Members Of Veruca Salt, Letters To Cleo, Fig Dish Form New Bands

With Veruca Salt in transition, Letters to Cleo on a bit of a breather and Fig Dish on what may be a permanent hiatus, various grouping of those three somewhat incestuous bands are working on new projects.

Former Veruca Salt and Letters To Cleo drummer Stacy Jones has moved up front with his new band, BMX Girl, which has signed a reportedly 'substantial' deal with Geffen Records. Fig Dish's Brian Nolan is manning the drums.

The group is currently rehearsing in Maui where Jones is also working with former Veruca Salt alumni Nina Gordon on the latter's new solo project which is just wrapping up with producer Bob Rock. Although the location of the rehearsals led to speculation that Rock may also be at the controls when BMX Girl record, a spokesperson for Geffen says the band is considering a number of producers, and that Rock's participation at this stage is unlikely.

Jones apparently plans on concentrating heavily on BMX Girl but will continue to play with Gordon. One likely

scenario has both groups touring together with Jones doing double duty.

Also possible for Gordon's touring band are Jones' former Letters to Cleo bandmates Scott Riebling and Mike Eisenstein on bass and guitar respectively, seeing as both played on Gordon's album. Sources close to Letters to Cleo report that while it's possible that Eisenstein and Riebling will tour with Gordon, their involvement has not been confirmed. They also confirm that Letters to Cleo singer Kay Hadley is pregnant.

When Jones initially took a now-permanent leave of absence from Letters to Cleo to join the ill-fated Veruca Salt duo of Nina Gordon and Louise Post, he became close to Gordon, who at the time had a now-defunct longterm relationship with Fig Dish frontman Blake Smith. Smith is now recovering from a bad year. Aside from splitting up with Gordon and seeing Fig Dish lose their label -- sensing the impending doom, the band negotiated their release from A&M Records last fall -- he underwent surgery

for shoulder problems that left him unable to play the guitar for months, developed mono, and almost died from an allergic reaction to penicillin.

Currently on the Fig Dish front, bassist Michael Willison reports that he and the aforementioned Smith have been working on new material, and may debut it as soon as the SXSW convention in Austin next month, possibly under the band name 'Caviar.' Willison has also been playing with the band Made To Fade.