Jessica and Lisa Origliasso, aka The Veronicas, burst onto the Australian pop scene in 2005. Now the twins from Brisbane are back in the country to promote their new single, In My Blood. The 31-year-old ARIA Award winners talks to me about their coming album, what they miss the most about home and how they fight back against “body shamers” who claim their weight is unhealthy.
What are you doing back in Australia?
Jess: We’re here releasing … In My Blood. Next we go to the UK to release the single there, and then to Asia in September.
Lisa: In between that we have to finish the album, due out in November.
What can we expect from the new album?
Jess: [It is] in an electronic dance space. In My Blood is a pretty good indication of where the album is sitting.
Lisa: It’s a very true to the moment on who we are as artists and what we’re digging.
Tell me about your writing process.
Jess: For us, it always starts with a feeling. .. Specifically for this album, we’ve gone in with no preconceived ideas about what we’re going to write about. We’ve let the music almost speak to us and tell us lyrically where we should go melodically.
Lisa: In My Blood felt like meeting someone for the first time, like love at first sight; like that sort of really intense feeling that you can experience.
Are you guys always on the same page when it comes to writing music?
Lisa: Most of the time we are. To get on the same page, sometimes there are a few creative conflicts.
Do you ever argue?
Lisa: We are Italians, so it can get very physical very quick. too. [Laughs]Jess: The lesson I would take, if we’re fighting over a song, that’s the indication that it’s something special.
How do you decide who’s going to take on what role in a song?
Jess: We have very different voices.
Lisa: I don’t know if that’s something where by almost growing up singing together we’ve almost adopted different tones in order to meld together. It’s really interesting because we both sing just so much, but there are definitely certain parts of songs for which suit Jess’s voice better and some mine.
Jess: But it also the song … You Ruin Me was very personal to Lisa at the time so it was more her story to tell, so she sang more of the song than I did.
As identical twins, do you ever mistake one for the other in photos?
Lisa: It has happened. That’s a very confronting and weird feeling!
Social media wouldn’t have been around when you first started. How does that change the way you engage with your fans?
Jess: It has changed everything. The Internet and social media have changed the entire playing field for artists on many different levels. There is so much more of a personal connection now. What comes with that is, there is a certain amount of expectation as well, where you constantly need to be interacting with them. Otherwise you lose momentum to a certain extent.
Lisa: [Fans] are not just interested in the latest song that’s put out. I think that’s the difference today … fans are investing in everything – it’s a mentality, a lifestyle, it’s everything. So we are conscious of that and we take great pride. It’s an honour to be able to speak about things we are passionate about.
Do you personally look after your own social media?
Jess: Yes, all of it.
Lisa: Absolutely. It’s very important to us … It’s just another avenue for creativity. We’re creatively across everything. It needs to come from us because it wouldn’t feel genuine if somebody posting for us. I also think it’s important to give them an insight into all the things we are passionate about that aren’t just music … So all of our other humanitarian causes, interests and passions such as wildlife conservation, Sea Shepherd, health and self-sustainability.
You made headlines for standing up against body shamers. Being in the public eye you would get multiple comments written about you. Why did you take a stance against this?
Lisa: We’ve had it our whole careers … It never really upset us that much because we don’t consider it real.
Jess: The way that it gets to me is when they try to frame it as though we’re contributing or we’re the result of young women becoming anorexic …That hurts me because we take health so seriously … We eat a lot of whole foods, we don’t buy into take-away any more … Health for us is something we’ve had to discover ourselves over the last six years and educate ourselves about … So don’t try to treat me like I’m the problem. I know that I’m not. I know that she is not. We’re very confident in ourselves and self education.
What makes you so passionate about health and nutrition?
Jess: It changed our lives as soon as we did start to research ourselves. We were actually pretty unhealthy. [When] we first started, we were on a crazy schedule. We were under a lot of stress … We were eating like a dozen Krispy Kremes a day, Taco Bell … Eventually I moved to a plant-based diet – it made me feel better.
What do you miss most about home when you’re away?
Lisa: Mummy and Daddy… and our brother and our friends.
Jess: I miss the smell of the Brisbane air.
What’s the first thing you do when you get home?
Lisa: We go to an organic store and just buy our groceries … We go grocery shopping, then cook for mum [and] sit there on the wonderful beach.
Will you move back to Australia?
Jess: I think we’ll have multiple homes. Lisa has got a home in Brisbane, actually. I just sold my home in Brisbane … Lisa lives with her partner in LA and I rent in LA. So I think we’ll just continually go back and forth.
Lisa: Although raising kids in Australia is a very attractive thought. My end goal is to relocate back here permanently.
What’s next for you guys?
Jess: This album is our main priority for this year. So, travelling with that, to the UK next month and then to Asia and then hopefully an Australian tour and then to America after that, and South America as well. We’re also working on doing a fashion range and a super-foods range. Eventually we would love to do a skin-care range or make-up vegan range as well.
WE WENT TO Bodhi, Restaurant/Bar
WE ATE Pink beetroot and chili smoked soy dumplings; Green tea and choy sum dumplings; Japanese pumpkin dumplings; Shiitake mushroom and asparagus dumplings; Vegetarian Siew mai; Caramelized cabbage and vegetable buns; Steamed Chinese Greens of kalian; Spring rolls; Veggie sausage sweet bread twists; Crispy pumpkin balls
JESS and LISA WORE Farage suits.
KATE WORE a Karen Millen coat.