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Bleach Lab

The Kit List


South London-based, Buckinghamshire-based four-piece Bleach Lab have just released their third EP "If You Only Feel It Once", out now via Nettwerk Records. Bleach Lab is comprised of magnetic frontperson Jenna Kyle, drummer Kieran Weston with his love for ethereal pop, guitarist Frank Wates’ knack for crystalline, dream-pop and bassist Josh Longman’s driving consistency and collaborative lyric work. 2021 saw the four-piece make their mark with the release of their first two EPs, A Calm Sense of Surrounding and Nothing Feels Real, the latter produced by Stephen Street (The Cranberries, The Smiths, Blur). With one eye cast towards the band’s enduring 90s influences present in previous releases, new EP If You Only Feel It Once drives the band’s vision forward - delving deeper into poppier, more modern sounds, produced alongside producer Duncan Mills (Peace, The Vaccines, Jake Bugg). 


A really essential piece of kit for me, whether I’m using it in the days leading up to a show or 10 minutes before we go on stage. It’s extremely relieving and relaxing to the vocal cords and helps to prevent vocal strain by hydrating your vocal cords and moisturising your throat. I don’t know how I was ever without it. Just be prepared this model is made of ceramic pot and glass, so it needs to be wrapped really carefully to avoid breaking but it’s definitely the best one around.


There are a couple of pieces of gear that I use that are absolutely essential to obtaining my guitar tone. This is definitely one of them. It arguably only plays a supporting role on my board - my Walrus Julia is probably the most important pedal tonally speaking. But it is nonetheless totally invaluable and my guitar sounds very bare without it.  I originally used the often-favoured Line 6 DL4 instead. But it had appalling reliability issues. I had to get it fixed multiple times, all without ever using it for a live show! So I eventually upgraded to the Timeline. It’s not a cheap piece of gear. Delay pedals never are. But I would struggle to find anything that could replace it. My pedals (as with any guitarist) tend to misbehave. But if this one packs up (it did once, but thankfully not during a show) I am totally stuffed.  Considering we are a band with relatively few live instruments on stage, the layering and textural elements I get from this pedal are crucial. I combine it with an expression pedal (which also misbehaves!) to get the most out of it. It means that I can vary the wetness of the delay to suit various parts of any given song, that need more or less wash to support the vocals. And you can programme a big range of different delays and store them, so it means I have a lot of flexibility and can match various delays to different songs. I even switch delays within the same song occasionally. 


I have owned many bass guitars in the past but once I got my hands on the Fender P Bass there was no going back. It allows me to be punchy when I want to while allowing me to law back on the low end so for Bleach Lab it’s perfect.

I got very lucky when I was guitar shopping one day and stumbled across and 1977 Fender P bass in a second-hand instrument shop. It was in a bad way but it had all the original parts. I purchased it for a very very good price and got a friend of mine to work on the instrument. Long story short it was resuscitated from the brink of death and is a stable to our sound and shows.

Because it’s such an old bass it has its issues and is constantly being a labour of love. But as it is made out of Ash wood it is extremely heavy allowing nearly limitless sustain. Still to this day I have not played a bass that can do it the same way.
 Having this mixed with my preference of really old bass strings is essentially how the low end can ring forever with the conviction and grizzly sub it needs for Bleach Lab and really anything I do. It is the building blocks for my sound I create. 


This cymbal is so crucial to our sound in my opinion. It was our 'go-to' when we recorded our last EP, 'I Could be your Safe Place', and I left those sessions with no other choice but to buy one. Despite every other crash/ride, we had to choose from when recording that EP, somehow, we ended up back with the Bliss every time! I absolutely love the sizzling overtones you get from this cymbal, which are crucial to some of our dreamier tracks like 'Pale shade of blue' and 'Never Be'. But crucially, it still has great stick definition, so it slams for the rest of the set. Our set is so dynamic so it's important I have the kit to manage everything from dreamy pop to alt-indie rock, and of everything I use, this handles both ends of the spectrum the best.

The EP "If You Only Feel It Once", is out now via Nettwerk Records.

Words by Bleach Lab

Main photograph by Rory Dunn

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