Auckland five-piece No Cigar consists of Willy Ferrier on rhythm guitar and vocals, Sam Benson on bass and keyboard, Josh Morrice on lead guitar, Ned Gow on drums and James Mitchell on saxophone. The “pychediscofunkilicious” band released their debut single Tickets To Space very late in 2019. Instead of a summery floundering, the song was picked up by NZ On Air for their NewTracks compilation this February. We asked Josh to answer a few questions to find out more about No Cigar.
No formal training, Youtube is an epic resource though!
Really just a bunch of mates that started jamming together!
It feels like our music is always evolving. I’d only been writing for a year before we started No Cigar, and it’s always quite excited me how many songs we’re able to generate. We have some distinct sounds that shine through, but we really like to run with whatever makes sense and gets us smiling.
I’m not sure actually sure who suggested it but we quickly agreed it fit! New Zealand society is known to suffer from crippling tall poppy syndrome at times, so we thought something self-deprecating would suit.
As soon as we wrote the song, it was the song we wanted to keep practising and playing. It has a slightly different sound to some of the others we have written so far, so I think that fresh direction was exciting for us to explore.
The story itself compares the great unknown of space to the uncharted experience of growing up and leaving the nest. When you’re young, parents try to protect you from everything, telling you it’s dangerous, and that you’re fragile.
When you grow up you start to realise that you’re not made of glass, and the things you were once afraid of are just a part of life.
When the chorus hits there is a whole bunch of layered vocals we did. That’s probably one of my favourite parts.
We recorded at The Lab recording studio in Mt Eden with Olly Harmer. Sam’s brother, Luke, is actually on the recording too. He lives in London, so we sent him the rough mix over in-between sessions for him to lay down trumpet alongside James’ sax.
I would prefer them to try to relate to that feeling of growing up and discovering something new.
It’s usually quite obvious for us, it’s the song that has been in our head since the last practice and we have been excited to work on and progress. Basically the song we enjoy the most!
A few of us have some other musical avenues, but at the moment they are unnamed and quite loose. We are really just enjoying playing as much music with as many different people as possible.
This was our first! So none so far.
Myself personally (because I’m a guitarist) I watch a lot of Paul David’s Youtube, and also listen to That Pedal Show podcast. An awesome all-round podcast though is Song Exploder! It’s a great insight into some really cool artists’ workflow.