Interview & Photos by: Kayla Saliman | October 8, 2022
KAYLA: Why don't y'all start by telling me about yourself. So, how'd you get into music?
KELLEY: I started singing when I was really little. My mom was a singer, so I basically have just always been singing and writing songs.
I told a story in the car on the way up to Firefly yesterday about the song Unwritten, where I remember I have like the most clear memory of seeing it on my kitchen TV, and being like, “Whoa”. As a little kid being like, “Whoa, this is how you write a song”. This is a metaphor, honey. And so basically, I would say since I saw Unwritten, I saw the video on MTV. I made some connections. I don't know if I was learning about metaphors at the time in school or something, but I was like, “Oh, I wanna write songs”. I started, then my mom taught me to harmonize and sing with her all the time when I was little. She was actually an opera singer, so I started there. I studied basically loose opera, not opera, but faux opera growing up. Then, I switched. I really wanna sing rock and pop rock stuff. When I was 16, I switched to having a pop rock vocal coach. Then, I think that just gave me a little more confidence in writing pop rock stuff. Mina and I went to school together at NYU for acting. We did an acting moment hiatus. Then, after school we started working together on some projects, and we were like, “we wanna make a band”. It just happened naturally, like out of it being fun to hang out with each other.
MINA: Similarly, my mom was a singer. She is a jazz singer. I kind of grew up watching VHS tapes of Wizard of Oz and Singing in the Rain. Honestly, my mom was obsessed with musicals and really wanted me to do them. With musicals, I really loved performing, but I didn't feel like my voice totally fit singing in that way. Then, I started making up my own songs. I like doing that more than singing like this more than singing in musicals and stuff. That's kind of how it started for me.
KAYLA: What is your guys' creative process like for your music? How do you work together?
KELLEY: It changes depending on the song. The earlier stuff, a lot of it we wrote individually, would bring to the other, and then work on. Eventually, we arrange it with our band. More recently we've been either one of us will have a seed of something that we're kind of like, “Oh, I don't know what to do with this fully yet, or it's like partially worked out in my brain. Then, we'll work on that together. Sometimes, we'll just have a day where we're like, “let's write something and start from kind of nowhere” and just open our notebooks and be like, “I've been feeling chaotic. Have you been feeling chaotic? “
MINA: I'll come to Kelly's house and be like, I have these chords, or this guitar part, that I feel is good, and like this melody. Then, we sing until words form. We're like, “Okay, what do those words mean?” Then, we build things that can fit those meanings.
KELLEY: A lot of the time I used to just write like a little hook and then just sit on it for years because I didn't know, like I felt like that was the best thing I have written and I don't know what to do with it. I started to muse on whatever I think it's about and it kind of leaves me with a big pool of just words that I can then be like, “Oh, okay, like this part is kind of boring, but like this thing I actually didn't even realize was in my head. That's actually an interesting, you know, road to go down.”
MINA: There's also times where like, I'll be like, “Kelly, I started writing this song. It's like this verse or whatever, and it's kind of like a meandering verse or something that's nice, but doesn't have a hook.” Kelly will be like, “Wait, I have the hook.”
KELLEY: I have so much stuff that is not part of anything that's just like, that is the best thing I ever wrote. It's just not done.
KAYLA: You guys have an upcoming album! So, what albums or artists did you draw inspiration from for this project?
KELLEY: I would say we are definitely spanning a few genres in the album and there are some moments that feel kind of like Simon and Garfunkel-y. There's moments that are like a Bowie- Queen moment. There are moments that feel really like housed in indie rock and then there are some glossier, more silvery, groovy feeling songs.
MINA: I think the through line of the album is more based in the meaning of the songs, than like the sonic elements of the songs. We try to go to a lot of different places sonically, and I think two of our voices being together grounds us. It kind of allows us to do whatever we want outside of that.
KELLEY: The album's called "All You Need Is Time", and I think it's largely about time and how you relate to the world with the time that you have, and a lot of our stuff is like kind of reckoning with where you are in life or what you're expecting or, I don't know, just kind of like confronting reality, and what your reality is. I think that album is also kind of connected through just that idea of being introspective.
MINA: We tried to put it in an order where if you listen closely, it kind of follows a story.
KAYLA: What is a silly, unpopular opinion that you have?
MINA: I don't like dill, but I like pickles. I like dill pickles, but I don't like dill as a seasoning.
KELLEY: I love pasta. I don't like pasta with tomato sauce with the parmesan that's tiny. I like it when it's shaved, I like it when it's bigger, but I really am against the powder. It tastes like vomit. It's like something about the powder mixing with the tomato sauce does not work.
KAYLA: Is it a texture or a taste?
KELLEY: It's definitely the taste. Knowing that it's supposed to be separate, but that it's not.
MINA: I feel like everyone likes the videos of people getting their ears cleaned out. I love them. I don't think that's gross. I will show people. I feel like there's too many videos of it though, for it to not, for it to be like a unique hot take.
KELLEY: The algorithm is giving it to you.
MINA: Yeah. My Instagram explore page is like only that and blackhead videos.