Diet Cig released their new record Swear I’m Good At This in April this year. It’s a record full of catchy melodies and strong messages that propels the duo to the forefront of US indie. We had the chance to ask singer Alex Luciano a few questions before the band is starting their tour in Germany this month.
Whatweraretalkingabout: The album title „Swear I’m Good At This“ sounds like a clear statement of intent. Do you feel you have to prove yourself even harder as a woman in a band?
Alex Luciano: I think in general women and non men are set to a higher standard, always having the prove that they’re “good enough” to occupy the same space as men. But the title of our album was more of a self mantra, me telling myself that I am good at this, trying to convince me that I am talented and my art is important.
WWTA: There has been quite a surge in female fronted or all female punk or indie bands (Courtney Barnett, Muncie Girls, Waxahatchee, Hop Along or Julien Baker to name a few) recently, does this give you hope that we are finally moving closer to a point where gender does not matter anymore?
AL: I love all these bands! I’m excited that they’re getting the coverage and support they deserve.
WWTA: On your single „Tummy Ache“, you’re singing about finding your voice while being surrounded by boys. If you allow me to say this, you seem to have found it really well. What has helped you with finding it? And what still helps?
AL: Playing a lot of shows has helped me find my voice, meeting other artists, working with other non men, being inspired by my peers, all of these things have helped me find my voice. When I meet a fan who totally understands what I’m trying to say in a song it validates this voice I’m trying to find so much. It makes me feel less alone.
WWTA: In the same song you also touch upon prejudice within the punk scene, how do these show? And how can the subculture fight them?
AL: I think there are enough examples of misogyny and prejudice in the punk scene to talk about forever, but I’d rather not dwell on them. I think we can come together as a community and support marginalized artists, maybe one way being less questions about the prejudice they face and more questions about their art and creative processes.
WWTA: You are a politically very active band, but it seems that hardly any big band is really political any longer. It is not only a tough time in the US but in Europe as well. Sitting in Germany it appears as if Hip-Hop acts are much more vocal about social issues than punk bands. Do you share that view?
AL: I’m not very educated about german hip-hop bands vs punk bands, but i do think as the political state begins to get very personal to artists, it shows through in their music regardless of genre.
WWTA: During the presidential election campaign a lot of political groups went on the streets to demonstrate, while we all agree that the election’s results have been distressing and the early signs are alarming, do you feel it has helped to repoliticize the younger generation?
AL: I think it has helped repoliticize the privileged folks who felt that being political was a choice before this election. There are people who have been oppressed long before this election and have been fighting for their rights and rights of others. I think this election has opened the eyes of those privileged enough to have them closed formerly.
WWTA: Lastly, how can we get more involved in the programs you are endorsing?
AL: Support your local girls rock camps! Book shows with more than just white men performing!
Diet Cig are on tour in Germany right now. Go catch them live!
02.10.17 – Wien – B72 (AT)
04.10.17 – München – Orange House
05.10.17 – Berlin – Berghain
07.10.17 – Hamburg – Molotow
09.10.17 – Köln – Blue Shell
10.10.17 – Münster – Gleis 22