Interview with Peyton Bighorse of Skating Polly

In December, Sarah and Weronika got on Zoom with Peyton Bighorse of Skating Polly. They talked about taking care of vocals on tour, fitting activism into the scene, and accidentally interrupting a funeral with band practice.

Some of your songs have really rich and delicate vocals for a punk outfit. You’re not the vocalist, but how does she take care of her vocals on tour?

Peyton: It’s hard. It’s a learning process, and we still don’t have it quite down. Don’t go too crazy, don’t push yourself too hard every night. Push yourself, but like the right amount, so your voice doesn’t blow out. And don’t go crazy when you’re not playing shows, like yelling or using your voice too much.

Weronika: You’ve gotta take care of yourself. You have a lot of posts on Instagram dedicated to activism and spreading awareness about different social issues.

Where and how do you see activism fit in the music scene, and how do you think the two can work together?

Peyton: I think it goes hand in hand, really. Whenever you have a following like we do, I feel like you have kind of a responsibility to talk about those kinds of things. A lot of people, not anyone I know, but some people are like “just keep the politics out of your music!” but I mean, if people are listening to you, you have to talk about it.

Have your neighbors ever done anything crazy to retaliate against your loud rehearsals?

Peyton: No, not really. One time we had a guy come over and be like, “Can you guys stop? We have a memorial service going on.” That was super embarrassing. But for the most part, everyone is very understanding of it.

What do you hope that your listeners and fans take away from your music?

Peyton: I guess it just depends. I hope they are able to listen to it and get something from it. I hope it makes them feel something, not just like “oh, here’s another song.”

This has been a tough year for a lot of us. But, what are you most proud of in 2020?

Peyton:  I’m most proud of…I’ve been working at a law firm since we haven’t been able to tour. I’ve been really enjoying that. It’s a family law firm, so a lot if it’s really stressful. A lot of people getting divorced and fighting over money, or property, or kids, or whatever. But I always feel really proud whenever I’m able to help a client out, or calm them down, or make them feel better.

Weronika: That’s awesome. It must feel really good to do that. Your song “Mostly Glad” contains a lyric that really stands out: “You choose what age is sold to you / you choose when youth gets old for you.”

How did growing up in a band affect how you see your youth, what that lyric means to you, and what you were thinking about when you wrote it?

Peyton: Yeah. Growing up in a band, whenever I was younger, and whenever Kelly was younger, we thought we were super mature and mostly hung out with older people during shows or on tour. But as we both have gotten older, we don’t feel as much like that. We don’t feel as much of a need to try and be older. It’s kind of backwards. We started out uptight, and just trying to be mature and cool older kids. And now we’re just enjoying being young more.

Weronika: That makes a lot of sense. You don’t really realize how important it is to embrace your youth until you’re getting a little older and it’s just like “Damn, what was I doing?”

What keeps you guys creatively motivated and inspired, especially during the pandemic?

Peyton: It’s been hard during the pandemic. But always looking for new music, or new artists, or new books. Just talking to each other is really motivating. Whenever we talk about future plans and our next album. We haven’t started recording our next album because Kelly has her vocal surgeries going on. But just talking about it keeps me motivated.

One of your most popular songs, “Pretective Boy,” has a deliberate misspelling in the title. What was the artistic reasoning behind this choice?

Peyton: Kelly did that. I don’t know all of the reasoning, but I know part of it was in the song when she sings it, she sings “protective” instead of “protective” and she just wanted to make it clear that that was on purpose.

Sarah: Were you trying to make it sound like “pretentious” instead of “protective”, or something else?

Peyton: It’s kind of like protective before the fact. Like before you need to be protective.

Sarah: I like that a lot.

Weronika: Yeah, that’s cool.

Our final question is, what are your upcoming plans?

Peyton: We really are excited, at this point, we’re excited to do everything. We wanna tour, and we wanna record an album. We have so many songs that we’ve been working on. Kelly hasn’t been able to sing the whole time, but she’s been able to sing a little bit. That’s been really exciting. Her voice is getting so strong, I’m excited to see all of the songs she’s able to come up with. She’s been practicing every instrument and getting so good at everything. I’m really excited about writing songs with her whenever she’s able to sing again.

THE END

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