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Life & Work with Veronica Wirges

Today we’d like to introduce you to Veronica Wirges.

Veronica, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
When I first met my husband, I had stopped playing music for almost a decade. One of the most wonderful things about him is how he writes music out of thin air. As a person that had always needed sheet music, this was quite the magic trick. For the first 10 years of our marriage, I was the supportive wife that loved to hear my little songbird perform in whatever project he was currently in.

When Chris found himself without a project, we took a trip to Nashville to find a partner he could work with that would pull him in a new direction and challenge his rocker mindset. A radio station was giving away tickets to Bonnaroo at one of the songwriter showcases we attended, we left without any solid prospects but with a set of tickets to the festival.

At Bonnaroo, we came across the band, Goldfish. I brought up that a classically trained musician might be an interesting fit as it would bring in ideas outside of the blues, punk, and rock background he had thrived in for so long. He mused about how he really liked how the saxophone was placed in the songs. On the following day of the festival, Chris’s music was discovered by a young woman who was writing an article for MTV.com.

When she included us in the article about the Bonnaroo experience she talked about a husband and wife team vying for a spot in the pop market. Which we thought was an odd detail, as I was behind the scenes handling things like bookings and contracts, and most fans knew little of me. At the end of the day, it was amazing to have MTV’s blessing on the new material, so we launched him as a solo artist.

Six months later, we were contacted to play a party in Austin during SXSW. They wanted to book the husband and wife duo featured in the MTV article for the night they were featuring projects with female musicians. Not wanting to give up the opportunity to get into Austin, I accepted the booking and dusted off my baritone saxophone which had been in storage for almost 20 years. We practiced every day and wrote my parts to the 20-minute set for the next six weeks. I even wrote a part the day before the gig.

The party was an absolute blast, and we started gaining new fans from that first performance. Bringing me back to playing music and teaching me how to write my own material has been the single best gift I have ever been given. Chris sings and plays all things rock in our project, guitar, bass, keys, and programs the drums.

I provide my eclectic assortment of instruments I picked up along the way including a 1920s bass saxophone and kalimba. Looking back I have to laugh about how I was right next to him trying to help him find his partner in music. I had just never dreamed that I was capable of picking back up my instrument after that long.

Over the last few years, we have gone from busking and playing covers in coffee shops to festival stages, music conferences, and establishing Nashville as our second home. We look forward to the slew of bookings introducing us to the Texas markets and our next appearance at The Basement in Nashville on August 30th.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
It has been quite the game of catch-up for me returning back to music. I have had to learn a whole new language in music, as I have always relied on sheet music.

Learning how to play by ear so I could communicate with my creative partner was not without its learning curve. I still have my phone with my shorthand notes in front of me at most shows. It’s an element that I carry over from having sheet music at recitals.

Our entire journey has been a combination of frantically working to be ready for the once-in-a-lifetime amazing opportunity that happened to land in our lap. We are getting used to feeling like we are in a Douglas Adams novel and at this point just roll with it.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
We are addicted to new sounds, and actively search for them everywhere.

Chris travels around with a specialized portable recording kit to capture unusual sounds in the wild. He catalogs them in these huge banks he builds for later use. They are often snipped, stretched, and manipulated to create curious textures of percussive elements that we build songs around.

Because of this love for sound, we have a hard time saying no to new instruments, and the odder the better!

We have in our studio a selection of vintage instruments such as a 1920s bass saxophone and a 1930s Silvertone accordion, along with an assortment of plug-ins that mimic iconic instruments we don’t have the budget or space to store. Some of our current favorites are the Wurlitzer, Prophet, and Mellotron.

So, before we go, how can our readers or others connect or collaborate with you? How can they support you?
As far as listeners, add us to your streaming services, come to our shows and share our music with your friends.

The more attention and people we get in front of, the more experiences we have to write from. We have a place on our website to sign up for updates; we will text you about upcoming shows in your area!

If you work in music – we are always looking for opportunities to share our music and work in new directions. We have collaborated with other artists, written music for podcasts, and even reworked popular songs in our style.

Contacting us via email or social media is the best way to reach out. We are currently looking for sync agents and live gigs, but some of the coolest things we have done have come out of the left field.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Brian Chilson, Nelson Chenault, Shawnee C, Joanna Benson, Arabelle Elizabeth Photography, and Veronica Wirges

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