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Last week we had the pleasure of interviewing the producer and saxophonist for experimental EDM group Big Gigantic, Dominic Lalli. We discussed the Sky High tour, their new live setup and their unique production style.

 

You guys just kicked off the Sky High tour and I’m curious as to what sets this apart and to what is your goal for this tour?

 

Basically we do two major tours a year, a fall and a spring tour. This is our fall tour and is actually the first time this year that we have appeared with this lighting rig, so we’re really stoked on that. It’s good to be back on the west coast; we’re coming out to hang out and we’ve got a bunch of friends out here so yeah our tour is in full effect baby!

 

You were talkingabout out the rig you have going on this year, can you explain to me the evolution of your live setup? I know last year you had the pods, how did you guys end up switching over to the (current) squares?

 

We take a lot of care in terms of the production and how we want it to look with the video and all that of that kind of stuff. We love to do a new idea each year, so what we wanted to do this year that is a little bit different is something where it’s like if you look at it from the back you can almost show movies on it and you could still see it all and you could tell what it looked like but then at the same time it could be broken up you know and you can do different things like that. We wanted to take a little mix of that so that’s what we came up with. We batted around a bunch of designs with our lighting designer and we came up with that and then we got all this custom-made video to go with the music. We’re stoked on it, and it’s been working great!

 

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How much input do you actually have with the visuals that go up there?

 

We have a lot of input. We talk about ideas and we have people go through different things and create them based on what we were talking about, then we go in and edit that back and forth until we get it just the right way.

 

Is there a central theme for this tour?

 

Not necessarily, the cool thing about this tour is that we have a bunch of new music that we’re testing out and new remixes like the remix of “Can’t Hold Us” that we just dropped. All throughout the tour we will be dropping new tracks leading up to our album so it’s a great chance for us to get out there and listen with some new stuff and come back and visit towns because we don’t get to always visit and you know smaller towns and things like that.

 

I have sort a random question. Would you ever let Bill Clinton, our ex-president, play a set with you?

 

If he was down, I would let him for sure. Well he better practice because you know, but I’m down.

 

Towards the end of the month you guys have Rowdytown over at Red Rocks with Carnage, Adventure Club, and Manic Focus. I was reading up on the whole 3D projection mapping up on the rocks, can you tell me a little more about it?

 

Yeah we actually sold out yesterday, two days ago, so that’s exciting and we’re like a month out, so It’s a good feeling to fill out that early, especially because it’s an amazing venue. In terms of the mapping of the rocks, it’s been talked about but never been done and we just thought well we’re just trying to do something new and different so we just pulled a trigger on it last year.  Basically what they do is projection mapping, like the Amon Tobin thing if you saw that, or like Skrillex did a little bit of that on one of his tours. So we basically projection map on the rocks which are the surrounding parts of red rocks so that when you look up to the left you’re standing right there and you see this huge, massive, i dont even know how big, takes up the whole amphitheater which is like a 10,000 person thing, rock sticking out of the ground. so we just project all this different stuff on there and it has to do with the content we used for our fest, so it’s kind of like this marriage between like the projection and our music. You are going to be there at night, and you weren’t there last year?

Well last year kind we pulled the trigger last minute and did it on a whim, crossed our fingers, and it worked out great. This year we know a little bit more about what we’re doing, so we’ve got double the projectors, and its going to be insane.

 

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Did you and Jeremy end up picking the supporting acts for this?

 

Yeah, Manic Focus is our homie from Chicago who’s done some touring with us he’s on the pretty lights grid and that kind of tip and like sample bass kinda stuff and then Carnage is just like changing the game right now with what he’s doing. Adventure Club we’ve toured with a bunch, last year when we first started touring and we have actually tried to get them on last year, but I forget what happened, but it didn’t work out. We’re stoked to have them, they’re some of our best friends so it’s going to be a good one.

 

On the topic of live events, can I ask you what the Big Grizmatik experience over at Electric Forest was like? One of my photographers was out there and said it was unreal. Was that a rare festival occurrence, or will we be seeing more of that in the future?

 

Yeah we don’t do too much of it, it accidentally happened last minute. The year before at electric forest we kind of got together and said, “Hey lets go over to the secret stage and do this thing,” and it worked out really well, then we did it this year and it was like massive. It was crazy. It was kind of like a daytime/evening into the night set and it just like raged. Honestly we had only done it once before. We were just jamming, kind of like, “What are we doing next haha,” sort of thing, but it worked out great. We played a bunch of our own and each others’ music and kind of just did the live band thing with it. The nature of that music is very sample-based and funky so it really mixes in well with the fact of what I’m doing, what Jeremy’s doing, just kind of all plays into that stuff. There’s just such an overwhelming support for us, Griz and Gramatik right now.  It’s so cool man, we’re just trying to do something a little different, and we’re all just friends, and we love each other, and are like, “Oh let’s play!” and then it turns out great. It’s a cool thing we just have so much more work to do to put out in general so its an honor to have that kind of response and its like a cool kind of come-up right now and we’re loving it.

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Do you think that the reason playing a live set with drums or any sort of jazz style production, like with Gramatik, Griz, or you guys is so popular because it’s so novel or because it’s interacting with the music more and the crowd reacts better to that.

 

I think like one thing is that it’s different and that’s always huge in anything and I think that the human element to it definitely helps. Between the three of us there’s some sort of this thing like with us and Griz and Gramatik  sampling live instruments or playing live instruments where that’s sort of a theme with us, so I think that the human quality adds a little bit to it but its also that sort of improvising that’s just new and fresh that not too many people are doing.

 

Do you guys have a lot of improvisation on stage or is it well practiced?

 

We have a lot of it, I pretty much try to make new melodies and things like that every night and every time I’m playing like a solo it’s always improvised. The improvising thing is what we grew up doing. You could just drill us on the street and be like, “Play!” and we’d be cool if there was no computer and just make shit up. We love what we do.

 

How did you guys originally bridge the gap between jazz and EDM style production?

 

It’s kind of not like bridging the gap but just a texture and layering thing. It’s just experimenting and stuff, I was a big jazz fan and still am but we just really enjoy doing that whole thing. We got into djs and it was cool and then it was like lets just play with the djs and then it was like lets just make our own stuff and play with it or whatever.

 

Right on man that’s cool, I’d say it worked out in the long run.

 

Yeah no doubt.

 

 

Want more on Big Gigantic or their current Sky High Tour? Check them out on:

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BigGigantic

 

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/biggigantic

 

Tumblr: http://fuckyeahbiggigantic.tumblr.com/

 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/biggigantic