Ex-Veruca Salt Leaders Branch Out With New LPs

Nina Gordon and former partner Louise Post are hard at work on their first solo records.

Five months after Veruca Salt singer/guitarist Nina Gordon left the hard-pop Chicago quartet, both she and former bandmate Louise Post are preparing to record new albums.

Gordon, 30, who unexpectedly quit the group -- best known for the 1994 hit "Seether" (RealAudio excerpt) -- in March of this year, is in Boston preparing to record her solo debut with former Letters to Cleo drummer Stacy Jones, according to Geffen Records publicist Dennis Dennehy. Jones was the former drummer for Veruca Salt, replacing Gordon's brother, Jim Shapiro, in 1996.

Dennehy said Gordon also is using Letters bassist Scott Riebling and guitarist Michael Eisenstein for the demos. Gordon's debut is expected to be released on Outpost in early 1999.

Meanwhile, Post also is preparing to record a new album, although it is still undecided whether she will continue on with the Veruca Salt name. "From what I heard, Louise [Post] is working on songs with [former Filter member] Brian [Liesegang] in Chicago, and the plan is to record an album this year," Dennehy said. Among the additional musicians who Dennehy said are rumored to be sitting in on the project are former Triple Fast Action bassist Kevin Tihista and a new drummer known only as "Tasty Jimmy."

In the wake of Gordon's departure, Veruca Salt's label, DGC Records, issued a brief statement confirming the split. "At this point, the future of the group remains uncertain," read the announcement, which Dennehy said still holds true.

Gordon first joined forces with guitarist/singer Post in 1993. For six months, the pair forged a pop-rock sound in Post's living room, teaching one another songs they had each been working on separately for years. They came to describe themselves as "musical soulmates." Soon, they were joined by Shapiro on drums and bassist Steve Lack.

Veruca Salt (named for a character in the classic children's book "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory") first came to national prominence in late 1994, after word-of-mouth adulation for their Brad Wood-produced indie debut, American Thighs, prompted DGC to sign the band and re-release the album. They took full flight after the Gordon-penned "Seether" gained wide exposure on MTV.

Following Gordon's departure from the band, Veruca Salt co-manager Cliff Burnstein said the time had come for her to concentrate on recording her own songs.

"It's tough having a band with two people who act as equals but who don't co-write the songs," Burnstein said, speculating on what might have inspired Gordon to leave the group after five years and two albums, the final being 1997's Eight Arms to Hold You, produced by Bob Rock (Metallica).

"They would each bring their own songs to the band," Burnstein said. "And they both write very different songs. They're two different people. I can't speak for her, but I think Nina [Gordon] decided she wanted to solely pursue her own vision."