Life is all about balance. At least that’s what Veronica Bianqui is all about when it comes to her song constructions. Whether with The Blank Tapes or on her own, she’s always got some balancing act to work on.
We talked about her time split between being in a band and on her own and what she’s learned from the varying experiences, and she noted, “If anything, being in bands has taught me different ways to not let obstacles hold me back—it’s taught me more about how to deal with other people, including how to play with others and how to write songs with a band in mind. And with a band containing 9 members, such as mine that’s important!”
Open and honest, Veronica also opened up about her cornucopia of sound, her new single “Victim” and even made a mixtape for one of the most famous names in music along the way.
Kendra: Perhaps you do, perhaps you don’t, but you did say that when you came home from London you definitely felt like a new artist? Was there an experience that happened, a person you met, a song you heard…what was it about that trip that led to that change?
Veronica: It was so long ago now that it’s hard to say for sure. But living out there definitely gave me a new lease on life. Walking around the city and the musicians I hung out with I’m sure have influenced my songwriting and the images I pick.
Kendra: Let’s talk about your sound because it’s quite the unique one. You have this cool DIY garage feel, but drop in with harmonies like you’re rocking a beehive in the 60’s. When you write, how do you balance all of those sounds without it sounding like an overcrowded mess?
Veronica: Good question! I go based on instincts. I can just feel when there needs to be a harmony or an extra layer somewhere, or if there needs to be one taken away. Like the horns on “Ahh, Paris” weren’t originally a part of the song. But I kept hearing some sort of horn section in there and needed to put one in. Of course my buddy Matt Adams helps me fine tune as well through the demoing process.
Kendra: Thinking back. Do you remember the exact moment “Victim” came to mind? I’ve always wondered that, do artists remember every detail of when they wrote a song because it’s kind of like creating a life in a way.
Veronica: Well, I was reading a book about codependency called Codependent No More and having all these epiphanies about why I felt pain about certain things, or why I repeated certain harmful patterns in my life. I decided to write an album about my growth through discovering my codependent behaviors and overcoming them (I still haven’t completed that album…) I remember I came up with a riff that the chords are based off of, but I didn’t end up quite keeping that original riff. I had just started learning drums and recorded a drum part, and then the “oohs” came. I think I didn’t finish the song until much later when I wrote the chorus.
Kendra: I read you’re all about writing about the balance of life. Other than music, how do you balance the chaos that happens to enter your bubble?
Veronica: Well, I often don’t balance it! But when I do, it’s through meditation, exercise. I’ve done yoga for about 10 years, been doing Capoeira a lot recently, too. Really, it’s just about rolling with the punches, I suppose and keeping my eyes on my goals. When I do that, I feel in balance most of the time.
Kendra: So you’re in LA and you said you didn’t love it until you hated it. Please explain because I’ve been out here since ‘05 and I hate it but due to circumstances beyond my control I cannot leave for another couple years.
Veronica: I’m from here and I never wanted to stay here, I hated it for some reason. I wanted to escape. But then I found a great music community that has inspired me and has probably changed the course of my life more than anyone in the community might understand.
Kendra: Time to talk real quick about your selfie game because you’re more into the group shots. How much more fun is it to take a picture with friends than it is solo?
Veronica: Selfie’s all end up looking the same don’t they? Unless you can be creative with them, I guess. I guess I just haven’t thought about it too much.
Kendra: Well, we’re almost to the end here of this interview and 2017 as we know it. So what is on your calendar for the rest of the year?
Veronica: Planning a music video for “Victim,” meditating more, taking better care of myself, and touring in The Blank Tapes.
Kendra: We’re going to take it back right now. When you were 15 you gave Paul McCartney a CD of your songs. Now if you could have a redo and give him not only a mix of your music but a mixtape featuring songs by other artists to showcase how much he means to you – what songs would be on it?