Whatever happened to The Veronicas?

BY: JOHN BOGNA

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Their biggest U.S. hit to date, “Untouched” (released in 2007) was a pop ballad about missing the one you love. Their newest music video has them walking the streets of Los Angeles with shotguns. A lot’s changed in six years.

Australian natives Jessica (Jess) and Lisa Origliasso are the identical twin force behind The Veronicas, and they’ve been playing music since grade school. When asked how they chose their name in an interview with MTV, they explained their desire for the band to have a “girl’s name,” just not one of their names. They didn’t want to be a typical, gimmicky twin act. Lisa explains, "So one day we saw the movie 'Heathers,' and there's a line where one girl asks, 'Are you a Heather?' and Winona Ryder's character answers, 'No, I'm a Veronica,' and so we went with that, because she was this kind of cool, unique chick with an attitude."

By the time ‘The Secret Life Of…’ was released internationally, the Origliasso sisters had already put in plenty of time making music and writing their own songs. They put out three pop albums in their tween years under the band name “Lisa and Jessica,” then later formed the band “Teal” with a few of their friends. It was during this period that their songwriting prowess caught the attention of the proverbial bigwigs, and they penned songs for artists in Australia, Russia and Japan. After that, the twins moved to L.A. and became The Veronicas we know today.

From 2005 to around 2007 they released two albums,  ‘The Secret Life Of…’ and ‘Hook Me Up,’ both of which went quadruple-platinum in Australia. “Untouched” became their first international hit, charting at number 17 on the Billboard top 100 in the U.S. and at number one in Ireland. The sisters have also made guest appearances on The Suite Life of Zack and Cody. In 2007 they collaborated with retail giant Target to release a clothing line with the apropos title The Veronicas for Target. They have also starred in ads for a line of Calvin Klein hair products released in Australia.

However, after ‘Hook Me Up’ and the ensuing ‘Revenge Is Sweeter’ tour around 2009, we haven’t heard much from The Veronicas. That is, until recently. In 2012 the band put out their first single since “Untouched,” complete with a music video on a weirdness level Panic At The Disco would probably be proud of. The single, called “Lolita,” is a love song. Sort of. It ditches the subject matter of cutesy pop love for s song about obsession bordering on the psychotic. Lines like “You’re my possession, I’m your obsession, don’t tell me never; you’ll love me forever” and, “The addiction, friction; it burns you alive” personify the song, and taken with the music video the departure from their past image is striking in a good way. If the single is any indication, their forthcoming album will reflect a sharpened and more mature return to the rock sound on ‘The Secret Life Of…’ (If you don’t think The Veronicas can be described as rock, check out their cover of Mother Mother).

The band has performed this single acoustically a few times now, but perhaps the best rendition is just the girls and a guitarist performing the song unplugged. The stripped down simplicity lets you hear exactly how good their voices are, and the acoustic guitar is surprisingly good accompaniment. The video can be found on the band’s official YouTube channel.

The Veronicas have been working on their new album since 2009. It will be released through Warner Records and the working title is Life On Mars. Management changes at Warner have pushed the release date back far further than originally anticipated, but Jess and Lisa say the album will be hopefully be coming in 2013.  Before the full album comes out, Warner has decided to release a four-song EP that will include “Lolita,” though according to Warner A&R  Director Alex Wilhelm recording on the album was completed in May of this year.