Houston Calling

10 Questions for Veruca Salt (@ Engine Room tonight)

October 13th, 2006 · 1 Comment

Veruca Salt are in town to promote their new album VSIV. They play tonight (Friday, 10.13.06) at Engine Room.

I’m sure you remember the band from hits like “Seether” and “Volcano Girls.” Well, their new album is even more rockin’ and I think this show will prove to be quite the event. I am a fan of the band from my days worshipping Fig Dish, Triple Fast Action, and Local H, and I haven’t seen the band live since Dallas circa 1997. I am looking forward to it.

I recently asked Veruca Salt’s Louise Post a few questions for Houston Calling. Hope you enjoy. (And sorry for any typos — this was fairly last-minute).

HC: What can you tell me about the new album? It’s been a while since Resolver, but you’ve been steadily making music, right? Demos, an EP…

Louise Post: So much love and hard work went into VSIV. It was purely a labor of love. Some of the demos we’ve recorded over the past few years (“Blissful Queen”, “Circular Trend”) finally found a home on this record. And two of the songs from our 2005 ep LORDS OF SOUND AND LESSER THINGS made it on to the album. We made it in L.A. with Rae DiLeo, an amazing engineer/producer/individual I met through my friend Richard Patrick when they were recording the Filter record AMALGAMUT in Chicago. Everyone in the band brought 100% to the rehearsals and there was unmistakable magic happening with the four of us. It felt like we were on fire throughout the recording process. There was definitely some “downtime” between albums, but I never stopped working.

HC: I know you were involved in that Bastard project with Courtney Love at one point — did anything ever come from that or did it just self-destruct?

LP: I walked away from that project. It started out nicely, but took a really negative turn. I wrote some material during those rehearsal sessions which, little known to many, she used on her solo record.

HC: With the early success of Veruca Salt in the mid-nineties, and the ups-and-downs associated with the major label and the hassles inherent with that, how do you view what you went through at the time looking back now?

LP: It has been a gigantic learning process. I kind of feel like I’m at the end of a rollorcoaster ride after all the really scary shit and now I’m just enjoying the ride. Stepping away from the record industry allowed me to remember how much I love what I do, and now I’m grateful everyday to be recording, writing and performing music. Last night in New Orleans, Ben from Agent Sparks and I wrote a song in the back lounge of the bus after the show and this morning we woke up and finished it. Kellii, Ben and I were singing three-part harmony, and there was sun coming through the windows as we pulled into Houston. We were all so happy.

HC: The Chicago music scene was exploding back then, with bands like the Pumpkins, Smoking Popes, Local H, Fig Dish, Urge Overkill, Triplefastaction, etc. getting signed and touring. What are some of your favorite memories of that time? You guys had a big tour with Bush, right? I remember seeing VS in Dallas with Fig Dish & Local H and you guys had that crazy light system from the Bush tour…

LP: Oh yeah! Those lights! Wow, how I miss those lights right now! We loved bringing bands out with us who were friends of ours from Chicago…mainly because we were all inspiring each other and what’s better than touring with your friends? It was an automatic guaranteed good time. We all bowled together back in Chicago at the Diversey Rock n’ Bowl on Tuesday nights. And we used to go to each other’s shows when we were playing in small places. I was a total Triple Fast Groupie. Their album CATTLEMEN DON’T is one of the greats. I also adored Local H. Watching Scott Lucas every night before we played inspired me to rock to new heights. 🙂 He’s one of those “walk the walk” guys – truly talented to the core. Touring with The Strays and Agent Sparks right now is a similar vibe…they totally bring it – great songs, raw passion, heart and soul and all.

HC: How much of the older material can fans expect to hear on this tour — are you doing a good mixture of old and new stuff? I will be disappointed if I can’t hear “Spiderman ’79.”

LP: Oh, you will hear Spiderman! I remember one record executive who was trying to sign us on American Thighs saying in a very thick New York accent, “you’re going to be playing that song Spiderman ’79 for the rest of your lives.” We try to mix it up for the fans, cause they’ve waited so long for us to come back, they’ve earned it! We want to play every song in our repertoire, but there’s simply not enough time in the fucking day, so we play a few from each album.

HC: The post-Nina Veruca Salt has had several line-up shifts since Resolver. Back then I think you had former Caviar drummer Tasty Jimmy with you. Who is in the band these days?

LP: Kelllii Scott, from the band Failure and Blinker the Star, among others, did some demos for RESOLVER and played on the song “Used to Know Her” off of RESOLVER, before we started playing with Tasty J. We (Stephen and I) re-united with Kellii in L.A last winter. It was a meeting of hearts and minds. He is the drummer I’ve been waiting for my whole life — I can’t believe how hard he freaking rocks. It is heaven. Nicole and I met last winter as well. She had been in the L.A. band RADIO VAGO for five years and they split up last summer.

Playing with these guys feels perfectly natural, like we’ve been doing it for years. I feel like I’ve been waiting for this line-up since the initial split of the band, although I do miss Tasty J and all of his ridiculous tour humor….he is a spectacular person and now he makes spectacular feasts at his restaurant Coobah for the folks in Chicago.

HC: Where’s the band based now — L.A., Chicago?

LP: We’re in L.A.

HC: I remember Veruca Salt having a pretty rabid fanbase and with the Internet becoming so widespread when you guys were blowing up, message boards and fan sites were everywhere online. Have you ever experienced any problems with fans?

LP: Well, the internet has provided a “meeting place” for our fans and for us to communicate, and over time the VS camp has become a pretty tightly-knit community, if not a cult! But anonymity tends to breed cowardice and cruelty… Sometimes I steer clear of message boards because I still have thin-skin, and I get really thrown if I read something negative about myself or my music. I only ask that the people who\ frequent our message board come with a level of decorum. Otherwise it’s just annoying.

HC: How do you approach the songwriting process these days? Obviously, a lot of anger and energy went into making Resolver (a friend of mine, Chip Midnight — NAME DROP ALERT — said he can barely listen to it because it’s so personal) — was that a cathartic experience for you? Cheaper than a shrink and much more interesting. I always loved that line about holding a drink like Jim Morrison from “Used To Know Her” — was that line a Grohl reference?

LP: Yeah, this record’s still personal, but I’m in a different place, so it’s bound to be different from RESOLVER. There is a little more detachment between me and my lyrics, if that makes sense. That was a record of raw emotion and all that goes with it–what can I say, some people won’t like it, but isn’t that art? If it doesn’t make some people uncomfortable, than perhaps it’s not doing its job… And= that line was not about Grohl. I dated Scott Lucas after DG and I broke up.

HC: I have to ask: What do you think of Nina’s solo efforts? I am not impressed, but I like rock more than pop. Everyone’s got to pay the bills, I guess…

LP: She’s doing what she loves to do, pop. And she’s great at it.

HC: What are listening to these days? Anything you care to recommend I check out?


Special thanks to Louise Post from Veruca Salt (and her management and PR rep) for taking the time out to answer these questions. Be sure to first come out to the Envy issue release party tonight featuring local band Pale at The Roof from 7-9 (I am on my way now!) and then head over to Engine Room to catch Veruca Salt live. It’s going to be amazing, I’m sure.

Visit Veruca Salt online.

Tags: Music

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Jamie // Oct 13, 2006 at 10:23 pm

    TOTALLY bummed that I just found out about this!! How in the world did I miss this???
    I Love the Veruca Salt-age. You are so lucky you get to go!

    Awesome interview David. Thank you!