For those that don’t know you, Peyton and Kelli, tell everyone about yourselves and your music.
Kelli: When I describe our music to people I always tell them we are an Ugly Pop band, we are a step-sister duo, we both sing and switch around on instruments live, and that we are both equally essential to the band. Then people always nod their head like, “oh yeah Ugly Pop, that’s a good genre”.
What inspired the album, Fuzz Steilacoom?
Kelli: Babes in Toyland was a MAJOR influence for me, Nirvana of course, Daisy Chainsaw, Sleater Kinney; especially the record “Dig Me Out”, and Broncho, they actually were the band that made me want to be more animated on stage. All the songs are inspired by different things though. Sometimes a song would start off being about Game of Thrones, but then turn into a feministic girl power jam (Your Honor specifically). I don’t think people ever see what my songs are really about either, like I doubt most people think that when they hear Your Honor. I think that’s cool too! Just because my songs are about a certain thing when I hear them doesn’t mean they couldn’t have an entirely different meaning to someone else.
Peyton: A lot of imaginary things and people inspired me. Like, there were these two characters I made up named Magdalene and Jefferson who are these really cool people in my mind, and they have a swinging bench on their front porch where they spend a lot of time listening to music and painting and reading. They’re the main focus of Van Gogh, but they also secretly show up in other songs like Blunderland, which is their home. I really was extremely inspired and obsessed with these two people and all my songs around that time had something to do with them and I painted pictures of them and thought about them a lot.
What was the greatest challenge in making the album?
The greatest challenge was getting the songs to sound exactly how I wanted them to. All the songs on the album were really important to me and I had a lot of ideas about how I wanted them to be.Peyton: The greatest challenge was getting the songs to sound exactly how I wanted them to. All the songs on the album were really important to me and I had a lot of ideas about how I wanted them to be. A lot of those ideas ended up going no where, so that was frustrating at the time. I was really paranoid that we would release them and something so small would bug me and then I would think everyone else would notice that thing and they would hate the songs. Luckily, that kind of paranoia only plagues me when we are actually making the album and after it was released I stopped worrying so much.
How did you come up with the name, Fuzz Steilacoom?
Peyton: We recorded our album at Dub Narcotic Studio in Olympia and on the drive up there we were always thinking of possible titles for the album. One morning during breakfast the news was on and a guy named Fuzz Hogan was speaking and Kelli was like “Fuzz Hogan…that would be a cool album title”, but we didn’t want to give him that much credit so we started pairing the word “fuzz” with everything we saw. Once we actually got into Olympia on the first morning we were recording we saw Sleater-Kinney Road on the way to the studio and we learned that Sleater-Kinney named their band after that road where they had a practice studio. Anyway, we thought that was extremely cool and the house we were staying at was on Steilacoom Road, and we really loved how Steilacoom sounded paired with fuzz.
Use only seven words to describe each song. Go!
“Alabama Movies” – Noisy, layered, good screams, In Utero inspired
“Ugly” – Girl power, Pixies inspired intro, fun riff
“Lily” – LaLaurie murder house song, Daisy Chainsaw inspired
“Dead Friends” – Old catchy melody, revised lyrics, prettier song
“Your Honor” – Feminist fast tempo tune, with catchy bridge
“A Little Late” – self reminder, softest prettiest, personal favorite, piano
“Scummy Summer” – about being happy even when you’re sad
“Break Your High” – the goal is to destroy fake things
“Van Gogh” – Inspired by Neutral Milk Hotel, Elliott Smith
“Play” – Person goes crazy, is forgotten by everyone
“Blunderland” – Magical world, sepia toned, the sky glimmers
What was the greatest challenge in making the music video, A Little Late?
Kelli: We didn’t have a portable speaker to do playback, so I had to tape one earbud in and sing the song out loud for Peyton to do her parts. The tape did not work very well, so many shots were ruined because the earbud would pop out. The places we went were public places too, so I would have to build up the confidence to sing A Little Late a cappella and dance through crowds of people. We also shot a bunch of footage at The Santa Monica Pier (which we didn’t end up using) where dozens and dozens of people walked by staring. It was pretty intimidating; I also had this fear someone would throw food or spit at me. The only other problem we had was getting Peyton to smile; at one point Dave just starting yelling “smile smile smile smile smile smile” really fast, and that did the trick.
What’s with the sweaters?
Kelli: I am so glad people take note of the sweaters!! The big white sweater that I wear in the scenes at The Observatory, is actually a sweater dress that Kate Nash picked out for me at a thrift store in LA. It goes down to my feet, and the sleeves go past my hands. I don’t wear it near enough because the weather hasn’t cooled down yet, but Dave Smith let me wear it in the video and I was just ecstatic! It made it slightly harder to dance though, I kept tripping on it and everyone thought I was going to fall off the mountains. The other sweater (the one worn in the lake shots) I actually bought for my brother at a thrift store in Ohio while we were visiting our friends in the band ShiSho, but before I ever gave it to him I started wearing it because it is SUPER comfy. When we took off to shoot the lake scenes it happened to be my favorite shirt, so I threw it on.
Where was the music video filmed?
Peyton: We drove from our house in Edmond, OK to Los Angeles and we shot in a few different places a long the way. Our first stop was Tucumcari, NM and we shot in some cool abandoned locations there. There was a really creepy abandoned motel, and old Sonic with the ordering stations still up, and then an abandoned gas station. We shot at The Observatory in LA and a really pretty park in Venice. Then we shot in Eagle Rock in a really cool looking neighborhood.
Anything else you want people to know?
Kelli: Just to keep an eye out for upcoming tour dates and such! We are constantly booking shows all over the country and hopefully in different countries soon enough too! Also we are still working on more music videos to be looking forward too.