Scatter Their Own
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Scatter Their Own

Porcupine, South Dakota, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2012 | SELF

Porcupine, South Dakota, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2012
Duo Alternative Blues Rock

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"Scatter Their Own: Bringing their art home"

When Scotti Clifford wrote the song "Earth and Sky," he had the band's bass player, Juliana, on his mind. He was also thinking of sun dance, the traditional Indian ceremony that lasts for days and involves specific dances and songs passed down through generations.

"It's about how if the sky could sing a song to the earth, what would it sound like? What would he tell her?"

At least, that's the way Scotti's wife, the bass player, tells it. I didn't get the chance to speak with Scotti because he was participating in a sun dance, but Juliana Clifford took a few minutes away from the ceremony to talk. "All of our songs, the lyrical content, is about our culture," she said.

The duo married this past June, but has been playing together for nearly three years. Their influences include the Beatles, Rolling Stones, and Jimi Hendrix. Juliana said she loves making music with her husband. "It's really soothing. As a couple, it's healthy, and we're really happy doing it."

Their band, Scatter Their Own, is the English translation of their tribe's name, "Oglala." The Oglala Lakota live on Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, surrounded by the Badlands and the Black Hills.

"People from our tribe really embrace [the band's name] and are proud of us. We're taking the people -- our name -- around the country, and when we go to different tribes in different places, people know what we're talking about," Juliana said.

The band performs primarily for Native American youth. When they travel, their car becomes their home, supplemented by people's kindness on the road. "The people take good care of us. We really appreciate those relationships," Juliana said.

Scatter Their Own also has taken to the Internet. You can find them on Spotify, YouTube, iTunes, and most recently the fundraising site Indiegogo. They are hoping to raise $15,000 to produce a music video for the song "Taste the Time." Juliana's brother Willi White plans to rent video equipment to shoot and direct the video.

Pulling from alternative, blues, and rock influences, the song focuses on water pollution. The issue plays a major role on Pine Ridge, where cancer rates have skyrocketed due in large part to chemicals leaking into the water from uranium mining for nuclear power.

Juliana and Scotti wrote the song together. "We sat and thought about if people could really drink from the river. They can't because you might get sick, but our people used to go to the rivers around here," Juliana said.

The video concept comes from one of Juliana's dreams, as she explains on their fundraising page. In the dream, she approaches a table of people drinking what she thought was tea, but when they lifted their heads to smile at her, oil lined their lips.

The band chose to make the video to help gain exposure across social media. "Since we're so far out on the Reservation, kind of in the middle of nowhere, we can't just go downtown and play at a club and ask everyone to come and watch us. Music isn't supported like that here," she said.

However, she and Scotti are working to change that. When home from tours, they give guitar lessons at one of the reservation schools in the town of Porcupine. The children learn not only a musical skill, but see a potential path for their own futures.

"I love working with the kids. We wanted to give back to our community in that way since there wasn't music here for us," Juliana said, adding that local schools don't offer music classes.

Ideally, learning to make their own music will be therapeutic for the children. It may be a way to combat the incredibly high suicide rates among youth on the reservation -- four times the national average, according to the New York Times.

"Suicide is one of the biggest issues here," Juliana said. In the past year alone, three of her friends have taken their own lives. "I can't tell you why, but I've been around it my whole life and know people who have gone through with it."

As Scatter Their Own play concerts locally, give lessons at Porcupine Day School, and make the video, they help the community by way of demonstration. Life can be good, their actions say.

"I just want the youth to know that no matter how crazy of a dream it is, you can offer your art and beauty out there and come back and share it with your people," Juliana said.

Learn more about Scatter Their Own and help support by donating to the band's video fundraiser. - Huffington Post


"Meet The Generation Of Incredible Native American Women Fighting To Preserve Their Culture"

Juliana Brown Eyes-Clifford
Age: 23
Tribe Affiliation: Oglala Lakota & Samoan
Occupation: Musician, photographer, film maker, artist

Juliana and her husband, Scotti Clifford, have formed the band, 'Scatter Their Own' (which is the English translation for the word Oglala). They travel to various Indian reservations and other parts of the country to play their music. They are self-taught, cannot read music and play what comes out naturally from their hearts. Juliana is inspired to play for the youth and inspire them to branch out and learn about the arts and music which are topics not generally exposed on the reservation. The songs they write are about Mother Earth, social justice and about the Native American culture. - http://www.marieclaire.co.uk/


"Coming into Their Own"

Somewhere in the Badlands of South Dakota lives a band defying definition.

Self-described “alter-Native” rock duo Scatter Their Own doesn’t depend on traditional flutes, feathers or hand drums for its look and sound; instead, husband-and-wife team Scotti Clifford and Juliana Brown Eyes-Clifford (both Oglala Lakota) mix their old-school rock-and-roll and bluesy sounds with deep, contemporary lyrics about love, overcoming obstacles and environmental advocacy.

Celebrated among tribal audiences across Turtle Island, the popularity of Scatter Their Own transcends cultural boundaries, evident in their recent appearance at SXSW, one of the largest music/film/tech festivals on the planet. It drew an estimated 70,000 people to Austin, Texas, in March. The band followed its appearance there with the release of their second album, Taste The Time, which came out May 1.

While mass appeal is the band’s aim, the Cliffords often note their spiritual foundations, cultural belief systems and dedication to family, which help guide the direction of both their music and their lives. For all that, Scotti and Juliana maintain an effortlessly cool and familiar vibe about them, one that can jump from a serious tone discussing the music business to a teasing jab about the hairstyle Scotti rocked in the ’80s. It’s easy to forget that these two aren’t your cousins or best friends, but instead are rising stars releasing popular, radio-worthy records and playing major venues across the country.

“Things are moving at a good pace for us,” Juliana says. “We want to be known and played on a big, contemporary scale. That’s why our songs—the meanings behind them—are so fierce, but we play them loose enough that everyone, regardless of background, can get into it.” - Native Peoples Magazine


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

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Bio

SCATTER THEIR OWN, Scotti Clifford and Juliana Brown Eyes-Clifford, are an Alternative Rock Duo of Oglala Lakota ancestry from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation of South Dakota. Scotti Clifford has performed across the U.S. and Canada as a Vocalist, Back-up Vocalist, Bass-Player, Drummer, and Guitarist. But now the Singer/Songwriter/Guitarist fronts the duo with Bassist/Rhythm Guitarist/Backup Vocalist Juliana Brown Eyes-Clifford. Scatter Their Own, lyrically, pays tribute to the concepts and philosophy of their Lakota culture while fusing Alternative Rock and Blues into what they would like to call Alter-Native Rock and Roll. They believe that their music celebrates Grandmother Earth.

Scotti Clifford is an endorsed Grosh Guitars Artist,http://groshguitars.com/artists/artist-profiles/scotti-clifford/. He has performed across the United States and Canada with the likes of Carlos Santana, Chuck Berry, Taj Mahal, Buddy Red Bow, Keith Secola, Murray Porter, Stones of Red, Indigenous, and many other great musicians. 

Scatter Their Own is the first band situation that Juliana Brown Eyes-Clifford has been in. But aside from her duties on the bass guitar and acoustic guitar, Juliana also has many other talents. She is a Film Maker, Photographer, Actress, and Model. All of which she has used to help mold Scatter Their Own over the last 3 years of the duo's existence.

Scatter Their Own have been definitely building a loyal fan base nationally. They have been up and down the West Coast from Seattle to Los Angeles touring. Over the past two years, Scatter Their Own has also toured the Southwest, the Midwest, and have also done shows in Canada. They have recently performed on the East Coast and have also made their first appearance at SXSW in Austin TX. They will soon be announcing select summer dates in support of their new album "Taste The Time."

Band Members