Although they rule the charts in their home turf of Australia, The Veronicas have yet to find mainstream success in the U.S. So far, the biggest headlines they’ve made were in 2006 when Lisa Origliasso — one-half of the group, alongside identical twin sister Jessica — dated Ryan Cabrera.
But “Untouched” — the first single off their sophomore album, Hook Me Up, which was released Down Under last year but just became available on iTunes a few weeks ago — should have electro-pop lovers rejoicing that they’ve touched down on American soil again. Sounding like a cross between t.A.T.u. and Dragonette, The Veronicas’ video for “Untouched” is reminiscent of the high-concept, stylized looks of “Mr. Brightside” and “I Write Sins Not Tragedies.”
We talked to Lisa and Jessica about their new video and album and what it’s like being big in Oz while still trying to make a name for themselves in the States.
Buzzworthy: Hook Me Up is huge in Australia. What are your expectations for it here?
Jessica Origliasso: In Australia, our first album went four-times platinum. It was massive. We didn’t have expectations, I guess, for the second record, even over there. It was a little bit of a different sound, it was a little bit of a risk. We’re just really lucky that Australian fans loved it, and it actually grasped an even bigger fanbase than the first album. I guess over here we just want to get our music out there and hope that people…
Lisa Origliasso: Can relate to it and get something from it.
BW: Is it weird going back and forth between Australia and the U.S., basically from multiplatinum stars to relative unknowns?
JO: “Untouched” was the second single in Australia, and it was huge over there. But it’s not weird.
LO: I guess the biggest difference between Australia and America is people don’t know us as well over here, so we have to work a little harder to let people know what we’re all about. In Australia, everybody’s very familiar with us, so people know what to expect.
JO: Yeah, we do find ourselves working a little harder, you know?
BW: Why did you pick “Untouched” as the first U.S. single?
LO: You know, the first three singles [released] in Australia were all favorites from the album for us. I mean it’s kinda like asking, which child do you love more? But, yeah, “Untouched” is probably my favorite on there…
JO: It’s probably one of my favorites, too. It’s more of, I guess, a different vibe than people are used to hearing from us, and I really like that.
LO: It’s, like, totally upbeat, but the video’s kinda gothic. Victorian almost.
JO: Style-wise, we kind of decided to go with a bit more high-end fashion, and we do love our black and white. The whole mood of it is definitely a little darker.
LO: We love contrast.
JO: It just gives it a bit of an edge and attitude.
BW: It’s kind of got an ’80s vibe…
JO: Yeah! Electro ’80s is very popular in Australia. Like, you get a headache if you walk into a mall with the number of girls and boys that are wearing big hair, leggings, headbands. You feel like you’re back in the ’80s.
LO: We want to bring it all over here. We’ve got a fashion line that we’re looking to expand internationally. And I think America needs a…
+ When it comes to bringing the ’80s back, the girls practice what they preach. Pretty boy drummer Vik Foxx got his start in the old-school glam band Enuff Z’nuff, which leaves the girls fending off big haired groupies at just about every show they play. “He’s more beautiful than us, so he can’t be in any photos with us!” says Lisa.