by Neil Miller, Jr.
UR Chicago: You guys seem to be a beastly touring machine at the moment, and you're doing more than a few major festivals this summer. What's your main draw to the festival circuit, and how do your headlining dates compare?
Big Gigantic: We both love playing festivals as much as attending them. You get to see your favorite bands and discover new ones while getting a chance to do your thing and play! It’s a win-win situation for us. The vibe at festivals is always great. People are always super-psyched to be partying and the energy is through the roof, which makes us bring it that much harder!
UR: Speaking of festivals, you're hitting up Chicago's own Lollapalooza this August. How stoked are you guys to play Lolla, and are there any bands you might try to catch while you're there?
BG: We're so psyched to be a part of Lolla this year! It's one of those festivals that has been around for so long; it's honestly an honor to be on the lineup. The lineup is amazing. It's like one amazing group after the next. Sigur Ros, Chili Peppers, Passion Pit, Florence, BLACK SABBATH! Not to mention all the DJs that are there like Bassnectar, Justice, Miike Snow, Nero, Zeds Dead, etc.
UR: You have a very diverse setup of instrumentation onstage, especially for an act that can be dubbed as primarily electronic. In a day where it's all too normal to see a guy with only a laptop onstage, are there any other instruments you're hoping to incorporate in the future?
BG: Our instrumentation just reflects the two of us. Dominic grew up playing sax, and I grew up with the drums, so it was a natural progression to play those instruments while incorporating electronic music. We're constantly evolving the sound of Big Gigantic, and who knows what the future holds! We've had Lulu from Thievery Corporation sit in on vocals, which added another amazing layer to the project. Since we started out small, the possibilities to grow could be endless, but right now we like making the biggest sound possible with just the two of us.
UR: There's been a lot of ground broken in the methods artists can use these days to get their music to open ears; like your offering of Nocturnal as a free download. Through your own endless touring and self-promotion, would you say that there's potential for newer bands to successfully bridge the gap left from a lack of major label backing and support? And what advice would you give to any newly developing artists looking to succeed while also cutting out the middle man?
BG: We're living in a great time where you can literally do it all on your own. DIY baby! Do it yourself! Through the Internet and social sites like Twitter and Facebook, you can reach the masses yourself without going through a label for press and publicity. I would say, just get out there and spread the word as much as possible. Word of mouth is the strongest means of publicity, and because it's so personal, it usually involves people that truly care about your band.
UR: Are you both working on any new material? Perhaps a live album since you seem to currently be owning that element?
BG: We're always working on new tunes!
UR: I really hate the traditional interview question of "What inspires you?," but I do like to know what music my favorite bands listen to in their free time. So, what music is currently tickling your fancy, and do you have any relatively unknown artists you're enamored with that you think we should check out?
BG: We're both big jazz fans. Listen to Herbie Hancock! Check out Robert Glasper too. Amazing pianist. As far as inspiration, just look all around you. Might sound corny but life is the inspiration!
UR: Last question — I'm just curious, but your upcoming show at Red Rocks in your native Colorado is being dubbed as "Rowdytown." What exactly can fans expect from this show?
BG: They can expect a ROWDY-ass show! We're transforming Red Rocks into Rowdytown and trying to give people a complete experience that evening!