Quick Chord: We talk monkey waiters and the NEPA music scene with Science Queen
A restaurant in Japan called Kayabuki has two employees named Yat-chan and Fuku-chan who—along with being monkeys—are also waiters. After opening for Austin, Texas’ Ringo Deathstarr, Isabel Anderson and Jeff Collins hung out with the band until 2 a.m. and talked about monkey waiters. After watching Anderson and Collins’ band Science Queen open for Austin, Texas’ Ringo Deathstarr, concert goers were talking about them (Science Queen. Not monkey waiters).
“We thought we were just going to go, play, go to bed then go to class and move on, but we’ve been asked by so many people (about upcoming shows), which is really awesome,” Anderson said. “We weren’t expecting that.”
Anderson and Collins met as freshmen at Penn State. They were waiting in line for food when a mutual friend introduced them and, after bonding over their respective love for music, they began playing and writing together.
“He liked bands that I wanted to check out and vice versa,” Anderson said. “Then we just got together one day. I brought my acoustic guitar over and we started sloppily playing songs.”
“Even from the very beginning when we would jam we would be writing songs,” Collins added. “Then as we started writing songs we wouldn’t be happy with so we’d scrap them entirely and start writing new things. It just kept happening over and over.”
The elements that influence Science Queen’s sound come from all over music’s periodic table. Collins leaned on hardcore and punk bands like American Nightmare, Descendants and Alkaline Trio, while Anderson cited Pity Sex and Wild Honey. The two meet in the middle ground formed on acts like Saves the Day, Jawbreaker and Joyce Manor.
Adding another variable can cause a violent reaction (like the Misfits cover Anderson opposed but was overruled on when an added drummer tipped the vote), but the duo have learned to be careful about adding new members to the mix.
“Craigslist is a dump,” Anderson said. “it’s terrible.”
“The drummer form my last band played a show with us,” Collins said of the aforementioned Misfits swing vote. “He’s going to record with us but he’s in a cover band called Facing the Giants and they’re out on weekends making hundreds of dollars. We can offer nothing.”
Both members of Science Queen will graduate from Keystone College in May with degrees in communications. Post-graduate life is still a distant blur for the musicians, but when it comes to the band, they’re both in the same gear.
“We have artists like Tigers Jaw, Petal, The Menzingers; there are all these bands from here that are signed and touring the country,” Collins said.
“That’s what we aspire to,” Anderson added. “All these bands from Scranton … it’s such a small, localized area. It’d be nice to get a sixth or seventh band out into the open. Whatever number we might possibly be.”
Reach Gene Axton at 570-991-6121 or on Twitter @TLArts