Interview with Big Gigantic
Dominic Lalli, the enthusiastic saxophone player and producer who makes up half of unlikely electronic outlet Big Gigantic, often finds himself backstage on a tour stop in Baltimore, searching for a sense of focus. Once he’s found it, he says, he uses that focus to create the expansive sax lines that allow him and drummer Jeremy Salken to create a peculiarly pleasing brand of electronica. “I try to get in the zone like that so I can just go out and mash it”, he said Thursday. “I think we’ve pretty much sold out every time we’ve come to Baltimore. We sell out early, there’s always great energy, great people and it’s always been a great throwdown”, he said. Big Gigantic will perform Friday for a sold out show at Baltimore Soundstage that has generated incredible ticket interest, with looping one man live show Cosmal and Baltimore Producer/DJ duo Racecar Bed opening. The group’s ethereal sound has allowed them to ride the crest of electronic dance music’s rise in popularity, propelling along with it the unusual musicality that Lalli’s sax playing brings to the genre. Citing “…Coltrane, Wayne Shorter and Joshua Redman” as his biggest influences, it’s easy to see why Lalli’s playing quickly meanders into passionately developed improvisational phrasing in live settings. In studio recordings, (all of which is available on their website for free download) the group’s sound occasionally borders on monotonous, though even the most predictable and repetitive dubstep themes the tracks might bring are offered salvation via Lalli’s expressive blowing. For Dominic, performing with a woodwind instrument as part of an electronic act doesn’t feel strange. “You know, I’ve been playing the saxophone for so long, that I don’t even think about it”, he said. “I think part of the reason why it’s worked is because when [producing] for example lead synth, I’ll say, you know, how would I play it on my sax?” Having toured relentlessly in recent years, the duo’s Baltimore date comes 29 dates in to their 46 date Uprising Tour. Offering his secret to staying energized for so many shows, Lalli simply offers one word. “Sleep.” Along with plenty of rest, he says that the energy of a crowded club provides plenty of adrenaline. With a legion of Baltimore fans excited for Friday’s appearance, Lalli should have no issue finding his focus and drawing on their enthusiasm.