MOS Interview: Leggy/Diet Cig

_MG_5699interview and photos by Jahan Swanson.

It was Friday, summer, and the sun was casting an auburn glow across the city skies of downtown Cincinnati. I pulled on to a street not too far from the MOTR Pub, the venue for the night. I didn’t know if I’d be able to enter the pub, but after muddling around for a bit I found Chris from Leggy.

We spoke for a little and I got the idea to ask him to let me carry something so I wouldn’t be carded.  He wasted no time and let me carry the kick drum, so I didn’t get interrupted at all walking in.

My infiltration was successful all thanks to Chris, and I set the kick drum down near the stage and found myself amongst strangers waiting to watch. I eventually found Véronique later that night and she pulled Chris and Kerstin in for our interview. Check it out, as well as an interview with headliners Diet Cig below.

What made you decide upon the cover art for your album?
Kerstin: That was a last minute decision, we walked around our house trying to think of things to put on our album cover.

So there wasn’t any forethought?
Kerstin: No, we were like, ‘Oh, our chair looks cool, and Véronique was like, ‘Oh! Im gonna put a rose and some fur and…’
Véronique: Yeah we just really liked the colors and how it looked!

So, you guys actually set up the picture?
Kerstin: Yeah she took the picture, and I just put it in like photoshop, and edited it.

Why did you decide to do 15 tracks?
Véronique: It’s basically all of our tracks that we had put out plus one new track.
Kerstin: We cut out some of our oldest the songs, the ones we don’t really play live anymore.

Was there anything remastered for the album?
It was all remastered but, not remixed.
Chris: Yeah it was all remastered so it flows together level wise.

Were you guys apart of the remastering experience?
No, our label did that.

Was it only released in the UK, Due to it being a UK Label?
Well we have copies here, but it’s all based out of the UK.
Kerstin: They’re technically like imports because they send them to us from the UK.
Chris: I feel like it was kinda like an introduction to the UK and Europe audience
I guess, since a lot of the stuff is self-released they didn’t see us physically release something unless it was through bandcamp.

How long has it been out for? It hasn’t been that long.
I think it technically came out at the end of May.
Chris: So a couple months I guess.

Do you guys ever get any metrics for it?
I don’t know, I know it got sent out to record shops over there.
Véronique: I know it’s being sold by rough trade in New York & London.

Did you get a vinyl?
No, they’re not doing vinyls until the albums sell out because the label’s thought is that people aren’t going to buy an album and a CD. If they’re gonna make a vinyl they’re gonna hurt existing CD sales. It’s just business. It also takes a long time to get vinyls made.

Describe Leggy’s sound in movies.
In movies!?

What is the sound of Leggy movie wise?
Didn’t we say like Jawbreaker? The movie.
Kerstin: The movie Jawbreaker!
Chris: Yeaaah! *Does finger guns*
Véronique: Virgin Suicides is an aesthetic that I think our songs try to emulate.
Chris: Yeah I love that soundtrack.

Would Leggy be an 80’s movie, a 90’s movie, or a 2000’s movie?
Chris: I would say 90’s, early 2000’s.

Who would’ve directed the Leggy film?
Chris: Oh I don’t know hahaha.
Kerstin: The Farrelly Brothers!
Chris & Véronique: Yeah! Hahaha

If you had to synthesize the sound of your music in to a cartoon, what would it be?Kerstin: Does it have to be a cartoon on right now?

It can be any cartoon from any period.

Everyone is quiet for a moment until Kerstin breaks the silence.

Kerstin: Doug.
Chris: Hahahaha, Doug.
Véronique: Yeah actually!

When was it that you thought to yourself this is working?
Well the moment I probably thought this is working is when I got the email saying ‘Do you guys wanna go on tour for a month in Europe opening for Shonen Knife?’ which is like just so fucking insane.
Chris: We kinda started playing because we were all kinda friends for a long time. And we moved in together, and playing music is fun. I feel like we’ve constantly been doing stuff like touring you know, or like playing local original shows, it’s kinda hard to gauge like where we’re at.

You guys are kinda like show junkies in a way right?
We love playing shows! We play as many local shows as possible. Sometimes like too many haha.

Consistency is key though.
It is! And also, I don’t think we’ve played a local show with just local bands in a really long time. It’s just like when a homie is coming through and they hit us up like ‘We’re going on tour, we wanna play with you guys.’ That’s when we play a show like with Diet Cig!

How’d you guys meet Diet Cig?
It’s a good story. They played Midpoint last year and we played Midpoint and we didn’t meet them there. But the night that they played we threw a going away party for Bridgett Battle from Tweens cause she was moving away to New York and so I tweeted at Diet Cig, ‘You guys need to come to our party after this.’ And they were literally were like ‘Yes! Oh My God!’ Not only that but they came to the party after their show and were the only people that crashed at the house with us. They slept on the couches and people were up at that till like 7 in the morning, it was really cool. Then we hung out with them at SXSW and we saw them in Columbus like 2 Weeks ago.

 What are your guy’s favorite local bands right now?z
Smuuut, definitely Smut.

I feel the same.

Véronique: Dinge.
Chris: Yeah, Cross Country and Dinge.
Véronique: Electric Citizen, Lung.
Chris: Holy Nectar! Best house DJ in all of Cincinnati!

Would you guys ever throw an art show, and what would be in the rooms?
Like would we ever put on an art show?


Chris: We do a lot of fliers.
Véronique:  Yeah! I make all our fliers basically.
Chris: Outside of 1 T-shirt all the T-shirts were done either by Evan Wolfe or Matthew McDole.
Véronique: They do the designs.
Kerstin: Véronique and I print them, they come up with the designs.

So, what’s truly the style you guys try to go for when you’re playing?
Im honestly inspired by real feminine and like…I think it’s like 1 thing we do. We’re definitely a punk band. But, we try to be maybe not as hardcore as punk bands. Like I think it’s interesting to see a band that’s like Rips and is still like punk but, still like sensual. Like Lana Del Rey is defiantly an inspiration, the way she performs old lounge singer style. And then we just played with this band that’s on our label. They’re from Japan, they’re called Otoboke Beaver and they’re like and intense hardcore punk band, all women.
Chris: They shred so hard.
Véronique: Crazy shredding, we played with them a couple of times in England. They’re very theatrical. Like they do hand gestures and coordinated movements. But, it’s so not corny because they’re so bad ass.
Kerstin: They’re pretty hardcore.
Véronique: They’re very hardcore, very intense.

There’s a lot of bands that involve themselves in their shows theatrically by dressing up or doing other crazy things. Have you guys ever thought about adding theatrics to your shows?
That’s just not us as people and I feel like if we tried to do that it would just come off as looking uncomfortable.
Chris: Especially at this point, I feel like there’s always a lot of energy for sure, we try to put on a great show.
Véronique: I love the bands that do that though like Mr.Phlyzzz, they do dress up and they’re very intense and perform very strategically but, I feel like if we tried to do that at this point it would just come off really weird. Cause that’s just not who we are.

Is your music more calculative or just about doing?
Our recording process is the least calculative of any band.
Chris & Véronique: Yeah hahahaha.
Véronique: Our song writing process is never calculated. Like we’re basically at the point where we write songs.
Kerstin: We’re like a 2 take band. We don’t obsesses over the little things in recordings.
Véronique: Yeah, we put a lot of trust into the producers who record us.
Chris: So far everyone we’ve recorded with has been really on point.
Kerstin: The first 2 Recordings were in a church and the second ones were in a basement.

That’s some Coldplay shit right there though.
Kerstin & Chris:
Véronique: It was awesome.
Chris: We were trying to make A Rush of Blood to the Head!
Kerstin: Yeah balled after ballad is going to be our next album hahaha!
Chris: Dude, yeah like that Scorpions records that’s all ballads.

That actually leads in to my next question, since LEGGY is 3 different EP’s released as 1 album, will there ever be a sit down point where you guys present a coherent album with a theme or concept?
Leggy: Oh Yeah Yeah, Yeah!
Véronique: That’s like this summer, we’ve been actively writing new songs.
At this point we don’t have practice to practice old songs, we only have practice to write new songs. Because, I said this after our second EP ‘I really don’t wanna put out a third EP’ and at this point I really don’t wanna put out a fourth EP.
Kerstin & Chris: Haha Yeah.

Is there a concept or anything behind it?
There might be once we get it in the recording studio but not really song writing wise.
Véronique: Maybe if we have a handful of songs and there’s like an obvious style.
Kerstin: Yeah, we’ll continue that style in the studio.

Has there been a sound adjustment or advancement as of late?
Well I think we’ve just all gotten a lot tighter. It’s not like a stylistic choice. We’re just able to do more and we have more options now.

Was there any pressure from the label to add a single to the album at all?
Leggy: Nooo, not at all.
Chris: They’re super based in DIY ethos. Like George who runs Damnably has been involved with DIY bands and indie music since like the early 90’s so he’s trying to definitely maintain that. I think we were the first band that wasn’t handshake only, and that was only because…
Kerstin: Someone else fucked it up hahaha.
Chris: Yeah…

What do you mean handshake only?
Kerstin: Well we had to sign a contract. We were like the first band on their label that signed a contract.
Chris: Yeah, I guess even with Shonen Knife and Wussy it was all kinda like agreements.
Kerstin: Yeah like, ‘don’t be a shitty person.’


Our interview ended after a brief pardon by the sound guy asking if they could set up and play an extended set. They happily obliged and made their way to the stage. I made my way back to the bar to grab Diet Cig for an interview as well before their headlining set:


It’s been awhile since I last saw you guys. How’s it been?
I know! It’s great!
Noah: Good! Good! When’s was the last time we saw you?

The Front Bottoms I believe.
Alex: Yeah! At Bogart’s! I feel like you were with your aunt and what not.
Noah: Oh right! I think we only spoke for a second! Cause, my family was there and I was kinda hanging out with them.

Oh! Does your family live out here?
Yeah, they’re actually here right now too!

So are you originally from Ohio?
No, I guess it’s like my mom’s family is from Indianapolis and they all kinda stay here. My mom like went to New York and left all of them. So I grew up in New York.

Oh okay yeah, a lot of people from Indiana come out here a lot. It’s like really cool to them but it’s really like not that cool at all haha.
Right!! It’s like were getting the eats! And culture!

Alex: Yeah right! The big city!

The people who don’t go downtown often get overwhelmed by the city.
It’s nice! It’s really cute!
Noah: Is this the downtown area we’re in right now?

Yeah, we’re in the OTR area, Over The Rhine.
I thought it was called The Middle of the Road. I don’t know why.

Do you know when we went to go see your show with Teen Suicide? Everyone was calling the place where Baby’s Alright is the OTR of New York.
Alex: Really?

Yeah, like just like where the music is at and where people hang around.
Oh okay, I thought you were talking about Williamsburg, where all the rich hipster kids live.
Alex: Williamsburg is mad! It’s like these kids that work for like Twitter!

They work for Twitter?
They all live in like these high rise condos that are being built! We live in the neighborhood, but we live in like the last shitty building on our block, and it’s like we’re just like waiting to get the call that our building’s being knocked down to put up like a condo and it’s like so insane!

I heard Mac Demarco lives out in a really shitty condo too.
Yeah, he lives in Rockaway I think which is like right by the beach and hes just like, ‘Roooockaway boooii.’ He lives with like a bunch of other punk bands and they all record in that place.
Noah: Well they have like houses out there.
Alex: Yeah, they have like a beach house I think. Maybe he lives in like a warehouse or something.
Noah: Yeah because it’s just like more spread out over there.

I’ve heard about really shitty warehouses in New York and I knew of this person who basically knew the building was condemned or something wasn’t up to regulation for people to be living in it but, they bribed the owner not to tell whoever so they got their rent for $400 bucks.
Alex: Yeah dude squatter’s rights!

They also, knocked down a wall and turned it basically into a huge flat.
That’s so dope!

There were roaches everywhere.
Alex: Ugh! Our apartment, which like we are pretty good clean people we’re not like nasty roach people but hahaha uh we have like so many roaches. Cause, we live above a bar restaurant, so I guess it’s just like commonplace which I did not know. Like, I thought it was a myth maybe and everyone’s like ‘you either get rats or roaches!’ And I think I’d rather have rats.

Myself and Noah: Really!?
Noah: No…
Alex: Well roaches like get in things!
Noah: Have you seen a New York City rat? Their like this big! *spreads his hands pretty wide to what seems to be the length of a large PBR can*
Alex: They’re not… Well maybe from tail to tip…
Noah: No, no, like they’re huge dude! You ever seen a rat outta there!?
Alex: Yeah I seen rats! I seen rats! They’re in the subway!

I don’t know man, I don’t want any rats, they carry diseases.
Well so do roaches!

But, like my thing is I can get rid of a roach but, like a rat…
Yeah you can step on roaches.
Noah: What’d you do with knife after you sliced it!?
Alex: I washed the knife.
Noah: Oh that’s good I was like, wait a second you were cooking?

You panicked and you sliced the roach open?
I don’t know! I just like was, I was like, and I didn’t have… they’re fast!

Regardless of that, you guys have out 3 tapes right now?
We have 1 Tape, and 1 7 inch.

Oh okay, I thought you guys had a few EP’s.
We only have 1 EP so, we have 7 songs which is not a lot but we’re working on a record!

That’s pretty awesome though for what you guys have been doing and you only have seven songs.
Yeah it’s really exciting!
Noah: Yeah it’s exciting, but I guess scary because people want us to play longer sets now and we don’t have like…we have like 12 songs now. Which is good but we can’t like play for an hour.
Alex: It may sound like a lot but we’re actually only gonna play for 35 minutes.

Can you guys jam? I’ve actually met a lot of musicians that can’t jam at all.
Noah: We can do it…
Alex: We try but like… It feels unnatural.
Noah: It’s like maybe there will be a point where it feels right but I’m like just very like, ‘get through the songs and flow through them really nice.’

So, would guys say your song writing is more calculative?
Noah: Yeah yeah, she kinda has like, you kinda write or have a general concept of what you’re trying to get across in kinda like a small structure.
Alex: And then we’ll all come together but were not a band that’s like ‘Yo man let’s just jam for a second and we’re like that part’s cool let’s do that!’ I feel like you could do that but my brain just like totally doesn’t work that way. I feel like I’d be like I don’t even remember what I just played. I don’t think I could jam yet.

So, you’re mostly inspired by your little sister right? Isn’t she on the cover of the seven inch?
Yeah! Oh my God I love her so much. She inspires me to write music that I love no matter what, like is anyone else gonna like it or whatever? Cause she is like such a wacko. She’s in middle school! Which is really like a tough time to be a young girl and she is just like so weird and is so not like the popular girl crew or whatever but she doesn’t even care. She kinda gets bullied sometimes but, she’s like the most confident kid I’ve ever met and I’m just like you are such a badass because you don’t even give a fuck that other people don’t think your interests are cool. Cause she’s just like ‘Fuck them I love myself’ and I’m like yeah… Yeah! That’s awesome. I wanna feel like that!

Are you guys going back home after this or going on tour again?
We’re doing a 5 day thing like playing a festival in Chicago. The summer’s kinda been like festivals cause we played Columbus last weekend 4 and 4 fest. And we’re doing Hop Scotch as well so we kinda do this weird little run through the summer and then we do a tour in September with Free Cake For Every Creature. We’re going up to Canada.
Alex: I think that one is also festival based cause were going to Pop Montreal so pretty much to the end of this year we’re doing a lot of short little runs that are just like an excuse to get to the festival and back and we’re also flying in to some festival. We’re kinda holding off on the big headlining tour until next year when we put our record out.

It seems like it’s going pretty great because you’re hitting all these small spots and you toured with The Front Bottoms.
Yeah that definitely changed a lot for us too, just a lot more fans. You post something on Instagram and the number is so much higher and people are commenting constantly and you’re just like who are all these people!?
Alex: Well it’s just like a lot of awesome younger kids who are just so dedicated to music and they’re not jaded yet and like I feel like a cool 25 year old adult man would never be like ‘Oh my God I love you guys so much’ on Instagram! I feel like older fans are more reserved. When you have these kid fans they are just like the best people in the world.
Noah: Well they’re just so excited cause it’s just like a new thing to them.
Alex: Yeah they’re so pumped! And I don’t know Im still kid I’m only 20. Until I turn 21 on Monday! But, I feel like I totally identify with these younger fans so much more like if we have an audience full of younger kids I’m like yo I get you, I feel you, we are in it, like they’re less judgy and jaded.

Is that the target demographic you guys aim for or do you guys not really have a target demographic?
It’s not necessarily a target but, I guess since Alex is young and writes about kinda being and growing up, she kinda relates more to kids who are 20 and young while being in college or even younger than that who… I don’t wanna say are trying to find themselves but are going through a lot of new experiences. So, I guess that’s what a lot of are songs are about.
Alex: Then we get these like cool older fans who are like these cool older ladies or like cool old dudes who are like ‘you remind me of the stuff of my day.’ It’s really kinda cool to hear people say that were bringing them back to a time where they used to love music. Like we’ve had so many people be like ‘this is the best show I’ve seen since I was like 16,’ and they’re like 50, like what!?
Noah: What show was it when you were 16?
Alex: Yeah right! So, it’s actually really exciting when you get older crowds too!

So, you’re only 20 Alex, and you’re 23 Noah? This is pretty early to be getting so far in your career. Have you guys just been finding yourself through your shows and travels?
Alex: Totally, oh my God I literally had no idea being in band was gonna be my job and so now I’m like oh my God this is my thing, like we are young business owners!
So, I’m like yo! I’m a boss ass bitch! I feel like it’s exciting like I’m just a kid! But somehow I get to do this.

So how did you guys form?
We kinda met basically long story short at a house show while I was on tour with another band and we kinda started hanging out and she said she was gonna make a music video for the band and through talking about it we kinda kept hanging out.
Alex: I did make the music video!
Noah: She did make the music video! Through that we kinda just like started. She had some songs and I was just like oh well for fun why don’t I just play drums on them and we were kinda like let’s just record em or whatever and we kinda just set it up.
Alex: Well it was so funny because we played our first show ever as an opener for Noah’s old band. We only had 4 songs! I was scared to death and it was such a weird crazy thing like THAT WAS INSANE! I was so nervous and then a couple weeks later I had kinda forgotten about it like that was a fun thing that we did! And then Noah came up and is like ‘Oh! I scheduled with Chris. We’re gonna record our couple songs that we have next week!’ and I was like we’re still doing that thing!? Like I didn’t even realize that we were gonna be doing this as a thing. I was like ‘Oh! That was like a one-time fun thing to do!’ and then we recorded as kinda like a one-time thing like let’s just keep a record of the fact we wrote these songs.
Noah: Yeah, definitely didn’t plan on any of this it was just kind of like let’s just do this cause we’re doing this for fun and just to have it on record that we did it and I guess people liked it and we were like alright we can kinda keep playing shows and kinda figuring it out. I feel like we’ve come a long way and kinda figured it out.
Alex: It all felt very natural. We slowly figured out our stage presence, then we figured out how to play our songs right! Like it probably took us a year to figure out how to really play our songs live together. 
Noah: Yeah cause we kinda wrote that first EP in the studio so it was kinda like we wrote them the first time and didn’t really play them a lot. When we started to get show offers, it was kinda like oh, I have to remember what I did or how I did that or like what fret the capo was on and stuff.
Alex: It was like… pretty wacky hahaha.

Were you putting the capo on the wrong fret for a while?
Alex: Oh My God!! I literally didn’t even know how to put it on!
Noah: I think there was more than a couple of times where you’d switch it. Every time we’d play you’d be like, ‘I think it’s this one,’ and then halfway through you’d be like ‘Nope, no it was definitely not this one.’
Alex: Hahaha yeah I’m still convinced “Breathless” is supposed to have a capo on the 3 but I play with it on the 2, but sometimes when I sing it in my head it’s in like the key of the 3 but it’s just too late, it is what it is now.

So, does the new album have a theme or is it just a handful of new songs?
You can answer that.
Alex:  I’m still trying to find the cohesiveness. I have a lot of songs that have similar themes. They’re very personal, they’re very much still about growing up as a girl and like figuring my shit out cause I feel like I’ve grown up so much since we wrote the songs on the EP so it’s kind of like a lot of … like EP was a lot like ‘Oh my God I’m a kid and life is so fucking weird!’ and now it’s like ‘Oh my god now I’m kind of a grown up and life is even weirder.’ And so a lot of it’s kinda silly. Like I have a song that I’m writing that’s called “Link In Bio” that’s about the internet. But, then I have serious songs that’s like this is me and my heart so I’m still kinda finding a way to bring them all together.

How many tracks are you thinking about doing?
 I think at minimum 10. I think that’s kinda like our goal and then if more happen by the time we finish the recordings then that’s cool too.

Who are you guys listening to right now?
I’ve been listening to Jank from Philly.
Alex: Yo they’re so good!!
Noah: They just put out a record this year right? I’ve been listening to it a lot.
Alex: Yeah! It’s really mathy and Coldplay driven. I’ve been listening to the new Car Seat Headrest record. And also I can’t stop listening to that new Angel Olsen song cause she’s so good! But, also do you know that band Sitcom from DC? They’re so good!
Noah: I don’t know if I’ve listened to them either.
Alex: Its that gingerale song I instagramed myself listening to. It’s this kid Jake Lazovick and he’s like a genius and I hope he sees me call him a genius because I want to tell him hes a genius, but I don’t really know him that well. But! He is so good and he writes these little funny pop songs and he uses a drum machine and he puts them on bandcamp and it’s just very lo-fi as fuck and he’s such a cool dude. And he does those projects where he does these songs-a-day and he just puts them all out, like these are so good how did you just do that all in one day?! So I’ve been listening to him a lot.

Speaking of lo-fi did you listen to the whole entire album Teen Suicide put out?
No I didn’t actually.

That shit’s 30 tracks long.
Alex: I know, I was kinda intimidated by it! I don’t know if I could like handle that right now.
Noah: Are they like short songs or long songs?

It’s kind of in between. I think it’s 56 minutes maybe.
It’s like a Rockpra!

I feel like Sam was just like, ‘you guys want this new fucking album so much, you guys want these new fucking songs?! Here take it!’
Yeah! Take it all, take it all!! That’s so bad ass. I feel like we have so many songs that we write but then like very few make it to the final process. We’ve probably written close to like 30 songs but we’re not always behind a song like ‘Yeah this is everything I believe in!’

Do you guys ever think about the perception people have of you in the vein of wanting to hear all the demos and extra stuff?
We’ve had a couple reach out and ask if they could have a couple of our demos because before we put out Over Easy we had the demos of Harvard and Cardboard on bandcamp for like a month when we were trying to get shows cause we were like ‘here! We have something!’ And we took them down because they were really bad sounding haha. I don’t even know if we have them on our computer anymore because someone I know was like can you send me those demos? And I was like I don’t think I have them anymore… I don’t think I want them out in the world. I bet they’re like on my laptop just buried or something.
Alex: Yeah they’re probably in garage band or something I think. We record so many demos. I listen back on demos and I’m like ‘Oh my God…’ Like I’ll listen to the Harvard demo and I’m like ‘Wow I can’t believe that’s when I wrote this song.’

That’s really awesome you guys have really come in to your own.
I think we’ve toured so much these past few months that we’ve started to figure out who we want to be as a band like what we want to sound like which is really exciting. It feels good, I feel more solid.
Noah: I feel like we’re not thinking so much about it anymore. We’ve kinda played the same set list so kinda have it in our hands, like we’ve got the flow down and everything. Alex: AND TONIGHT WE’RE RUINING THE FLOW!
Noah: And then tonight we’re ruining the flow haha. We’re playing new songs, but then I guess like she’s gotten more comfortable with herself playing on stage. This is like the first band I’ve played drums in full time so I’m getting used to playing drums every night. The first tour we did I was so dead cause I was using different muscles every night cause I used to play guitar and I just remember after that being like ‘Fuck I need to get into shape here, I’m wiped out.’ I feel like its easier now that I’m not straining as much. I’m just kinda going through about how can I make this funner now.

Well that was a good interview!

Noah: Oh yeah wow, I didn’t even know we were doing it haha.
Alex: Nah, it was great! Very like on your feet! Thanks for having us do it!

No problem, no problem.


You can check out Leggy’s music here, and Diet Cig’s music here, and be sure to watch out for upcoming tour dates.

This entry was posted in Interview and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s