Interviews

10 Years with Big Gigantic

Tuesday, October 16th marked the 10 year anniversary of Dominic Lalli and Jeremy Salken’s first show ever as Big Gigantic, coincidentally the same day I sat down at a coffeeshop in Boulder with Jeremy to ask him a thing or two.

I tried to keep my fangirling to a minimum, and to be honest Jeremy made it pretty easy with his laidback vibe and casual demeanor. While he didn’t take me for a ride in his new Tesla (sigh,) he did let me harass him for an hour with the following questions:

How long have you been drumming?

“Since I was three years old.  I literally picked up chopsticks and pots and pans.  A few years later I progressed to a muppets babies drum set.  In middle school was when it got serious.  I was in the band, but I was playing the trumpet, ha I don’t even know why.  I was taking drum lessons and playing at home, and my teacher told me to try out for the jazz band. So I did and I was better than most of the kids who’d been playing for awhile. So I said ‘peace out’ to the trumpet.”

When did you meet Dom?

“I’d been living in Boulder for a few years or so and I went to go see The Motet when he was still playing with them.  I became friends with the drummer and then Dom and I just ended up like becoming friends.”

When did you start playing together?

“I went on Jam Cruise one year as a fan and Dom was playing. There was a bunch of people in this jam room, and Kyle Hollingsworth [of the String Cheese Incident] was telling Michael Travis [also of SCI] to play, but the drum kit was set up for a right handed drummer, and he’s left handed.  And so am I, but I actually play with a right-hand set up, so they told me to get on stage.  And I kinda froze up but we all played together and me and Dom just kind of hit it off.”

What came next for you guys? Was it Jam Cruise to Big G real quick, or how did that come to fruition?

“I was playing funk tunes with really cool musicians in Boulder on Pearl Street and at Mountain Sun, just playing random gigs; The Motet kind of legitimized me: my goal was to play enough and practice enough to play with them.  A few weeks after Jam Cruise they called me to be a merch guy for them on tour.  After that, Dom needed a new place to live so we became roommates.  And like, this was before Dom even had a computer, before he even started making beats.  When he did, he came up with ‘Dominic Lalli’s Big Gigantic;’ but when he made a MySpace page for it, he shortened it to “Big Gigantic.'”

You teased a lot of new music at Rowdytown VII this year; when can I hear it again?

“We’re working on it all.  Over the next year we’ll be putting out a lot of new stuff, maybe an album towards the end of next year.”

Have you ever felt starstruck meeting other musicians? Is there anyone you would geek out over meeting?

“Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney, anyone from Phish”

This is where the real fangirling, or phangirling, rather, began.

I asked the drummer more about him and my favorite band.  He told me he met Mike Gordon, the Phish bassist, back in 2003.  “I played with him at this little bar in boulder.” He spoke of them so highly, and he who’d been just a famous stranger mere minutes ago suddenly felt like my new best friend.

Big Gigantic will be popping around the country the next few months, with shows in LA and in at The Moon in Tallahassee, to which Jeremy told me he’s happy is not at that weird venue in a shopping plaza (we miss you, Coliseum,) followed by Snow Globe Festival in Tahoe.

Ten years later and they’re still blowing our minds.  Big Gigantic recently put out a 3D production, a glory I got to witness at Jeremy’s favorite venue to play: Red Rocks, of course.  The 3D production might be hitting the road with them soon, and you won’t want to miss it.

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