interview by Lilli Marvin
Coming up within the music scene at almost unprecedented speeds, slop pop duo Diet Cig defies all common conceptions and standards within the industry. Grappling with identity and music politics throughout their EP and debut album “Swear I’m Good At This,” Diet Cig proves that the only standard you have to live up to is your own. Whether it be singing about being punk while wearing a skirt or eating ice cream on your birthday, the duo craftily addresses inequality and other serious matters through a personable, explosive, fun sound that has earned them their ever-expanding recognition. Here, we sit down with Alex Luciano (singer/guitarist) and Noah Bowman (drummer) to talk about their upcoming tour, the college scene, and hear some advice for young women in the industry.
You guys have a few college towns coming up on tour, how do you feel about returning to the college scene?
Noah: I like going back to different colleges, you get to walk in and be like, whoa, what if my life was different and I went here. Every college has such a different vibe, but we like doing it because you know the crowd is going to be 17-22 year old kids so it’s gonna be fun. They’re on their safe place on campus, so they can get a little crazy.
Alex: It’s a cool, safe way for kids to get lit at a show. Not necessarily getting drunk, but this is their spot. We grew up in a college town playing house shows, but most of our college shows on this tour are actual college sponsored venues, which is different because we never really played those in our town, so it’s kind of fun to play those in different college towns and find out what each place is all about.
What did your college scene look like?
Noah: New Paltz, where we met, was a pretty small town, there is pretty much one main street that goes through it and then houses spread out around campus. [The scene] fluctuated, when I was first living in New Paltz, there were a number of bands but people graduate and leave. I always felt like people were coming and going.
Alex: There were enough bands where you could have two house shows on the same Saturday night with two four-band bills and be like, oh shit! I want to go to all these shows. Its all subjective, when we moved to the city we were like oh my god, there’s actually so many bands!
In this past two years we have noticed a lot of femme and non-binary artists who have been popping up. When we were there, there was less representation in that way so it’s cool to look back and see it change.
Alex, why did you switch from a digital media major to music?
I saw it as a way to be creative but still have a job, but once the band thing became more real I was just ready to be like bye! and not do that. I was always searching for the one thing to be like oh yeah! I went to college because that’s what you’re supposed to do, and was waiting for something else to happen. The band just felt so much more right, especially when it started taking off a little bit and we were touring. I wasn’t going to be able to tour and go to class, and so when we made that realization I was super hyped to not be in school anymore.
What stops are you excited about on your upcoming tour?
Alex: I’m really excited because we are going to be in Minneapolis on the day of the Super Bowl, and we really want to go the mall of America on the day of the super bowl and just sit—
Noah: —I actually think you’re the only one who wants to go.
Alex: That’s not true! Everyone else wants to go, I’ve pressured them into it. The Spook School are from Scotland and they NEED to experience the mall of America during the Super Bowl, the most American thing you could ever do. Its like capitalism Disneyland, it’s so fun. I’m really looking forward to forcing that upon everyone.
Speaking of which, how did you come into contact with the Spook School?
We actually toured with them in Europe in October, for about a month and so when we were going through who we wanted as our support band, they had submitted, and we were like yeah, you all are awesome! Their live show is so good.
Noah: And they just put out a record like right before this tour, so the timing was so perfect.
We have a younger staff, especially with a lot of girls wanting to break into the industry, do you have advice for them to establish themselves?
Alex: My one piece of advice that I’ve learned a lot is to never make yourself smaller for anyone else, and never condense yourself down to make people more comfortable, especially men, and in the music industry it feels often like you have to cater to the male gaze, and male comfort, and I think that is bullshit. You should never have to water yourself down to get ahead. Just do you, full force and the success will follow with that.