We had the pleasure of catching up with Diet Cig in the glamorous location of the floor outside the toilets in The Old Blue Last, before their first ever show in London on Tuesday to talk new material, their relationship with the Brooklyn music scene and ‘Lebron James Franco’…
Are you enjoying the UK so far?
Alex: It’s really fun, and I can drink! I’m 20 so I can’t in the US, so it’s been really fun to go out with our friends after the shows and really get to see UK nightlife I guess.
How have the British shows compared to the American so far, has there been much difference?
Noah: Not really actually. We were a little bit nervous, we don’t know what the scene is like out here, we don’t know many people here, but every show seems to have a good crowd.
Alex: People are singing the words and stuff, which is a crazy feeling – you go across the world and there’s so many people who know your music, it’s so humbling.
You’ve built a big fan base off just seven songs, how far can you see things going in the future?
Noah: We’re trying to write a record and get some more songs, but it’s been hard because we’ve been getting asked to do more tours, touring and writing isn’t the easiest thing!
Alex: It sounds cheesy but we really believe in this project and we really believe in ourselves doing this music, we genuinely love it so much. Because of that I can see it going pretty far. I feel like we’ve reached so many goals we didn’t even know we had, like we’re in the UK right now, this is insane!
Is this what you always saw yourself doing?
Noah: I did, I’ve been playing in bands since I was like 12, so I always figured that hopefully at some point I’d be here.
Alex: I didn’t, like I knew I’d probably do something cool and artistic but I never thought being in a band would be my thing. That always seemed so out of reach to me because I wasn’t a very proficient musician, and the idea of having to connect with another musician seemed like the most impossible crazy thing in the world.
You mentioned you had some new music coming, does that mean an album?
Noah: I think we’re shooting for an album, at this point we’re trying to just keep writing as many songs as we can.
Alex: We’re playing three new songs tonight that will hopefully be on this fantasised about record, we feel like they’re some of the best songs we’ve written. I think we’re just getting better!
You’ve put out music on cassette and vinyl, are either of those important to you?
Noah: We’ve got a lot of cassettes in our apartment. We’ll go on tour and we’ll just trade tapes with other bands and come back with a whole suitcase full of tapes.
Alex: There’s like this towering thing of cassettes. But we’re really not vinyl people?
Noah: Well our record player is broken.
Alex: I’ve never really cared for vinyl, tapes are more fun to me; they’re little and kitschy and they sounds shitty sometimes but that’s kinda the fun of them? Our record will probably come out on vinyl, but I hope it also comes out on tape.
So you can buy your own album!
Alex: I can add that to my collection!
Is vinyl a bit hipster?
Alex: I don’t know, we live in Brooklyn which is like the ultimate hipster stereotype.
Noah: Mainly they’re just so expensive.
Alex: Yeah it’s funny that hipsters like vinyl so much because usually we’re poor.
Speaking of the Brooklyn scene, in your song ‘Scene Sick’ you suggest that you’re not really keen to be a part of that.
Noah: Our mission going into this band was to be kind of an ‘everywhere’ band, we don’t wanna be known as a band from New York or Brooklyn or New Paltz. This is really cliché but our scene is the world!
Alex: It’s nice because we’re a part of the Brooklyn scene, but at the same time we play a lot of shows elsewhere, it’s cool to be a part of that community but not be reliant on it. We have so much love for the other bands, we’re honoured to be lumped into that category with them.
With that in mind, are there any bands you’d compare yourselves to?
Alex: Well with PWR BTTM, they’re big friends of ours and we have different musical sounds but we’re both a two piece rock band we’re on the same label, we’ve toured together- they’re one of the bands we’re so honoured to be lumped in with.
If PWR BTTM are who you’re on the same sort of level as, what musician would you say you aspire to be?
Alex: I love Frankie Cosmos, she’s kind of like an indie hero, an indie artist who really broke through that glass ceiling into real world recognition.
Noah: Hopalong’s cool and so are Bully, we’ve done a tour with Bully they’re great.
Alex: There are so many bands who’ve made that leap between indie fame and real world fame, I think that’s really exciting and inspirational.
About your songwriting process, Alex you write the songs but Noah have you ever felt like a swap over, writing some lyrics?
Noah: No! I like being in the back.
Alex: But it’s funny, you name the songs! I am really bad at naming songs, I overthink it.
Noah: She’ll write it and we’ll be like cool, what’s it called? So I just say “What’s the main thing you’re writing about? Call it that.”
Alex: I did name Over Easy though, it’s the only thing I’m proud of I named. Noah thought of the name for the band. I just write the lyrics, usually my whining life stories.
Where did the name come from?
Noah: I don’t even know, we had a show booked before we had a name, we kinda had to come up with something.
Alex: We had a lot of BAD ideas thrown around. I wanted to name it Lebron James Franco, I was like “I’ve got the best idea you’re gonna love this!” I said it and he was like “…fuck that”. So that’s how the name came about, it’s addictive, but not bad for you, that’s Diet Cig.
Does it ever get a bit intense, when you’re writing, recording and touring together?
Noah: Not really I feel like any time we’re pissed off, it’s never because of something one of us did.
Alex: We never get sick of each other, we went on a three month tour road trip this summer and we were either gonna hate each other or totally be best friends after.
Noah: And we’re still alive!
Would you ever consider expanding the duo and having more members?
Noah: We tried once with a bass player and it was fun but it changes the whole dynamic. I kinda like it just being the two of us.
Alex: Yeah it’s better just having two… And lucrative yknow! People talk about this stuff, I forget. People say “You make more money!” and I’m like “Oh yeah!”
Finally, feeling pumped for the show?
Alex: We’re so excited!
Noah: First London show!
Alex: I got all my nerves out on the first night, I’m ready to dance.
Photographs by Brook Johnson