Today, and arguably every generation, the best music is the music that isn’t played as much on mainstream radio, but more underground and hard to find. But it especially rings true today. If you’re like me, you listen to local independent radio stations to find the best new artists. These artists are harder to find because they have an unfiltered voice, they speak exactly what’s on their minds in a fun and powerful way. The genre of today is whatever bands want it to be.
The New York duo, ‘Diet Cig’ made up their own genre to describe them:
“We use ‘Slop-Pop’ to describe what we’re doing, it’s fun, it’s sloppy, it’s poppy, and carefree. We kind of just made it up to have something to call our music we didn’t feel like any other more general terms for genres really felt right,” said front-woman, Alex Luciano.
“It feels weird to lump a bunch of bands into one name, because every band has their own unique thing going on.”
Luciano and drummer Noah Bowman formed in 2014 and released their first EP, Over Easy, in February 2015.
Diet Cig isn’t just a band, they are a voice for feminism, minorities, and anybody that is struggling or trying to find themselves.
They just dropped a new video of their recent single ‘Tummy Ache’ which features young girls from Girls Rock Camp in both NYC and Philadelphia and you can really get a sense of who the band is in the video.
Currently they are on tour in the U.S., and they are all over the place at music festivals, on radio stations like Triple J, Edge Radio, and FBi Radio, and websites like NPR and Paste Magazine.
I had the pleasure of getting to know them better.
What brought you two together?
We met at a college house show, and instantly clicked. We hung out a bunch and decided to try making music for fun. We both connected over the idea that we always wanted to be doing a project. We both hate down time, and are constantly trying to find ways to make something. Diet Cig was kind of born out of our fear of not doing something. It was something to do for fun that made us feel good!
Where are you guys originally from? What do you like about New York?
We’re both originally from upstate New York! We love New York because it feels like this big epicenter of exciting new artists and music, its super inspiring to constantly be surrounded by folks you admire. It can feel overwhelming sometimes, but it really pushes you to be your best self.
What are your influences?
Ian Sweet, PWR BTTM, Jay Som, Maggie Rogers. Oh damn there are so many! We’re super inspired by artists who are currently making music, which is really cool because sometimes we get to play shows together or run into each other on tour and it’s like AHHH YOU RULE THANK YOU FOR MAKING YOUR ART!!!! But we really love Frankie Cosmos, Vagabon, and Hop Along. These are the kind of bands where we see them live or listen to their recordings and it makes us want to be a better band. They’re just so sick.
Tell me about your upcoming LP.
We’re so excited to share it with everyone, we literally put our entire soul into it and we’re so proud. It took like everything out us to make it, and it’s super honest. It’s embarrassing to admit but I listen to it probably once a day to pump myself up and remind myself that I can create and I’m worthwhile. We love it a lot. We hope you will too!
Tell me about your single ‘Tummy Ache.’ Did you have a stomach ache when you wrote it?
No omg but the day the video came out we all got food poisoning!!! It was so ironic and awful haha. That song is basically my shout into the universe telling all the other femme folks that I FEEL YOU and your space in this world matters no matter who’s trying to make you feel small. It’s me figuring out how to even use the space I’ve finally carved out for myself, and letting the other femme folks making art that they’re not alone in trying to figure it all out.
So Alex, I see you’re big on the Female Empowerment movement, and other movements like Trans Lives Matter and Black Lives Matter. Do you incorporate that into your music?
I think some of those themes are incorporated in our music just inherently because I identify as a woman, and our music is so honest. We’re very vocal about the causes we believe in though, it’s such a privilege to have the platform that we do and we feel like it’s worth using it to help causes we back, or to just pass our mic to those who don’t necessarily have one.
Your crafts are amazing! Which charities do the profits go to? How long have you been crafting?
Thank you!!! Currently the proceeds of the crafts are going to the National Immigration Law Center, the Trevor Project, the ACLU, Planned Parenthood and the Southern Poverty Law Center. I’ve been crafting since I was a kid! Haven’t we all? It’s just a fun thing I like to do while off tour and thought maybe it could be a good way to raise money for the charities we believe in. Sometimes you don’t have unlimited funds to donate to all the charities you back, but putting time and effort into them are just as important! It’s easy for all of us to dedicate just a little time towards these organizations even if we don’t have the funds, and it can be fun!!
Seems like you’re on the road a lot, how do you enjoy touring?
WE LOVE TOURING!!!!! It’s literally the best part of being in a band. It’s so so so much fun to meet all the folks who listen to our music all over, and to just rock out like a 10 year old in their bedroom! We feel more comfortable on tour than we do at home I think. There’s a certain routine you fall into on tour that feels so good, like you have a purpose every day, and that you’re involved in something bigger than yourself. It’s the best.
Is there a rhyme or reason to the venues you choose?
We try really hard first and foremost to play venues that are all ages. It’s really important that our music is accessible to everyone, and one of the biggest ways people are excluded from art is through age restrictions. We try very hard to play venues that are accessible to folks of all abilities too. We’re not out here trying to play a gig somewhere up 10 flights of stairs with no elevator. We just want our shows to be open to everyone, that’s our biggest concern. It just so happens that so many artsy / DIY spaces are all ages and accessible and it’s amazing! We’re so inspired by everyone putting together art spaces on their own terms, and making sure everyone can participate in what’s going on.
Seems like you have a big following, what do you guys hope to achieve in the next year or two?
We just want to tour more and meet all the incredible people who listen to our music. Like I said, touring is the best part of doing all this and we’re so grateful for everyone who comes to our shows. Also, maybe go to Disneyworld in Paris??
What is the message you want to get across through your music?
We just want people to know they’re not alone that someone out there gets them and has their back, because we do.
Check out their Bandcamp