Highly acclaimed livetronica duo Big Gigantic will perform at Cain’s Ballroom in Tulsa, Oklahoma, tonight. Together, the group’s Dominic Lalli and Jeremy Salken have had a good amount of success in recent years, especially in the festival world, at events such as Lollapalooza, Coachella and even Oklahoma’s own Backwoods Music Festival. Salken, Big Gigantic’s drummer, talks career success, inspirations and influences, as well as insight about how Big Gigantic’s music comes to fruition.
Q: At what point in your career did you begin to really recognize your success?
A: We’ve been around for about eight years now, but we definitely realized there was something unique about us when we began to blow-up much faster than other bands we were associated with. We broke into the festival circuit pretty early on, but the performances were always during the day — before all of the bigger acts. I think the moment that I truly realized we were a success was during a set at Camp Disco, back in 2010 or 2011. We went on the stage and there were already tons of people there, and it felt like half the festival was at our set just raging and having a good time. The act that was supposed to follow us was late, so they told us to keep playing for an extra fifteen minutes or so and it truly felt like we had a special connection between us and the audience.
Q: What was the process of working with Waka Flocka Flame on your latest album, “Brighter Future”?
A: Some of the collaborations on “Brighter Future” were planned for awhile and some kind of came together last minute. The track with Waka was one that we had written for awhile, but we didn’t really know who we wanted to rap over it. We had a few choices in mind, but unfortunately some things kind of fell through, but one day Dom (Lalli) ran into Waka, and he showed some interest in working with us. Dom sent him the track and cranked out the verses in just a few days, and it was absolutely great and also pretty unique sounding compared to Flocka’s typical sound.
Q: Who would you say has influenced Big Gigantic’s sound the most?
A: There are definitely a lot of influences, and some can be pretty broad. We are influenced by anything from classical music to people like Herbie Hancock and Stevie Wonder. We really just like to take inspiration from anywhere in life and apply it to our music.
Q: What is your writing and artistic process?
A: It really just varies from song to song. Sometimes Dom will fool around on his sax and stumble across a melody that he likes, and he’ll play it over and over again — if he likes it, he’ll put it into Ableton (music production software) and start tweaking the sound from there. In actuality, each time we start writing it’s a different experience, and I think it helps maintain a variety in our sound.
Q: What has been the greatest achievement in your career so far?
A: Probably selling out Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, Colorado. Every time we play there, I can honestly tell myself that if I were to quit my career at that moment, I would be content with the rest of my life. There’s just an overwhelming satisfaction that comes from not only selling out, but selling out at such an iconic place.
Q: What are Big Gigantic’s future plans?
A: We just started our tour yesterday, so we’re kind of riding on the new album right now and just trying to get the music out to everyone. We are planning a winter or spring tour sometime around February, and we also plan to be at a bunch of summer festivals.
Q: What has been your key to success?
A: I’d have to say our work ethic. We’ve both put so much into this project and even though we have grown, we still manage to make ourselves small in the sense that I do all of our accounting and business work as opposed to hiring people and making it seem corporate. When it comes to social media, we always want to feel connected with our fans — actually be there and know what is going on with our scene — because we know how important our fans are to us. We want to treat our fans the way we want to be treated. That’s how our moms brought us up.
Big Gigantic tickets are still available for the show tonight at Cain’s Ballroom. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and the concert will begin at 8:30 p.m. Tickets range from $24 to $39. A $2 fee will be applied to tickets purchased at the Cain’s Ballroom box office. Visit Cain’s Ballroom website for more information about Big Gigantic and future Cain’s Ballroom concerts.