When grunge began to fizzle out, alternative music rose to prominence, and I started getting into a number of female-fronted bands, especially Veruca Salt. Named for the bratty rich girl in the book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and led by female rockers Louise Post and Nina Gordon, the band won a number of fans with its first album, American Thighs, released in 1994. This album featured “Seether,” a song you can still hear on the radio today. Three years later, Veruca Salt released Eight Arms to Hold You, and “Volcano Girls” became a hit single. Shortly after the tour promoting their second album, Nina decided to break from the band to pursue solo work. Although Louise continued to record music under the Veruca Salt name, the next albums didn’t quite live up to the popularity of the originals.
Now, after more than 15 years, the band has reunited with the original lineup. In an interview in the Washington Post, Nina described how she and Louise broke the ice between them with a few casual emails after not seeing or speaking to each other for well over a decade. At first, they didn’t talk about music and instead bonded over the fact that they both had become mothers. Then, Nina saw that 90s band Mazzy Starr was reuniting at Coachella after 15 years apart, and she began thinking. Louise apparently apologized for continuing to record under the name Veruca Salt, and the pair agreed to talk to Steve Lack and Jim Shapiro, the other two original members of the band.
When the four musicians began playing together again, they planned to play only a show or two and figured they’d play songs from their first two albums. As they practiced old material, however, new songs began to appear, and soon Veruca Salt was working on a new album, as well as a national tour with sold-out dates from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C. I wasn’t able to see them this summer, but I’m hoping that they tour again following the release of their upcoming album. Veruca Salt has been a “must-see” on my list since I was young!
So far, Veruca Salt has released two new songs from the forthcoming album, which is set for a late 2014 release. Titled “It’s Holy” and “Museum of Broken Relationships,” these songs sound a lot like the old Veruca Salt: a crunchy, catchy mix of rock and pop. The new songs combine the smooth harmonies and chunky guitars that characterize the sound of their first two albums, but Nina has confirmed that the new album will have some longer, more “epic” songs that break from tradition slightly and show their growth as musicians. The band has also integrated the new material with older songs throughout their tour this summer.
Nina and Louise have openly spoken about their disappointment that Veruca Salt broke up and their curiosity about what could have been. The new album is a chance for both to show that they are still talented musicians and to pick up where they left off more than 15 years ago. It’s really inspiring to see such talented female musicians put aside their differences and reunite after such a bitter break and such a long period of complete silence. I know I can’t wait to hear the new album!