The Skins @ Afropunk Fest (L-R: Kaya, Bay Li, Daisy, Reef, Russell) / Photo: Rolling Stone

Hanging out with The Skins is like being back in high school, only this time the popular kids are acknowledging your existence AND they’re being super nice to you! For no reason at all! Just for the sake of being nice! What is that?!

That’s just how cool each member of this five-person true-school rock ‘n’ roll ensemble is — even though I am easily five years older than most of the group (and a full decade older than one of them), they made me want to be back in grade school all over again. And yet their sound is so mature and polished that despite their youth, they quickly earn your respect as serious musicians in the game, and then immediately remind you that you weren’t even half as talented as they are when you were a hell-raising teenager.

The Skins with Bay Li, Kaya, and Reef's adorable grandmother, a true OG.

I was lucky to sit down with Bay Li (vocals), Kaya (bass), Daisy (guitar), Russell (guitar), and Reef (drums) after Adrian Grenier hand-delivered them to me. Yes, you read right, actor/musician and now manager Adrian Grenier of Entourage and Drive Me Crazy fame walked me over and introduced me to the group, as well as his lovely co-manager Joanna. I caught them just as they were done absolutely slaughtering their set at Afropunk Fest, and here’s what they had to say:

1) Where are y’all from in Brooklyn exactly?
The Skins: Bed-Stuy! (said in unison)

2) Do y’all all go to the same school?
Reef: No, I’m in middle school. I go to MS 592.
Daisy: I’m in my freshman year of college at Eugene Lang [part of The New School].
Kaya: I go to Gramercy Arts High School.
Russell: I go to one of the prestigious community colleges in New Jersey.
Bay Li: I’m at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn.

3) How is it that Russell has the least interesting name out of the whole band?
Reef: It’s cause he’s from Jersey!
(friendly group lawl)
Bay Li: (to Russ) But you’re name is still really good though. It’s still a great stage name!

4) How are you involved with Wreckroom and Adrian Grenier?
Bay Li: They’re our management team. It’s mostly Adrian and Joanna [Erdos] managing us.
Russell: I started going to this thing called Paul Green’s School of Rock, and Joanna was a general manager there. And then Daisy started going and met Joanna too. And then we all met through School of Rock.

5) Wait, is this, like, the School of Rock? That’s an actual thing?
Russell: Yea, that’s what the movie was based on! This crazy man Paul Green based out of Philly started the first School of Rock in the ’90s, and then it branched off and stuff.

6) I’m sure you guys have gotten compared to Skins, the amazing British TV show…
Daisy: Yesss we do.
Dory: I like to pretend that the American version never happened. Don’t you?
(collective disgust noises)
Bay Li: The American version, I’m sorry, was terrible!
Daisy: So dumb. The American version was one of the biggest pieces of crap I had ever seen. And it got canceled. But now the UK version is ending this year too.
Russell: You hear that MTV?
Dory: So, now they’re just going to focus on you guys?
Bay Li: Yea, so now it’s gonna be all abut us! (group lawl)

7) Draw a picture of yourself:

Sadly, Kaya had to leave before drawing a self-portrait. :(

The Skins will be working on their first full-length album this fall. Check out their live performance on Wreckroom.tv: