No one actually likes Valentine’s Day. Well, I mean, no one who is even slightly interesting likes Valentine’s Day. And even less do they like holiday celebrations named for a play on words of said holiday. And, alas, I will find myself at Voyeur this Friday, Feb. 10th, for Making Time’s VALENTIME (accompanied by Philthy‘s own Elizabeth Andrea). It will be a bit of a Where Are They Now for the evening’s headliners, Dum Dum Girls, as just about exactly two years ago they found themselves playing Dave P.’s very same party, as the opening act for Girls. And while we are excited to see Dum Dum Girls once again grace MT, it is openers, Veronica Falls, that I am most excited about.
Veronica Falls are a four-piece indie pop outfit from London. Last September their self-titled debut LP dropped stateside on Slumberland Records. They are that brilliant kind of pop band that infuses humanity’s gloomiest sentiments with the polished pep of someone who has given up on everything but casual dancing… maybe more like casual swaying. And there are boy/girl harmonies (You’d really assume that would have run its course by now… and it certainly should have but, somehow, it’s yet to get tiresome.)
As annoying as it is when parties are promoted as something stupid like “An Anti-Valentine’s Party,” in the case of VALENTIME, it would have earned it… I’m sort of picturing The Doom Generation on psychedelics… If that isn’t enough to convince you to shell out $10 (or $15 at the door) for the outing, then maybe my recent chat with Veronica Falls will be. Topics covered include smoke machines, Sailor Jerry, and Richard Kern… “A few of my favorite things.” (Lars von Trier’s Dancer in the Dark is currently playing in the background of my apt.)
Izzy Cihak: For your upcoming Philadelphia appearance you’re playing at Voyeur, a gay dance club, which tend to produce especially raucous, reckless, and enthusiastic crowds. Is there a particular type of setting that you feel best fits your aesthetic?
Veronica Falls: We’ve played in some crazy places, like boats, churches, carparks, rooftops, cinemas, and casinos. We like places with history or an interesting story but, ideally, we like small, busy venues where we can make it loud and create an atmosphere. It’s good to be close together when we play. It helps us keep the energy of the songs and feel like a unit. Anywhere with a smoke machine is fine by us.
IC: I saw on Twitter that you “follow” Sailor Jerry, a Philadelphia institution. Any thoughts on the local brand that you’d like to share?
VF: Do we? I had no idea. It is a very good rum. Someone in the band must be a fan!
IC: You’ve received quite a bit of positive press here in the US. Do you feel there is any notable difference in how you (or any other artist) are received here, compared to the UK?
VF: The response has been similar I think. We get compared to the same sorts of bands, applauded and criticized for the same reasons. It’s quite hard for us to work out exactly how our album has been received in America though because we’ve only toured in the US once since it came out and we try our hardest not to Google ourselves.
IC: Most of the artists that you’ve been compared to and that you’ve claimed fandom of are of previous generations. Do you feel like you have any contemporary peers or that there are other artists that currently have similar outlooks and outputs to yourselves?
VF: We have lots of friends in bands in London who have the same outlook as us, but not necasserily the same sound. Bands like Male Bonding, Let’s Wrestle, Novella, Echolake, Mazes are all people that are doing it for the love of it.
IC: Your debut album dropped last year, which would seem to be a milestone in your young career. What are your hopes and goals for 2012?
VF: We’re excited to be writing and recording new songs and playing to the people that haven’t seen us yet. There’s a new single coming out soon and hopefully an album before the end of the year.
IC: You have a song called “Right Side of My Brain.” I have to ask, is that, by any chance, inspired by the Richard Kern film “The Right Side of My Brain?” He’s my favorite photographer and one of my favorite filmmakers.
VF: I’m a Lydia Lunch fan, yes, and the song was inspired by the sentiment of the title, but I expect the film and song are about very different things!
IC: Keeping in line with the last question, I’m always interested in what are a band’s biggest non-musical influences. Does the band have any prominent inspirations that aren’t other musical artists?
VF: We all have our own obsessions; mainly films, books, photography, World War II, and Friends (the sitcom). Collectively we all watch a lot of documentaries and try to visit as many interesting places as we can when we’re on tour. We’re excited about visiting the Mutter Museum when we’re in Philly!