North East Post
A Voice of the Free Press
Jeremy Williams-Chalmers
Arts Correspondent
1:00 AM 19th February 2024

Chatting With Wynona Bleach

Wynona Bleach
Photos: Wynona Bleach©
Wynona Bleach Photos: Wynona Bleach©
We have a band we think you are going to fall in love with. Think glorious indie alternative rock tunes reminiscent of acts such as The Smashing Pumpkins, Curve, The Joy Formidable, and Wolf Alice, but with the Wynona Bleach stamp all over them. If Swim in the Bay is anything to go by, be prepared for loud, grungy energy, unmistakable hooks, lush melodies, the bold, the sassy, and the beautiful. We caught up with the band to learn a little more.

Hi, how are you all? 

Carl: Ey up! We’re great! There are a lot of exciting things happening in the Wynona camp right now.

You are over half a decade into being a band; how have you altered in that time? 

Melyssa: Half a decade! That’s mad! Well, my hair is still green, so nothing changed too much! 

Jonny: We are still only getting started; aren’t you supposed to deduct the 2ish COVID years of no gigs and being locked up at home?

Do you recall your initial ambitions? 

Jonny: - I’ve always predicted world dominance at our own pace and style, and to make music we like for ourselves and not panic too much about what people think, in the hope we can do it every day.

Looking back, who were your key influences? 

James: Smashing Pumpkins and Placebo were two huge influences when we started Wynona Bleach; more recently, we’ve been listening to a lot of Genesis! So who knows how album two will sound?

Photos: Wynona Bleach©
Melyssa Photos: Wynona Bleach©
How have they changed over the years? 

Carl: Our tastes have expanded, if anything! We have a deep appreciation for great classic tunes, but we are always listening to new music to draw inspiration from.

It has been two years since your debut album; what lessons did you learn from the release?

Melyssa: We know the 'cycle' of an album now—pre-production, recording, mixing, and release—is kind of only step 1. Release day is when the real work starts!

How have you applied these to your upcoming album? 

Jonny: We learned that your team is everything, and I personally learned that mixing my own music is hell on earth, and it's one thing to produce it, but having Andy Bradfield and Avril Mackintosh’s help has totally changed the game for me personally.

What can you tell us about the album? 

James: As Jonny mentioned, we’re working with Andy Bradfield and Avril Mackintosh, who mixed some of Moonsoake and all of Swim in the Bay. It will be my first album with the band, and I’m really excited to work with those two. I have Andy saved in my phone as 'The Drum Reaper,' as he’s merciless, in a really good way!

We love your new single. Tell us all about the writing and recording process. 

Melyssa: We rehearse in an old ballroom above a working man’s club in Belfast, where Jonny has a studio setup, so we are always demoing and recording new ideas. 

Jonny: Yeah, and basically some songs might be the product of a jam, or one of us might come in with an idea and we flesh it out! Sometimes one of us might even have a whole song written in our bedroom, and we bring it to the band. In the end, I usually write the lyrics, and we typically like to tour a song a bit before we do a final recording.

You spent some time on the road with Ash last year; how did you find the experience? 

Carl: They were amazing. Lovely dudes who were so kind and accommodating to us. a bit of a dream come true for us to tour with our heroes! We love you, Tim, Mark, and Rick!

Did the band have any advice for you? 

James: Tim, Mark, and Rick gave us the best advice ever by showing us how it’s done night after night! They were so accommodating and genuinely lovely people.

Lastly, if you could achieve one thing with the record, what would it be? 

Jonny: The aforementioned world dominance would be nice.