‘Off-stage we are very vulnerable people’
THE Veronicas Jessica and Lisa Origliasso have opened up about the pull to return home to Queensland after a tumultuous two years - including their personal heartache over their mother Colleen's dementia diagnosis - rekindled their family bond.
The 34-year-old twin sisters moved into their $695,000 rural Queensland retreat four months ago with a goal to "ground back down", raise a family together and spend as much time as possible with their mother, 71, who requires full-time care following her diagnosis with Lewy body dementia early last year.
"We are obviously very protective of her," Jessica says.
"She's a very strong woman.
"Every day she shows her strength of just being the great mum that we know she is and we are just so proud of her and proud to be her daughters."
Colleen's illness, after years of confusing misdiagnosis, came at a difficult time for the then Los Angeles-based duo - Jessica's on-and-off relationship with actor Ruby Rose had ended bitterly and she was mending the rift it had caused between her and Lisa.
The sisters - who credit their mother's love of music and father, Joseph, who was in a band when they were growing up in Albany Creek, on Brisbane's northside, for their 15-year career in music - postponed their forthcoming album when their mother fell ill to be with their parents in Brisbane.
They began searching for a property shortly after, settling on their dream home, the location of which they asked be kept private, this year, where they could leave their glittery Veronicas "alter egos" at the door.
"I think people are familiar with us being really strong businesswomen. We have very strong alter egos on stage as The Veronicas. We are quite sassy," Jessica says.
"But then off-stage as Lisa and Jessica it's a different thing. We are very vulnerable people.
"We are very sensitive, we care a lot about what each other thinks of each other, and loving each other and getting through the difficult things that people have to go through in life, like things with our mum and navigating relationships and moving into a house together.
"It's just somewhat of an unnatural way of living when you're with someone 24/7 like that … but we've really valued those uncomfortable times and those hard times and things that have tested us because it's allowed for us to have a more beautiful relationship now."
The sisters have knocked down all the walls of the home to renovate it, inspired by Lisa's Pinterest board and her American actor husband Logan Huffman's frequent trips to their nearby Bunnings.
Jessica's partner Kai Carlton, who popped the question last week after a year of dating, lives there too when he's visiting from Los Angeles.
They are growing a forest garden with fruit trees, which will be watered by the run off from their showers, hooked up to water tanks, so that they can one day live completely off the grid.
Lisa is currently waking Jessica at all hours of the night to use her sister's en suite while her bedroom is under construction, or sneaking in with Huffman to steal cuddles from Jessica's new rescue dog, Bug, a labrador dachshund cross.
"We want this home to feel like a sanctuary for us to raise a family, to continue to grow as family, to do the right thing by the earth, to ground back down, to live off the land, we want to move into solar and be completely self-sustainable and off-grid," says Lisa, who admits she recently had a "liberating" shower outside in a thunderstorm.
"Then we only have to deal with each other."
The pair's new MTV show will give viewers an insight into the pair's upbringing and family life. Picture: Supplied
It was family, too, that helped them move on from their recent spat with Qantas, during which they threatened legal action against the airline after they were booted off a Brisbane-bound flight having been dubbed a security risk after Lisa struggled to place her baggage in the overhead bin.
"There's too much else going on in our lives. When you're faced with the kind of heartache that we've been going through on a more intimate family level you don't have time for that," Lisa says.
"So even though it was a very upsetting time to see your character assassinated in the media, at the end of the day, the people who matter the most know, anyone who has ever met us they have such a good sense of our character and our integrity, so really it was just noise."
The sisters allowed cameras to follow their lives over the last six months for MTV reality series The Veronicas: Blood is For Life, which premieres tomorrow.
They were initially shopping the idea of a DIY renovation show when they ended up in the same room as MTV Australia by chance.
"This show does sort of follow our journey back home," Jessica says.
"It's a little bit more Osbournes than DIY renovation, but we absolutely have had the best time filming this."
"It was about letting the cameras continue to roll and see what happens when we come off stage and the cameras are usually off and it's very much our humanness."
Their family will feature in the show, as much as they felt comfortable.
"We've given access to a little bit of what our day to day looks like with our mummy," Jessica says.
"Daddy was always such a great supporter of ours from the very beginning and obviously just watching our career take off the way it has and also the fact that people might get a little bit more of an insight into who we are in the way that he knows us, I think he's very proud."
But Lisa said the sisters never expected to be branded "good girl heroes" from the show.
"At the end of the day we are very real, we are very human in this. We have ugly moments just as much as we have glamorous or vulnerable, sweet moments, so they are going to get the reality of what it is to be human," she said.
"They are not going to get some edited version of these do goodie girls from Australia. It's not who we are."
After the two-year postponement, The Veronicas will get back to what they know best, putting out their next album this summer.