A Sweaty Sort of Explosion of Fun
Southern California’s Gold Standard Laboratories recently released Veronica Lipgloss’ latest album, the Witch’s Dagger and lead singer Rhani Remedes, drummer Andrey, synth moog man Krispy, and guitarist / saxophonist James were willing to discuss their new recording, among other things, with Agouti’s, Eli Ellsworth
Thanks to Veronica Lipgloss and the Evil Eyes, erotic & throbbing post punk theatrics continue to thrive in the murky city of San Francisco. The band recently finished up their summer tour and continues to expand their sound and influence by blurring gender and the mundane with edgy artistry, tense dance beats, swelling saxophones, and 80’s style synth pop. Southern California’s Gold Standard Laboratories recently released Veronica Lipgloss’ latest album, the Witch’s Dagger and lead singer Rhani Remedes, drummer Andrey, synth moog man Krispy, and guitarist / saxophonist James were willing to discuss their new recording, among other things, with Agouti’s, Eli Ellsworth:
Eli: Howdid the overall concept of Veronica Lipgloss and the Evil Eyes come about andwhat did you imagine that concept would accomplish musically and artistically?
Rhani: The music and the art came first, or I can say one’s relationship with the world comes first. In any direction, living is either LIVED as art or music or science or else it is boring. As always art & music stand as an altar or medium to help one see themselves with greater meaning.
Describe the San Francisco music scene you’re involved in and how you got your start back in 2003.
A lot of respect goes to San Francisco for being a city that has an ongoing conversation with sexual politics, gender politics, & kids in the street, working for better (although far from great) policies on health care, drug rehabilitation, & GA (Gender Analysis). A lot of respect (also) goes to San Francisco’s history as a city of mutants; a bohemian garage of mind expanders, gender expanders, terrorist groups, visual, auditory, & life expanders like Harvey Milk & Timothy Leary. All cities should adopt the Board of Supervisors.
What are your influences, early and present?
Rhani: David Worjnarovicz, Cookie Mueller, Oscar Wilde, Anise Nin
Krispy: Crass & co. & psycology
Andrey: the boredoms
James: John Coltrain
Describe the Veronica Lipgloss and the Evil Eyes’ “sound.”
There is a range to ours songs, from garage to avant jazz, from death by the dagger to gay dance anthems.
So then, what kind of music are you playing?
I don’t know & I hope I never will.
What kinds of things occur at your shows?
A sweaty sort of explosion of fun.
What sort of reactions do audiences have upon seeing a Veronica Lipgloss performance?
Originally, you were signed to San Francisco, California’s Cochon Records. I understand Cochon is an extremely diverse and supportive independent record label.What has your experience been with them?
I enthusiastically support Cochon Records for bringing out a myriad of brilliant “artistics” out of the San Francisco cave and exposing them to a wider hungry audience. Running a record label is a lot of hard work and financially adverse when you’re first starting out. It’s a lot of tuff business.
Now, your latest album, The Witches Dagger, is featured on Los Angeles, California’s eclectic Gold Standard Laboratories records. Seems like several S.F. Bay Area bands have been collaborating with GSL lately (The Phantom Limbs, Dead and Gone, xbxrx, the Vanishing, the Holy Kiss, I Am Spoonbender). Why were you eventually drawn to them?
They have a good catalouge of music.
The Witches’ Dagger is your first full length release, sowhat can we expect on the new album?
Epic onslaught of hits, slow dance prom songs, songs to kiss to, songs to murder someone nicely to, songs to get fucked up with, and songs to dream with.
Has your sound changed / evolved with Witch’s Dagger?
The sax and synth has brought a lot to the band.
What was it like working with TRANS AM’s Phil Manley during the recording process?
Phil knows what he is doing. We would work with him again.
And, what are you singing about on the new record?
Unicorns or other mythical creatures, sexual politics, repression and what a task it can be to live by your own rules especially when they are so outside the line.
What is the significance of your album’s title?
I love witch’s and girl, do I love them daggers.
That’s certainly understandable. What about the enhanced music video you did for the CD version of The Witches Dagger? It’s pretty cool but equally surreal & unusual. What is the concept behind that video, Strip Mall Glass?
After hearing a distress call from their friend, a group of about 10 half human creatures set out to find and rescue her. They travel through various city locations like the 14 bus line, a freeway construction site and fancy downtown. There is a sexy & bloody wrestling scene with the animals vs. the downtown “propers”, which caused some one from Chanel to call the cops on us. There is the juxtaposition between dead strip mall bland and old school witch dirt land.
Where was it recorded?
In Los Angeles with Phillip Haut. It is the song off our 12” single.
How long did it take to do the shoot and what was that whole experience like?
Three days. Working together with such an amazing group of talented people (like Heather Ciriza the visual artist who not only constructed the animal site but did the costumes all the animal costumes) on such a complicated shoot and having it be as successful as it was can be one the best experiences.
Can we expect future videos?
What has your recent U.S. summer tour been like?
How was it playing on the East Coast and in Canada with Oakland, California’s Gravy Train!!!!?
We love Gravy Train!!! They are like our slutty teenage sister.
What’s the most memorable, crazy, or peculiar thing that happened during the tour?
Krispy got hit on by Tracy Lords!
THANK YOU VERY MUCH TO VERONICA LIPGLOSS AND THE EVIL EYES FOR SPEAKING WITH AGOUTI MUSIC!