NINA: Yes. Bob actually had two mellotrons, but they are pretty old, terribly out of tune and sounded kind of warped, creepy, sinister. So we ended up using samples from those. We really like the sound of it, but it depends on the song. There are so many great synthesizer programmes. Generally the crux of the song, the basic sentiment is always very personal. There are little references here and there...
LOUISE: ...and we are infused with ideas all the time, being it life experiences, music, literature, film etc. So these images and philosophies really influence our music.
Will you include the lyrics on this record and why didn't you do so on the last one?
NINA: We will. My instincts were always not to put lyrics. The reason being that we write songs, not poetry right now. I don't think that the lyrics can stand on their own. Plus a lot of writers really feel uncomfortable seeing their lyrics printed like that because lyrics are part of the song. It should be that way, that the lyrics go with the music. On this record we decided to put them though. Honestly a lot of it got to do with the fact that we got misquoted a lot, misunderstood a lot in the press, which bothers us a lot. But also when we were young and we bought records we loved to read the lyrics. It's really nice to have them. It's kind of like we are stretching ourselves for our fans, for our listeners in a way. I can't say it makes me comfortable.
LOUISE: We don't usually write the lyrics down and then the song is constructed around them. We draw from things that are written sometimes, stream of consciousness often. But then again: The lyrics are not written as poems. Sometimes a phrase might sound profound within a melody but it will sound stark & blank without the melody.
NINA: Music and lyric are linked and separating them is like looking at a painting and separate colors or something.
LOUISE: We printed the lyrics without punctuation. That's our compromise - because it is as stream of consciousness as the music is.
Are there any messages?
LOUISE: On the last record it was our intention to let the lyrics be cryptical and unhearable. But when people told us they couldn't understand what we are singing on "Forsythia" when we thought it was all so clear we were really surprised. So it's definitely that we have something to say - it's all there.
Who wrote the David Bowie song?
NINA: I did. I respect everything he does. I was just particularily taken with him when I decided to write the song - but on the other hand it could have been about Prince or John Lennon or George Harrison. It could have been about many people that I idolised when I was younger and people that inspired me to play music. Also when we were teenagers - and as silly as it may sound to teenagers right now - the Walkman had just been invented. In the 80's it was not given that you could walk down the streets listen to music - unless you carried a giant boombox with you. So now suddenly this great development for me - for all of us - was to suddenly have this great soundtrack when you walked down the street. And it was such an exciting time. I would tape my records and walk to school and listen to my favourite performers just looking around and breathing the air. There was an overall excitement - even about this piece of technology. And that's what this song's about also.
In that context: What is the function of Veruca Salt's music?
LOUISE: I think for me it's like a survival-kit. It's like having the tools at hand to get me through the day. Whether it's playing with the band, performing it, recording it, writing it. It's an ongoing catharthis. At times you get stagnant but there's always something brewing inside and the fact that I have this vehicle to write songs is - I think I can speak for Nina too - is like the greatest gift and it keeps us going, keeps us satisfied and excited about life and creating something that is ongoing and is evolving and developing. And also this band has provided us with this incredible support system like each other and immediate social structure and it's become the center of our lives. It really makes up the bulk of what we do.
Did you ever had the option of doing something else apart from music?
LOUISE: We both went to college, we both went to university and Nina was in the process of coordinating a Monet exhibit at the art institute of Chicago and translating Monet's letters from French into English when we began this band. So she left a really good job to be in this band. And I went to theater, was in a theater company and was on my into audition for films and I abandoned that. I think we probably feel that we could each have done a myriad of things had we decided not to play music. But we made this decision to do what we both dreamed of doing most.
Good for us.
[Erstveröffentlichung im Baby Talk-Fanzine #10, Mai 1997]