Seattle’s Big Eyes play a buzzsaw strain of pop music that’s impeccably catchy and rough around the edges in a welcome way. That they’ve chosen to name their new album after a Cameron Crowe film doesn’t hurt; neither does singer/guitarist Kate Eldridge’s stated fondness for the novels of Octavia E. Butler. I caught up with Eldridge to discuss their new album Almost Famous, her cross-country move, and science fiction novels.
You moved from Brooklyn to Seattle in 2011 — what prompted the move? What do you make of the musical community out there relative to the one in Brooklyn?
I needed a change of scenery and having a touring band in New York City is hard to do when you’re broke. Seattle is smaller than Brooklyn, so I feel like we stand out more here. People seem more interested and receptive. Things have been awesome out here and I’m very grateful.
The title of your new album is Almost Famous, which begs the question: do you have a favorite film from Cameron Crowe’s body of work?
Almost Famous, duh! And – Say Anything. I’m a huge John Cusack fan.
In your MRR interview, you talked about reading Octavia E. Butler’s Xenogenesis books. How did you first get into Butler’s work?
My friend Ruth lent me one of her books about 5 years ago and I was immediately obsessed. I’ve read every book of hers that is available and it makes me so sad she isn’t around to write more! RIP Octavia Butler.
Has the experience of moving across the country made its way into your songwriting at all?
I think moving away from my family and friends was a big growing experience, and my lyrics especially have benefited from that. The last bunch of songs I’ve written all have much more in depth lyrics as compared to our first Demo 7″ back from 2010.
What are you reading these days?
I have been exclusively reading Ramones biographies/autobiographies the last few months. I also just got a copy of Dan Erlewine’s Guitar Player Repair Guide that I plan to read front to back on our next tour.
Big Eyes will play Death by Audio on June 9th.