It takes bottled lightning to go from your first house show to recording your debut EP mere weeks later to immediately striking out on a national tour, but Diet Cig possesses that volatile, crackling energy.
Diet Cig is Alex Luciano on vocals and guitar and Noah Bowman on drums, and the young duo has wasted no time bursting from the New Paltz, N.Y., DIY scene and gaining national attention.
“We could never have expected any of this,” Luciano says. “It’s so much fun and we’re happy and excited. It’s going the way it’s going because we never thought it would.”
Luciano and Bowman started playing music together for the same reasons most bands begin: a mixture of boredom and mild ambition.
“In August of 2014, we were hanging out and I already had a couple songs written and we were super bored,” explains Luciano. “There was nothing going on that summer, so we decided to go into a studio space and just fool around on some instruments.”
Luciano had written tunes in her bedroom on an acoustic guitar, but when she picked up an electric, being in a rock band became a real possibility.
“I was like, ‘Oh my God, this is awesome!’” Luciano says.
Bowman and Luciano refashioned her songs into four short, blistering pieces of delicious guitar pop and played their first house show. On Halloween, a few weeks later, they went into the studio and recorded some music. From there, the momentum built fast.
“We didn’t really think anything was going to come of it; it just started off as something to do over the summer,” Luciano says. “It came from a very carefree place.”
That carefree attitude is evident in Diet Cig’s rambunctious and infectious live shows. Luciano is a whirlwind of smiles and crunchy three-chord glee, dancing and jumping with reckless abandon, while Bowman feeds off of her enthusiasm and happily crashes on the kit.
So far, Diet Cig has a rather small catalogue of songs: just a five-song EP and two singles. Fans keep asking if a full-length record is on the way.
“That’s the million-dollar question,” Luciano says with a laugh. “We’ll probably play three new songs at Stopover. We’re currently writing (the record) which is crazy because we’re going on tours and running around so much.”
When they do get a chance to record, Diet Cig wants to play around in a professional studio and aim for a “bigger, better sound.” They’ll work with Chris Daly of Salvation Recordings, who recorded their debut, “Over Easy.”
“We’re staying with the same engineer because we want to stay true to our original sound and he really knows what direction we want to go in,” Luciano says.
The songs have gotten louder since Luciano went electric, but her confessional and autobiographical lyrics haven’t changed in tone since leaving her bedroom.
“Writing these songs has forced me to confront some emotions that I normally wouldn’t have,” she says. “It’s really an awesome way to take these emotions and bring them to the forefront. It’s very cathartic. It makes them real and gives me a way to deal with them that is artistic and productive. Something that I can bring to the world and other people can connect with them.”
When the band and their fans are having this much fun, it’s almost impossible not to connect.