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Clones of the Queen, abbreviated ‘COTQ’ or just ‘Clones’, is a three-piece dream-pop band based in Honolulu, Hawai’i. The band started jamming together in the summer of 2009 in an old bank vault above a coffee shop, and now write and practice on the fourth floor of the reportedly haunted once-Blaisdell Hotel in downtown Honolulu. With Ara Laylo on lead vocals, Paul Bajcar on guitar, and Matthew McVickar on drums and electronics, the trio delivers songs that are at once ambient and spirited, combining strong vocals, stormy percussion, and heavily-effected guitar lines and synth loops. Clones of the Queen derive their band name from the ant species Mycocepurus smithii, in which every individual is a genetic duplicate of the queen. The band self-recorded and -released their sophomore EP, Braided, in July of 2012 and is currently playing shows in Honolulu. Their fan-funded, self-released debut EP was released in December 2010, and all of their music is free to download from their website.
They have been featured on the popular music blog yvynyl. The trio has been the main support for many visiting bands, opening for Menomena, Diplo, Toro Y Moi, Little Dragon, and Warpaint, for whom they opened at Aloha Tower on the opening night of Hallowbaloo 2011, Honolulu’s yearly three-day Halloween music and street festival.
They have played every one of downtown Honolulu’s nighttime hotspots, the Hard Rock Cafe Waikiki, and have played at the Honolulu Academy of Arts and the Contemporary Museum of Honolulu multiple times for special events.
The band has had dozens of write-ups in local newspapers (both the Star Advertiser and the Honolulu Weekly), and was named as the Best Band in Honolulu by the Boston Phoenix for their yearly Best New Bands in America feature in 2011.
Matthew McVickar, producer and live electronics player in the band, produced the score for the Hawaii International Film Festival 2011 trailer, remixing taiko drummer of international renown Kenny Endo. As a solo artist, he has opened for Classixx and Baths and released an EP of his own in August 2011.
For more information, promo requests, or to set up an interview, please email the band.