Plus, a quick interview about Detroit violence with their singer, Ryan Spencer.
Jamaican Queens sounds like they're from New York, but this hazy, synth-based three-piece is from Detroit, which, if we're to take their video for "Kids Get Away" as any proof, is still a pretty dangerous place to inhabit. We heard this creepy vid was inspired by a gangbanger knifing up a friend of their singer, Ryan Spencer, so we hit him up to figure out exactly what's going on in this thing.
Noisey: Did you really write this song about a gangbanger slashing up your friend's face?
Ryan Spencer: Well, she isn't a friend as much as a person i know from around town. But anyway, yeah, she was victimized outside of her house late at night about 2 years ago. I wrote this song because i was inspired by her story. I hear stories from friends (and acquaintances) all the time about being robbed, mugged, injured, hospitalized, etc... I'm always so naive and put myself in dangerous situations all the time. I kind of wrote this song as a reminder to stop being such an idiot. I live in a dangerous city, so maybe i shouldn't act like a child all the time. It's not safe getting fucked up and riding my bike home from weird rave spaces at 4 in the morning alone. Perhaps it's helped me avoid a potentially dangerous encounter. Who knows..
Whoa. Is Detroit really that dangerous?
Yeah. Watch your back!
What's the scariest situation you've been in around Detroit?
This psychopath used to sit in the bushes waiting for people to get out of their cars near my old house on W. Grand Blvd. in SW Detroit. I knew there was a problem with him because there was a neighborhood news letter that went around. He had chased my roommate once, and so we nicknamed him the chaser, to kind of make light of a terrifying situation. Anyways, one time when I was parked at a stop light right about to turn on to my street, he tried jumping into my car. I ran the red light and he didn't end up getting in the vehicle. I wasn't hurt, but it was the scariest shit that ever happened to me. And though a lot of people i know laugh about the situation now, I've never felt the same about parking on that street. No streetlights and a corner house. It was so shady. I think that my girlfriend lives next door to him now. We're unsure.
Let's talk about something more pleasant. How did you and Andy Miller start working together?
He moved onto this block in bang-town and lives with most of my best friends. He worked on an urban farm with my little brother and we just kind of started seeing each other around. All of the shit that he's showed me looked sick, so we asked him if he was interested and it turned out he was. The guy is really talented and super easy going.
That's better. Thanks Ryan!