by Willem Thomas
“Love to me seems to be the thing that makes life worth living.”
VANCOUVER – For Greg Gonzalez, all roads seem to lead back to love. As it’s unabashed champion, he employs the emotions tied to love, and equally love lost, with often devastating effect as the primary creative force behind the Brooklyn-based Cigarettes After Sex. Blending his ethereal, cinematic approach to dream-pop with an introspective mix of romantic celebration and brooding lamentation, his debut LP (released back in June) is a 10 song package of Gonzalez’s experiences in love and loss.
Gonzalez toiled for years in relative obscurity in his hometown of El Paso, Texas before finding the increasing success Cigarettes After Sex have now achieved. It was the move to New York that really made things come together. “It was a much different and tougher life when I first moved to New York, but I really loved every minute of it [and] my days were full of the delight of just discovering a new life.” Cigarettes After Sex also found responsive fanbases online, and Gonzalez quickly found himself with youtube uploads of his songs collecting millions of views. “We didn’t have any promotion when we first started. Many of our fans found the music in this spontaneous, magical way where it’s very personal to them,” he says.
Reached by BeatRoute in Europe in the midst of a world tour, Gonzalez is now performing for largely sold-out crowds, and his music is becoming more widely known, thanks in part to an apt placement of “Nothings Gonna Hurt You Baby” in the television adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale. “I think they did an absolutely beautiful job with the scene & it’s amazing to me how well the song fit,” he says. Since then he’s been focused on upping the ante of their live show as the crowd sizes grow. “I love every part of being on tour, it’s exactly what I set out to do. Losing your luggage is about the worst of it.”
As Gonzalez travels the world on the back of the LP, he’s already planning for the future. The committed, romanticized themes of love he explores with Cigarettes After Sex may lead to another artistic avenue. “The main far off notion I have is that I’d like to be a director someday,” says Gonzales. Listing off some of his favourites (Scorsese, Rohmer, Kubrick, etc), Gonzalez makes it clear the passion he brings to Cigarettes After Sex was almost made to not only accompany film, but to maybe create it as well.
Cigarettes After Sex play Vancouver at The Imperial on September 7cigarettes after sex, The Imperial