Interview with Big Gigantic

00:00 October 14, 2013
By: Greg Roques
[Where Y'At Staff/Provided Photo]
Big Gigantic

New Orleans is recognized world wide for it's jazz. Still, when I visited Moscow back in 2008, I was shocked when some locals I met exclaimed, "You're from New Orleans? We love your jazz music." Turns out Jazz is huge in Russia. Our new friends took us to popular jazz club, but what we heard was vastly different from anything one would find in the French Quarter. The saxophones were backed by new wave-esque keyboards, industrial guitars, and a form of electronic music I would years later come to recognize as dubstep. It was multi-dimensional, atmospheric, and it all worked brilliantly together…and I would hear nothing similar again in the states until I discovered a band by the name of Big Gigantic at the Hangout Music Festival in Gulf Shores this year. Welding live-electronica, hip-hop, and jazz - partnered with a visually stunning light show - Big Gigantic is EDMs most prolific and energetic live act. Where Y'at sat down with saxophonist/producer Dominic Lalli to discuss their current tour, and upcoming Voodoo Fest performance.

WY: You guys have been doing the festival circuit this year. Do you ever get to meet musicians you'd like to work with?
Somewhat - whenever there is a big fest you get a chance to go out and see a few of the other acts. We haven' t hooked up with anyone for a track yet, but we've definitely experienced some new acts. We have a few collaborations in the works for our upcoming ablum.

WY: Many electronic acts have an intricate stage set-up; however, yours truly is one of the largest. Are you involved in it's design?
We work with a lighting designer, and he's very open to ideas. We'll pre-talk about it before the tour, what our objectives and ideas are. He'll then go and draw something up, and then we'll meet and try to visualize it from the audiences perspective. From there, we'll figure out how to orchestrate the structure to go along with our songs. We also try to be flexible...we like to leave room for the show to breathe, while also being cohesive.

WY: In terms of the stage design, has there been a theme for the current tour?
Our current tour is the "Sky High Tour," named after our songs, "Sky." Still, I wouldn't say it is necessarily a themed tour, because we are always growing and developing it - adding new songs, new setups, new ideas… It's always constantly evolving.

WY: Can you reveal anything about your Voodoo performance?
With many of the larger festivals, you need to work alongside the other acts, so we may not be utilizing our current set-up; we may need to conceptualize something new. That said, we will be providing our own effects, and it will be exciting as we will be premiering a lot of new music. It will also be the end of our current tour, so we'll be trying to go out on a high note and working on all cylinders.

WY: Electronic music and jazz are both instrumental, highly improvisational styles. Where did you get the idea to join these.
The idea to marry the two together came pretty naturally. I've been a saxophone player for a long time, and have a Masters degree in Jazz Saxophone. I'd been making music for a long time, so when I got in to electronic music, it just made sense. I'm a saxophone player, so that's what I do - that's what I contribute to the project.

WY: Many music reviewers have criticized live electronic music, calling performers "button pushers" who simply que up playlists. As a band performing your instruments on top of the electronic element, what would you say to this?
I'm not up there watching what everyone else is doing, so I can't comment on that. We just do what we do - I enjoy DJ's, and I enjoy their music, no matter what they're doing up on stage. I love to listen to it, love to rock out to it, love to jam to it. As long as you're enjoying it, and enjoying the crowd's energy, it shouldn't matter. I respect what anybody does musically, and as long as it's fun it doesn't really matter. I don't really pay attention to what other people are doing…It doesn't move our thing forward.

WY: Do you plan on checking out any Jazz while you're in New Orleans?
I don't know how long we'll be down there. I have lots of friends down there; when we come down for Jazz Fest, I'll go to all of the after hours shows. It really is one of my favorite cities.

Big Gigantic play Saturday, Nov. 2 at 7:15 p.m. on the Le Plur Stage.

Sign Up!