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|interviewed by robby sumner|
| Interview with Cliff
September 24th, 2004
Daniel Nigro - Vocals, Guitar
Saen Fitzgerald - Guitar
Julio Taverez - Bass
Clifford Sarcona - Drums
|E: Cliff, As Tall As Lions has been in the industry of making music long enough to impress a large number of fans and have an impact on the scene. Do you think that there's anything ATAL does that is unique from the rest of the bands that have been out there?
Cliff: I wouldn't say we've had an impact on the scene yet. I know we've turned a lot of heads thus far, though. I do know that we concentrate very well on how our songs are written; in that we allow ourselves the room to experiment with structure and song depth, while keeping a certain memorable aspect to our song writing. Beyond the added ambience and atmosphere that we tend to texturize the songs with, we feel it's important to take the listener a bit deeper musically while holding their attention strong with memorable parts.
E: Has this all taken a large amount of work on your part?
Cliff: Yes, definitely. When we write songs they take a lot of time to fully develop--parts are changed over the course of a month or more before it's finalized, and often songs fall through the cracks when we consider them unfinished, or not good enough, even after months of practicing them
E: Is there ever any rush to get a song finished?
Cliff: Only if it's placed upon us. Otherwise we choose to let a song run its course within the band before it's finalized. Songs have had deadlines in the past from outside influence, and we don't work half as well when pressured in that sense. It needs to withstand the test of time within our heads first before we can even consider it being placed on an album, of which the main goal is to be timeless in the first place.
E: Do you think that the best musical products come out of the times you set aside specifically for writing?
Cliff: With our band, it has definitely been from times we've set aside in the past, but I cannot discount the times when we just sit down and play, and feel inspired enough to write a song on the spot with no preconceived notion of "writing time". That's when the best songs really come out. At that point, your inspiration is purely received from your other band mates. That is the most rewarding experience of all.
E: When's been the band been doing lately?
Cliff: We recently came back from recording in Madison, WI and Chicago. We were asked to do a Counting Crows tribute compilation with a lot of other great bands, and since we had been touring all summer, were up to the challenge of learning a cover and really just trying to take it to another level. The song ended up being "Children In Bloom". The compilation should be out in November on The Vinyl Summer recordings.
E: Have you done professionally recorded covers before?
Cliff: no this was the first time for us.
E: What are the upcoming tour plans?
Cliff: We are about to leave for about a fifteen day run with Anadivine, a great band also out of NY, east coast mainly. Once that tour ends, we pick up our next tour right away with The Spill Canvas, which will run across the southern US and up the west coast through November. We extremely excited for both of these tours. After that, we have some things going for December but I can't announce anything until it's confirmed.
E: Are you a band that generally spends more time on the road than not?
Cliff: Only as of late. We've been touring since May now, so it seems we aren't home at all. Before the release of LAFCADIO, we were definitely a two show a week band, a stay at home and rehearse band. Touring definitely continues to help us grow and has done great things for us. We do miss being at home and most importantly being creative. We seem to go through creative withdrawal often, and really can't wait to get back to writing. But for now, we'll continue to tour on this album as much as possible until itís done.
E: How else has LAFCADIO impacted the band?
Cliff: Well, you could say that we've lost two members from the CD. The recording process took a huge toll on both members that we've lost since its release.
E: Would you call the band seasoned, or is there still a lot to experience?
Cliff: Well both. We've been through a lot, but I know deep down that it's still really only the beginning. It's sometimes easy to let yourself fall into the idea that your band goes through a lot more bullshit than others your size. Especially when there are long streaks of bad luck involved.
E: What has been the primary motivation for moving on?
Cliff: Typically, the music and the way we believe in each other as musicians. We all share such a strong common vision, even though it may not have come across as well as we wanted on our last album. Confidence in ourselves where we know exactly where we want to be musically and yet still have to execute it to perfection. And once that happens, all previous bad experience disappears as only a catalyst to what we have achieved.
E: Well thanks a whole bunch for interviewing.
Cliff: Thanks to you!