Tennessee Thomas, drummer for newbie indie popsters the Like, is surprisingly blasé when describing her band’s big-break opening for Elvis Costello. ”It was just a little thing. It was nice,” she says of the 2002 show. Maybe that’s because her father is Pete Thomas, drummer for Costello’s longtime backing group, the Attractions (now the Imposters), so Elvis sightings were, well, no big deal — though the 19-year-old is quick to put the kibosh on talk of nepotism. ”Elvis heard our demo,” she insists. ”It didn’t have anything to do with my dad.” And that goes for the rest of the enviably pedigreed L.A. trio, which includes 18-year-old singer-guitarist Z Berg (daughter of ex-Geffen A&R guy Tony Berg) and 18-year-old bassist Charlotte Froom (offspring of Crowded House, Suzanne Vega, and Cibo Matto producer Mitchell Froom).
The band formed after Berg heard through the grapevine (okay, their dads) that Froom and Thomas were looking for a singer. ”I made them send me pictures before they came to hang out,” she says with a cackle. Soon enough they found themselves fixtures on the L.A. hipster scene, opening for such buddies as Maroon 5. Freshly signed to Geffen (expect an album in spring ’05), the ladies have amassed, according to a proud Froom, an impressive following of ”teen girls who look up to us.” Still, success has its price: creepy, older dudes. Sighs Thomas, ”They’re not the best thing about being in a girl band.”