The newest incarnation of ’90s alt-rock wonder Veruca Salt has the same members as the original foursome.
For its new album, the band enlisted the help of producer Brad Wood, who worked the boards for Veruca Salt’s debut album, “American Thighs.” The quartet even called on Tim Rutili, who directed the music video for the band’s biggest hit, “Seether,” to film the clip to accompany their new single “Laughing in the Sugar Bowl.”
But even after reassembling all the “old hands,” the band has made it clear that this is more than just a nostalgia act.
“As soon as we started playing together it just became clear that we weren’t finished, that we had more to say,” Nina Gordon, who founded the band with Louise Post, said.
amNewYork caught up with Gordon on the day of the band’s first show of this summer’s tour, a trek that comes to an end with tomorrow’s show at Webster Hall and Saturday’s show in Washington, D.C., to chat about bad breakups and happy reunions.
Did you ever think, after the bad blood when Veruca Salt split the first time, you’d be talking about a new record and a tour with this band?
No, I really didn’t. I honestly thought that door was completely closed. It’s still pretty shocking. But it also feels completely natural. We just kind of grew up and realized that what we had was so special, and Louise and I have a very unusual chemistry that doesn’t happen more than once.
Was there a specific moment when you felt like this reunion should happen?
The moment that things shifted for me was hearing that Mazzy Star was playing at Coachella after not playing together for 15 years, and it just struck me. Something came alive that had been totally dead. And I thought, “I want to play music with those guys again. I want to play music and sing with Louise.” It seemed possible. I emailed her and told her that — “Mazzy Star just played a show at Coachella after 15 years. Shouldn’t we?” And she said yeah. And we met up, seeing each other for the first time in 14 years. It was really intense.
Before this reunion, there hadn’t been a solo album from you since 2006’s “Bleeding Heart Graffiti.” Did you consider yourself retired?
When “Bleeding Heart Graffiti” came out, I was eight months pregnant with my first child. It was almost like I didn’t even notice that it had come out. I think both my record company and my managers were like, “Yeah, she’s off in Babyland. We’re not going to put too much into it.” All of a sudden, when my daughter was about two, I realized that the album had come out, and it didn’t even make a ripple. I put my heart, soul and guts into that album, recorded it twice, and I was really bummed out. I was bummed that everyone around me had dropped the ball and that I had dropped the ball. But I was eight months pregnant! I was on a different planet. And then I had another kid, and I was off in Mommyland. But I was always listening to music, always singing to them and playing guitar. Music was always a part of my life, but I wasn’t writing. And then occasionally someone would come to me ask if I wanted to write with some young artist, and I would do it, but I definitely never thought I would be in a band again, let alone this band. But I don’t know what I thought I was going to do. This part of me had been dormant for a really long time.
When you go back and listen to “American Thighs,” the band’s debut album, what do you hear?
We sound really young. We sound like babies to me. But it’s just pure. We were so protected from the music industry and all of the pressures that come along with making albums for labels and managers and fans. We were our own fans. I hear that sort of purity.
What would 2015 Nina Gordon tell 1998 Nina Gordon?
This [band] is precious. Yeah, you’re going through messed up stuff right now, but you can get through this. If someone had said, “You guys, just duke it out and get back to what you do” … we were in the middle of making our third album! It was all cut short. Maybe we could have taken a small hiatus, but definitely not this long. It’s just too special, and it feels too good to play music with these guys.
If you go: Veruca Salt performs Friday at 8 p.m. at Webster Hall, 125 E. 11th St., 212-353-1600, $25