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Cigarettes After Sex: ‘We’re Incredibly Excited to Finally be Coming to India’

Frontman Greg Gonzalez talks about the band’s debut India gig, touring and sex as an important part of his songwriting

David Britto Nov 17, 2017

American ambient pop band Cigarettes After Sex will make their India debut at the Bacardi NH7 Weekender festival in Pune this December. Photo: Shervin Lainez

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For American band Cigarettes After Sex, social media has been a particular blessing, given that they rose to prominence after their song “Nothing’s Gonna Hurt You Baby” racked up an enormous number of views on streaming sites. “All the wishes I had made to do what we’re doing now, touring the world [and] playing the music I love to play, were validated,” says guitarist, vocalist and songwriter Greg Gonzalez. “It’s great that social media can have such an impact nowadays to the point where you don’t really need a record label or anything like that to get attention.”

Gonzalez and keyboardist Phillip Tubbs, bassist Randy Miller and drummer Jacob Tomsky are currently on tour in Europe and will make their India debut at the Bacardi NH7 Weekender in Pune on December 10th.

The band’s 2012 debut EP, I., came about after they tried out different styles of music before settling on their ambient pop sound. Personal tragedy also informed the music. “I had gone through some tough times emotionally immediately before that with a close friend passing away tragically as well as going through a break up at the same time,” says Gonzalez. At the time, he was also heavily inspired by how Canadian blues/folk rock band the Cowboy Junkies recorded their 1988 album The Trinity Session over the course of a night in a church. “We ended up recording the first EP in the stairway of the music building at the local university [University of Texas at El Paso] I’d been attending,” says Gonzalez. “The songs were written very quickly around the same month as the recording. I wanted it to feel spontaneous.”

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The band avoids the innuendo that pervades most songwriting, instead choosing to write lyrics that directly refer to sex. “For me it’s just trying to write honestly about my experiences with love and relationships,” explains Gonzalez. “Sex has always been an important part of these relationships, so it’s essential for me to include it.”

After the release of their hit singles “Affection” and “K” in 2015 and 2016 respectively, the band put out their full length self-titled debut album this past June. Since then, the band have been touring extensively across Canada, Europe and the U.S. “Touring and playing shows all over the world is always intensely rewarding,” says Gonzalez. “Every night we have the pleasure of meeting people who have been moved by the music in such beautiful and wonderful ways and hearing their stories.”

Cigarettes After Sex were late additions to this year’s Bacardi NH7 Weekender lineup in Pune—their performance was announced one month after the original roster was revealed. “We’re incredibly excited to finally be coming to India. Since the band broke in 2015 our fans in India have been so passionate and vocal about loving the music and wanting us to visit,” says Gonzalez. “We really just can’t wait to meet our Indian fans and see the landscapes and cities.”

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Following their Weekender show, the band plans on finishing up work on new material, which they might release at the end of 2018. “We’re actually always working on new music in some way,” says Gonzalez. The vocalist-guitarist is already looking ahead at returning to India in the near future. “After this show we’ll be looking to do a proper tour of India as soon as we can,” says Gonzalez. “Playing one show will definitely not be enough.”

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