Skating Polly: TheIndieLeak Exclusive

 Kelli Mayo (12 y.o.) and Peyton Bighorse (17 y.o.)

A month of so before SXSW, I stumbled upon a playlist of a every artist that would be playing in the 2013 SXSW. Among this list of over 2000 songs, I found "Carrots" by Skating Polly. The grungy guitars, the dark rioting vocals, and the small shining light of pop influence threw me for a serious spin. Two back to back verses, followed by the catchiest hook ever! I recently played a show with my buddies in Air Dubai who also played SXSW this season. Sitting backstage in the green room waiting to go on, we all raged to this song! But, enough about Me and My Friends ;) (and Air Dubai)...We caught up with the minds behind Skating Polly and had a little fun! 

If you died and went to hell and the devil said you could only listen to one song over and over again what would it be?

If you wanted to tie someone up and torture them by making them listening to the same song over and again what would it be?

P- A song that’s kind of cool but would get old pretty fast, like Take a Chance on Me by ABBA, so the person might get confused and think I’m not really trying to torture them, but still get really irritated when they heard it over and over.
K- That Billy Ray Cyrus song where he’s singing about his mullet. Or that one where Kid Rock and Sheryl Crow are singing about how sad it is that they have to cheat on each other. It would depend on who the person was because if you were trying to torture someone who liked bad music that wouldn’t work.

Worst part of being in Skating Polly?

P – I don’t like having people recognize me at school. I don’t know why because if they just came up to me at a show it would be fine, but I’m really shy and I like my school life to be separate from my band.

"I just want to do my work and not be noticed. I know that might seem weird because I do want people to notice my band. I don’t want to whine too much because there’s not much I don’t like about being in Skating Polly."

K- I like being in the band so much that when I have to come back to reality and do normal school things it’s pretty hard. Like when we come back from a tour and I have to be back in class. My school has been really cool about letting me work on my band but it’s still hard to go back and forth.

Something about Skating Polly that no one ever asks about?

P- People don’t ask about how we write our songs too much. Like who writes what. Mostly we write the songs we sing lead vocals on but sometimes we write songs together and we have written a couple of songs that the other one sings. We always split the credits 50/50 even when really one of us wrote most of the song. Maybe most people can tell anyway.
K- I don’t know. My distant cousin is the lead singer of that country band Lady Antebellum. Her mom’s name is Linda Davis. And me and Peyton don’t wear make-up.

What is Pierce and Cramulance?

K- That’s a song I made up to get on people’s nerves. It’s also good for tricking people into thinking it’s a real song. I try to sing it to them and act like I want to know what they think. You can tell it makes them feel weird. Peyton has a pretty backup part to that song.

What’s the story behind naming your first album “Taking Over the World”?

P- It’s a joke we had about how we were going to take over the world with our music. It was funny to us because we could barely play our instruments but we could still come up with songs we thought sounded pretty cool and so whenever we finished one we would say we were going to take over the world. Then Kelli made up a whole story about a sun that was in love with a flower, but the flower rejected him, so he created Skating Polly, a two-headed music monster to steal the world’s heart.

What’s the best thing about being in Skating Polly?

P- Writing music, traveling, recording, performing. We also get to meet a lot of our heroes and we get to do a lot of artwork for the band.
K – I like to make music and I like to travel. I also like that people seem to take me more seriously because I’m in Skating Polly. I think I’m growing up faster in some ways but staying a kid longer in other ways. Does that make sense?

Where do you think your band will be in 10 years?

P- Hopefully we will have released about 10 more albums and be touring all the time.
K- It would be really cool to be able to do music as a career and I think we’ll be able to do that if we just keep working hard. It would also be really cool to do whatever kind of music we wanted and have most of our fans still like it.

Why did Kliph Scurlock mix 11 songs on the new album and Blag Dahlia mix 1?

P- Exene knows Blag Dahlia and she had him mix the record at first. We really liked it. Kliph heard about us and came to one of our shows and really liked our band and we started staying in touch with him. Then we decided we were going to release the record on a different label so there was lots of time to kill and we thought of some things we wanted to make a little different on like one or two songs and Kliph volunteered to do it.

"We liked the changes and then he just started spending a bunch of time messing with the mixes and we thought his changes were really awesome."

Blag Dahlia’s mixes were really cool too and maybe some people would like them more, but Kliph knew our music more and he also made the album seem like it fit together really well. He blended some songs together and we thought that was great. At the very end, the label really liked Kliph’s mixes but they liked Blag Dahlia’s mix of the song “Lost Wonderfuls” a lot. We thought both versions of that song were cool so we didn’t really care that much.

What are your plans for the next album?

P- We don’t know for sure. We have already recorded about 12 songs on piano that we like and we are starting to record other stuff too. We have a lot of songs and the problem will be figuring out what goes on what album.
K- It sounds crazy but I think we might have enough songs for almost 3 albums in about a year. but I’m sure we won’t release 3 albums by then. We kept writing and recording songs while we were waiting for Lost Wonderfuls to be released. So we don’t know how we should divide all these new songs up. I’ve been playing a regular guitar a little bit and have written a few songs on that. Peyton is playing the piano more too. We should have plenty of songs.

What instruments do you wish you could play?

P- I wish I could play the piano better. And I’d like to play a mandolin and banjo someday.
K- The cello. And I want to get a xylophone and try to figure out how to make some sounds with that. I’m also just learning how to play a regular six string guitar.

What is one song currently out that you wish you had a part in?

One mode of transportation, what would it be?

P- The TARDIS from Dr. Who. It’s the most powerful ship in the entire universe because it can go anywhere at any time. It’s like the Willy Wonka elevator except it can move through time and space.
K- A bumper car that’s as big as a regular car and just as fast. I could bump everyone out of my way and wouldn’t get hurt. Maybe everyone should have that.

What posters do you have on your wall right this second?

P – I have lots of stuff on my wall because I have the biggest room in our house. I got that because I’m the oldest and my room is the band room too. I have Ramones, Clockwork Orange, Nirvana, American History X, BRONCHO, Dollyrots, Hole, Daniel Johnston, Django , Neutral Milk Hotel, a Kliph Scurlock postcard that is hanging from a box on my wall, a Flaming Lips poster, a painting that Kelli and I made, a collage that Kelli made for me for my birthday two years ago and a banner that says Skating Polly “Taking Over the World” that we made a long time ago, a Donkey Kong box that I made, a sock puppet box and a broken lamp that I nailed to my wall. Tommy McKenzie’s broken guitar is also nailed to my wall. He’s in a cool band called Depth & Current and used to be in a band called The Boom Bang that we liked a lot.
K- I have a Jesus Lizard poster that looks really disgusting because you can tell it’s a mushed up body part but you can’t tell what it is. It’s an armpit. I also have Dinosaur Jr., The Beatles and this band called Shisho who are friends of ours from Ohio. Some of the posters in Peyton’s room are mine but it’s cooler to keep them in there because that’s where we practice.

Nap time for Skating Polly :)

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