Jessica and Lisa Origliasso have been working on The Veronicas for their whole lives. The identical twins developed a love for music and performance many years before The Veronicas became a commercial concern.
The sisters grew up in Brisbane, the children of Joseph and Colleen Origliasso, both of whom were devoted music fans. “Mum and dad started taking us to live shows from as early as we can remember,” says Jess Origliasso, who’s speaking to Rolling Stone Australia ahead of The Veronicas intimate performance in Melbourne for the Jim Beam Welcome Sessions.
Joseph Origliasso played guitar and keyboards in various Brisbane bands in the 1970s and ’80s. Following his lead, Jess and Lisa started writing their own material around the age of 12. They’ve always understood music as something to be shared.
“We were playing [our songs] at all the local festivals, pubs, clubs, charity events and nursing homes,” says Lisa. “We loved giving back to the community and meeting other writers and artists we could collaborate with and learn from.”
When they were 17, the Origliassos sent a demo tape to a local publisher, which landed them songwriting credits on singles by Australian Idol winners Casey Donovan and Kate DeAraugo and Russian pop duo t.A.T.u.
A few years later, the Origliassos formed The Veronicas and signed a global deal with Sire Records. Their debut album, The Secret Life Of…, came out in 2005. The Veronicas remain world-famous celebrities 17 years later, and their latest couple of LPs, 2021’s Godzilla and Human, both charted in the ARIA top ten.
The twins’ core ambitions haven’t changed much in the interim, however. “We have first and foremost always made it about writing the best songs we can,” says Jess. “We grew up with a vast appreciation for all types of music from our parents, so we never limited ourselves in our musical exploration or was afraid of doing something completely different from what everyone else was doing.”
The Veronicas are performing a one-off show at The Hop Bar at Beer DeLuxe in Melbourne’s Federation Square for the Jim Beam Welcome Sessions. It’s a precursor to the duo’s appearances at various major spring and summer festivals, and it’s a rare opportunity to see the Veronicas in such an intimate setting, celebrating music’s unrivalled power to bring people together.
“Connecting with the crowd in that kind of setting is always unforgettable,” Lisa says. “Seeing every person’s eyes in the room and the wildly charged exchange of energy is the best feeling in the world. And the show is always so much more unpredictable and exciting.”
The Veronicas have released five studio albums over the past 17 years. Along the way, they’ve amassed a bucketload of hit singles, including “4ever” (from The Secret Life Of…), “Untouched” (from Hook Me Up, 2007), “In My Blood” (from Godzilla) and “On Your Side” (from Human).
They’ve performed songs like “4ever” and “Untouched” countless times, in theatres and arenas, on television programs and at sporting events. But they’ve maintained a deep appreciation for these songs’ power to transport both performers and audiences.
“Songs are just a moment in time immortalised forever through music,” says Jess. “Even if we have moved on from that place, we are still grateful for the connection it has with us and with those listening and singing along.”
“Music can be so healing,” adds Lisa, looking ahead to the Jim Beam Welcome Sessions performance. “It has done that for us over our lifetime. We would have been writing and singing songs regardless of who’s listening, so the fact it could move someone to feel something is truly the greatest honour as artists.”
The Veronicas’ connection with their fanbase has blossomed as their career has progressed. The Origliassos now have fans across various subcultures, far beyond the pop mainstream, and have performed at music festivals specialising in EDM, pop, indie, metal and hip hop.
The Veronicas recently became independent artists, and they have zero intention of slowing down. “The possibilities of where we go next are exciting,” says Jess. “As always with us, you can expect the unexpected.”