Local musician Veronica Bianqui has been kicking around the Los Angeles music scene for some time now and chances are you’ve spotted her singing back up vocals for mystic rock and rollers Isaac Rother & The Phantoms or playing guitar on the road for indie psych outfit The Blank Tapes. Maybe you even caught one of her must-see performances at Echo Park Rising this year. If she isn’t already on your radar she should be now.
The talented songstress premieres the single “If Love’s A Gun, I’m Better Off Dead,” today, from her forthcoming EP of the same name which is due out later this year (stay tuned to her Facebook page for details). It’s one of the catchiest and most bitchin’ tunes I’ve come across so far this Summer. The song pops with a bright guitar riff and playful keys, coupled with a bubbly surf-inspired beat that keeps you dancing and bopping your head throughout. Bianqui boldly sings, “If love’s a gun, you’re my trigger babe, if love’s a gun, I’m better off dead,” and towards the end of the song, light harmonies provide a pleasant backdrop for the main vocals to standout and shine. You can stream the song below and support by purchasing it via Bandcamp.
We chatted with Veronica Bianqui to get the low down on the solo EP recording experience, her upcoming September Harvard & Stone Residency (presented by Grimy Goods), Amy Winehouse and more. Read on!
GG: You’re scheduled to release a new solo EP, “If Love’s A Gun, I’m Better Off Dead,” soon and previously you’ve sung back up for Isaac Rother & The Phantoms and have played guitar as a touring member of The Blank Tapes. Tell us about the difference of playing/recording in other bands vs. writing/recording your own material.
VB: I also used to be in Jail Weddings. Shout out! I find each to be fun but nothing beats sharing your own creations with people. Playing others’ music, though, is an important part of being a musician; forces you to play differently or outside your comfort zone. Writing and recording my own material is more spiritual for me. It’s a catharsis and an exploration of myself. It’s also a lot more work to run a band!
GG: In three words, please describe your forthcoming EP.
VB: Soulful, catchy, honest.
GG: Grimy Goods is co-presenting your upcoming Harvard & Stone residency, every Tuesday in September. What about it are you looking forward to the most?
VB: Knockin’ people dead! I’ve been on the scene for a while but most people have yet to hear me, since I’ve never released anything and I rarely play. That’s changing now. My musical friends have inspired me so much that I’m excited to finally step out and join the club properly. I’m also super excited to be playing with horns in my band for the first time! They’ll be joining me for some of the shows.
GG: Tell us about your process for choosing other bands to join you for the residency. Also, who are some of your favorite local bands and why do you dig them?
VB: I wanted all the bands to be friends of mine who I know are badass performers. That’s basically it. Favorite local band would be Joel Jerome! His music is just so well crafted and his live performances are so moving and awesome! Kera and the Lesbians. Kera is a TERRIFIC performer – you can’t take your eyes off her. And Ty Segall! He still counts as local, right? I can watch him play forever. His music gives me that sort of invincible, euphoric feeling that I get when I know something is just otherworldly. I love him. But I run into him a lot at shows and bars and I feel like an accidental stalker. I just say hi and run away.
GG: What’s the most memorable show(s) you’ve played? Tell us the good, the band and/or ugly.
VB: Playing Austin Psych Fest with The Blank Tapes. I had gone to the festival for the first time the year before and I knew I wanted to play there one day. It’s my favorite festival! A year later, we got to play main stage to a crowd of a few thousand. It felt great being up there.
GG: Your incredibly catchy single, “If Love’s A Gun, I’m Better Off Dead,” gives off some ’60s girl group vibes. Do you have a favorite throwback song or artist from that era?
VB: Of course all the Phil Spector produced stuff. The past couple years I’ve gotten really into ’60s French Pop. Love that stuff. Sometimes I tend to be influenced by overall production sounds, rather than by individual artists. It’s a bit abstract for me.
GG: I also heard through the grapevine (aka Facebook) that you’re a fan of Amy Winehouse. In what ways has her music and life influenced you? How would you rate the “Amy” documentary?
VB: She was my favorite! I got to meet her once in a pub in Camden. Shared the dance floor with her. Tiny woman, big head! Never got to see her live, though I tried. Dressed up as her for Halloween one year in college and spoke in an English accent all day and night – never breaking character (some friends might argue that I still speak in an English accent, especially when I drink). I’m a fan of artists who have raw emotion in their sound, she had that. Just because something is well produced doesn’t mean it can’t still be raw. That’s the boundary I want to straddle with my music: raw, garage-y pop. ’60s girl groups also had that going for them.
I highly recommend the documentary, especially for musicians. You come out respecting her even more as an artist but you also come out of it angry. I appreciated how much they highlighted her talents and didn’t glamorized dying young, like a lot of media tends to do with artists who died before their time. It’s not cool, stop acting like it’s cool.
Interview feature by Emily Saex
Stream the single, “If Love’s A Gun, I’m Better Off Dead,” below.
Veronica Bianqui’s If Love’s A Gun, I’m Better Off Dead EP Track Listing:
Don’t Love Me Blue
I Want To Tell You
If Love’s A Gun, I’m Better Off Dead
Veronica Bianqui’s Harvard & Stone Residency Lineup — Presented by Grimy Goods
September 1 – Co-Presented by Pizza Party Music
w/ Joel Jerome, Triptides, DJ DM Collins
September 8 – Co-Presented by Lo-Pie
w/ Rudy De Anda, Vox Waves, Lo-Pie DJs
September 15 – Co-Presented by Lolipop Records
w/ Electric Magpie, Lolipop DJs, Special Secret Guest
w/ The Pesos, Shannon Lay (of Feels), Jesus Sons DJ
w/ Prettiest Eyes, People Talk (Members of Sex Stains, Redd Kross), DJ Roger Mars (Cretin Hop/Green Slime)