By: Jenna Million
Diet Cig is like a quiet friend with a grunge exterior, yet a bubbly and silly core. They roll with the punches and daydream with a DIY sense of conquering the world. Diet Cig is the new pop punk, bringing those everyday cringe-worthy and awkward moments to life – like that time in high school you slept with someone with your name, according to a new song they performed live during their show at the Parish on February 4.
I caught up with the duo before their sold out show opening for Bully. Alex Luciano, vocalist and guitarist, and Noah Bowman, drummer, met me promptly at 8:15, impressive for any band, especially one that has three interviews before doors. With VooDoo doughnuts in hand we sat down to talk about crowd surfing in London, pop punk music and the best time to eat eggs.
SMEAR: Your video for “Scene Sick” came out a year ago, Feb. 5.
AL: We were reminiscing earlier in January about how we had just released our first single, which was “Scene Sick” on Jan. 5 last year. So this year on Jan. 5 we were like “oh my god this is crazy! It’s been a year!” And we were about to leave to go to the UK so we were just like “ah!”
S: How was that?
NB: We had no idea what was going to happen. We didn’t know anybody there. We sold out three London shows. We were like who are all these people? We don’t know anybody here and everybody came out.
AL: It was really amazing. We met so many amazing people and the shows were really fun. I got to crowd surf. It was really awesome.
S: Have you noticed people singing along at shows or connecting with your music?
AL: It’s actually been crazy watching it all come together like that. Every show there’s a few more people who really like our songs. It’s the craziest feeling in the whole world when you look out and there are people who are singing along. And sometimes we’ll have shows where people are singing louder than I can hear myself and I’m just like “AH!” It’s really crazy. It’s super surreal. I feel like I’m dreaming.
S: You have seven songs out. Do you have plans for new material this year?
NB: We’re playing three new songs tonight.
AL: Hopefully we’re releasing a record by the end of the year. Which I’m super stoked on. I think our new songs are a little different. They’re more mature. There’s more thought put into them. The first ones we kind of took it and ran and we’re like “Okay, whatever!” These ones I think we are learning to write better with each other.
S: When you did the first EP, was that the first time you two worked together?
NB: We pretty much wrote the [Over Easy] EP in the studio. We had the ideas and went in one day and were just like “Let’s get it all done and see what happens.” We didn’t expect people would like it.
AL: I had never been in a band before so I was like “Oh my god. LOL. This funny thing I’m putting out. Whatever! I’m not a musician.” It took me a really long time to start identifying as a musician, because I really felt like I was faking it for a long time. I felt like I was pulling the wool over people’s eyes and like how are people listening to this? What is going on? I’m not a musician and people are coming up to me like “Oh my god. That was great.” And I was like “You don’t understand. I don’t do this!” Now I feel like I am doing this because I like to do this and I am a musician.
S: Your sound is kind of pop and it’s kind of punk because there’s some underlying angst but it’s not overly aggressive.
NB: It’s so hard because I feel like pop punk is such a specific thing now. But if you break it down we are pop punk. But we’re not like…
AL: …but we’re not like All Time Low Glamour Kills tour!
NB: We all went through that. And it was great cause it helped out what we’re doing now. But you say “Oh, what’s your genre?” to people who don’t know us and you’re like “Oh, we’re pop…punk.” But they’re not going to know what that is.
AL: We say we’re slop pop cause it’s like sloppy and rocking but it’s still really catchy and fun.
S: You’re touring with The Front Bottoms this spring.
AL: Ultimate pop punk! Ah! They were one of my favorite bands when I first went to college. Talon of the Hawk, their second album – I think I know every single word to it, so the pop punk kid inside me is freaking out!
S: How do you think those fans’ will receive Diet Cig?
AL: I think we have similar fans. It’s a lot of young people who are really dedicated to strong lyrics and catchy stuff and they like to dance. And they aren’t at the point where they’re too cool yet. I think that it will be really fun.
S: What do you do to pass time on tour?
NB: We play a lot of Rumi, the card game.
AL: I sew patches that we sell as merch. Sometime we’ll do that in the car. We just sit and be like a grandma and sew a bunch of little ones… We’ve been selling so many of the Diet Cig ones that I’ve been trying to keep up with it.
NB: I’ve made a couple that we’ve sold. It feels pretty good. But I don’t really have the patience to sit there. It takes like 45 minutes to an hour to make one.
AL: It’s a labor of love.
S: Did you sew the Over Easy EP cover?
AL: Actually I didn’t. Our engineer, who did the record – his wife is the ultimate goddess craft woman. She does amazing art. We were freaking out like “What are we going to do for our album cover?” And she was like “Oh, I can make you something.” She embroidered it and it was one of the things that inspired me to start embroidering. And I was like it looks so cool and it’s so easy. So I started making patches for the band.
S: Do you like eggs?
AL: Oh my god, I freaking love eggs! Eggs rule. They’re good any time of the day with any type of food. For breakfast everyday. We’re like savory breakfast people. We just need some eggs. Eggs are like the food of life. Literally. Figuratively.
S: Do you make time for eggs on tour?
NB: We do. We had eggs this morning!
AL: The girls we stayed with in Houston – we met them on twitter. We were like does anyone want to let us crash? They were so amazing they taught us a really funny game and we had eggs in the morning. We had like breakfast tacos. They were the best ever.