From Liverpool and Bringham, England, the alternative duo The New No gives us "My Life In The Cartel," their new single that will immerse you in a gangster story.
The New No is a duo from England that has made a name in the alternative scene since 2013. They are Rodney Christopher Guy Prosser on the vocals and Benedict Simon Leach on the keyboards, bass, guitar, percussion, and programming. Rodney has been into poetry and radio since the 80s, and Benedict has been touring bands in Britain for three decades.
With their incredible experience in music and close relationship with the cinematic arts, The New No made "My Life In The Cartel." This song is a story of a former Queen’s guard who is now a gangster. But this hasn’t made him a different man. He still has problems with his wife and needs a cake after a long work day. Doing what? Drowning three guys.
Hitting the play button on "My Life In The Cartel" gives you the instant sensation of watching a film. The instrumentals have a dominant bass with fast-paced drums and a synth in the back. It has heavy 70s and 80s vibes. And that is not a surprise. The duo’s most significant influence is the 1971 film “Get Carter'' and Sir Michael Cain’s character.
Although they influenced films, the story of "My Life In The Cartel" comes from the stories of real people the duo has heard. Benedict does an incredible job with the instrumentals while Rodney narrates the story. Both give "My Life In The Cartel" a fantastic cinematic style.
Press play on "My Life In The Cartel" and watch the music video. You are about to go to the cinema in the form of music.
What was your motivation for making "My Life In The Cartel?" The inspiration is drawn from talking to many people. In the 1970s, my father had a company in Cardigan Street in Birmingham (England) making barriers, and from an early age, I would go in on Saturdays and hang out in the factory and chat with the guys. I preferred hanging out with these guys to anybody else. They were really hardworking people. I have always been at ease chatting with people ever since this time of my life. I rarely have bad experiences, and in fact, in my whole life, I can only remember about six times when I regretted speaking to people. So bearing this in mind, I like chatting with people and still do. So the story goes like this… In 1990 I thought I was good enough to be a stand-up comedian in the East End of London. Through being a clown and a Kissogram, I met many people and developed some ideas and ways of seeing life, and I wanted to turn my hand to comedy. I had a lot of pluck but not much material. I was unprepared, in fact, but a lot of people in one pub in Hackney liked me, they bought me drinks, and they told me stories.
One guy was a burglar, another guy sold stolen gear, and another guy was a scaffolder who was dodgy. I was in the midst of a few guys just trying to survive. Having been bullied at school and not liked at art school because they thought I was posh, I was happy to find a crowd who liked me finally. I was, in their eyes, “a real laugh,” and I just absorbed their vibes. “My Life in the Cartel,” written 24 years after this, was imagined through their eyes. The human weaknesses in spite of being tough geezers. How a villain would sort out people who were not respectful yet still have time to grab a cake from the bakers?
What does "My Life In The Cartel" mean to you as an artist? Ben Leach (Ben plays everything and produces) and I were recording something else one day, and then we got something to eat and decided to take a break from recording and watch “Get Carter” with Michael Caine. The music is so direct and stinks of smoke and cheap aftershave, and we thought, “let’s use this as a blueprint for a person speaking. A seriously cool man who doesn’t let anyone stop him from putting things right. A real geezer with his suit and accent and a down-to-earth way was the way forward. The song is utterly amazing because Ben Leach is a great musician who studied music, played in bands, and recorded in studios for the past 49 years since he was 4. I had some lyrics back in 2016, and we started tootling around in the studio with a beat and a few piano chords. The song has existed in around 40 different versions. It has been interrupted by illness, building work, chopping wood, other priorities, and bouts of lethargy. So many things have happened, but it has always been a great tune that Ben has spent hundreds if not thousands of hours listening to it, changing, and re-working it. A fun fact is that we mixed a shorter version too, but it didn’t work. So the song is 5min36. It needs to be because it contains the story.
What was the most exciting moment of making "My Life In The Cartel?" I think the most exciting moment was when Ben survived being really ill in May this year and calls me and said he had worked on it and finished it. I felt buzzed. I was really worried about him. He is right as rain now. I think finishing the track brought our musical creation into a new place. Getting better gave Ben a jolt. I write the lyrics that Ben edits; then Ben plays everything. I sometimes play the guitar to show an idea, but whatever I play gets binned because it is often a case of “No.” Ben says “No” often and sometimes, “I like that.” That’s why we are The New No.
What do you expect your listeners to picture when listening to "My Life In The Cartel?" Listen to the bass and the vibe and feel the car journey in this song. Feel a bit scared because scary people do scary stuff. Don’t worry, though, because they won’t hurt you… unless you do something to annoy them. “My Life in the Cartel” is an immense song because it is like a film in my head. The character Kenny Dogleach is a bit overweight, his beard grows quickly, and yet he always shaves on weekdays “brushed up pretty neat, you’d never know” refers to something he said about his beard growing so fast and how he liked to slob out at the weekend and not shave, but on Monday he was pristine. What's next for you? The New No will be seeing how this song does. Is the audience big enough in number to get us heard? We think it is an interesting question. However, having seen so many homeless people here in Paris and seeing true desperation, I think it would be unreasonable to complain if we failed. It’s a balanced way of seeing life: stay real and never forget how lucky you are. However, if things do work out for us, we have a lot of other songs with funky grooves and great stories. Let’s not get ahead, but we hope to release another single in April 2022. Let’s see what happens for “My Life in the Cartel.”