THE ICONIC AUSTRALIAN TWINS MAKE A GODZILLA RETURN
FRIENDS OF DOROTHY
‘’If you have wounds and scars which we all do then you can use this practice.’’
While building her empire around wellness and yoga, Stanley has also been an advocate for body positivity, the LGBTQIA and weed. ‘’I think the legalisation of weed in America is straight up a white people’s game because the reality is that so many people are further disenfranchised by legalisation. On top of that there are so many people still imprisoned for weed in states where it is now legal. In states where it is legal there is a huge stigma of being called a stoner or being seen smoking weed. People want to do it but don’t want to be associated with it which I find very interesting. Everything I do and ‘We Go High’ does is about people being themselves, to talk about their medicines and realise its a plant that comes out of the earth to heal us. I think there has been a lot of misinformation and the prohibition campaign has been so deep and insidious that there is no need for global entities to do the work anymore because the stigma does it for us. People who don’t know anything about it speak so openly about their dislike for it simply because they are parodying prohibition politics. It’s now brilliant to see the impact one person or figure can have now just by saying they smoke weed. The impact of that is tremendous. It’s all about conversations and openly speaking about it’’.
Jessamyn who has said that the last ten years of yoga practice has prepared her for the pandemic and lockdown, is now preparing for one of the biggest mental and physical journey’s of her life - she is letting go of possessions, moving into a camper with her girlfriend and travelling. ‘’The thing about it is that I feel so heavy and weighed down my all my possessions. It’s almost like it matches my place in life right now and I say that as someone who has always had things just as I like them. It’s going to be crazy, moving into this small space with my girlfriend who is also my producer and our chihuahua. It’s going to be ridiculous. We are also going to film and document everything with you will be able to watch on our YouTube channel. We’re aiming to do every stare in America, then Mexico, then Canada and then the world. We will just keep going until we’re done or we breakup’’, she laughs. Of course we had to extended an open invitation to come to Ireland where we can show them around. ‘’I am there, you all seem like you know a good time. One of my only connections to Ireland is watching ‘Derry Girls’ and after I saw that I was like, okay Irish people are ratchet too, I need to go there’’. And we we will be waiting with open arms Jessamyn.
Jessamyn’s new book ‘Yoke’ is now available and you can follow her road trip on her YouTube or Instagram channels ‘IamJessamyn’ below
A sprinkling of dust falls from an office ceiling. A glass of water shakes and falls to the floor. The screams from a sea of civilians echo through the halls. A roar of thunder ripples through the city shattering every window in sight and a wave of darkness spreads through the streets like an eclipse. The Veronicas have arrived.
In an homage to both Godzilla and Attack Of The Fifty Foot Woman, The Veronicas open their new album with the only way they know how - by making an entrance. Dressed in signature latex and thigh high boots, Lisa and Jess stomp their way through the city to a soundtrack of crashing guitars and pounding drums. ‘’You had me, you lost me you want me to cost me we're runnin' off but mostly on and even when we're off, we're a mess’’ - a long awaited release, The Veronicas have a lot to say and they’re not waisting any time. The first single lifted off the new album, both titled Godzilla, is a return to their punk roots. It’s heavier than recent releases but still authentic to the brand and those who have seen the twins live will know that they can work an audience, drumming their fans into a frenzy and that’s exactly how they open the album.
I first spoke to The Veronicas back in October for Friends Of Dorothy when it seemed like Godzilla was on the horizon. A string of releases including the No.1 single In My Blood, Think Of Me and Biting My Tongue had already been unleashed over a period of five years and showcased some of the bands best work. The self directed video for Biting My Tongue features the girls in a modern Romeo & Juliet romance with UK twins Bud and Aiden Brenna Williams ,’’They were following us on Instagram and reached out. They were so cute and we had to have them in the video so we convinced our record label to fly us over to London to self direct the video. We love that modern fairytale story’’.
In a similar fairytale setting, The Veronicas sit dressed in J’Aton wedding dresses on top of a mountain in the breath-taking video for Think Of Me, ‘’We flew out in a helicopter to a deserted mountain in New Zealand. We had to trek through this crazy terrain while wearing stiletto boots and these expensive couture dresses with ten foot trains and we were not allowed get any dirt on them. It was one of the wildest experiences we’ve ever had’. Both Biting My Tongue and Think Of Me will appear on the companion album, Human, slated for release on July 2nd while In my Blood sits perfectly amongst the new tracks in their latest offering. Each album follows a general theme, with Human showcasing the duo’s more vulnerable side while Godzilla embraces their at times infamous public alter egos.
While tracks like Godzilla and In It To Win It continue the accelerated electro rock stylings that made us fall in love with the girls back in the days of 4ever and Untouched, standout tracks Stealing Cars, 101, Supernatural Girl and High Score are all mid-tempo synth pop affairs with nods of nostalgia and airs of melancholy. Stealing Cars feels like a salute to the iconic Bettie Davis Eyes while High Score feels like it could be lifted from The Weekend’s After Hours. The songs are beautifully poignant moments that speak volumes to the twins sentimental and spirtual nature. While the tabloids may have you thinking that the twins are living the Rolling Stones lifestyle, they in fact keep that act left on the stage while devoting most of their time to caring for their mother and developing their gardening and crocheting skills. While showing us their latest knit creations over Zoom, the twins spoke about their record label’s attempts to media train them ,’’They tried to media train us. It didn’t work, We’re free souls and that’s what we try to celebrate. Why would we want to fix into a box, that’s so boring’’.
That relatability and celebration of freeness is what makes the duo so endearing to their fans and has kept them on their side from the beginning. ‘’We grew up in theatre, there was so much freedom to play whatever type of role you could dream of. There was no stereotypes in regards how we had to act growing up and we have really taken that and applied to everything we do as The Veronicas.’’ That ethos has carried Lisa and Jess through an incredible fifteen years in the business where through major mainstream success they have stayed humbled and focused. ‘’We’re celebrating fifteen years of The Veronicas. It feels like just yesterday we started , I feel like after fifteen years I’m like where’s my mansion? joked Lisa. ‘’When you’ve developed your character over so much time, your team might change but you’re the one that is consistent. We have such strong ideas about how we present, what our fans want and how we want to inspire.We do a lot of the editing and concepts and start putting videos together as soon as write the tracks.’’
That determination to create is evident at present. As soon as the pandemic calmed in Australia two albums were announced along with a nationwide tour and a stint of Celebrity Apprentice. While the duo have no sign of slowing down in life, they do offer a slower third act on Godzilla. The piano led ballad Catch Fire develops a dramatic country western tinged melody fitting for a Quentin Tarantino soundtrack while their collaboration with Blink-182’s Travis Barker is a soaring explosion that is beautifully raw, honest and anything but Silent. ‘’Back when we were young and drunk, love could never last forever, then we sobered up, swear my heartbeat all you better, you’re the only high I need’’ - sing the twins on the penultimate Only High featuring a stripped back production and their trademark harmonising along with a quintessential Veronicas chorus that looks set to become a sing along staple at their future gigs. Closing the album is their latest single Sugar Daddy, a mid tempo synth rock ballad with swooping chorus with enough pensive sexuality and sorrow to make Lana Del Ray envious. While the press may think this track title is a nod to The Apprentice host Lord Sugar, we can only assume this is either a happy accident or clever marketing on the girls behalf - and for that we salute them.
From sure fire rapid synths and guitars to beautiful eighties inspired moments and a crescendo of powerful ballads, Godzilla feels like a perfect album both for devoted fans and new listeners. It highlights Jess and Lisa’s honest songwriting, distinct vocal harmonising and memorable hooks to a powerful degree and after six years, it was worth the wait. They said that they wanted to celebrate their fifteen years and they have done just that. Its a triumphant return for the sisters, one that will continue with July’s Human release and their tour.
We couldn’t help but think of all the naysayers and obstacles they have faced over the year while watching the video for Godzilla. As they stomp their way through the streets, they look determined, powerful and like they mean serious business. The Veronicas are back and nothing is getting in their way.