TONIGHT: Aussie pop sensation The Veronicas return to the stage at the world famous Viper Room for a second sold-out show.
In the midst of recording their third full length record, the twins – Jess and Lisa have been eagerly showcasing new tacks from their pending release to a select intimate crowd of eager fans and industry insiders.
Before they take the States by storm, catch up with The Veronicas as Jess (currently the blonde one) gives us the dirt on the new album, their “new” sound, and “bitch fights” in the studio.
So why the long hiatus?
Well after we finished touring the last time, we decided we wanted to take a bit of a break and reassemble ourselves to start this third record.
When you’re in the routine of touring so often, and on the same music, it’s easy to get caught up in that particular musical mindset; and because the third record was coming up, and we’d done so much touring on the second record, we really wanted to be able to cement ourselves in a new specific sound for our band.
It’s kind of difficult in pop because it’s so fast paced, and you’re keeping up with trying to set trends, but having it still fit in the pop realm. Although, it is becoming easier to do something a little more different, and still have it accepted in a mainstream sense because of the avenues that people are using to discover new music these days.
So we just wanted to take a minute and really think about what we want, and how we want the third album to cement our sound for where we want to go in the future.
So do you guys have a working title?
We don’t! We don’t yet [laughter]… I wish we did! We have a couple of different ones we’re thinking about.
We’re tossing up between having it be a song title.. but we’re kind of wanting to name it something else that describes the body of work as opposed to just ya know, “The Veronicas Untouched” or something like that [laughter].
We think it would be cool to have an actual title that has nothing to do with a song, but we’ll see.
And we’re looking at probably next year for the release date?
Yes! We’re wanting to release a single this year. It’s definitely being talked about… trying to get a single out in the next few months. Maybe starting in Australia first, if not worldwide, but for the whole album, we’re looking at early next year.
And during this whole recording process do you two tend to quarrel more because of the stress in the studio?
[Laughter] Well… I think we do really, really well. I mean we live together, we work together, we play together, we eat together… everything but basically shower together.
So for two people that spend so much time together I think we get along really well. I mean we used to fight a lot especially on tour, when you’re in such close vicinity to each other on the bus and then having to share hotel rooms… That gets a little insane!
But ya know, we have creative differences. We’re different people; we sometimes want to try different things musically…
Anyways, we like to call them “creative differences,” but there are times when we just have all out bitch fights about really insignificant and stupid things [laughter].
You guys are pretty massive back home in Australia. What’s it like playing these comparatively smaller shows in the U.S., especially club gigs like the Viper Room?
I mean every experience on stage is different and awesome; whether it’s 10,000 people of 10 people… in my opinion it’s actually scarier to do it in front of 10 people.
So I personally really love the smaller venues because it’s a far more intimate experience and you can be more spontaneous at the shows…
With the really big shows, it’s all planned out and it has to be a specific way so that everyone has that “big experience.” You just have to tailor things for that kind of show. Whereas venues like the Viper Room, and The Roxy, and The Musicbox… when you’re in that small, confined space you find different ways to connect with the audience; you look at everyone’s faces, and get a little more crazy and a little more spontaneous.
I mean growing up in Australia, and loving rock n’ roll… that was a part of our childhood, it’s something that we were really influenced by. So for us that’s kind of the funnest part…
What can we expect at the Viper Room show? Any special guests, or boyfriends making an onstage appearance?
[Laughter] We tried! But unfortunately most of “the people” we know, that we would want to have up, are busy making their own records in other places, not Los Angeles.
That being said… The show’s going to be awesome! We’re super excited about it ‘cause we get to do a bunch of new songs which we haven’t done ever from this record!
I think we’re doing about five new tracks. It’s going to be a really short set, only like 45 minutes. So we got half new stuff and then we’ve reworked some of the old songs, and thrown in a cover.
So it’s just going to be really exciting for us and our fans with this new set that embodies our new sort of sonic style. It’s a more solid sound for our band and the best we’ve felt about the music and the sound, ever..!
Do you remember your impressions of The Sunset Strip growing up in Australia?
Yeah of course! Australia is very Americanized, ‘ya know we get all the American TV shows, we idolize American artists like Michael Jackson, who was our favorite growing up.
…The Sunset Strip is kind of a surreal place when you walk around, and you can feel that energy and all the history that’s gone on there.
I actually went to the festival (Sunset Strip Music Festival) last year and saw the big show with Slash and The Pumpkins. It was one of the best sort of festival things I’ve seen… It looked almost like a movie set, like a backdrop with the stage in the middle of the street. So historic..!
Finally, what have you guys been listening to while making the record? What influences can we expect to leak in?
There’s been a lot of stuff! I mean, my style is fairly different from Lisa’s…
I think, because we are so influenced by pop, and we do pop so naturally, we kind of look to the contrasting things… like what we listen to in our spare time, it’s not Pink, and it’s not Katey Perry. We kind of go back to our roots.
I really love my INXS, Skyhooks, Tom Petty, Led Zeppelin. She loves her kind of bluesy rock.
We love stuff with strings, movie soundtrack stuff. I’m big on my 90’s girl bands like Babes in Toyland, and Hole, and L7… Lisa loves French pop music like Vanessa Paradis and any French movie soundtrack stuff she loves.
So we kind of draw influences from a lot of different places; anything that’s fairly emotive and sort of brings out musicality… So I dunno, it’s kinda been crazy eclectic.
… We’ve been saying, that we’ve got enough (material) for a pop record, a rock record, and a dance record; and we have to just sort of take a look at it all, and decide that it’s okay that we have a fairly diverse style of music for this record; and hopefully once we bring it all together it will make more sense. But it’s just sort of funny to us [laughter].
Anything else we should know?
Well, I just feel like in this past year we’ve really sort of found ourselves as artists.
The only way I can really describe it… I dunno I just feel like we’ve really grown up, and really sort of come into our own artistry; and we’re owning it in a way that’s different…
With this record, we really had to take the initiative to really push ourselves forward, and that kind of led us to take on a totally different ownership of what we are doing. And that came out in our singing, in our songwriting, and the whole “being” of this band. And it’s been the greatest growth for us. We’re really grateful!
Don’t miss The Veronicas tonight, August 25 as they take the stage at the world famous Viper Room along with Kingsley, Gina & The Eastern Block, and Juke Kartel. Doors open at 7:30 p.m.
— Brent X Mendoza
Photos courtesy of Kellie Gannon