Trained at Berklee College of Music and inspired by Queen and Muse, No/Hugs is an American band seeking to the keep the theatre alive in rock. With their selection of songs titled In Between setting the mood, we caught up with the band to find out more.
Who are No/Hugs?
No/Hugs is a group of five wonderful individuals and Berklee alumni. There’s Narcissus A-Ngel on vocals, J.P. Goldman on bass and backing vocals, Fernando Echeverry on drums and backing vocals, San Surendra on lead guitar and Ghannaru Trangono on keyboards/piano.
What was your first performance together like?
Our first performance was The Boston Battle of The Bands in 2015. It was the first time that we had seen the potential in our music and had such a great and energetic crowd. We won the contest based on crowd reaction voting, and it was a pretty surreal moment for a band on their first gig.
Your latest EP, In Between, has powerful shades of rock opera that is reminiscent of Queen and Muse. What had led you to this genre?
We all gravitated towards the theatrical and virtuosic musical aspects of Queen and Muse. Narcissus, our singer, is highly influenced by Freddie Mercury’s stage presence, and since she’s the primary songwriter of the band, a lot of those aspects rotate within our style. In Between is an array of five songs that our fans loved when played live. Even though there are elements that can be considered rock opera, the style of the EP and No/Hugs is a mixture of alternative, blues and rock.
Is there one particular track that speaks to you most as a band? A signature song, so to speak?
We feel like On Fire represents the essence of No/Hugs. When that song reached its final stages, we felt that it was a sound we wanted to pursue and explore.
If your instruments could talk, what would they say?
The drum kit would say, “Don’t leave me in the tour van.” The guitar would say, “I want to file a restraining order.” The bass would say, “Stop hitting me. That’s abuse.” They keyboard would say, “That tickles ” Narcissus already says what she has to say.
As a band, do you feel more at home on stage or in the recording studio?
If you had to create a fantasy line-up for your dream concert, who’d make the list?
Toto, Muse, Acid Black Cherry, Rush and Tenacious D.
Where’s No Hugs heading next?
We’re heading towards two national tours, lots of U.S gigs and we also have some international touring plans.