Hell Yeah, Hopscotch: The Strange Times of Jamaican Queens


With a name like Jamaican Queens, you might expect this band to have a little bit o’ island flavor or gritty inner city bass boom.  You’ll get neither from Ryan Spencer and company, but that’s not a bad thing. With swooping synths and textures,  Wormfood is one of the most exciting albums we’ve been introduced to this year, so we were stoked when we got the chance to chat with Spencer before their Hopscotch gig.

Last we heard, you guys had blown the van speakers. Have you given any thought to starting a Kickstarter campaign to fix this? We’d donate.

I have a hard time with kick starters. I don’t want anyone to pay for our speakers. I’d be embarrassed asking fans for money. We don’t even have a set price for our merchandise at shows. It’s all name your own price. Choose your own adventure.

Speaking of touring, what’s the weirdest thing to happen to you on the road this summer?

We’ve kept it pretty chill, honestly. I drank vodka with Talib Kweli the other day. That was sort of surreal. I smoked DMT on a short stop at home. That was kinda nuts. Watching the world disintegrate and reform as the people around me puked brightly colored Legos.

You’re playing Hopscotch in Raleigh, NC with more than a shit ton of bands playing. Why should people come check you guys out? Side note: while you are there, you really need some chicken and waffles from Beasleys.

I would like people to watch us. I think our music is very good. It’s important to find new music, so that you can show off how much more you know than all your friends. Art exists to make others feel inferior, right? I’ll try to check those waffles.

Are you looking forward to any particular band you’re sharing the bill with?

Yes. Majical Cloudz and Moon King are our friends. It’ll be nice to hang with them again. I also have to apologize to them for how trashed my house was when they slept here last. My roommates are disgusting human beings that live in filth and have never done a dish as long as they’ve been alive.

What’s the scoop behind the busted gal on the album cover for, Wormfood?

That’s my best bud Abby. She got hit by a cyclist on a trail and had to get stitches. The pic is actually a selfie.

There’s a lot going on with each track, so we’re assuming there’s a method to the madness.Can you share a few details of your songwriting and recording process?

I come up with a melody and lyrics and present them to adam and then we produce the tracks around the original ideas.

Ultimately this record is about varying degrees of love, not just words but that general atmosphere and feeling of being in and out of it. Do you believe in true love or is it as you say, a trap?

I think I believe in it. I definitely believe in infatuation. There may not be a difference. Love isn’t a fairy tale. It’s hard. It’s a struggle. You have to be willing to work really hard at it, or it’s probably not worth it. You’ll be let down, or it won’t reach your expectations and you’ll end up feeling just as lonely as you did when you were alone.

Name a band or two that our readers should check out that they’re probably not listening to already.

Aphasiacs, Zelooperz, Dakota Bones, Solid Liquid, Kyle Hall, Tops, Sean Nicholas Savage.

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