среда, 28 марта 2012 г.

Interview with Kate Eldridge (Big Eyes)

Me: Hey! First of all, traditionally, introduce yourselves. Tell a brief history of the band, how you met each other and stuff.

Kate: My name is Kate Eldridge, and I sing and play guitar in the band Big Eyes.  Our drummer's name is CJ Frederick and our bass player's name is Chris CostalupesCJ was in the band from day one back when we started in October 2009, and Chris joined in September 2011 when we moved to the Northwest.  Big Eyes originally started in Brooklyn, NYCJ and I both grew up in the New York / New Jersey area of the US and we had previously played together in two bands, Used Kids and The Weird Fantasy BandChris was living in NY for a bit and one day he showed up with a friend of mine at the house I used to live at, The Boneyard, where we originally had band practice.  He loved the band from day one, and when we decided to relocate the band to Seattle, another place Chris had recently lived for a few months, I called Chris and asked if he wanted to join us.  And he did!  And I'm eternally grateful because Big Eyes feels like much more of a tight unit with him in it.
Me: You have a new single coming soon on Grave Mistake. Some info about it? Are there any changes from the previous stuff? As for me I equally and totally in love with both the first 7'' rough sounds and more poppy-oriented Hard Life songs!

Kate: We have a new 45rpm single coming out on Grave Mistake Records in early April.  The two songs on it are called "Back From the Moon" and "I Don't Care About Friday Night"  These two new songs are very pop-punk influenced.  I think they have similarities to both the first 7 inch and the LP, but are also different enough that hopefully some new people will like them as well.
Me: I’m very interesting in ways that bands name their records. I really enjoy the laconic and snazzy title of your debut. How quickly you came to it? Any others titled discussed?

Kate: We overheard someone having a conversation and they used the term "Hard Life" to describe their life.  We thought it was very over-dramatic and it became a joke within the band.  We thought it was a perfect title for the LP, and we didn't really have any other titles we were seriously considering until we heard that phrase. 

Me:  How it was to work on Hard Life? Are you satisfied with the final result?

Kate: Most of the tracking for Hard Life was done in the middle of the night.  Our friend Dave (who owns/runs MacroSound Studios in Union, NJ) let us record there when the studio was empty.  Because of the time constraints it was a bit stressful to record, but since we were working with no budget I think we made the most out of what we had in front of us.  There a few things I would change at this point, but overall I think we are all satisfied with how it came out.

Me: Hard Life tour is over. What interesting things/stories were happened across the road? Tell about tour life of Big Eyes. What things to be liked or hated about tour for you?

Kate: Since Chris joined the band, we have been touring more than ever.  Since we are on tour so much these days, we try to make an effort to keep ourselves happy and healthy on the road.  We work hard, play hard and try to keep off each others nerves.  We try to check out interesting "roadside attractions" and things like that on tour to change things up a bit.  In November we climbed a mountain in Arizona and the view was amazing, there were cacti everywhere.  We also try to eat the local food everywhere we go, which involves trying a lot of new things. Chris got an alligator po-boy in Louisiana that we all tried and it tasted amazing.  I had the greatest paella I've ever had in Miami a couple of months ago.

Me: Do you have any states, cities in the USA that have that magical, peculiar feeling for you? Maybe some places that you’ve dreamed to visit since childhood or something. Same question for world places!

Kate: We all really love Seattle which is why we moved here. We all also daydream about moving to San Pedro, California because it's a lot sunnier there! Haha. I'm really looking forward to touring in Europe later this year or earlier next year. I've always wanted to go to England and to Norway 

Me: Tell about the songwriting process in Big Eyes.  

Kate: I write all of the songs. Some of them are completely finished by the time I show them to CJ and Chris, and some of them are more of a group effort. The guys definitely have input on the songs but overall, I have the final say.

Me: Theme of loneliness occurs in your songs in any event. What do you think about the recluses and can you name yourself this way? Some people always need other people around and some don’t feel it comfort enough to be among them in a long time. How much you worth the opportunity to be alone sometimes?

Kate: I used to be way more of a recluse, but at the moment I don't have a room of my own, so I am forced to be more social which has its benefits and drawbacks. Moving to a new city and touring so much have made me more of a social person. I definitely appreciate a good amount of alone time, especially on tour. I feel more comfortable writing songs if I am alone, as opposed to trying to "jam" on new songs at band practice.

Me: What do you do outside the group, have you any hobby? Do you work somewhere?

Kate: For work, I'm a babysitter. For hobbies, I love to spend a lot of time outside, I just got a new bike so I'm really looking forward to riding it around Seattle this summer. I love to watch movies and read books. Chris is a renaissance-man and works a bunch of different jobs, usually in the restaurant industry. Chris likes to skateboard, ride motorcycles and pretty much anything else that's bad-ass. He went shooting guns the other day. CJ keeps super busy booking our tours.

Me: Kate, you played in a such awesome bands like CheekyUsed Kids. What means years spent in these groups for you? What are the main reasons of breaking up of them?

Kate: I did a lot of growing up playing in Cheeky and Used Kids. Both bands started when I was 19 and ended when I was 21. Both broke up because of personality issues and people having different goals for the band. While playing in those bands, I realized that I needed more control of the music, so that's why I started Big Eyes after they broke up. I'm definitely appreciative of the fact that I got to play in those bands because I met a lot of people through them.
Me: Tell about yourselves. How early your love for music was manifested? What music did you listen in childhood? How your tastes have changed now? Which artists/albums/whatever did influence you mostly? It also can be some very special albums/concerts that bring a vivid sweet memory from the past.

Kate: My mom always tells this story about taking me to seeing Raffi (a children's singer/songwriter) when I was a toddler and she says that I was "standing on my seat, pumping my fist in the air." Hahaha, I always remember loving music. I loved School House Rock in elementary school. In middle school, a friend of my family started taking me to "rock concerts" and he told my dad that he should get me a guitar. I was pretty into both classic rock and pop punk in middle school, but I definitely had my fair share of other music that I don't listen to anymore.  I saw NSYNC twice when I was in 4th grade. I was also "too cool" for the Beatles until about 4 years ago. I embrace many different kinds of music at this point. I love listening to ABBA and the Mamas and the Papas.

Me:  What are the most memorable concerts which you attended as a spectator?

Kate: I saw The Stooges and Sonic Youth when I was 14. Since we were so young my mom had to bring me, haha. The first concert I was allowed to go to on a school night in the city was Andrew WK when I was 16. I got to see Brian Wilson play when I was 17 or 18. I feel really lucky to have grown up right outside New York City. I've got to see a lot of amazing bands play. 

Me: What are your favorite authors / books / films /whatever, things that inspires you most in your life.

Kate: I read a lot of science fiction and band biographies. My absolute favorite authors are Octavia Butler and Ray Bradbury. I also love horror movies. A couple of my favorite movies are Jacob's Ladder and Let the Right One In.

Me:  My favorite dumb question: what do you think about nostalgia? What means this feeling for you?

Kate: Like anyone else, I have moments in my life that I look back on and think highly of, but for the most part I try to move forward and be happy with who I am and what I am doing at the current moment. I am more proud of Big Eyes than I ever have been of any other band, and I will keep trying to make my new songs better and more interesting when I'm writing new music. I'm only 23 years old so I don't think I'm really old enough to honestly feel nostalgic about anything.

Me:  What do you value in people the most?

Kate: I value realism, drive, self-awareness, and honesty in people. I value people who have a good head on their shoulders and aren't caught up in their own bullshit. No ego.

Me:  Let’s talk about epochs of music. What bands, albums of the last decade you can point out as your favorites?

Kate: My favorite decade of music is from the mid 70s to the mid 80s. There was a lot of awesome rock and roll and punk going on during that period, as well as a lot of amazing pop music. For the last decade, Andrew WK is one of the best.

Me: You were named in honor of Cheap Trick song I guess. What other  power-pop-related bands/albums of that era you love the most?

Kate: I also love Thin Lizzy, Big Star, The Nerves, Elvis Costello and The Shivvers

Me: I would like to hear from you about The Replacements / Paul Westerberg solo projects, favorite albums/songs, maybe something else.

Kate: I randomly picked up my first Replacements album when I was 15 at a local record store that was closing down.  It was "Replacements - Stink." I'm really glad it was one of their earlier albums because I was a pain in the ass when I was younger and probably wouldn't have fully appreciated their later albums at that point.  After I got all the Replacements albums I started getting into all the Paul Westerberg solo albums.  My favorite of those being the "Mono" Grandpaboy album -- the one with the electronic drums. I think that album is super consistent and I still listen to it all the time.  My favorite PW songs that aren't on that album are "Only Lie Worth Telling" "As Far As I Know" and "Dyslexic Heart" 

Me:  If given the opportunity to choose any musician, who would be chosen to be in the accompaniment?

Kate: That's a tough one!  Any of the different guitarists from Thin Lizzy.  I love harmonized guitar, so if we ever get a 2nd guitar player we will definitely have a lot of that going on.  I feel a bit silly writing this out, haha!  George Harrison is one of my favorite guitar players.  

Me: Finally, any  words to Russian fans?

Kate: I hope you like our music and I hope we can come to Russia real soon!  Thank you Mikey.


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