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Tuesday, May 21, 2024
Big Gigantic

Nothing small about Big Gigantic's party

As Big Gigantic is moving from West to East between September and New Year’s Eve on their Uprising Tour, drummer Jeremy Salken took time to chat with The Daily Cardinal as he sat in Des Moines, Iowa, pondering whether or not to get Sushi from a landlocked city.

“Tour is going really well, and we are like playing every day,” Salken said. “Dom [Lalli] and I are just like really getting into the zone as far as that is concerned, our playing, our improvising, stuff like that.”

Formed in 2008 in Boulder, Colo. by Dominic Lalli on saxophone, keyboards and a laptop running music program Ableton and Jeremy Salken on drums, this formidable duo has further blurred the line between electronica and the realm of jam bands.

“We kind of have this history with the jam band world that we feel close to,” said Salken. “And at the same time I’m lucky that all these EDM kids have kind of picked up on us also, and now we are riding the line between all the scenes.”

Further evidence of this fluctuation between scenes is demonstrated by the festivals the band has played. The band has gone from Ultra Music Festival, one of the preeminent EDM festivals in the country, to their upcoming second appearance on the Jam Cruise, a floating jam band festival on a cruise ship. Their supporting slots for other crossover jam bands such as the Disco Biscuits and STS9 early in their career spurred this type of shifting between genres.

The band’s latest album, Nocturnal, reached a new height of success for the duo as it reached the number two spot on the iTunes Electronic Chart. This feat is even more impressive since the band gave the album away for free through its website. With the success of their latest release, the duo is looking to put out another album early next year. However, finding time to write music has always been a challenge.

“We kind of build these little breaks in,” said Salken. “We are trying to do another album at the beginning of next year and make it a yearly thing, but we never really take off time. So, it’s like impossible, but Dom has been writing a lot on the road. We took off all of September so that way he could go into the studio and do his thing.”

The Uprising Tour wraps up on New Year’s Eve, almost four months after it started, and the band is promising big things.

“We have a couple tricks, we can’t let all those cats out of the bag,” said Slken.

New Year’s Eve is one of the biggest nights for jam bands, and Big Gigantic is taking full advantage of the magnitude of the day. Following up last year’s performance at the Riviera Theatre in Chicago, the band will once again return to the Windy City, this time to the Aragon Ballroom. Playing the Aragon is a big step up for Lalli and Salken as it is twice the size of the Riviera.

“Hopefully we get a new [visual] set going, but if we don’t, it’s definitely going to be an incredibly beefed up version of what we already have,” Salken said. “We are going to put on another huge show.”

On stage, these two have a keen sense of improvisation with both the songs themselves and their setlists.

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“We actually kind of have a setlist…at the same time Dom’s Ableton session has almost every song that we play, so at any moment he can go off the path and choose your own adventure kind of thing if the crowd is feeling a certain way,” said Salken.

This ability to feel the pulse of the crowd and react accordingly is one of the many reasons why Big Gigantic has been able to headline places such as Red Rocks out in Colorado.

“Doing Red Rocks was obviously like the pinnacle out of all of it,” said Salken. “And we were just super psyched and super blessed to be able to do that kind of show.”

Big Gigantic comes into Madison for a headlining slot on the Gilman Stage at 11:45 p.m. for Saturday night Freakfest, the annual Halloween celebration on State Street.

“Madison is awesome,” said Salken. “Being a college town, there is obviously a lot of young kids and that energy, and we love coming [to Madison] because you guys bring it all the time. Every time we’ve been it’s been crazy and with Freakfest we are really pumped to be coming back.”

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