London indie rock and quasi-pop band Veronica Falls released their self-titled debut album to a mumble of enthusiasm and a muttering of favourable reviews. Their follow-up album, Waiting For Something To Happen, released this year, saw the mutters and mumbles grow louder. The four-piece is doing things the right way – slowly building a fan base, touring relentlessly to both increase their presence and improve their abilities, and clocking up their hours as a full-time band. In the days of the rotating 15 minutes of fame, Veronica Falls are playing their instruments and the game well.
Venturing to our shores with their newest album in tow, vocalist Roxanne Clifford is enjoying an endless summer of sorts – once they’ve left Russia, at least. “That’s a nice way to look at it, kind of turning back to clock on it again. This album really does have a summery vibe to it,” she says. “Russia is the furthest we’ve ever been away. Everywhere else is really quite similar to the UK really. Europe doesn’t feel that far from home.”
But the journey they’ve been on since forming in 2009 has taken them across a different kind of distance, and Clifford has been reflecting on the changes the band has undergone in that time. “I was just thinking about this and for us it actually does feel like we’ve been doing it for quite a long time now. I think we’re settling into it and getting better at what we do, and I also think it kinda feels like we’re just a lot more comfortable with it. There hasn’t been a whole heap of new challenges recently, like there were a while ago. You have to keep pushing yourself to keep it interesting, so we have to do that more ourselves. I think things can’t really help but change; you kind of have peaks and troughs really. You drive each other crazy when you’re around each other too much, and yet then when you have a break you can’t wait to get out and tour again.”
The spotlight is slowly getting brighter for Veronica Falls but with that comes a greater level of criticism and categorising. “I think that in the beginning it was all strange, but we were never really the sort of band that Googled ourselves or anything,” Clifford says. “You do have to try and work out what people think of you in the beginning, though, and often you don’t really know what sort of band you are straight away so it’s a journey. I try to not read anything, I just can’t do it. With the last record, though the reviews were quite good but still – it seems strange to go and seek out those things.”
The greatest challenges have also turned out to be the precipice for some of the band’s most enduring experiences and it is these experiences that have propelled them ever forward. “In the beginning, when we were bringing out lots of 7-inches, things were a little easier, but as we started to branch out it can be so much harder trying to win over audiences when they’ve never heard of you or heard anything you do. That was our biggest challenge so far, but it seemed that after our first record came out things got slowly easier. Seeing people actually knowing the words to our music was a real shock and I think that was when we started to realise that people actually like our music. That also came when we toured America and we saw people on the other side of the world who knew our music; that was so rewarding. It’s all tiny steps but they keep moving forward and so do we.”
BY KRISSI WEISS