MONDAY MORNING MUSICAL MAYHEM - featuring Ciggie Tarbox
Updated: Apr 16
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Another Monday? In this economy?? Well whatever! Let's make the most of it by taking a cyber-trip over to our Nation's capital! The big O! It is here you'll find a fellow by the name of Ciggie Tarbox who is 1/3 of The Darts - aka Ciggie & The Darts! Join us for a nice Monday Morning chat as he explains just how they put the Waaaaa back in Ottawa!
BRUTAL REALITY DIGEST: Identify yourself, your band, and your weapon of choice.
CIGGIE TARBOX: Ciggie Tarbox- Guitar/Vocals, Double Double-Bass/Vocals and Rolls "Sugarlumps" Royce-on Drums and Vocals.
BRD: With a name like yours, you must have opinions about vaping. Let's hear them (don't hold back!)
CT: Funny you should ask this. Initially, I (Ciggie) wanted to call the band Ciggie & The Vapers. Rolls Royce and I had jammed a bit with him on guitar, and my old pals Tasha and Tim on Drums and bass. We had fooled around in the basement a bit, I was only singing and not playing guitar at the time which is what I wanted to do for this band, but it's so much easier with only three members to get shit done. Scotty had a couple riffs one of which became the Darts Song "Get up to get down."
Tasha and Tim moved away and Sugarlumps and I started jamming pretty regularly. it was more of an excuse to get drunk in a basement more than anything. When Dubbs joined, we knew we needed a name. I was pulling hard for Ciggie & The Vapers. Sugarlumps was reluctant he stated "I don't wanna be a vaper" which is fair. My wife suggested the name "Ciggie & The Darts" I loved it because it featured my name right out front, and the boys didn't put up much of a fight. Double Double, sometimes vapes on his own time but we don't permit it during working hours.
BRD: Can you give us an origin story of Rolls "Sugarlumps" Royce - your fearless drummer?
CT: Rolls "Sugarlumps" Royce was born in Ottawa at the end of 1980's. Already a fixture in the local Ottawa Scene by the time I (ciggie) had arrived. he had been a member of Chloroform, Ataxia and really too many others to even mention. He is a Certified Rock n Roll Wildman, but sweet and kind enough to bring home to your mama. Like our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ he is a carpenter by trade. Also he loves the Cars.
BRD: Your sound reminds me of a guy from my hometown in Saskatchewan named Savage Henry. He is the frontman of Savage Henry and the Infamous One Pounders. Are you familiar with his tunes and if not, who are some of your influences?
CT: I've never heard Savage Henry, but I'll be certain to check it out. All three of us are complete lunatics about music so our influences really range from far and wide. Motorhead are really the big one I think for all of us. AC/DC are huge for me. They're a band I listened to long before I discovered punk and have been a constant fixture in my life. I love Dolly Parton more than anything. I don't know how much that comes through in our songwriting but she's probably my biggest influence and I'll tell anyone who will listen.
Double Double won't shut up about Dead Moon. It's always "Dead Moon this, Dead Moon that, Say you ever heard 'in the Graveyard'? It's Killer!" Rolls Royce was crazy about the kids when I first met him, and I'm pretty sure he still is. When we first formed, we were listening to a lot of brownsville Station. We wanted to cover kings of the party (we still might). I guess ultimately our biggest influences are classic rock and classic punk.
BRD: Your cassette tapes capture the likeness of a pack of Marlboro cigarettes. Is that the Ciggy approved brand of choice and if so, how does that work seeing as how you're from Canada?
CT: We went with the likeness of Marlboro just because we feel it's kind of the most iconic looking cigarette pack. I mean if you ask someone to picture a pack of cigarettes in their mind that's generally the image that they'd conjure up. Recently the law here in Canada changed so no tobacco products have any branding of any sort. Just the same olive green colour, and basic text on each pack so that wouldn't have made a very interesting album cover, it also makes buying cigarettes much more tedious. Personally I smoke LD Bold regular, the finest of the economy brand!
BRD: I am pretty sure I hear some old saloon style piano in some of your songs. Who's the big, beautiful pianist in the band?
CT: I (Ciggie) Play the piano, And you're goddamned right I am big, and BEAUTIFUL!
BRD: I'm a big fan of the Riptides from your home city. Who else should we be listening to from Ottawa?
CT: Ottawa is an absolute treasure trove of talent. A lot of people slag off on it which I'll never understand. A lot of people are under the impression that it's boring here, well I believe only boring people get bored. I (Ciggie) grew up in New Brunswick, where there really wasn't a lot happening and some really dedicated folks still made shit happen there. As far as Ottawa goes, there's a ton of great bands. Just off the top of my head, Aint no Grave, Dogma, Bug Bites and Spirit Cry. Rolls is in another band called Asile and they're absolutely killer. Dubbs plays drums in another band called Magic Mommy - also fantastic. I hope no one feels slighted if I've forgotten them. I'm an egomaniac and generally only wanna talk about myself.
BRD: What is the best movie or TV show you consumed while stuck indoors this past year?
CT: I sure did watch a lot of Television and movies this year, but without a doubt the best was Michael Landon's "Highway to Heaven" I've been fruitlessly trying to get all my friends on board, but they're hesitant. Here's the premise: an Angel, and a disgraced police officer (fired for use of excessive force) Travel around America performing miracles and helping people improve their lives. Some episodes are campy and fun, some are super heavy and terrifying. Maximum 80's cheese. My Great grandmother loved it, and for me it's basically the comfort food of television.
BRD: If you had to pick one creature to be Ciggie & The Darts mascot, what would it be?
CT: I'd say we're like Racoons. Cute as a button but we will fuck you up if we feel threatened or cornered. If not racoons then former alley cats who have since been adopted. Still cute as cute can be. But a little rough around the edges and we'll ruin your furniture.
BRD: What do you hope to accomplish with the last 2/3 of 2021?
CT: We're not setting our sights too high given the whole pandemic business. We had our first practice of 2021 just this previous Tuesday. We have enough new material written for a second full length, so we're hoping to record a new album. We're hoping to shoot a video. We're going to take part in an exciting new program called "the Pils Sessions", Produced by Chany Pilote of Inepsy and his old buddy Dizz. Local acts will record live off the floor of Nomansland studios and receive 3 free live recordings to showcase some local talent. Other than that, we plan to do what we always do: hang out, slug some beers and play rock n roll.