Diet Cig are back! The critically-acclaimed duo of Alex Luciano (guitar and vocals) and Noah Bowman (drums) return with a new song Night Terrors. In 2017 the band released their debut full length Swear I’m Good At This, which was met with widespread praise, and saw lead single Tummy Ache clock up a stack of spot play support from triple j. Night Terrors serves as their first new music since the release, signalling an exciting year for the self-professed slop pop duo. Diet Cig drop by for a quick interview.
How has the build-up been leading up to the release of your sophomore album Do You Wonder About Me?
It’s been really exciting! It’s been about three years since we’ve gotten to share new music with our fans so it’s been awesome to show them what we’ve been working on. It’s been a little unconventional in some ways because of the pandemic and touring getting moved around but we’ve been doing our best to have fun while stuck at home. We’ve been able to do some live shows and sneak some new unreleased songs in which has been a blast! It’s cool to show folks a little taste of what we have coming in May.
It’s been a little while between records – what have you been doing with that time and has it impacted the creative process on the new album?
We did a bunch of touring, recovered from a stage injury (I tore my ACL jumping off the kick drum in late 2017) and made a lot of art! We both got really into screen printing and other forms of visual art, it was nice to get our brains working creatively outside of music. I started volunteering regularly at an art studio non profit space in Richmond VA called Studio Two Three, I learned sooo much about printmaking and got to teach others as well! It was really nice to be a part of a team even when we weren’t on tour.
What are the key differences between your debut record Swear I’m Good At This and Do You Wonder About Me?
Do You Wonder About Me? is a little moodier than Swear I’m Good At This, the lyrics point inwards a little more, exploring why I feel the way I feel and reflecting on who I am. It’s got more emotional moments, more quiet vignettes, more biiiiiig guitars. We also used a lot more synth!
What’s your favourite lyric from the record, and why?
Aw this is so hard! There’s so many I’m proud of. One I love is from Priority Mail:
don’t like driving like I used to / almost died too many times / makes me sad to think about how I’d haunt you / sending collect calls from the afterlife
I like this one because I always have dreams where I’ve died and just trying to find a phone to call my family and tell them goodbye. It’s okay, I’ll be fine I’m just dead. This lyric is me telling my family I love them while touching on more of my weird sleep stuff.
Sonically, how would you describe your music?
I think it’s punk rock with pop driven vocal melodies. The songs are catchy, the drums make you want to dance, the synths will make your heart soar!
Who would you consider to be the biggest influence on your music and why?
There are sooo many but I feel particularly influenced by songwriters like Lorde, Rilo Kiley, Radiator Hospital, Kimya Dawson. People who are telling a story with their lyrics and know how to build a beautiful melody. I think we’re really inspired by the sounds of bands like The Presidents of the United States of America, Motion City Soundtrack, Broken Social Scene.
Best piece of advice you have been given?
Be nice! The world is small and this scene is smaller. Also when I was a kid my stepdad had given me a quote by drummer Buddy Rich written on an envelope that said “Genius is the fire that lights itself” and it’s always kind of stuck with me when I’m trying to stay motivated to work hard.
You’ve mentioned that the record talks a lot about accepting the possibly embarrassing aspects of your identity, and how they make us who we are along with all the good stuff. What inspired you to take that route when writing the album?
I reflected a lot between the last record and this one, I spent a lot of time trying to recognise and celebrate the growth I’ve done in this time but not to discount all the people I’ve been before this. I write songs based on my feelings and experiences and this was a really big feeling as we were writing.
What music was on heavy rotation for you during the writing process, and has it changed from what’s on your playlist now?
A lot of those bands I had mentioned as influences were on heavy rotation, I think there was a month where I exclusively listened to Melodrama by Lorde and Broken Social Scene, nothing else haha. I listened to Half-Light by Rostam a lot in that time too. Noah listened to a lot of late 90s early 2000s rock like The Promise Ring and Pedro the Lion.
What’s something interesting that most people wouldn’t know about the band?
Hmmm when we’re not on tour we rock climb together regularly! It’s like our #1 shared hobby outside of making music.
Interview By Rob Lyon
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