BIG EYES Chris Costalupes, Dillan Lazzareschi, and Kate Eldridge.
Big Eyes are a fema—wait, no.
"I always get a little twinge of 'What the fuck?' when I see 'female-fronted,'" says Big Eyes singer and blazing guitarist Kate Eldridge. "When it's the first thing there, like that's the first thing people need to know about our band?"
"I like to refer to us as not a female-fronted band, but a male-backed band," bassist Chris Costalupes chimes in with a grin. "It's a bit more progressive."
As Eldridge, Costalupes, and drummer Dillan Lazzareschi slowly weave through the Women Who Rock exhibit at EMP (which is mostly just a collection of clothes worn by Mama Cass, Gwen Stefani, Lady Gaga, and Aretha Franklin, among others), we come upon one of Joni Mitchell's lyric notebooks. Her handwriting is impeccable and youthful—penmanship I dreamed of having when I was in high school.
"She wrote her lyrics in a notebook just like Taylor Swift does in that Diet Coke commercial!" I (dumbly) joke. Eldridge laughs, "Oh my god, when Taylor Swift first came out, I was having a conversation with my mom, and she was like, 'Kate, it's so amazing! She writes all her own songs and plays the guitar and sings. I was like, 'Oh, good for her! Hi, I'm Kate. I'm your daughter."