‘NO CIGAR’ no need introduction into the New Zealand music industry… After quickly rising in the ranks of the New Zealand music industry as a band to watch. After recently releasing their debut album ‘Bienvenido’ in September 2022 the band have gone on and played at some of New Zealand’s most exciting music festivals and sold out New Zealand & Australian tours over the last summer.. Selling over 2,500+ tickets across Australasia.
With singles ‘1999’, ‘Some Nights’ and ‘Say No More’ playlisted on ZM, Radio Hauraki and The Edge, NO CIGAR’s infectious chiller tunes have fast become a favorite with fans locally and abroad. Their track record has amassed over 6,000,000+ plays on Spotify alone & gained a monthly listenership of 110,000+ fans.
Honing in on their psychedelic undertones and mastery of storytelling, NO CIGAR and are guaranteed to get your toes tapping and your soul singing. With a whirlwind 2022 now behind them - NO CIGAR are now turning their focus to their next album and some exciting release plans followed by live shows for 2023/2024.
We caught up with the band before their performance at Nest Fest 2024.
Let's check in...
8 Quick Fire questions.
What inspired your artist name? Coming up with a name that self-deprecated ourselves in a pre-emptive response to tall-poppy syndrome here in NZ. By taking ourselves not-too-seriously, people can’t be too critical of us.
Where do you see the music industry in 2033? NO CIGAR at #1
Is there anything outside of the music industry that is inspiring you right now? Our day jobs? If only
Best kept secret…. What can you share? Our next album… all of it in November!
What is something you have learnt this year? That people in London are very keen to see us play. Our music reaches beyond Australiasia
Favorite place you’ve traveled to / any travel tips? Nepal. The most beautiful people in the most beautiful country.
If you were to write a book - what would the title be? Close But…
No Cigar - How we are doing… we have seen you guys tease out some new music, recently finishing a NZ Winter tour + announce some shows over in the UK. Can you tell us more? What the hell are you guys up to for the rest of the year? Things are going good, following on from our tour to Australia earlier this year, we thought it was about time we ventured a little further afield to see what the UK and Europe are up to. We’ve seen a steady rise in listenership over there, so we’re just keen to dip our toes in and see what comes of it! It will certainly be a novelty going over there for music, so we’re gonna park up in France for a few weeks while we get gig tight, and start writing the next body of work. When we return to these shores, we have a very busy summer ahead, with Nest Fest on the bill this year, which will undoubtedly be a highlight. Another Aussie tour, and may even look into the Americas next year!
So you’ve got a new album coming out ‘The Great Escape’ - Where does this inspiration come from and what is the difference between this album and your first one? ‘The Great Escape’ has long been on our minds ever since the inception of the band. As we’ve seen with so many friends and family, handing in the jobs for a one-way ticket abroad, we’ve certainly felt that pressure to leave too, but the music has been the only thing keeping us here in many ways. Our Great Escape is instead to Mangawhai, where we create most of our music, which now has given us the opportunity to escape these shores to Australia, UK and Europe. So in some ways, what was holding us here, is now that which allows us to leave, even if just for a period. It’s different, but still unmistakably NO CIGAR. I can’t exactly give a definitive answer on that front, you’re just gonna have to listen to it and compare the two when it comes out in late November.
We noticed at your show at Hollywood you had a pretty snazzy lightshow to back the set. Is this something you guys are wanting to push more within your shows? What can fans expect this summer? Absolutely, as we play more, we want to constantly be able to deliver more for our audiences. While so much goes into the writing and recording process, delivering a unique and memorable live set is equally if not more important in creating that connection with fans. Seeing an artist live, you’re immediately exposed to so much more than just the music, and being able to deliver a succinct and cohesive light show adds that little bit extra. Our sound engineer, Suren Unka (aka Sound Daddy) has delved into his lighting expertise to deliver some epic new ideas, so I think we’ll be seeing some cool shit at NO CIGAR performances in the near future.
Have you guys ever been to Nest Fest? If so, what is your most crack up story you can share? … if there are any…? Willy, Josh and I (Arthur) have been a number of times. HAving my dad live in Hawkes Bay I like to test the camping capacity of his lawn, bringing as my dad says ‘25 of my closest mates’. Willy joined on the most recent edition, and fancies himself somewhat of a chili connoisseur. Following on from a long day at the festival and the after-party debauchery, Willy was due to taxi to the airport, having not slept. On his way out, dad was sure to give Willy a parting gift, this being one of his home-grown Carolina Reapers. Fair to say Willy didn’t have the most pleasant flight, or taxi ride for that matter. I think he enjoyed the festival a hell of a lot more than my dad’s hospitality.
Dream studio to record in? Abbey Road
Any artists the band all collectively look up to that we should check out? Fontaines DC. Nest Fest headliner 2025?
Any final words? Come to Nest Fest this summer. Our favourite festival, such a beautiful venue, in a such a beautiful part of Aotearoa that could do with some of your out-of-town money right now. See you there.