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One summer day in 2012, Veruca Salt’s vocalist-guitarists Nina Gordon and Louise Post sat downstairs in Gordon’s basement in Los Angeles and sang together for the first time since the two ended their friendship and musical partnership 14 years prior. “It was sublime. Our voices hadn’t changed. We just locked right in and it was heaven,” Gordon says. Gordon and Post’s reunion eventually led to the pair reforming Veruca Salt with their original bandmates: Gordon’s brother, drummer Jim Shapiro, and bassist Steve Lack. This year, the quartet have been in the studio with Brad Wood (who produced their gold-selling debut album, American Thighs) recording new music.
Veruca Salt formed in Chicago in 1991, when Post and Gordon were introduced by a mutual friend. In 1993 Veruca Salt played its first gig and soon released the “Seether” single on local label Minty Fresh. A major-label bidding war erupted and the band signed to Geffen Records. They toured with alt-rock royalty Hole and released an album, American Thighs, which eventually sold a million copies worldwide. They scored features in Spin and Rolling Stone, recorded an EP, Blow It Out Your Ass It’s Veruca Salt, performed at the UK’s prestigious Glastonbury Festival and appeared on Saturday Night Live.
Veruca Salt broke up in early 1998 when Gordon suddenly left the band. Though she and Post aren’t eager to give exact details about what led to the breakup, they will say that ultimately a lack of coping skills led to their implosion. “We understand that people want to know the gory details,” Gordon says. “It was drugs and cheating and all that junk, and the two of us not talking about what was really going on. If it were Mick and Keith or something, Louise and I would have just had an old-fashioned fistfight and gotten back to work.”
In 2012, Gordon read that Mazzy Star had reunited. “I emailed Louise and said, ‘Hey, Mazzy Star are playing Coachella, shouldn’t we?’ And she said, ‘Maybe we should start with coffee.’” Post had been in touch with Lack over the years and broached the subject with him. Shapiro, too, was on board, and in August, the four original members sat down together for the first time. Meanwhile, Veruca Salt had been contacted by Minty Fresh about releasing a 20th-anniversary edition of American Thighs, which first appeared in September 1994. “It was very timely,” Post says. “And we thought, ‘What if we were to release something new, too?’
The new songs pick up where Veruca Salt left off 14 years ago, with their sing-along hooks, melodic pop smarts, thundering sonic aggression, reference-packed wordplay, and angelic harmonies still intact. “It’s miraculous to have this brand-new, beautiful chapter,” Post says. “We never saw it coming, and yet, here we are. To be able to reconnect and play with these dear friends of mine who are like my family . . . it’s such a gift. I feel like a huge weight has been lifted. Everything is where it’s supposed to be.”