|ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
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Veruca Salt not so bratty
Louise Post on life after Nina Gordon
By Matt Pearson
"She was a little brat," laughs Louise Post, lead singer and mastermind of Veruca Salt, on naming the band after a Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory character. "We didn't choose our name based on her character, but as it turned out, we have very much personified that little girl."
Eight years after forming the group in Chicago, 33-year old Post has returned with a new album, a new band and a new perspective. After getting her start in St. Louis, she went to school in New York, but was eventually drawn to Chicago in order to join a theatre company run by actor John Cusack.
Although she enjoyed her experiences in theatre, Post soon found her true calling when she co-founded Veruca Salt with Nina Gordon. Although the band achieved modest success with two critically acclaimed albums, constant battling between Post and Gordon, forced them to part ways in 1998.
Of her former partner, Post speaks with a reserved sincerity. "I will always love and respect her, no matter what state our friendship is in. She created the band with me and she has taught me so much about growing up in the world of the industry," she offers.
Despite the troubled waters, Post remains optimistic about what the break-up has given her in the long run. "Nina and my breaking up and my continuing on with Veruca Salt and making this record, has been another level of emancipation," she says. "It has been incredible to take the reins of my own career and not have anyone else scrutinizing what I do. In the past, Nina and I were always on a see-saw and now it's all me."
On her own, Post has become quite prolific. After compiling over thirty songs, she chose 13 for the band's latest release, Resolver. In many ways, the album is a catharsis. "I have a connection with my guitar that let's me purge any uncomfortable inner anxiety or sadness or anger. A lot of the record is about dealing with the idea of loss and becoming an adult and realizing that it wasn't as peachy as I thought it was gonna be. For me, it's a rite of passage record."
Throughout her career, Post has worked with a number of different producers, including the famed Bob Rock and most recently, Brain Liesegang. After completing the band's second album, Post found herself longing for the intimate and charming sound of their first record. Since that time, she has worked tirelessly to bring that feeling back.
"We made the most majestic rock record we could make with the intimacy that was inherent in my songs and in my voice," Post adds. As a producer, she has earned a name for herself in her own right. She spent last fall producing an album for the Chicago band Rockit Girl. While she admits that she may return to producing in the future, she will never allow someone else to have total control over the final product.
When it comes to the business side of the game, Post is a savvy, experienced player. With two world tours, three full-length albums and an enormous amount of firsthand learning under her belt, she feels confident about her place in the industry. Still, she realizes that all of this has made her a control freak. "I feel like, if I don't do it, it won't get done right," she explains.
Currently, the band's tour will bring them to Ontario and Quebec. Later in the fall, they will hit the road again, crossing Western Canada and moving to the West Coast of the United States. Over the years, life on the road has grown on Post, but she still gets homesick. "I love being out there and letting the shows take on a life of their own, but I miss my cats," she admits.
As the band continue to gel, Post seems to have come full circle. There was a significant amount of success, followed by a crushing separation that has since been resolved with a solid new album. As Post laughs, "We're a very happy family right now. With every show, we just get tighter."