By Jess Goulart
Photos courtesy of Diet Cig.
Not a lot is known about the new pop-y rock duo Diet Cig, based out of New Paltz, New York. Not a lot, except their first single “Scene Sick” is mega-catchy, like a lo-fi Peter Bjorn and John song.
There’s a casual innocence to Alex Luciano’s stripped lyrics; mocking the pretension of “the scene” by reminding us in no uncertain terms what music should really be about. Noah Bowman is the backbone with his nostalgia rimmed drums, an upbeat answer to Luciano’s plea of “I just want to dance.”
Their new EP Over Easy, to be released on February 24th via Father / Daughter Records, promises more of the same irresistible charm that only “two homies just making tunes and eggs on the regz” could strum up.
We caught up with Luciano and Bowman to ask what they were for Halloween and how they avoided arrest last summer.
BreakThru Radio (BTR): So how did you two get together?
Alex Luciano (AL): We met in February, Noah was playing with the band Earl Boykins, and we started hanging out. We didn’t think about making music together until the summertime, and we kind of tried it out and wrote some songs not thinking we would do anything with them. But then we decided to record them, because why not–it took, like, a day.
BTR: Are those the songs that will be coming out on the EP?
Noah Bowman (NB): Yeah, those are them.
AL: Yup, those are the songs we recorded on Halloween this year. And we’re working on some stuff for an LP that will be even cooler.
BTR: Sounds like an interesting recording session…
NB: We recorded with Chris Dailey at Salvation Recording Co.–I actually live upstairs in that place now. Chris is great and we have such a bond because I’ve done the last three Earl Boykins’ records with him, so we decided “hey, no one is doing anything on Halloween, let’s just go in and try and knock these songs out in 24 hours.” We just stayed up all night and banged them out, it was pretty effortless, though, Alex was a little butt-hurt because she wanted to go trick-or-treating…
AL: I had a cool costume man!
BTR: What was your costume?
AL: I was Max from Where The Wild Things Are!
BTR: That is a cool costume! Maybe next year…
ND: Well we played a show the night before where I was dressed up like an astronaut and she was Mad Max, so at least we got to show them off.
BTR: That seems like a good compromise. Apart from Halloween, what are your influences for Over Easy?
AL: Hmmm… I guess we should have thought about this… we listen to a lot of hop-along, strong female fronted bands. even stuff that’s a little more “twee,” like Frankie Cosmos, Eskimo, and those bands. They are the lighter, fun female fronted jom that’s a bit more simple… or not simple, but to the point.
NB: I come from more of a funky rock background, so it’s a transition to go into something more poppy, but fun to kind of change my style a little bit.
BTR: Are you guys planning to release any more content before Over Easy comes out?
AL: Yeah, we just shot a video for “Scene Sick” which is awesome, we’re really excited about it!
BTR: What’s your writing process like?
NB: Well Alex had all the songs written before, just bedroom acoustic tunes, and I heard them and thought they were good and was like, “why don’t we plug into an amp and put some drums on it,” which she’d never done before. Her face was priceless the first time we plugged her into an amp and had her play a chord and her jaw dropped and she was like “this is fucking awesome!”
So she had the songs and I came in with drums and structured them a bit more so they’d make sense as a two piece rather than just a solo.
AL: Yeah it’s so easy because I just write the songs by myself on an acoustic guitar in my room, then bring them to Noah and be like “ok, how do we make it right? how do we make it rock?!”
BTR: And Alex where are you finding inspiration?
AL: Just from what happens, I guess. This year, I moved out from the college dorms and became a real person, so it was a lot of that “oh my god I’m growing up and I have to deal with all these people and living in a house by myself.” It sounds cliche, but it was the whole realizing what people in the real world are like.
But then the other half of it is goofy fun stuff that doesn’t even have to mean that much. Even “Scene Sick” is very straightforward–we wanna dance and have fun, and we want everyone else to dance and have fun!
BTR: Besides all of them, is there any song on the record that you’re psyched for people to hear?
NB: I’m excited for “Pool Boys” because there’s such a good story behind it…
AL: Wait wait wait, let me tell it, this is my story! Ok, so, there was a show in New Paltz with this really awesome band from Seattle, they were so dope, and it was in the summer and it was so hot. We’re all sitting there sweating, and so I was like “hey guys, after the show there’s a swimming pool that’s down the way and we go there to go swimming all the time. We’ll totally just sneak in and go swimming in the middle of the night.” So they played the show and were like “we’re going to go to the swimming pool,” and my friend and I had to get our swimsuits and meet them at the pool. So we went to go get our suits and when we got to the pool, there were police there and they actually got arrested.
I felt so bad! They had to cancel part of their tour and had to stay in New Paltz for another week to go to court, though they ended up playing another awesome show with Porches. But it was a whole ordeal!
BTR: On the one hand, that sucks. On the other hand… good thing you went to go get your swimsuit first!
AL: I know! I hope people didn’t think we, like, led them into a trap!