By Kieran Webber
Every now and then a band is formed that is like no other and stands out from the rest, Skating Polly are an example of this, few bands have managed to be so comfortable in themselves and in their sound at such a young age. In fact few bands can even say they made music as good as Skating Polly during the beginning of the musical conquests.
They are constantly being likened to bands such as Nirvana which is a fair comparison but unlike a rip off they are the real deal, a raw energetic ball of fuzz that grabs the best parts of their influences and moulds into their own sound.
The best thing about them is that they are clearly having a great time making music and being as cliche as it sounds ‘Rock Stars’ but I believe for them it is just about making music and expressing themselves.
With this in mind and with being totally addicted to their latest album we decided to have a chat with the two stepsisters that make Skating Polly Kelli Mayo and Peyton Bighorse.
Thanks for taking your time to answer these questions it is greatly appreciated.. So what are you up to right now? (apart from answering our questions)
Right now we are in Atlanta, Georgia because Kelli is working on the Hulu pilot she just got cast in. I’ve been painting, working on songs, watching LOTS of GREAT movies, and hanging around the studio with Kelli.
“When we first started we knew we wanted to play music forever and we spent much of our time making plans for the far, far future. It’s always been important to us”
I am sure you get this a lot but it is kind of the elephant in the room, you guys are young and female, two things the music industry loves to exploit have you had any experiance of this ?
So far we’ve gotten lucky and only worked with really cool and artistic people who really dig and respect what we’re doing.
Did you ever expect Skating Polly to take off in the way that it has?
I think we’ve always expected it to go somewhere. When we first started we knew we wanted to play music forever and we spent much of our time making plans for the far, far future. It’s always been important to us.
How did you both start playing instruments and at what time did you two know that it was time to form a band?
We started playing instruments and playing together around the same time. We would kind of mess around on our instruments a little bit but we didn’t actually start playing them until the night we started Skating Polly.
Do you both share the same/similar influences or does it differ ?
We both share the same influences but we are influenced different amounts by our favorite bands and musicians. For example, we both love Babes in Toyland, but Kelli is more influenced by them than I am, and I am more influenced by Elliott Smith than Kelli is.
“They didn’t like that we had loud and soft songs next to each other. It was too jarring for them. But that schizophrenia is something we love about music”
Your music has an explosive energy about it where does this come from?
We have lots of explosive energy inside us (especially Kelli). Our music is the best way we know to express ourselves, so a lot of times it just comes out that way.
Are there any particular artists around today that you feel are really pushing the boundaries if so who and why?
Perfume Genius is the master of pushing boundaries. They change from album to album in huge ways while still sounding like Perfume Genius. I love when a band or musician can do that because there’s a lot of pressure to release the same music you have before.
What was the story/influence for your latest album ‘The Big Fit’ ?
When we released Fuzz Steilacoom there were a few people who criticized it for being too schizophrenic. They didn’t like that we had loud and soft songs next to each other. It was too jarring for them. But that schizophrenia is something we love about music, so we decided to roll with it. The songs on The Big Fit don’t really fit how people normally like things to fit. It’s kind of like how an XL t-shirt fits someone who wears a small. It doesn’t technically fit but it works if they want it to work.
Do you have any songs that you favor more than others on this album?
It changes from listen to listen but right now I’m pretty stuck on Arms & Opinions. I admire Kelli’s songwriting as much as I admire Elliott Smith’s or Jeff Mangum’s, and I think Arms & Opinions is super beautiful. I think it has some of the best lyrics she’s ever written and every time I hear it I want to hear it two or three more times.
With the amount of raw energy that flows through your recorded music I can imagine your live performances get hectic, has anything crazy or gnar happened during one of your shows?
Actually, almost a year ago we played in Glasgow and during our second or third song Kelli dislocated her knee. It was one of the scariest things because at first I thought she was just going crazy on her basitar while squirming on the ground. There were so many people up on stage as soon as we all figured it out. Her dad and brother, our friend Henry, a couple guys from the venue. I was running around the venue crying looking for ice, but no one in the back of the venue really saw what happened so they weren’t moving out of the way, which just caused me to get more panicked and frustrated. Kelli ended up having to stay at the hospital overnight and there were multiple visits to the doctor once we got back home.
“Actually, almost a year ago we played in Glasgow and during our second or third song Kelli dislocated her knee. It was one of the scariest things because at first I thought she was just going crazy on her basitar while squirming on the ground”
What do you prefer recording or playing live?
They’re two totally different things. With recording you get to go in, make everything sound exactly how you want it, and finally hear your songs come to life. It’s one of the most thrilling experiences. But at live shows you spend the entire time before you play on the edge of a nervous break down, too scared to eat sometimes because you think you might puke. Then you get up on stage and it’s all happening. You don’t really mind the small mistakes because that’s what makes the show unique. And you get to play your songs for a bunch of people who are excited to hear them. Playing a show is one of the biggest rushes ever. It’s really hard to choose between recording and live shows because they’re almost too different.
What can we expect from you in the future?
More albums, of course. We’ve been working on new songs and we’re already excited about them. Lots more shows. We wanna tour all over the world. And I don’t know if ya heard, but Kelli’s in a new Hulu show so that’s pretty exciting.