I have a huge confession. I had this interview done a while ago and have honestly been slacking a little bit when it comes to posting on my blog. There are reasons for that, but none worth really reporting; plus, you know what happens when you make excuses - you make an ass out of u and me. So, first and foremost, sorry Kate and the rest of Big Eyes for taking so long.
And that's not even the worst part. Kate and I had done a phone interview but I seemingly did not hit the red record button (talk about amateur!) and we lost a great conversation. But Kate was really gracious and helped me out with an e-mail interview that covers a lot of the topics that we originally discussed. I'm really grateful to her for helping me out because I know it was a hassle.
Anyway, Big Eyes are a rock n' roll band that has some of the best vocal melodies I've ever heard. Kate has completely mastered the domination of a song. Her guitar work is impeccable even while the rest of the band sounds confident (and even moreso on their newest record Almost Famous). Where the background leaves off, Kate takes over and creates some absolutely dynamite songs. Between down-to-earth lyricism and a truth-be-told delivery, Kate has it all for a vocalist. Kate is truly a special songwriter that takes honesty to a really intimate level, as her lyrics have gotten even more blatantly poignant throughout her career.
To put it simply, I have never heard a Big Eyes song that I wasn't in love with. Big Eyes do punk and pop and rock n' roll well. It's impressive for such a young band. Then again, the band has released a lot of material in their brief career and toured a staggering amount, including a joint-venture with Mean Jeans last summer and Audacity as well.
This band is going places and I strongly recommend checking out their FACEBOOK and buying their new record on GRAVE MISTAKE
Jordan: Who all is in Big Eyes? How did you guys get started? How did you all know each other?
Kate: My name is Kate Eldridge and I play guitar and sing. Chris Costalupes plays bass. Dillan Lazzareschi plays drums. Big Eyes originally started in NY with a completely different lineup (other than myself). In late 2009 I recorded a handful of songs on my laptop, I showed the guys I originally had playing with me the songs and we became a live band. I relocated Big Eyes out here in Seattle in September 2011 with our original drummer, CJ Frederick, but due to health issues he became unable to continue playing with us, and we recruited Dillan.
J: What all have you guys released?
K: Our first 7" came out in early 2010. We released a 7" single ("Why Can't I" b/w "Your Lies") and an LP ("Hard Life") on Don Giovanni in 2011. Grave Mistake released our "Back From The Moon" 7" single in 2012. We have 2 splits, one with Audacity on Volar Records and one with Mean Jeans on Dirtnap Records. Our new LP "Almost Famous" will be released on May 14th on Don Giovanni.
J: You guys now live in Seattle, but I know you were originally from New York. What has the change been like?
K: It's so much easier to have a band out here! New York is really expensive. Our practice space rent is really cheap, van insurance, etc. It's mellower out here too. People aren't as high strung. I don't have to work as much as I did in NY because my house rent is so cheap, so I can spend more time focusing on the band.
J: How has it been being on a label that generally puts out hardcore records when you all play such a different style of music? Clearly it's punk-influenced but there's a lot of pop-sensibility in your songs too.
K: It's been really cool, even though there's some major differences with us and the rest of bands on the label, I think it's a perfect fit. We have a pretty straight forward vibe, and so does that label. No frills kind of shit.
J: What ideas, bands, events would you say influence the songs you write?
K: Most of my songs are about anger, sadness, heartbreak, dark thoughts. I'm influenced by the people around me and day to day minutia. I can be a very angry and emotional person, so I try to use Big Eyes as an outlet to vent all those negative thoughts and feelings.
J: What was the process of touring and making the split 7" with Mean Jeans? That band rocks! Any good stories?
K: Mean Jeans rule. We immediately hit it off with those dudes when we first met them back in the fall of 2011. We were both planning on touring down to Awesome Fest in late August 2012 so we decided to save some gas money and all pile in to one van. The shows were all awesome! We decided to put out a split together where we covered one of each others songs, cause we are all big fans of each others bands. Great guys, great times!
J: How has the recording and songwriting behind your upcoming album been different from the stuff that you all have done before? Would you say your songwriting has matured or you've become more comfortable writing songs?
K: We put more thought and effort into the recording of this record and I think it shows! It has a much fuller sound than our first LP. I've been told that this new LP has a "darker" vibe than our earlier stuff. Lyrics for my songs have gotten so much longer than our first few songs. There's more complex changes and ideas in the songs as well. I would say my song writing has been maturing :)
J: Do you guys have any plans to tour after releasing your next album? Any specifics you can talk about?
K: We are heading out on a 4 week tour to the Northeast in late May. Really excited for this tour! Some great shows. We are playing with our buddies/Grave Mistake labelmates Night Birds in Washington DC and Richmond. Playing with our buddies/Don Giovanni labelmates Shellshag in Brooklyn. Really looking forward to our Northeastern Canadian shows! We always have a blast up there. Hitting a handful of Canadian cities we've never been to on the way home as well (Winnipeg, Regina, Calgary). This is gonna be a good one. Official dates will be released soon.
J: What are some bands that you like playing with or that you currently like to listen to?
K: There's some really awesome bands that are around right now! Audacity, Mean Jeans, Flesh Lights, Criminal Code, Swearin', The Shivas, Guantanamo Baywatch, La Luz, obviously there's more but those are the first ones I could think of.
J: What else do you see as being in the future of Big Eyes?
K: We take whatever comes our way. Our new LP comes out on May 14th, 2013 on Grave Mistake Records. We have been getting asked to play some really rad shows lately! More interviews and write ups. Things have been getting better and better! We are going to Europe in October, very excited for that. We will be working on lots of new songs and we are always keeping ourselves super busy.
J: Anything else you'd like to say?