VERON­I­CAS

Twins are back on track

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Front Page -

FOUR years of liv­ing in each other’s pock­ets can be a test for the clos­est of bonds – even for twins.

Al­though it’s been five years since chart- top­ping Aussie duo The Veron­i­cas last put out a stu­dio al­bum, Jess and Lisa Origliasso have been any­thing but idle.

Their sec­ond re­lease, Hook Me Up, which went to No. 2 on the ARIA charts here, turned out to be the al­bum that just kept on giv­ing, with a US re­lease in 2008 and a UK re­lease in 2009.

By the time the twins had fin­ished tour­ing the al­bum in 2010, they were heartily sick of it and each other.

‘‘ We had had our fill with the record,’’ older- by- a- minute twin Jess says as she sits in a West Hol­ly­wood cafe near their LA base.

‘‘ It had its dra­mas and its suc­cesses and we were ready to move on.’’

Lisa in­ter­jects, a lit­tle more bluntly: ‘‘ We were ready to kill each other.’’

The two went their sep­a­rate ways, want­ing to dis­cover whether they could cre­ate sep­a­rately as well as in­di­vid­u­ally.

Lisa threw her­self into mu­sic his­tory, lis­ten­ing to a lot of blues, soul and rock, and trav­el­ling to mu­sic mecca Nashville to write.

Jess found her­self more drawn to elec­tronic dance mu­sic and trip- hop, and was be­ing in­tro­duced to a broad spec­trum of mu­sic from clas­si­cal to world through her then- part­ner, Smash­ing Pump­kins front­man Billy Cor­gan.

‘‘ You do feel a sense of los­ing your own iden­tity be­cause you are just known as a band,’’ Lisa says.

‘‘ We are so close to each other that when we did take that time off we went into song­writ­ing sep­a­rately for a while and it was a case of re­dis­cov­er­ing our­selves.’’

When they re­con­vened to start work­ing on their third al­bum, they not only brought their in­di­vid­ual new in­flu­ences, but also a new­found re­spect for each other, new bound­aries and a de­ter­mi­na­tion that they would not be dic­tated to.

Burst­ing with cre­ative ideas, the pair made contact with left- field mu­si­cians they ad­mired rather than the usual roll- call of hit­maker pop pro­duc­ers.

Col­lab­o­ra­tions were duly set up with Nir­vana pro­ducer and Garbage drum­mer Butch Vig, trip- hop guru Nellee Hooper, who mas­ter­minded the early Mas­sive At­tack al­bums, and Sil­ver­chair’s res­i­dent ge­nius Daniel Johns.

‘‘ We wanted to start some­where we could be chal­lenged,’’ Jess says.

‘‘ That’s why we were work­ing with Butch Vig and Nellee Hooper, peo­ple that pop peo­ple don’t nec­es­sar­ily reach out to or even have a chance to ex­pe­ri­ence.

‘‘ Luck­ily for us, peo­ple re­ally re­spect what we have done on our cre­ative jour­ney so far, so those guys were more than happy to make time for us.’’

Not all the col­lab­o­ra­tions made the cut for the al­bum Life On Mars, which will be re­leased later this year, but for their come­back sin­gle they re­turned to the scene of one of their big­gest suc­cesses.

Pro­ducer Toby Gad ( Bey­once, Fergie) helped their sin­gle Un­touched break into the top 20 in the US, where it was down­loaded more than a mil­lion times, and the UK top 10 – and he has now also cowrit­ten and pro­duced Lolita, which has just been re­leased.

Tak­ing its name from the con­tro­ver­sial 1955 Vladimir Nabokov novel ( and its movie adaptations) about a 12- year- old girl who be­comes in­volved with an older man, the sub­ject mat­ter of Lolita seems to have raised a few eye­brows.

The twins say it’s their in­ten­tion to sur­prise rather than shock with the dark, dancey, club- ready an­them, which is drawn from their ex­pe­ri­ences as young women in an in­dus­try dom­i­nated by older men. ‘‘ They were ques­tion­ing a few things of the video con­tent of Lolita,’’ Jess re­calls of a re­cent phone- hook- up with their record la­bel.

‘‘ And some­one piped up say­ing ‘ girls, what’s your de­mo­graphic? Do you think you might up­set a few peo­ple?’

‘‘ I said, ‘ We are not mak­ing this s--up; we are writ­ing about things that are close to home and you might want to re­think the sin­gle if you are re­think­ing the video’.’’

For Jess in par­tic­u­lar, the song con­tains an added mean­ing.

She re­cently ended her re­la­tion­ship with Cor­gan, who was 18 years her se­nior.

‘‘ It’s no se­cret that we have had re­la­tion­ships in the past three years that are some­what rel­e­vant to the theme,’’ she ad­mits. ‘‘ Be­cause we write from ex­pe­ri­ence it touches on all these things we have dealt with. But peo­ple will read in what­ever they want to read in, so to be com­pletely hon­est when we wrote that song it was a very un­con­scious cre­ation.’’

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