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Ciggie & The Darts Interview

Publié le 21 Nov 2022 par
Members:   Ciggie Tarbox – Lead/Rhythm Guitar and lead vocals
Aaron « Double Double« Steinman – Lead Bass and backup vocals
Jimmy Two Toes – Percussion and backup vocals

Dizz–Ciggie & The Darts have been around for a few years now, but your origins are cloaked in mystery. I’m certain our readers are curious on how you all got together to form the band? Because from my understanding you’re not all from Ottawa.

Ciggie–The formation of the band was something that was out of our control. Ever since I can remember I wanted to be a country singer. However other forces were at play.  For the entirety of my life I have been plagued by troublesome visions.  A dream-like state would wash upon me even during my waking hours.  It was an inescapable nightmare that has plagued and replayed in my mind since I was a child.

The terrifying vision was of myself as a sweaty, overweight middle aged man with a beautiful head of hair, screaming at an audience of 10-15 people about cocaine and binge drinking. The sounds I heard during these visions were anything but country music. It was a loud brash raw rock ’n’ roll. I was never alone in these visions; there were always two other rock ’n’ roll entities alongside me.

It wasn’t until 2015 I met a young man who was puking into his own shoe.  As he retched and contorted his body into shapes that would cause David Cronenburg to shake with terror, I looked upon his face.  In an instant I recognized him from the visions which had plagued me since childhood.  This boy was meant to be one of the two partners in my crusade.

Initially when the band started we had another drummer.  Rolls « Sugarlumps« Royce was instrumental in the creation of the band, unfortunately he was never present in the visions that have cursed me since childhood.  HOWEVER, one night he introduced me to a devastatingly handsome and talented young man.  As I gazed upon what can only be described as the most beautiful man I have seen, I felt a warmth wash upon me, while a blinding white light filled my eyes.  It was this moment I recognized I had seen this face millions of time throughout my life. He was the other entity from the visions: Jimmy Two Toes.  Unfortunately, this  meant Rolls Royce had to go for us to fulfill the prophecy and to reach our full potential.  He was unceremoniously fired so the group could meet its full potential.


Dizz–Your songs are strangely familiar but simultaneously fresh and original. I am curious of what your influences are? Which artists inspire Ciggie & The Darts when you are creating your own material?

Ciggie– My main goal creatively is for people to feel the same way I feel when listening to AC/DC while listening to us.  That feeling is nearly  impossible to articulate but I guess it could be described as possessing tremendous power too much power for one single individual to possess.

For me to compile a list of the artists who have influenced me musically or otherwise is an impossible task.  Such a list would require me to type until my fingers were ground into dust.  To print such a list onto paper would require every tree on earth to be razed mashed into pulp and turned into paper.  Such a list would surely be an ecological disaster the likes of which the earth would never recover.

So I will instead include a list of five songs that have touched me in my life:

Double Double: I’m mostly influenced by bourbon and amphetamines so rock ‘n’ roll was purely an outlet for these otherwise devilish idle hands. Our mountainous prowess when together is just an unforeseen bonus.

Dizz–You released your debut album « Liquor, Leather, Denim & Darts« in 2020, you were also one of the first bands to participate in the Pils Sessions.  All of your recordings were produced by Chany Pilote at NOMANSLAND studio in Gatineau. So I am curious, is Chany an old friend of the Darts?

Ciggie– I didn’t really meet Chany until we began working with him. I’ve been a huge fan of Inepsy since I first heard them when I was a teen.  I was actually a little star-struck when we began working with him.  We met at a gig we played.  We had just sound checked and I snuck off to the bathroom to use illegal drugs.  As I exited the bathroom stall, Chany was walking into the bathroom.  He seemed really excited about the one song we had done for our sound checked.  I was trying to play it cool but I was pretty over the moon that this fella whose music had influenced me so much was so jazzed on the music I was making.  He suggested that we come out to the studio to record with him.

Working with Chany is an absolute dream come true, he understood precisely the sound we were going for without the need for us to articulate it to him. NOMANSLAND is a relaxing environment where creativity can blossom and flourish. We arrived with several loose, half-written songs and he helped us to condense them into a tight finished product. I don’t ever want to work with anyone else when recording with the Darts.

Double Double: I hadn’t met Chany directly, aside from in a drunken stupor in some shadows of Montreal’s Loud House, but Inepsy was an integral part of my adolescence as a skateboarding punk rocker with a short attention span and penchant for aforementioned bourbon. He truly gets the band and what we strive for unlike any conceivable other.  I consider him a 4th Dart and it’s been an honour to work with him and haunt NOMANSLAND.

Ciggie & The Darts live = https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=emR8xbPq1so

Dizz–2022 is almost over and 2023 is quickly approaching. People are hungry for new material from Ciggie & the Darts. When can we expect songs from Ciggie & the Darts?

Ciggie– With the recent lineup change and the finite amount of time we have, it’s sometimes difficult to create new material. We’ve played several gigs over the summer, often being a last minute replacement or addition to a show that was already occurring.  Quite often we would have to prioritize rehearsing for our explosive live performance rather than working on new material.  I have several songs written that we’ve yet to play together.  So we’re taking a break from booking any additional gigs to focus on crafting our second full length release.  You will get it when it’s ready and not a minute sooner.

So if you’re reading this the only foreseeable opportunity you will have to see the Darts will be on January 20th for the Pils Super Show. If you wanna catch us this is gonna be your only chance.

Dizz--The Darts play an excellent brand of Rock ‘n’ Roll/Punk rock.  Ciggie, you once shared with me a story of a man who spoke with you after one of your performances.  He told you that he expected the Darts were going to be terrible based on how you were dressed.  Is this a common occurrence? Do things like this happen often? Can you tell us a little more about any interesting interactions you’ve had with show goers and their presumptions about how your band will sound based on your unique and incredible fashion sense?

Ciggie-- That was certainly a strange interaction to have with someone.  This incident happened earlier this summer.  We somehow ended up playing two gigs in one day.  One was a fundraising event in Wakefield Quebec to raise money for the local skate park.  The other was a rowdy Rock ‘n’ Roll show at the house of Targ.  I was dressed fabulously as usual.  Adorned in my hot Pink Dolly Parton t-shirt, and my shortest sluttiest Daisy Dukes, my pink heart sunglasses with my hair in braids.  I have to assume this person was under the impression that someone as attractive and put together as myself couldn’t possess musical talent.  Boy it must have been embarrassing for him to realize not only was I the best dressed at this event, but the most charming, talented and modest as well.

Ciggie Tarbox Solo Project

Dizz– Ciggie Tarbox, let’s talk a bit about your solo project.  You released an E.P. on Pils Records in cassette format, do you want to tell us a bit about it? Do you have any plans for any future solo release?

Ciggie– Oh you’re referring to my Super Pretentious Solo E.P.  that more or less was catching lightning in a bottle. As you may have heard the world was gripped by a global pandemic in the last few years.  During the lockdown I became an anxious, depressed husk of my former self.  The Darts were not hamming at this time to adhere to public health guidelines.  I was mostly spending my days drinking vodka, chain smoking cigarettes, picking needless fights with people on social media and doing any drugs I had on hand.  I wasn’t doing well.

I had pirated recording software installed on an antique laptop, I just kind of started messing around with riffs, drum loops, and all the effects plug-ins on it.  This was a shift in my method of song writing.  Usually I come up with a riff or two and a vague theme for a song and the writing happens organically beyond that with the help of my band members.  At this point I had lots of time to kill, so I would park myself at my keyboard chain smoke joints and just riff around and play the effects.  I wrote easily 40- 50 songs at this time that no one but my father has heard.  I wrote one song called Mocking Birds that I thought was pretty good.  I sent what I had to Chany to ask for some pointers and tips on how to make it sound better.  He dug it and suggested that we record an EP together.  I didn’t have anything else at the time that matched Mocking Birds thematically, so I just kinda puked out 3 other songs that fit the general vibe of Mocking Birds.

Ciggie Tarbox song Mocking Birds

Dizz–In your solo project, there are a lot of references to drugs.  Are drugs something you use occasionally or more regularly?  When I listen to the lyrics I recognize parallels to some events from my past.

Ciggie– To quote the late and great Mitch Hedburg « used to do drugs, I still do but used to too.«   all jokes aside, I’ve certainly chilled out in recent years, I don’t do month  long benders anymore. I haven’t been in overdraft due to buying cocaine I can’t afford for a few years now. But I don’t think I’ll ever fully go « clean« or whatever you might wanna call it, but to quote another great stand-up comedian Doug Stanhope I try to practice « excess in moderation« these days.

Dizz–Can we expect more songs from your solo project in the future?

Ciggie– Probably, I’m always making something.  If you visit my Youtube channel I’m always posting weird one off stuff I make. Weird instrumentals, or random joke, songs or whatever.  Honestly, I think the best song I’ve ever made is on my youtube.  It’s called « get on the floor« .  I make it recently when I was in and out of the hospital for a month straight.  It’s a true story of a trip I took to the emergency room.  I felt like I was gonna die,  I couldn’t remain sitting up in my seat in the emergency room so I lay down on the floor and my wife got on the floor with me and held me tight as thoughts of my own mortality ran through my mind.  It’s a funky dance number the Darts might do a version  of it or we might not.  But I’m always making something.  So keep an eye on my socials so you don’t miss anything.

Dizz–The Darts you have the last word so it’s up to you.

Double Double– Godzilla doesn’t give a crap about France.

Unfortunately Jimmy Two Toes was unavailable to participate in this interview.  He withdrew all funds from our bank account and closed it.  He has since been unreachable.  We stopped by his house but his landlord said he skipped out on the last 3 months of rent and disappeared in the middle of the night.  So it’s pretty safe to assume he’s planning some pretty big stuff for the Darts that requires his uninterrupted attention as well as every cent we have.      

Texte revu et corrigé par Nicole Lebourdais

https://ciggietarbox.bandcamp.com/ https://www.facebook.com/CiggieandTheDarts https://www.instagram.com/ciggieandthedarts/