CIGARETTES AFTER SEX
„Cigarettes After Sex” is a Brooklyn based band known for their soft, delicate and melancholic sounds. Their most known song and the one that usually gets most of the attention is „Nothing’s Gonna Hurt You Baby”. This song is somehow becoming like this „new age indie love song classic”. The sold out show in Berlin was the last show on their first ever European tour. Still full of emotions from the tour and minutes before their last show, we sat down with singer and songwriter Greg Gonzalez to discuss what was there to discuss. Anyways, this one is for the romantics.
This was your first European tour. Which city made the biggest impact on you?
They were all great in their own sense, but if I had to pick one, it would be Prague, but that’s just because it was our first time there and the audience was really enthusiastic. But you know what - every city we played was amazing and different, so maybe I should just say all of them.
So the name - why, how?
I’ve never smoked before until I met this one girl and started seeing her, but not like a couple thing, more like „friends with benefits” and she always smoked after sex, so she got me into smoking after sex as well and I really enjoyed it, I found it calming and there was a nice ritual to it. So yeah, few month in, another get-together, another cigarette - the name just came to me.
Your band has a super delicate sound. Did you ever get outlouded by the audience?
There have been people talking, sometimes, but it was never too much. You could just hear the little things.
OK, so that’s good?
Yeah, I mean, I know what you mean though. We used to play in Brooklyn and it used to be like that (audience being super loud).
I can only imagine something like that happening somewhere around Bushwick or Williamsburg?
You are completely right! But that was before anyone liked us. We played in Brooklyn for a long time and no one cared. I mean the last show in Brooklyn was pretty cool and it was sold out, but that was not long ago. We used to play some dead and empty shows.
When did you know you kind of succeeded?
The music was on Band camp for free and for sale and I had a Youtube channel. So one day I just started noticing every few seconds someone was buying our album or someone was adding us on Youtube and it stayed that way for weeks and weeks, so I kind of knew something was going on.
What do you think started this whole thing?
I don’t know because that album has been out for three years, so I don’t know. Maybe just like the word of mouth thing and social media for sure.
I mean the power of social media today is crazy.
Yeah, it’s insane. Because at the time (when the things hit off) we just announced „Affection” on our Facebook profile and everything just took off - new stuff, old stuff. But at the same time we kind of got into this recommended Youtube loop, so a lot of people saw us there as well.
Are you working on something new at the moment?
Yeah, we just finished an album (13 songs) but we are still not sure if we are going to put in out as an album or just singles because I kind of like putting out just singles.
What do you think is the perfect venue for your music?
That’s a tough one just because I can see it in so many places. Let’s say if you are in some sort of exotic location that is foreign to yourself, like if I would go to the beach I have never been to before, then I would want that kind of music on.
Did you ever made love to your own music?
I haven't done that yet, hahaha. That would be kind of weird I think, like „Let me put on some music” and then my stuff would come up.
Yeah, exactly, like „Hey girl, listen to this awesome track.”
Hahaha, yes. But OK, to tell you the truth, it actually happened in the past that girls that I was seeing would put on my music when we were hanging out and it just got me all shy.
But isn't that like the best form of flaterness?
True that. It’s great actually.
Are there any songs out there that you wish were your own?
Yeah, there are plenty. I wish I could write „The obvious child” from Paul Simon or „Katie song” of The Red House Painters or Chopin’s „Romance”.
Do you write from your own experiences or is the stuff you sing about are fictional?
All is written from my own experiences.
What has been your favorite moment so far?
Maybe this is going to sound a bit bizarre, but I’ve must have been in 5th grade and I just bought this new video game and I loved it so much I faked being sick so I could stay home and play all day.
What's your favorite feeling or emotion?
The love buzz! When you start falling for someone and you can feel it in your feet and then it’s like heavy and scary.
Your favorite taste?
The taste of a good kiss.
If you could do music for any movie out there which would that be?
„L'Avventura” from Antonini.
Do you believe in love?
Yeah, of course! I have been in love many, many times.
Do you think someone can have more than one true love?
I believe there can be many loves! Maybe that ruins the whole one true love idea, but I truly believe there can be many great loves in someone's life. I mean some people can have that - that one true love that lasts forever, but I don’t think I am one of those people. Maybe there is just a type A and B for the kinds of love you endure in your life.
Favorite feedback on your music?
That it can help with sleep anxiety. A lot of people came back to me saying that they had troubles sleeping but after listening to our music they could easily fall asleep as it gave them certain calmness.
And lastly: The future, what’s in store for Cigarettes After Sex?
A lot more music! I like to write a lot, I am just picky on when to put things out as I don’t want to over do it. I think there has do be a good balance so it's not too much. But mostly just traveling the world and having more adventures and writing more songs about those adventures.
Words Katja Horvat
Photography Stefan Dotter