Bleached guitarist Jessica Clavin explains how she's tapped into her childlike immunity to fear in order to spark confidence in her creativity
What happens when inhibition robs us of creative existence? When our energy goes to all the wrong places and fear becomes the new motivator? As a kid, fun and curiosity are what drove me to create, but somewhere along the way I became more hesitant. That childlike exploration game was buried in the treasure box next to Sorry and Twister. My purpose shifted and became dedicated to the darker side of life. The light was just barely peaking through with modesty. I started losing touch and forgetting that music was a place I went to for escape and release. What used to be my happy place had become my new hell. Living in anxiety versus living in the now. This is not to say good music wasn't explored or made around this time, but I was suffering and music started to feel like it was the enemy. I can't think of the exact moment and that's why it was so hard to catch, but I was becoming more hyper sensitive to the negatives and my feelings were trying to exist while I was suppressing them. I was constantly comparing myself to everyone around me instead of being my best self. I was seriously hanging on by a thread.
I was recently remembering when I was about 10 or 11 years old and I was learning to play bass. This was the mid '90s when it was all about the Smashing Pumpkins and Spice Girls. I was learning a blues scale in G, a lesson from my dad, and for about three hours straight I just zoned out playing that G scale over and over. This was probably the first form of meditation I had ever experienced, and also such a valuable tool. I kind of got lost a little along the way while letting the distractions warp my thoughts into chaos. I started becoming very defensive in the havoc that that I was creating. It felt like the world was against me, but when you have enough people, even strangers, tell you something needs to change...it felt like a good time to come to a pause and reflect on the way I was living.
Tapping into this inner child I believe we all so deeply have is something I'm channeling more of as a musician/performer these days. It's important – urgent, even – to remember this: the playfulness we had as children picking up our instruments for the first time. Writing this new record Don't You Think You've Had Enough? was an opportunity to try things a different way from what I had been doing. Going back to the beginning, picking up new tools along the way, learning what true confidence is, walking through the fear and letting go in times of anger. It was about finding our triggers and becoming aware of the insecurities that restrain us. Whatever our passion and creative outlets are, may it be playful, fun, and courageous. Let it speak to us from the hearts we've had since day one.