Veronica Falls

Taking on the juggernaut of touring North America can be shocking to a young band from the UK. Imagine driving across the prairies and having the stereo break down. Nobody could blame you if you lost your goddamn mind. On their second time through the colonies, London rock & roll dynamite outfit Veronica Falls walked that razor's edge between bats in their belfry and calm logic.

Rumour has it you all met at a Comet Gain show?

Roxanne Clifford (Vocals, Guitar): It is kind of true. That’s not how we actually met. We knew each other for a while, but I think that was the first time we properly hung out was at a Comet Gain show.

And Woodie Taylor from Comet Gain worked on this record…

James Hoare (Vocals, Gutiar): I’d known the Comet Gain guys for quite a few years.

Is that the connection to being on Slumberland?

RC: He (Mike Schulman, manager of Slumberland Records) put out the record of a band that me and Patrick (Doyle - Drums, Backing Vocals) used to be in, so he was just interested in what we were doing. He knows everything that’s going on in the indie rock circles.

You’re from Glasgow originally, yes?

RC: We all lived there. Me and Patrick played in quite a few bands there, then we all moved to London.

JH: It’s got a really thriving music and art scene. If you wanna do your first band there, it’s a really good community.

London is pretty expensive for a band though isn’t it?

Patrick Doyle: I think it’s quite easy to make it work for you. There’s definitely cheap ways to live in London. Food is cheap.

RC: It definitely used to be more expensive than it is now. JH: I’ve been going to shows for years, and I haven’t had a job for years. You just go to shows that you can get into for free and you drink a beer on the street.

PD: You can make it work for you. I’m sure if you lived in West London and went to shows that came through there and traveled into shows from there it would be a way different story.

RC: We ride bikes.

PD: Yeah, if you ride a bike than you save lots of money.

You’re touring through North America for the second time. The first time was an opening slot with The Drums. How is this different?

RC: I think the audience is a bit different.

JH: It’s more our audience because people are coming to see us, whereas with The Drums, I felt like a lot of the time we were trying to win people over a bit because they’ve kind of got a different audience than us.

How is it for you guys driving across the continent?

RC: It’s been surreal. We’ve just been motionless for the past two days. It’s just been sleeping in the car and then sleeping in the hotel.

How do you deal with it?

RC: We watch Friends.

PD: We watch a lot of TV. Well, just Friends really.

RC: Just on this tour, we’ve got into the habit of watching it.

You know all the words to The Rembrandts’ song then?

All: Yeah!

JH: It’s actually a good song.

PD: A really good song.

JH: We’ve talked about this. If it wasn’t the Friends theme tune, it would be an underground, indie rock classic.

PD: It must be really hard to even carry on as a band when you’ve already done that. You’d be playing a show and nobody would really care what you were doing up there until you played the Friends theme.

RC: We searched them on YouTube and they’ve got some other really good songs.

JH: We watched some live footage of them playing and they sounded really good. They sounded like Simon and Garfunkel.

Marion Herbain (Bass): There was another top ten hit.

There was? One hit wonder follow up singles are kind of amazing. Like Right Said Fred’s follow up to “I’m Too Sexy.”

PD: “You’re My Mate???”

What? No.

PD: “Deeply Dippy??” No! The guy who did “I’m Too Sexy.” Patrick: Yeah, “You’re My Mate.” And there was another called “Deeply Dippy.” Well, over here it was “Don’t Talk Just Kiss.”

RC: Yeah! (Proceeds to sing the song). God, he has some really good songs, because then he had “Deeply Dippy” which is amazing. Sings “Deeply Dippy.”

JH: Not really a one hit wonder then. I had “Deeply Dippy” on seven inch, but they also did a comic relief song that was pretty big.

RC: Which one? JH: “Stomp” or “Stonk” or something. They were pretty big for like five minutes.

PD: I think “You’re My Mate” kind of finished them off because it was a pretty weird song. It’s got like bagpipes in it.

So you have a seven inch of Right Said Fred that isn’t “I’m Too Sexy?”

JH: Yeah!

RC: “Deeply Dippy” is better than “I’m Too Sexy.” You know that song right?

No!

RC: “Deeply Dippy” is really good. They’re like the Boo Radleys or something.

PD: They still play in London sometimes. It’s pretty cool that they still survive being Right Said Fred.

Are you sick of the C86 comparisons yet?

JH: That’s a conversation we have to have a lot lately. Mistaken influences maybe?

RC: Right, like we’re not influenced by the C86 tape. We’re probably more influenced by the bands that tape was influenced by.

So you’re more sick of that comparison than you are sick of Friends episodes?

PD: There aren’t enough Friends episodes in the world. We’ve watched the same episode like three times already.

Which one?

RC: The one where Rachel wears a cheerleading outfit and tries to seduce that guy Joshua, and she tries to get everyone to play spin the bottle to get to kiss him.

PD: It’s called “The One With The Fake Party.” Look it up.

JH: Seminal. Indeed.

Check out Veronica Falls’ self-titled debut album, out now on Slumberland Records.

Photography: Owen Ellis

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