two Necks in Macclesfield, or an encore written to make your show at the Manchester Evening News Arena the best it can be. We believe a band should be capable of understanding not just how they want to sound, but how they want to look, and what their record sleeves want to look like. If you are a creative person, this should come naturally.
Of course some bands, and most bands in 2017 are understated in that respect and they are still effective. But success is not measured in your Facebook likes, it is measured in the quality of your work, and whether you yourself are proud of it. If a band was to release Venus In Furs by the Velvet Underground or An Ending (Ascent) by Brian Eno on SoundCloud tomorrow, i doubt very much it’d go viral and break the Internet. It takes time for the audience to fall in love. Genuine talent is not championed unless there is an audience to champion it. However, we like a challenge, and half of the fun in being in a group is by working and proving yourself.
We don’t live in a world that’s fair. Has Mark E. Smith done more for the England than Queen Elizabeth? I couldn’t possibly answer… but at least he pays tax.
What can you tell us about Bleichpop Corporation Ltd. and the other artists involved in the collective?
The Bleichpop Corporation Ltd. (B.C.L for short) collective formed naturally. We were all young and creative. It involves Musicians, Artists and Fashion Designers who grew up around Manchester. They have been working together in one way or another, in various creative forms for numerous years. But never with the urge to escape.
But what is the point of the Bleichpop Corporation Ltd. I hear you say? The Fall supported U2 at Elland Road FC in 1987 (What a Fall show that would of been). If Mark E Smith had his 35mm camera round his neck, he would’ve snapped some brilliant shots. Whether that was Bono drinking a Guinness, or the backstage catering. Through Mark E Smith’s eyes, backstage at a U2 show, he could of taken some very funny pictures. Which in hindsight, would be a superb coffee book in 2017. “The Fall & U2 – Backstage in Leeds – By M.E.S.”. Our aim is that the Bleichpop Corporation Ltd. will give us the opportunity and foundation to release whatever we deem fit. Whether thats a coffee book or a home made Guitar Pedal by BLEICH4. The world is your oyster. Take it – It’s yours.
As a group, how do you feel about Macclesfield and the corresponding Northern towns you visit and play in? Do they inspire your work, influence it for better or worse and would you like to see aspects of them change?
Macclesfield is an odd place. It has a direct line to both Manchester and London via the train. They have made it very easy to escape if you want to. But its also a place where people who live there never ever leave. You are born in Macclesfield and you die in Macclesfield. There’s a romance to this, but also a deadly addiction to the banality and safety a town like Macclesfield offers its citizens. Macclesfield has been Conservative since the 1918 General Election. People don’t like change here. But we do. There must be a reason why prodigal son Ian Curtis, who grew up and died here, never played a show with Joy Division in his home town. Saying this, they do love Macclesfield. It has turned the band into what we are.
When the group gets together, be that to write and rehearse or just to have a coffee and catch up, what are the key things you discuss and that bring you together as individuals?
The key to bringing them together is a love for music and creativity. There are weekly Bleichpop meetings in secret locations in and around Manchester, to discuss what our next moves are. But in all honestly, all Grimm Twins do is talk about music, write music and drink black coffee. They rehearse every night. It’s more of an obsession than anything else. They have a lot to say, I’m just here to help them.
What are your plans for the rest of the year, beyond the Band on the Wall show? Do you have plans for any music or multimedia projects?
There will be a video that will introduce Grimm Twins to the world. Filmed and Edited by the Bleichpop Corporation Ltd. The film involves Grimm Twins playing in their warehouse space. This will be released imminently.