WLUW was lucky enough to sit down with the boisterous and friendly Alex Luciano and Noah Bowman, the duo that make up Diet Cig. A few hours before their lively and empowering performance, we discussed the truth of Diet Cig’s origin story, some of their favorite songs to perform live, and what’s in store for the band’s future.
How did you two meet? There are stories online about Alex interrupting Noah’s previous band’s set to ask for a lighter.
Alex: Well, I didn’t interrupt the set, it was between songs.
Noah: That’s something that everyone exaggerates.
Alex: Everyone’s like, ‘Oh my gosh, that’s so great.’ It was like someone else in the band was tuning and I was gonna go out with my friend to have a smoke and Noah was right there and I was like, ‘Hey, do you have a lighter?
Noah: And it was like, we were at a house show. It wasn’t like she ran onstage at a festival.
Alex: I hate that narrative that I interrupted the set though. Because as a musician, I’d be so pissed if someone interrupted my set to ask me a dumba** question. It was in between songs, I chose an appropriate time.
One of your most popular songs is “Harvard,” from the album Over Easy. One of the lyrics is, ‘F*** your Ivy League sweater.’ Can you explain the lyrics behind that?
Alex: I was dating a guy and we broke up, I broke up with him. And he started dating this girl who went to Harvard apparently and was kind of going around being like, ‘Oh my gosh,’ just like trying to be like ‘I’m so cool’ now that my girlfriend is so cool now. I was like, ‘F*** you, nobody cares.’ She’s probably really cool but that doesn’t mean you are.
Do you each have a favorite song that you like to perform live?
Noah: I feel like we’re kinda on the same boat. I really like playing ‘Link In Bio,’ it’s just a fun song and just like, we pretty much wrote that song in the studio which was kind of a fun thing about it. Now that we do it live, we’re like, ‘Oh cool, it actually worked.’
Alex: I like ‘Link In Bio’ and I also like ‘Made of the Mist’ a lot especially because on this tour, and some tours earlier in the year, we have our friend Carly playing keys and doing harmonies and backing vocals and those two songs really shine when it’s all three of us playing live.
“Made of the Mist,” is my favorite song from the album Swear I’m Good At This. Can you describe what inspired that or what were you thinking of when you wrote that song?
Alex: I was just thinking about, I don’t know, navigating relationships with people and like beginnings of relationships and kind of like, you know, trying to find people that respect consent and stuff and just thinking about how yeah, I am for sure bigger than my body, like I am more than just like this f***ing shell of a human but also like don’t f*** with it, you know. Respect my consent, because my body is mine and even though I feel like I’m so much more than it, it’s so crucial and important to respect it.
Do each of you have a favorite musician right now?
Noah: That’s hard to pick just one. You go first.
Alex: I’m obsessed with Sylvan Esso. They’re like the only artist that I would pay like hundreds of dollars to go see live if it came down to it. I love them so much. I just started listening to Perfume Genius and they’re really amazing. Also, I’ve been obsessively listening to the illuminati hotties record that came out this year. We’re actually touring with them right now and it’s been so fun to listen to them play it live every night.
Noah: I have some overlap on that too. But I guess a lot of stuff that I’ve always loved was Algernon Cadwallader, there guitar player is now with Hop Along and Hop Along is also just like so sick. Like, if Algernon ever did a reunion tour I would probably go to every single show, kind of thing. There’s just too many to pick. I’m just trying to think of everyone we tour with because everyone we tour with is just so great. Ratboys is great, we were just listening to them in the car.”
Alex: We’re so lucky to like- we’re at this point where we can just like, pick bands that we want to tour with in a way and we get to play with our favorite bands and it’s just like so cool, that’s like the best part of touring, like getting to tour with a cool band and get to listen to them every night.”
What is next for you? Do you have any plans for Diet Cig?
Alex: Right now we’re on tour with illuminati hotties, and later, from October to November we’re doing another tour with a band called Rubblebucket. They’re super awesome. We’re going to the East coast, West coast, a little bit of Texas. Then we’re just trying to work on new music, we’ve been moving moving moving so non-stop that we’re finally just like, oh sh**, we can like take a breather and re-group. We’re just like putting the pieces together for a new album. I feel like we’re gonna hunker down for a sec and just like figure that out.
Luckily for us, Diet Cig is touring now and for the next couple of months!