Tallhart’s Matt Segallos on Being Robbed and His Love of Wrestling

Fresh from a set in Chicago, halfway through a tour in support of its new album, We Are The Same, Tampa-based trio Tallhart found its van one driver’s side window and a bunch of clothing and personal items lighter, courtesy of some seriously uncool bandits. Rather than let it stop them, the band is staying positive and forging ahead, with a brand new wardrobe from Target to boot. We chatted with singer/guitarist Matt Segallos about the robbery, The Office, WrestleMania, and autobiographical lyrics. Tallhart play with From Indian Lakes and Makeshift Prodigy at the Vera Project tonight (July 26).

Is everyone OK after the robbery? We’ve always had good luck in big cities, so it finally caught up to us. We were in Chicago and during our set, they smashed our driver’s side window and took our luggage. Thank God nobody was hurt and none of the gear that’s essential for the show was taken.

Does that put a damper on the tour? I’m really proud of the guys. Everyone handled it really well and took it for what it was, just said, “We’re all OK and we still get to do this, so we’re all good.”

On a lighter note, you tweet a lot about The Office . Are y’all big fans of the show? Me and Chris [Brickman], our guitar player, are really into it. When we’re at home with our girlfriends, we watch it on repeat on Netflix. When you tweet Michael Scott lines, it sparks a nice conversation.

If you could play any character, or create a new character, who would that character be? I would never want to create a character because the ones they have are so good, but I would love to play Dwight Schrute. That would be a dream come true. When Jim’s stopwatching him because he says he never takes any personal time? That’s definitely one of my favorites.

Another Twitter-based question: Did you really want to be a pro wrestler when you were younger? Absolutely! My first memory of being alive is Hulk Hogan bodyslamming André the Giant at WrestleMania III. Me and my brother were complete wrestling geeks. I remember one time I was 5 and had one of those “My Buddy” dolls. I’d put on a wrestling match in front of all the high school kids. That’s how bad it was.

Have you been to a big match? We’re losing credibility as we speak but let me just say, yes, I’ve been to two WrestleManias and a couple minor events. It’s instilled in the blood.

Chris has said that producer Brad Wood (Smashing Pumpkins, Say Anything) pushed you to do new things while recording this album. Do you agree? Yeah, I wanted to write some of the lyrics and melodies after Chris had laid guitar tracks, fresh, while we were there doing it. It really opened the door for Brad to be like, “I feel you but you can do better.” It was nice to have that back and forth with someone you trust so much. I’m really proud of the vocals on this new record, more so than our previous releases, for that reason.

In general, how autobiographical are your lyrics? 50/50. All the lyrical content on the record spawns from real life, but not always mine. All the members of the band have gone through, this last year, some sort of gain and loss, and it was an easy access point for this record to really be broached from.

Can you name a song that’s more autobiographical? “The Fire” is about touring out West for a while. Last year we could’ve lived in Arizona because we had so many shows in that area. I moved to California when I was 19 and spent a year out there, and it made a really big impact on my life. That’s been this theme throughout all of our records. I had one of my first serious girlfriends when I was out there, and it was a time I go back to in my life and think about, where I grew the most as an adult.

Is there anything you’d like to add? We’ve been blown away with the reception to the record, especially on Twitter. People have been very supportive and kind. You just hope when you’re a band our size, people listen. Since the robbery, people have been so kind in offering support in any way they can. It’s really made us feel loved and cared for. Again, when you’re a band our size, sometimes when you’re in a small town and the show doesn’t turn out the way you want, you can go, “I really hope what we do matters,” and it’s been really nice to see that it does to some people. It’s been really humbling.

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