4Ever (M Martin/L Gottwald) 2005 and Everything I’m Not (L Gottwald/M Martin/R Yacoub/The Veronicas) 2005 and When It All Falls Apart (J Alexander/B Steinberg/The Veronicas) 2006 -The Veronicas
Jessica and Lisa Origliasso are identical twins of Italian/Australian parentage from Brisbane, their parents Joseph and Colleen nurtured the girls ambition to become professional performers. Their older brother Julian managed the Veronicas and the twins have lived in Los Angeles since 2005 when their professional career took off with the release of their debut album and single.
The twins had first come to notice in their teens when they appeared in talent quests and local sporting events, ultimately landing roles in 2000 in a children’s TV series called Cyberspace. They formed the band Teal and subsequently recorded some of their own compositions with Analog Heart Records which brought them to the notice of the Bell Hughes Music Group, who signed the girls to a production deal and undertook to groom them for stardom.
Relocating to Los Angeles the sisters were hooked up with internationally acclaimed songwriters and producers – Cliff Magness (Avril Lavigne, Kelly Clarkson), Billy Steinberg (Cyndi Lauper, Madonna, Divinyls), former Stockholm Hit Factory supremo Max Martin (Britney Spears, Katy Perry, PINK), and adopted the name The Veronicas, inspired by a line uttered in the movie Heathers, not realizing that it was based on the character Veronica Lodge, from Archie comics.
Archie Comic Publications launched a substantial legal claim against Warner Brothers, and the Veronicas, but ultimately settled for a cross-promotional deal, which included the sisters appearing in the comics, meeting “Veronica”, and “performing” at the fictional Rivervale High School.
The Veronicas potential was quickly realized, they were talented songwriters and gifted performers, and had already collaborated on the creation of fifty songs, when they accepted a $2.0 million recording contract with Warner Bros/Sire America and went into the studio with German songwriter/producer Toby Gad to record their debut album The Secret Life Of…
The album divided critics, the best reviews noted the slick, tuneful hooks and the punky sassiness of the sisters’ harmonies, the dislikes branded the songs bland, airbrushed versions of the latest Now! or So Fresh compilations, girlie rocker hits which could only be described as a guilty pleasure.
4Ever was the first single released, it was the standout song on the album, written by the team from Stockholm’s famed studios The Location, Max Martin, and Lukasz Gottwald (aka Dr Martin) who had penned hits for Britney Spears (Baby One More Time), Kelly Clarkson (Since U Been Gone), Katy Perry (Hot and Cold) and PINK (Who Knew).
The song has a sexy garage rock ambience, guitar riffs drive it along, the girls’ intuitive harmonies deliver the come-on lyrics “Let me take you on the ride of your life/ that’s what I said alright/They can say what they want to say/ ‘cause tonight I just don’t even care.” Lisa said of 4Ever “It’s about living life for the moment… plus it’s a bit bratty, which we like!” The song was a hit, charting #3 locally, #7 in NZ and a top forty hit in Europe, the promo video featured the girls cavorting in a public swimming pool at night and apparently “twinning” a boy they both liked by replicating him, using special effects of course.
They followed up quickly with Everything I’m Not, a punky pop song with quite a sparse groove, bass, and percussion segueing to ringing guitars, Jessica joined in on rhythm guitar. It’s was a breakup song with a defiant message to imperfect guys who demand perfection in their partners. The promo video captures some girrrl power antics as the sisters’ graffiti and daub paint on a car, belonging to the guy with whom they are breaking up. It delivered another top ten hit here in Australia, and the album Secret life Of Us… was also charting strongly, #3 locally, #5 NZ and #11 in Belgium.
When It All Falls Apart became the third single lifted from the album, the Veronicas worked with two experienced US songwriters in Billy Steinberg and Josh Alexander who had penned hits for Madonna (Like A Virgin), Cyndi Lauper (True Colors), Demi Lovato (Give Your Heart A Break) and JoJo (Too Little Too Late).
The song has a Kelly Clarkson vibe, punky pop with the sisters dealing with relationship problems again, it was another breakup song, the girls feeling betrayed, heartbroken, hung over and having a day from hell, but what was that crocodile doing in the bathroom in the promo video? Climbed to #7 and maintained the Veronicas chart momentum into 2006.