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Get Down Under With The Veronicas' Jess Origliasso

Get Down Under With The Veronicas' Jess Origliasso

SheWired.com had the pleasure of chatting with The Veronicas' Jess Origliasso before the group hit the road with Hanson. Jess didn’t quite open up about that little girl-on-girl kissing incident with Ruby Rose. But the open-minded, true to herself, gay-positive pop / rocker hottie did gush about how much she loves her gay fans.

TracyEGilchrist

Aussie rock / pop sensation The Veronicas are already a smash down under, but the group's twin sisters Jess and Lisa Origliasso are well on their way to becoming an international juggernaut. Consider the sisters, fashion-forward, fun and adorable, and their music brims with infectious licks and lyrics… Throw in Jess’ titillating indiscretion earlier this year when the paparazzi snapped her snogging Australia MTV VJ Ruby Rose, and well, what’s not to love?

The Veronicas, hailing from Brisbane, Australia, made the scene with the studio release The Secret Life of… in 2005. A multi ARIA Award winning debut, they spawned five singles in Australia and two in the United States, putting Jess and Lisa on the map.

With the release of their second studio album, Hook Me Up, in 2007 -- electro-pop / rock and edgier than their first album -- The Veronicas continued to climb the Aussie charts and to make inroads in the U.S. By the time of Hook Me Up’s release, the girls had moved to Los Angeles and begun splitting time between L.A. and Australia.

This summer they took to the road, opening for their good pals The Jonas Brothers, who’d opened for The Veronicas just a few years earlier. This October, Jess and Lisa joined another trio of brothers and took to the road with Hanson. With The Veronicas’ Revenge is Sweeter Tour slated for 2009, Jess and Lisa are just about unstoppable.

SheWired.com had the pleasure of chatting with Jess right before The Veronicas embarked on its tour with Hanson. Eat-her-with-a-spoon charming and adorable Jess didn’t quite open up about that little girl-on-girl kissing incident. But the open-minded, true to herself, gay-positive pop / rocker hottie did gush about how much she loves her gay fans, the embarrassing songs she and her sister used to croon when they were kids and if the Jonas Brothers could beat Hanson in a tug-o-war.

Tracy E. Gilchrist: First off, I will admit I’m late to the party and I’m just getting to know your work, which I think would get even me up and dancing. And that sometimes takes a few cocktails since I’m a little shy these days…

Jess Origliasso: That’s awesome. I’m glad you like it. That’s so cool.

TEG:I saw a video a while a back that you flew to Fashion Week and you’re luggage was lost. That’s kind of ironic.

JO: I know right? I kept saying we were at Fashion Week with no fashion. It was a bit stressful. We got in at midnight, started the next morning at 9 a.m., so we did a quick run to a drug store and tried to buy a little bit of makeup. G-Star ended up giving a bunch of clothes to go to their fashion show, so we did well under the circumstances.

TEG: How have you been enjoying touring? It looks like a pretty rigorous schedule.

JO: Yeah… It’s been crazy. But it’s really fun. We just jumped off the tour with The Jonas Brothers, which was great. It was probably the easiest tour we’ve ever been on because it’s such a huge production. They had catering everyday. We didn’t have to go and find our own food. We didn’t have to sound check. Everything was already set. We had a great time with the boys and all the fans.

TEG: This isn’t the first time you toured with The Jonas Brothers. How did you get that gig? That’s about as big as it gets these days.

JO: Well, we’ve known the boys for a few years. They actually opened for us a few years ago, which was absolutely hilarious. We had so much fun with them. They’re such, sweet, talented boys. So yeah, they asked us to jump on the last half of their tour. We still see them a lot and they’re good friends and they’re good boys. It couldn’t have happened to nicer people… more talented, dedicated kids. So… yeah. We’re pretty proud of them.

TEG: Hook Me Up is quite different from The Secret Life Of… Can you articulate the difference in the approach you took to each record?

JO: Musically it’s a lot more alternative rock, pop based as opposed to just the regular pop rock, which Secret Life Of… was pretty standard rock pop. But this is still very much us. It’s our song writing style. We like to look at it as a lot more over dramatic than the first record. And we love that. We were very influenced by a lot of underground electro bands here in LA. There’s a massive kind of electro dance scene in Australia as well. I guess it was kind of influenced by that and wanting to grow as artists. And we definitely didn’t want to make a record that was the same as the first. We think that’s boring. For us being fans of music we like to see where artists go and what they naturally gravitate to.

TEG: This is a bit of a tired question but I do think people like to hear the answer to it. That said, who’s inspired you? Who’re you listening to?

JO: Growing up it was very much Michael Jackson. We loved him. We were obsessed with him actually. Also a lot of Australian rock. We’re very influenced by AC/DC, INXS, the DeVinyls, Skyhooks. That was what we were brought up on. Rose Tattoo... John Farnham. Now we love early No Doubt stuff, we love top 40, we have so such a broad range of influence. We love Marilyn Manson

TEG: So you live in LA now… what were your biggest challenges adjusting to life in LA if there were any?

JO: Lifestyle, the people. It was all quite different but we found really cool people to hang out with. We lived with five other people for two years when we first came over. We adjusted really well and I think it’s due to having such good friends. I think we would have found it a lot harder had we not met them, so we were really lucky.

TEG: I skipped over something for a moment… I wanted to ask did you and your sister sing together growing up? Is there some embarrassing song you can reveal that you sang together?

JO: (Laughs) We used to constantly sing together. We used to put on plays for our parents. We wouldn’t let them eat dinner until they watched our plays. We used to dance to Janet Jackson and make up dances to Michael Jackson. We were big fans of musical theater.

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TEG: You know… that’s where I was headed. I had a sense you might be.

JO: When we were five we used to sing “I’ve Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts.” That’s a little bit embarrassing. We used to sing Flashdance… Our parents introduced us to Rocky Horror when we were 10, so by the time we turned 11 Lisa was dressing up as Magenta and I was dressing up as Colombia, and we had our boy friends dressing up as Riff-Raff and Frankenfurter. We used to put on that play constantly, every year, so up until pretty much now.

TEG: (Laughs) Did your parents, as the audience, throw things at you when you did Rocky?

JO: No, no. I think they would have felt bad because we were so young.

TEG: I have to go “there” because I’m writing for a website primarily for gay women. Now you’ve had a little run in with being a Hollywood starlet a little bit being caught by the paparazzi kissing at Sydney’s Ivy nightclub.

JO: (Laughs)

TEG: Did you know you might be splashed on the tabloids?

JO: That’s so funny. It’s one of those things where, in Australia, it’s not like America and it’s not like the paparazzi hound you there. They’re very respectful and they were very, kind of uninterested, really. And then the last six months, they’ve kind of been targeting Lisa and I and there’s not much privacy anymore. Especially the last time we went back to Australia. It kind of got a little crazy. It’s very confusing and it’s something that we’ve had to get used to. Your privacy is pretty much taken away. I guess it’s one of those things I don’t really think about. I’m a young girl and I don’t think there’s people waiting there for my every move. Now I know better. At the time I didn’t know better. I was just having fun and now I know better. Lisa and I, we don’t try to censor ourselves. We just kind of go on living our lives. We realize now that sometimes there are some things that media and the public are going to find a lot more interesting than just our music. So, we maybe we have to start keeping things a little more under wraps, which is a bit sad because we’ve always been like ‘we could always do what we want, nobody cares.’ And all of a sudden people care now, which is weird. It comes with the territory I guess. So it’s cool.

TEG: Now, that became a relationship correct? Or did the tabloids just blow it out of proportion?

JO: I don’t really talk about my personal life but if you’re referring to Ruby and I, we always just said we’re really good friends and we never felt like we needed to explain ourselves to anybody but each other and people in our immediate life. But we’re really good friends. And she’s awesome and amazing and a really strong woman.

TEG: You know, I don’t ask for some sort of morbid curiosity but I do write for the gay community.

JO: Yeah of course. It doesn’t offend me at all. I really do love talking about it. I’m fine.

TEG: And whether the intention is there or not, you’re being so open, so who you are and in the moment, is a really good model for perhaps some young women who are your fans and possibly questioning aspects of their sexuality.

JO: Absolutely. Lisa as well and particularly me, I’m very much into opening people’s minds in society into moving with the times and not being stuck in that mindset of people’s sexuality looked down upon in any sort of way. People should be able to express and love who they want and not suffer any negative consequences or judgment whatsoever from that. I think we’re really lucky today. I’ve spoken to Ruby a lot about this and she came out when she was 12. She said there was no Ellen and Portia, there was noThe L Word, there was no me and her in the media, there was nothing. And she was ridiculed in school. We feel good that even just us going about living our lives, if that kind of helps young people to feel more comfortable with who they are or feeling like it’s okay for them to be more open to their friends and family, that makes me feel really good.

TEG: I imagine you’ve amassed quite a few gay fans, male and female.

JO: We love our gay fans, they’re our favorite fans. They dress better. They’re sweeter, they’re cooler. They’re just amazing. Right now the world’s a little gay obsessed with Lindsay and Sam being together, and people kind of see it as a trend, as a fad. Hopefully they’ll get over that and realize it’s not just a trend. It’s just that it’s become more acceptable so maybe more people are coming out. And so it’s not such a bad thing. People say, ‘They’re bi-curious, she just wants publicity and it was all a publicity stunt.’ It’s quite offensive. In the same sense I’ve chosen to not talk about my personal life. Sometimes I just want to scream what the fuck are you talking about being that close-minded?. Instead I just go about living my life and as long as I’m happy with who I am that’s all that matters to me.

TEG: Great answer… thank you for that. I do have one more little silly question to ask.

JO: Yeh.

TEG: And I do want to add that you might get into trouble for answering this but…

JO: Okay.

TEG: Who would win in a tug-o-war? The Jonas Brothers or Hanson?

JO: (Laughs) I’m going to say the Jonas Brothers because I know the boys. I don’t actually know Hanson. Maybe after the tour with them I might give you a different answer but I know the Jonas Brothers are a good team. I think they’d work together well. They never fight… the last three years that we’ve been friends, I’ve never seen them fight. It’s a little bit weird actually but it’s beautiful to see, so I feel they wouldn’t be arguing about which way to pull the rope.

TEG: (Laughs) That’s good. That’s a very diplomatic answer. That’s really all I have unless you have something to add.

JO: If we’re doing a show in your city, please come and see us. Come say hi. Our shows in Australia are so large now, we don’t get a chance to up close and personal with the fans as much but in America we still have that opportunity. We love having people come out to the shows and being able to chat with them. And also check out our YouTube channel, MySpace, write to us...

TEG: Whenever you get to play LA, I’ll be checking you out.

JO: Oh, well I’ve got your number now.

TEG: You can take me to task on that.

JO: Yes. I’ll be texting you. (Laughs)

For more on The Veronicas, go to www.theveronicas.com.

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Tracy E. Gilchrist

Tracy E. Gilchrist is the VP, Executive Producer of Entertainment for the Advocate Channel. A media veteran, she writes about the intersections of LGBTQ+ equality and pop culture. Previously, she was the editor-in-chief of The Advocate and the first feminism editor for the 55-year-old brand. In 2017, she launched the company's first podcast, The Advocates. She is an experienced broadcast interviewer, panel moderator, and public speaker who has delivered her talk, "Pandora's Box to Pose: Game-changing Visibility in Film and TV," at universities throughout the country.

Tracy E. Gilchrist is the VP, Executive Producer of Entertainment for the Advocate Channel. A media veteran, she writes about the intersections of LGBTQ+ equality and pop culture. Previously, she was the editor-in-chief of The Advocate and the first feminism editor for the 55-year-old brand. In 2017, she launched the company's first podcast, The Advocates. She is an experienced broadcast interviewer, panel moderator, and public speaker who has delivered her talk, "Pandora's Box to Pose: Game-changing Visibility in Film and TV," at universities throughout the country.