They’ve been compared to tornadoes, firecrackers, and lightning storms, and described as genuine, unapologetic, and down-to-earth. Their live shows are a whirlwind of belting and high-kicks, their pure energy as yet unmatched. Almost three years since the release of their debut album, Alex Luciano and Noah Bowman of gutsy rock duo Diet Cig are set to release their sophomore full-length, Do You Wonder About Me? The pair, typically on the road, took time off of tour to spend the better part of 2019 working on their follow-up to 2017’s Swear I’m Good At This. The new record marks a more intentional, self-assured Diet Cig; not only in Luciano’s radically intimate, acerbic lyrics, but in the duo’s sound as well.
(Photo Credit: Emily Dubin)
Most of us are sequestered in our homes, doing our part to slow the spread of COVID-19. That includes some of our favorite artists, so we’re asking them to tell us about one thing — a book, a movie, a record, whatever — that’s helping them get through this difficult time.
Alex Luciano: We’re holding up! I think in a broad sense, our food is secure and we have a place to be isolated, so we’re hanging in there. We’re in Richmond, Virginia; that’s where we’ve been living for a couple of years now. The main thing that’s been keeping me feeling well-adjusted is cooking in our house. I’ve been trying a lot of recipes and things that I had been previously too intimidated to try out. Like I baked bread with yeast for the first time, which I think a lot of people are doing! And I soaked beans, cooked beans from dry beans for the first time ever. It sounds so simple and basic, but doing stuff like that has been almost meditative. It’s the kind of cooking I never really thought I had time to do.
Honestly, the first bread didn’t turn out great. I tried to do the basic, no-knead focaccia, and I kind of messed it up a little bit. I think I under-baked it and I did some weird stuff with the yeast. Overall, we didn’t eat a lot of it. But I made it! My friend just gave me some sourdough starter, which kind of feels like a big jump to make after not succeeding with the instant yeast, but I’m going to try that soon and see how it goes. I also want to attempt spatchcocking a whole chicken and roasting it. I think I just like the word spatchcock. I’ve done a roasted chicken before, but just a really basic one. Our friends run a butcher shop, and we’ve been meaning to get some meat from them. I think that’s next on my list.
Noah Bowman: I’m not doing so much cooking, but I can be helpful. I’ve been fortunate that we still have a rehearsal space I can go to. I’ve been going there and playing a lot of drums, trying out different things. It’s nice because it’s just me there and it’s almost like I’m going on tour, but I’m going to the practice space myself. And I’ve been trying to get into doing playthrough videos of the record to maybe get out to our fans. I’ve been teaching myself how to use iMovie and stuff like that. It’s a good time to learn a new thing right now.
The coronavirus has hit many people financially, and it’s been especially tough on musicians who rely on touring to support themselves. If you’re able and inclined, check out Diet Cig’s Bandcamp and order a T-shirt, some vinyl, or whatever they’ve got on offer. Every little bit helps.
(Photo Credit: Emily Dubin)