'As artists, we’re in complete control of what we do now,' the duo tells EW
Three albums into their 11-year career, Australian duo The Veronicas have notched but a single song within the top 20 of the Billboard Hot 100. The Toby Gad-produced sleeper hit “Untouched” launched the identical twin sisters, Jessica and Lisa Origliasso, from local pop-rockers to worldwide pop stars with its energetic composition and irresistible chorus.
Now, eight years and one comeback album later, The Veronicas are pushing the sound that gave them their first bona fide international hit one step further, roaring back onto the music scene with the subtle summer banger “In My Blood,” above, a club-ready track the siblings say perfectly sets the tone for their forthcoming album.
Set to release the currently-untitled project in Nov., The Veronicas spoke to EW about looking to fellow Aussie icon Kylie Minogue for sonic inspiration, finding a sense of independence after a lengthy dispute with Warner Bros. Records left them without a label, and working with musical masterminds in Sweden.
Check out EW’s full interview with The Veronicas, below.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: After doing pop-rock for so many years, why did you decide to go the electronic route with your new single, “In My Blood?”
JESS ORIGLIASSO: We’re very heavily influenced by electronic music in our personal life anyway. We dabbled with it on our second record, Hook Me Up, but it was really nice to fully go into it with this new record, starting with “In My Blood.” We’re huge fans of Kylie Minogue, Grimes, and artists who are doing more electronic music. It’s nice that it’s more in the mainstream now. When we were dabbling in it on our second album, it was still very much underground, and now it’s very much on the airwaves everywhere as a pop sound. We’re very much influenced with writing from the heart, so [we make] whatever we’re really digging in the moment.
It was seven years between Hook Me Up and The Veronicas. I’m going to be crushed if we have to wait that long for this new album.
LISA ORIGLIASSO: We’re releasing the album this year! Hopefully internationally. I know in Australia it’s coming out around November. So, we’re hoping for an international release around then, but if not it’ll be very soon after.
What did you guys learn about yourselves as artists during that lengthy hiatus between the last two albums?
JESS: When you’re faced with challenges in any industry, but especially the music industry, it tests you in a lot of ways, both personally and professionally. We learned a lot about strength, about having the right people around us, and making sure we’re in a position of power. [We learned] what our power is, and pretty much how to get it back to a place where we were in complete control. That’s the beauty of where we’re at right now. We have a team around us and, as artists, we’re in complete control of what we do now.
LISA: It definitely taught us about how strong we are, and we were constantly refocusing on the music, so when that drama goes down, where things are out of our control when it comes to the business side of things, it can really get you down. So in order to stay focused and stay inspired, and we just immersed ourselves entirely in creating music.
So, is there an angrier sound or a more passionate sound on this record as a result?
LISA: I could say that, but we’ve always been very passionate in our songs. I was listening to some of our first record the other day [laughs] and we were so dramatic in some of these songs. It was hilarious, completely uncensored, in-the-moment drama of raw emotions. I think that’s always how we’ve been. We never wanted to hold back on the sense of completely, 100 percent throwing our emotions into it. We’re obviously coming from a more sophisticated point of view now, because we’re older and we’ve lived a lot more life through the years.
Is “In My Blood” reflective of what the rest of the album is going to sound like, then?
LISA: I think “In My Blood” sets the tone for this record because it’s going to be more electro-focused.
JESS: Yeah, we started this record wanting to set tones and set a feeling for every single song, and then we’d pull what that feeling was and craft what the song is about after that. So yeah, it is a good indication.
Who are some producers you’re working with? I really want to get an idea of what this thing is going to sound like.
JESS: We got to work with some incredible songwriters and producers for the creation of this record. We did a lot of writing and recording in the U.K. My personal favorite person we worked with in the U.K. is Cathy Dennis, who is absolutely incredible. She wrote “Can’t Get You Out of My Head” for Kylie Minogue and “Toxic” for Britney Spears, so she’s one of my absolute favorite pop writers. We got to write with Jim Eliot, who’s kind of ’80s-electro and worked with Ellie Goulding and Wayne Hector.
LISA: We worked with a bunch of amazing Swedish producers as well. It’s quite an eclectic international record. We’ve got Swedish, we’ve got American, Australian, British…
Who are some of the Swedish producers?
LISA: There’s a very young guy named Olly Pop, a producer who’s come into the mix quite late on. The great thing about the Swedes is, they’re very immersed in that pop realm. We worked with Max Martin on the first record, and they have that niche to understand pop and melodies better than anyone else.
Do you have a name for the record?
JESS: We have a couple of names in the works, but we haven’t decided just yet. We’ll do that once the track list for the record is done.
What phase are you at with the new album right now?
LISA: We’re almost done! We’ve got one more trip back to the States, our second home. We’re finishing it up at the end of July.
I remember when you released “Lolita,” everyone thought the new album at that point was going to be more dance-oriented. Was that the original plan for the canceled Life on Mars project?
JESS: That record was done over such a long period of time, sort of a five-year period, because we were stuck in that in-between phase with the label, so in order to keep our mind off that crazy business side of things, we immersed ourselves in creating whatever was in the moment. It was very inspired writing. “Lolita” was written at a time when we were heavily listening to more dance, electronic, and trance, and then on the flip side we were writing country-pop songs like “Born Bob Dylan” or our acoustic songs, or trip-hop.
That’s the beauty about writing this record: It’s a cohesive body of work getting to create it and release it within a 6-month to 8-month time period rather than the 5 years the previous record took to get out.
Will we see any songs from that project appear on this upcoming album?
JESS: If that happens, it’ll be on a live show playing field. We’re very excited about the new music we’re constantly creating. We have so much of that to share. I think during a live show we might throw in more of those unreleased songs, but for now we’re just looking ahead. The future is bright!