Do you remember how you spent most of your adolescence? Skating Polly, currently hailing from Tacoma Washington, have spent most of theirs making music on and off the stage.
For the last seven years, the two piece stepsister duo have released four full length albums as well as playing live extensively here in the states and abroad. They mingle with their friends in Babes In Toyland, X, and Kate Nash on stage and off and have no plans of slowing down anytime soon.
I caught up with 16 year old Kelli Mayo and 20 year old Peyton Bighorse before their set at Small's in Hamtramck for a chat. We discussed their music videos, school, touring, meeting John Lydon, and much more. Check it out (in two parts) below...
I also picked the ladies brains in regards to their Detroit music preferences. Here are the results....
The Detroit area was last blessed with Skating Polly's presence back in 2013. Since then, the band has released two full length albums, including the latest 2016 release entitled "The Big Fit" and a vinyl only split single. The band has progressed greatly in the last few years with their childlike, yet mature and poetic lyrics, melodic arrangements, and an eclectic array of songs that vary in style from riot grrrl to piano-based indie pop.
Taking the stage in mismatched socks Skating Polly opened with the track "Ugly" which was the song that I discovered the band through when I saw the music video for it last year. The band is raw and loud live. They are reminiscent of the early 90's grunge alt-rock sound that was the soundtrack of my own youth back in the day.
Their set was tight and their songs were belted out with passion that was often loudly melodic with bellowing vocals that come from somewhere deep in their musically talented guts.
Both Kelli and Peyton switched off instruments during their set and saw Kelli playing the guitar/bass hybrid basitar, drums, guitar, as well as keyboards. Peyton took on the drums and guitar.
At one point during the song "Oddie Moore" Kelli had blood flying alongside her drumsticks as she nicked her thumb on the drums. She played through the song and others following. A relief from heavy drumming was soon replaced when Kelli announced "Now it's time for quiet songs" as she got behind the keyboards for the song "Cosmetic Skull" as Peyton took over drumming duties.
The band also took on a cover of Madonna's "Beautiful Stranger" giving it the bands signature "Ugly Pop" sound. The bands set was hyped up throughout by a very enthusiastic fan who saw the band when they opened for Emily Wells at the Magic Stick back in 2013. He was there for Ms. Wells, but was won over by Skating Polly and hasn't looked back since. He waited three years for their return and was once again blown away at this evenings set. His projected vocal statements reflected what most everyone in the crowd was thinking, which basically amounted to how great the band was.
After their set Kelli applied some Band-Aids to her live show battle wounded thumb and the band met with fans. They were happy to talk, take pictures, and sign their albums for all those that desired. Though most would have been content with just a signature, the girls further adorned their albums with personal artwork.
There's just not enough bands like Skating Polly out there nowadays. Though most media outlets may take special note of the members age and gender, it's probably just a reaction to hearing such great music and finding out who is behind it. Music has no limits and, even if it did, Skating Polly isn't a band that would be afraid to break them.