A Big Gigantic conversation with Bacchanal’s headline act
As Big Gigantic prepares for its headline act, the band’s DJ and sax player, Dominic Lalli, took some time to talk with Spec’s Mike Thomas about the group’s music and its plans for the concert.
Now, you’re a Manhattan School of Music Alumni, how does it feel to be back in the Upper West and playing over the road?
Yeah, It’s my old hood man! I’m looking forward to being back around.
So you must also have been a patron of Koronet’s pizza, right?
Oh Yeah, definitely!! I love that, amazing (laughs)
You guys are known for putting on a big show, are we getting the tour de force light show too?
Yeah, big light show, although we’re not bringing the big light show that we had down at Webster Hall in February. But there’s gonna be a ton of lights, it’s going to be a rage scene, for sure.
Having released a new album, Nocturnal, at the start of this year, how do you feel Big G has progressed since the first album, Fired Up, back in 2009?
Fired Up was more a collection of my own recordings up until that point, our second record, Wide Awake, was the first album to really represent us as Big Gigantic. In terms of the difference in sound from Wide Awake, our purpose has been the same: Really melodic stuff with the big drums and bass added in there but now I feel we’re refining our sound in a way that we’re really representing what we sound like in a live setting. Sure our live stuff is a lot heavier but we feel on Nocturnal we’ve really hit that middle ground.
So, you guys are known for putting your stuff out there for free since day one. Is that in aid of maximizing exposure or is there more ethos behind it?
Well, yeah we do want to maximize our exposure, and the way that the record industry is now, people are just downloading music for free anyhow. So we felt like, let’s just get our music out there. Just before our first album, Radiohead had just released In Rainbows for free, so we though let’s do the same and see what happens.
I think this weekend, you’re going to have a mixed crowd. A lot of people that know what to expect but also a lot of Big G newcomers. For the latter, how would you sum your sound up?
I think it’s definitely electronic dance music, but there’s just a lot of different stuff in there too. We do everything from more Hip-Hop based electronica to Dub-Step then some into the House music realm. It’s somewhere in between a DJ and a live band also. It’s definitely gonna just be one big dance party, heavy beats, heavy bass, and sax with that live element on top.
You’re going to be headlining a very mixed genre event, is that what you’re used to or do you rather an electronic set to warm the crowd up?
I love it, I’m a big fan of Curren$y and he’s on it, we’re big Hip-Hop fans y’know, we’ve got a Jay-Z remix, a Kanye remix, we’re big on that scene. It’s great to be around a lot of different artists, we’re definitely going to bring the raging dance party for sure, I think perhaps not a lot of people at Columbia know that.
Are you going to be dropping a lot of the remixes this weekend then?
Ohhh yeah, Aloe Black remix (I need a Dollar), in fact we’ll be dropping all of our remixes: the Kanye Get up High remix, we got a bunch of stuff for ya.
You clearly have a lot of Soul-Funk amongst the electronic in your act, who are the big influences for Big G?
Yeah all that stuff, Funk, Soul, Electronic dance music, Dub-step, House, Hip-Hop, Rap, we’re throwing in there almost every element of really good music. All kinds of shit thrown into one big dance party.
So, about your creative process, do both you and Jeremy (Salken, the band’s drummer) write or do you arrange the tracks and go from there?
Honestly, I do all the writing and music stuff, pretty much the process is me in the studio just really starting from an idea either on the sax or a drum beat or bass line, that gets me inspired and I just really sit in there and make everything around it. I make every kick, snare, every little piece of that whole thing. Then in the live setting we find a way to open it up a little bit more, make it a little more improvised. We try to shape the songs as we play in the live show.
So you’re just going to free-ball the whole show?
(laughs) Yeah, something like that!
For the coming year, what releases, tours, and festivals can we expect from Big Gigantic?
Well we just released in January, so the plan will be releasing maybe a track or two here and there, definitely a remix or two, and probably have a new album out early next year. In terms of festivals we just finished up with Ultra in Miami a couple weeks back, that was huge for us, and coming up we have a bunch of different stuff. We’ll be at Volapalooza in Tennessee, Wakarusa in Arkansas and Lollapalooza in Chicago, that’ll be huge. We’re playing Governor’s ball too.
Finally, what’s going to be the big high point for you on Saturday? What track do you drop and get that goose-bump feeling?
That’s a tough one, we have this record called ‘Its Going Down’, it’s the big Dub-Step track from the album and its heavy, it gets everything shaking. So I’ll go with that one for sure.
Big Gigantic is playing tonight at 5:30 p.m.!
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