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LAist Interview: Dan Nigro from As Tall as Lions

Dan Nigro (front) with As Tall as Lions bandmates Julio Tavarez, Cliff Sarcona, and Saen Fitzgerald. (Photo via their Facebook page)
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In 2001, Dan Nigro joined up with some friends from high school and did what surely plenty of young people do in Long Island, New York: They formed a band. It would be glib to say "And the rest is history!" since As Tall as Lions is one hell of a hard-working quartet; they've just kicked off a tour in support of their August full-length release, You Can't Take it With You (Triple Crown Records), serving as support for Mutemath, and you can see them at Club Nokia this Saturday. This tour follows their summer tour with Dredg and Rx Bandits, and by late November through the end of the year they'll be touring in the US with Minus the Bear and in the UK with Frightened Rabbit and Athlete.

LAist got the chance to connect with Nigro, whose band duties include vocals, guitar, and piano, along with songwriting, just before the Mutemath tour got underway to talk a bit about the tour, the album, their experience recording for the first time here in Los Angeles, and the best meal you can buy at Trader Joe's.

LAist: How's the tour going so far? Any favorite venues, truck stops, audiences or mishaps you want to share?

Dan Nigro: Well.. The tour starts today, so I can't say I have a favorite venue yet, but as far as van stops while in the PA, OH area there is a gas station called Sheetz and they make some great breakfast sandwiches. Is it sad that I enjoy stopping at gas stations for food?

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At the start of September, when you were heading out on the road Cliff [Sarcona, your drummer] wrote on the blog that California "helped [us] get through one of the darkest times of our career." What made that time so dark, and how did California help you get through?

He was talking about making our record out there. After letting go of our record producer we were at a dark place and there was questions as to the future of the band. California is just a great place. I think the general atmosphere of being of there kept everyone calm while we worked through all the bullshit.