ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: Social Cig

A rambunctious, exciting night of loud rock music took place at Linneman’s in Riverwest Saturday night, drawing an enthusiastic crowd. Sets from Decatur, IL-based band Marble Teeth, Chicago’s Shoobie, and our own Social Cig and Diet Lite all went into a night of moshing, guitar-shredding, and cheer.

Social Cig is the indie pop project of Parker Schultz. Currently he’s playing with Isaac Repinski on guitar, Rayven Burdette on bass and Kai Dee on drums; this was their first show as a quartet since before the pandemic. Originally from West Bend, Schultz began the project while studying at UWM.

“I was in a band in high school and then we broke up after everyone went to college…and I was the young dude in the group. All my life I’ve been songwriting on and off. I never took it seriously until college; I had my first project, Arcilla Kid. Social Cig really started my freshman year of college, in 2017-18, and it was just solo singer-songwriter stuff. I really wanted to start a band and get my music out there, and in 2018 I recorded my first single ever. I’m pretty picky about my sound as far as recording, but when we come live everyone brings their own flavors. It was really cool to see it morph into that in shows compared to records.”

He explains the name.

“Sophomore year of college I had bought like 200 pre-rolled filters of cigarettes along with a bag of tobacco, and me and my buddies just had them in our cabinet and we were like “these are just social cigs” because no one wanted to admit that we smoked but we smoked *socially* like at parties. It was always fun to pack the cigarettes. It didn’t occur to me until my friend Ryan was like “I had the greatest night and I smoked a social cig with Young the Giant last night at Summerfest” and right there…that was the name.”

The band’s new album “Nothing is Ever For Sure and Everything is Always Changing” came out this summer and is an hour long with eighteen songs. Schultz shares what we went into this massive body of work.

“I just kept writing songs continuously. I’ll find myself attached to certain songs because I’ll start writing a song and won’t finish it, and then I’ll start writing something else, and then I’ll go back and finish it and then keep tweaking it. The album was kind of my quarantine project. COVID happened – which everyone knows sucks – but on top of that I found out last August that I was cheated on by a girl I honestly thought I was going to marry. It was a hard winter for sure. I really just focused a lot of my energy into this record while keeping it coming from a genuine place. I’m excited to grow and look back at my records and be transported back to that time, because music really is the best time-portal we have. I don’t think I’ll ever make a record that’s eighteen songs again; I kind of want to keep ten or twelve next time.”

Lastly, he shares what’s to come.

“It’s been a very uprooting time in my life – graduating, moving, and working full-time – just trying to find the balance. I have some songs in the arsenal that I’m ready to dive into recording but I definitely don’t want to rush it. I’ll be working on that this winter. I want to learn how to DJ too.”

Social Cig is playing a solo gig at The Oscillator Lounge on the 25th.

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