Interview with Australian duo The Veronicas

Eight years since their last album, which gave us their global breakthrough classic, “Untouched”, two-piece pop-rock act The Veronicas return to the UK this month to bring us a tour ahead of their new album, which will be released  on March 18. Displaying a cheery and thoughtful, yet decidedly determined, attitude, one half of the duo, Lisa Origliasso, spoke to The Student about the new album, their tour, and gingers.

When talking to an artist whose sound was so quintessential to an era, it’s often hard to visualise them coming back with such force, especially after a long time away from the scene. However, The Veronicas are back with a vengeance, and Origliasso makes it clear that they’re using their time away much to their advantage.

She explains: “There was no real time constraint on it. We did have the creative freedom to just do whatever we wanted and really be able to challenge ourselves and take the time to make a dream list of producers, writers and artists that we wanted to work with.” Origliasso goes on, confidently: “It’s just challenging ourselves and getting to do things that we otherwise hadn’t sort of done before.”

Throughout the conversation, the Australian singer does seem to have a genuine fondness towards the United Kingdom: “I remember the last time we toured here, we always cite it as the most fun tour we’ve ever done. We’ve been excited to just reconnect with all our fans out here.”

Origliasso seems free of any pretence, sounding natural, responding off-the-cuff as if with an old friend. It becomes clear that she is all about the music. “We hear a lot of people say that records are dead, that it’s just single after single after single. But, for Jess and I, it’s important for it to be a sonic journey for the listener. And, thematically, this record represents the message of revolution and rebirth for us. Personally, that’s what we were going through.”

For anyone who’s listened to the record, it’s nigh impossible to disagree with this. The sounds on each track are eclectic, seemingly random. However, as she explains, there was a definite method to the arrangement of the pieces on the album. “The record starts with a song called ‘Sanctified’ and then goes into a track called ‘Did You Miss Me’, which is a very different sound from what people are used to hearing from us. It ends on a song called ‘You and Me’, which is very stripped back. It’s just an acoustic guitar and our two voices harmonising from start to finish. It was a one-take kind of moment.” The album definitely reflects the band’s progression.

Origliasso makes no excuses for the erratic nature of the album’s genres. The amount of time since their last effort is reflected in the music, and she addresses the juxtaposition between their famous punk-rock feel on some tracks and the contemporary pop influences that are present on others: “Its been a natural progression, I mean, Jess and I are never satisfied with being comfortable, so going in and making the same record over and over again is never going to be an option.”

She goes on to discuss what to expect at the Veronicas show in Glasgow: “It’s about reconnecting with all of our fans and it’s an electric, crazy rock show. I’d say just expect the unexpected, it’s going to be a loud, crazy night and a lot of fun.”

When it comes to Scotland, The Veronicas have a clear idea of what to expect: “Everyone’s just out to have a good time, very passionate, hot accents.” This would be hard for anyone to deny.

“Jess has a thing for red-heads, so I’m sure she’s just going to be in heaven.”

When it’s brought to Origliasso’s attention that Scotland is around 15 per cent ginger, she replies, laughing, “That’s just a very exciting statistic for us: we’re all about it.”

The attitude and passion and optimism that Lisa puts across makes clear that their number one commitment is to fans and fun. One phrase she uses sums their future up nicely: “The future is wide open, as Tom Petty would say.”

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