Recently we caught up (via email) with trap-pop artists, Jamaican Queens. This Detroit trio is on tour promoting their record, Wormfood. Their unusual, avant-garde musical style is kinda like watching an ice cream cone hit the pavement. Sweet, idyllic and cringe-inducing. Jamaican Queens play tonight at Rhinoceropolis. Only $5 a ticket. Go.
What exactly is trap-pop?
A made-up name we gave our music ‘cuz we were listening to a lot of trap at the time, and we wrote an experimental pop album. Rap beats, creepy and bubble gum-glam.
Favorite track from Wormfood?
“Asleep at the Wheel.”
Favorite track to play live?
“Wellfleet Outro,” ‘cause I like playin’ bass.
You’re known for having a rough, ruthless image as well as some pretty unsettling videos and lyrics. Why is this form of creative expression important to you? What sort of visual artists move you?
Honestly I think that indie music has become too safe. People are scared to take risks. I’m not trying to shock anyone. I think people are just shocked by honesty sometimes. Because media is constantly sugarcoating everything they present to everyone. Our music probably isn’t for everyone. People who aren’t afraid of their sexuality might get it a little better. I dunno. I just try to accurately describe what’s going on in my head. Visual art is interesting to me sometimes. I prefer music. I’d rather play Sudoku than go to a museum. Everyone that I hang out with is an artist. So it’s kind of just the norm now. What’s super weird is when I go to a shopping mall or something. Those people are works of art. People that fell for it. Shopping their whole culture into a toilet. People that will probably be offended by everything that I’m thinking about.
Spotify says related artists to Jamaican Queens would be bands like Night Moves and Delicate Steve. Any thoughts on this?
I wonder who picks the “similar artists.” I had never heard of any of those bands. And who the fuck is Tennis? Every indie rock band is “similar” to them. From Belle and Sebastian to Washed Out. Lol. I just figure someone’s gettin’ paid. Spotify seems to lack research and development. I still can’t have related artists for my mobile device. My friend has a Droid and he gets it. Whatever. Spotify is gonna kill music anyway, right? I use it constantly. I don’t even pirate music that much anymore.
When do you feel the most creative?
On long bike rides. Maybe the exercise releases endorphins or something.
How old do you feel when you wake up?
I turned 28 yesterday. I’m still quite dependent on my friends and family. I’d say I feel 16. Emotional, jobless, broke, lost, unfocused, immature, selfish, etc.
Just started Jitterbug Perfume, by Tom Robbins.
Any weird stories from your time at SXSW?
So many. We really party a lot on tour. SXSW was a shit show. We met a lot of famous people. They all seemed interested in us, and our work. We were interested in their money and attire. Still, We haven’t shared any of our work with them and they haven’t parted with any of their money. Those worlds probably shouldn’t collide anywhere else but the corporate circle jerk that SXSW has become.
Can you share a memorable story or moment, from the tour?
Tour is where we live now. I’m beginning to cope with how disconnected I feel from reality, family and my friends back home. It’s a big step. I was super depressed a couple months ago but now I’m cool as a cucumber.
When was the last time you fell in love?
Oh gosh. I’m currently in love with four 22-year-old girls that all live together in Detroit. Haha. We are having a good text message relationship. Real love? Last year. My ex-gf is the only girl I think I’ve ever been in “real love” with. But 7 times a day I’d probably marry someone I meet who says something profound, or looks like she listens to Sonic Youth or something.
Currently listening to?
Jimmy Cliff, Buju Banton, Disclosure, new Kanye West, Belle and Sebastian. Jamaican Queens. Jk.
Favorite eats and drinks, while on tour?
Whole Foods’ salad bar accepts food stamps. Saves our lives. Only healthy thing we do on tour. Lara bars. Peanut butter.
Favorite time of day?
Definitely morning. I get horrible anxiety at night. Unless I’m mashed on drugs and alcohol.
If Denver is to take away one thing from your show, what would you like it to be?
That we are serious about what we’re doing, I guess. That we have great fashion sense. I dunno. They’ll get it probably. Rhinoceropolis is DIY right? Those are our people. Maybe next time we’ll play a shopping mall and I’ll have to prove something. Toilet city.
Ryan, Andrew, Spencer