In February Diet Cig released their debut EP Over Easy through Father/Daughter records. The duo didn’t expect their tracks to resonate quite as much as they have over the past few months. This fall finds them out on a headlining tour, which will roll through Gasa Gasa on the 17th. I caught up with Alex Luciano, principle lyricist and singer, while they made their way from San Diego to Phoenix. We began our conversation by talking a bit about their sound. “We call it “slop pop” because it’s the kind of music that makes you want to dance. We’re dancing and jamming out on stage during our shows and it’s so much more fun when everyone dances too. I’ll come into the audience and it’s just a really fun time—very high energy and we believe if we are having fun then everyone else is going to have a lot of fun.” With its close quarters and low stage, Gasa Gasa will be the perfect venue for this type of audience engagement.
When I listen to Diet Cig, I am very much reminded of the female singer scene in the late '90s. Bands like Belly, 4 Non Blondes and PJ Harvey all resonate here. We have seen an echo of this movement lately with groups like Lady Lamb, Girlpool, Pony Farm and Luciano’s cited influences Best Coast and Frankie Cosmos. Luciano locates her interest in these artists within the emotional release of performance. “It’s just this feeling of catharsis…these lyrics are so real…we are just here to tell you how we feel. You write best about what you know…It comes from that natural place inside of you—this is how I’m feeling. It’s really cathartic especially on stage. We give everything on stage because these songs are so close to how we feel.” This moment of shared release with the audience has helped build their following. The experience of standing among a crowd that can sing along with every word is powerful for audience and performer alike. In Luciano's words, “We had no idea that anyone was even going to like these songs. A lot of people in cities that we’ve never met before knew all of our words. It was so surreal and it’s still surreal…having these kids shouting the words back… It makes you feel not so alone because there are so many people out there who understand what you’re feeling.” These feelings and the driving beats that bandmate Noel Bowman crashes forth from his drums combine to create the perfect blend of personal and universal that makes a pop punk show truly fun.
Luciano identified their philosophy as simply “have a blast no matter what.” This seems like a perfect motto for a balmy evening in New Orleans. I’ll see you there next Thursday.
To Do This Week
The big show this weekend is Canadian post-rock group Godspeed You! Black Emperor at the Joy Theatre on Saturday night. We have two pairs of tickets up for grabs on Facebook today. Tonight, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard are at Gasa Gasa. Friday is BunnyFest at Tips. This fundraiser for Bunny Matthews will feature: Quintron and Miss Pussycat, King James & The Special Men and many more. If you can’t get tickets to see Godspeed, Nashville rockers Diarrhea Planet will be at Gasa Gasa. Sunday you can catch Snarky Puppy at The Howlin’ Wolf.
To Listen This Week