Roxanne Clifford Interviews Eugene Kelly

Veronica Falls meet The Vaselines

Two artists, one conversation. Personality Clash: bringing like minds together since 2004.

The Vaselines’ Eugene Kelly met up with Veronica Falls’ Roxanne Clifford through the wire to chat comebacks, The Vaselines’ new LP ‘Sex With An X’, relationships and everything in between…

The Vaselines – Eugene Kelly

The Vaselines may have released just two albums since their 1986 inception, but the legacy of the Glasgwegians’ music is unquestionable. Championed by the one and only Kurt Cobain, Eugene, Frances and co. have inspired a steady stream of jangly lo-fi enthusiasts to follow suit. in my front room and we played each other the songs we had.

Veronica Falls – Roxanne Clifford

London-based four-piece Veronica Falls have experienced the first hand benefits of Glasgow’s rich musical history and channel that typical ’80s indie-pop sound into their sweet C86-style pop. Hardly surprising then that they cite The Vaselines amongst their biggest influences…

Roxanne: So how’s the tour going?
Eugene: We’re still on the road; we’ve done about five shows now. It’s going well, we’ve got a new line-up so we’ve been trying to find our feet for the first couple of shows and get the balance going.

Roxanne: Has it been nerve-wracking getting out there and performing again?
Eugene: Yes, definitely. We haven’t played for a year-and-a-half, so even though we’ve rehearsed a lot it took me a couple of shows to really focus myself, get the lyrics properly in my head and the guitar solos right.

Roxanne: How have people responded to your new album?
Eugene: I think everyone’s getting it. We’ve been playing lots of new stuff and lots of old stuff at the shows so it’s hard to say because I think at a lot of the shows in England people are only seeing us play for the first time and want to hear old stuff.

Roxanne: Why do you feel that this was a good time to get back together and start writing songs together?
Eugene: When The Vaselines broke up we weren’t even interested in reforming because we were both doing our own stuff and it would have felt a bit like we were cashing in then if we got the band back together when we weren’t getting on.

Roxanne: So did you not get on for a while?
Eugene: After we split up we weren’t friends for a couple of years but then we started to get to know each other again and became friends. We did a charity show a couple of years ago and I thought this would be our one chance to get The Vaselines back together, so we played with the full band and just really liked it. Up until that point I hadn’t really thought about being in The Vaselines again, but it just felt right and the timing was perfect.

Roxanne: Was it weird writing songs together again after so long?
Eugene: No, not at all. Once we decided to write we met up in my front room and we played
each other the songs we had.

Roxanne: Is that how it works then, you each have an idea and then you work on it together?
Eugene: Each one of us comes with a bit of an idea and a song and then we get in my front room and write all the lyrics together. That was great fun and the best part of it. When we split up I thought we would never be able to write together again because our songwriting was born from our relationship. But we started writing together a couple of years ago and it seems like it’s a really natural thing to do and we could really communicate and have fun with it.

Roxanne: I watched the video that you have on your website. It’s really funny. Why is Frances fixing a car, is she an amateur mechanic?
Eugene: We just thought it would be quite funny to get her doing something conventionally macho and to get me doing something conventionally feminine…

Roxanne: So have you always lived in Glasgow then?
Eugene: I’ve always wanted to leave but things have always kept me here. I’ve always made music and I’ve always gone on tour a lot. I’ve never had the chance to go somewhere but I guess I’m getting too old to move now anyway. Where are you living at the moment?
Roxanne: London

Eugene: How do you think Glasgow compares to London then?
Roxanne: I think it’s a lot easier being a musician in Glasgow, in terms of practising, etc. Everyone is a bit more laidback about it, less pretentious.
Eugene: Yeah, the music scene is really small and everyone seems to know each other and what everyone is doing and it can all get a bit too much, so I don’t really hang about in Glasgow anymore. I’m a bit past it all.
Roxanne: Exactly. All the things you loved about it at the beginning start to turn in on themselves. But I went up recently and had a really nice drink in the West End and I really miss all those amazing tenement flats, as you can’t get them in London. But maybe I will move back there one day…

Words by April Welsh

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