Veruca Salt: "Playing Music Again Feels Like the Most Natural Thing in the World"
It's certainly understandable if you, like many, suffer band band reunion fatigue. Nowadays, it seems, no band actually breaks up. But this is a reunion we're generally thrilled about: Veruca Salt. Singer-guitarists Nina Gordon and Louise Post fronted the '90s band, releasing singles like "Seether" and "Volcano Girls," which were the sonic equivalent of Pop Rocks: all sweet harmonies and sharp guitar grinds. In 1998, Gordon left the band, which then went through several incarnations with Post at its helm. This summer the original line-up -- Gordon, Post, drummer Jim Shapiro, and bassist Steve Lack -- is back together and touring. We spoke to Gordon about why this isn't that kind of reunion tour.
Nina, the original line-up of Veruca Salt is back together and touring. You left the band in 1998 -- how does it feel to be playing with the original band again?
It feels great. It feels like we didn't miss a beat. It's amazing how it really doesn't feel like that long ago we were playing together. Music was the thing that brought us together in the first place. It was the thing that we connected over, all of us. So playing music again feels like the most natural thing in the world. And it doesn't feel like some big gap took place or some great schism; as soon as Louise and I started playing together again, it felt incredible.
And still does! We're playing shows now and on the third leg of this tour. We played DC and Philadelphia and we're going to play New York tomorrow night and Brooklyn the next night. The DC and Philadelphia shows were so great! It was so much fun. I don't even know what to say. We're just having the time of our lives all over again. Our fans -- we're so grateful that they hung on and waited for it to happen, because we didn't even know it would happen.
Since we're discussing band reunions, I'm thinking a lot about nostalgia. You've been playing a lot of material from American Thighs and Eight Arms to Hold You on this tour.
Yes -- we're also playing two new songs and we've recorded an entire album that we're putting out in the fall. We're in sort of a different place from a lot of the so-called "reunion tours" because our whole musical relationship was cut short for personal reasons. We were working on a new album and then everything blew up and we didn't speak to each other for all these years. And so musically we have so much more to say and do. We only made two-and-a-half albums together -- and a bunch of B-sides and stuff -- and there's so much more in us.
So it doesn't feel like nostalgia to us, and what we're getting from the audiences doesn't feel like nostalgia. There are a lot of really young fans there who either discovered us too late, or were too young when they first discovered us to come to our shows.
With the new material, what can we expect?
We released two new songs on Record Store Day in the spring, and they will be on the album we release in the fall. We recorded about twelve songs with Brad Wood, who was the producer of American Thighs. People who have heard it think it really sounds like a follow-up to American Thighs. We've been working really hard for the last year on this album, and it's thrilling for us to be back in the studio again, singing harmonies again. I don't know! I think it sounds like us, but I don't think it sounds retro. But I don't know if I would have the best perspective on that.