Scatter Their Own: Beyond Definition

O’siyo. Married couple Scotti Clifford and Juliana Brown Eyes-Clifford (both Oglala Lakota) are the singing sensation known as  Scatter Their Own. The duo’s music is as beautiful and varied as their fashion styles. The name (Scatter Their Own) is the English translation for  the name “Oglala”, one of the seven bands of the Lakota.

Taste The Time cd By Scatter Their Own. The Heritage Center.

Taste The Time cd By Scatter Their Own. The Heritage Center.

Excerpt: Coming Into Their Own By Tate Walker, Native Peoples Magazine

“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.

Their own fashion. Rockwired.

Their own fashion. Rockwired.

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. The band followed its appearance there with the release of their second album, Taste The Time, which came out May 1 [2014].

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…

Music was a constant growing up on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, Scotti says. His parents owned a general store in Sharps Corner, S.D., and Scotti was the second youngest of five children. He was 4 years old when his father sat him down at his first drum set, and his grandmother Olivia Black Elk handed him his first acoustic guitar when he was in fifth grade to replace the one he had made using cardboard, a ruler and rubber bands…

Scatter their own: Battle of the Bands.

Scatter their own: Battle of the Bands.

Juliana, who is 23, taught herself to play bass guitar when she was in high school, around the time she was first introduced to Scotti in 2005. Juliana was more interested in academics than she was in music, however, and she graduated as the valedictorian from Red Cloud High School and used a Gates Millennium scholarship to attend a pre-med program at Creighton University.

Scatter Their Own unique style: ICTMN

Scatter Their Own unique style: ICTMN

But Juliana craved an outlet for her artistic tendencies and transferred to the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, where she majored in photography, a skill she uses today to promote the band on their website and on social media. In 2009, she met Scotti for a second time, and soon after the pair started dating…As self-taught musicians, neither Juliana nor Scotti can read traditional sheet music. Instead, melodies come to Scotti in his head, which he plays on guitar until something clicks with his alt-rock foundations. Then he takes the skeleton sound to Juliana, who learns her bass part by ear. Together, they write the lyrics, and a song blossoms.” Read more.

Listen to their new CD Taste the Time:


Video Link:

“We are trying to raise awareness, but this is the 21st century, and we—as indigenous people—should be deciding how we are represented in the media.” ~Scatter Their Own~

Kudos to this creative duo!  To learn more visit their website.

Category: Native Music