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A brief chat with Skating Polly


Oklahoma City riot grrrls Skating Polly play Riot Fest at the end of August so we spoke to Kelli Mayo and Peyton Bighorse.O

Yellow Scene: When did the band form, and what was the mission?

Kelli Mayo: The band formed in 2009 on Halloween, at a party. We wanted to make minimalist, pure music and build from there. We wanted to create a different sound that wasn’t polished, but could be.

YS: Describe the sound…

Peyton Bighorse: It’s loud, ugly and messy, but also melodic and pretty. They’re pop songs, without the dirt scraped off.

KM: We’re influenced by Babes in Toyland, L7, Sleater Kinney, Fiona Apple, Veruca Salt, plus Nirvana and Sonic Youth.

YS: And now you get to be on a Riot Fest bill with Babes in Toyland and L7…

KM: Yeah. We just got off tour with Babes in Toyland, but I dislocated my knee so I didn’t get to hang with them. I move around a lot onstage. Playing bass, I tend to go for a back-lean but I didn’t bend my legs, so all my weight was on my left leg and I just collapsed.

YS: That sounds terrible. So what can we expect from your Riot Fest set?

PB: Well, Kelli’s knee is still dislocated, so we’ll try to do a good show despite that. She’s in a lot of pain.

KM: It’s not dislocated, but it’s strapped up. We switch our instruments a lot – we do vocals from the drums and the front. Peyton’s been doing more noisy-ass solo things. The doctor told me to tone it down, but I’ll probably still move a lot.

PB: It’ll be a well-put-together mess.

YS: When Riot Fest is over, what’s next?

PB: We’ve been working on our next album in LA, so that plus more touring.

KM: We went to the UK with Babes in Toyland and had a great time, so we want to keep seeing the world.

Skating Polly plays Denver Riot Fest; August 28-30; riotfest.org/denver. The event just added a second wave of bands, featuring System of a Down, the Prodigy, 88 Fingers Louie, Chef’Special, and Input&Broken.


Brett Calwood
Brett Callwood is an English journalist, copy writer, editor and author, currently living and working in Los Angeles. He is the music editor with the LA Weekly. He was previously a reporter at the Longmont Times-Call and Daily Camera, the music editor at the Detroit Metro Times and editor-in-chief at Yellow Scene magazine. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brett_Callwood

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