By Justin Lyons
The third annual Hangout Music Festival started with an official kick off party last Thursday with multiple acts on two stages. One of the headliners of the event was electronic music duo Big Gigantic who returned for their second consecutive year on the beach. I was able to chat with Dominic Lallil (saxophone/production) and Jeremy Salken (drummer) about Hangout, the Colorado music scene, Electronic Dance Music and more.
Big Gigantic had the opportunity to kick off Hangout last night at the official pre-party, how was the overall response?
(Jeremy) It was great. I believe the late night ended up selling out and it was awesome. The crowd was super energetic and it had a great vibe.
How was your performance different than last year at Hangout?
(Dominic) Its been a year so a little different. The crowd was just awesome last night and it was great way to kick off the weekend. Everyone had a great time and it was cool to have our own headlining set, that was the main difference. Last year was super fun, we had a great afternoon set and then we had a late night with Pretty Lights that was great.
Nocturnal is your most recent release. What has been the feedback from fans on the album?
(Dominic) Awesome response. We’ve had great feedback. Still riding that and playing a lot of music off the album and we just put out another remix a few days ago. We’re gonna continue that trend all summer with a lot of different sounds. Some heavier stuff without saxophone and some with saxophone. We’ll put out more remixes this summer and put together another album in the next year.
You both are from Colorado and there are a lot of great acts from the state making diverse music. Jam bands, electronic acts like you and Pretty Lights and indie acts like Tennis. How does that diversity influence your sound?
(Jeremy) I think that adds to the community vibe with what everyone puts out. Its great to have all these different influences and everything flows from each other. You always hear someone put out something new and interesting. The Colorado scene in general has great camaraderie with everyone and trying to set the bar as high as possible.
Being from Colorado, how big of a milestone is headlining a show at Red Rocks later this Summer?
(Dominic) Huge milestone. We are calling it “Rowdy Town” and doing everything big like a mini-festival. We have some great support acts and the biggest production we’ve ever done as a home-town show. It’s a huge milestone and a step, but we’ll keep moving and hopefully play Red Rocks every year.
The two of you are very collaborative in nature. You recently did a remix with Adventure Club and have worked with Umphrey’s McGee in the past. Any chance we’ll see you on stage with Umphrey’s tonight?
(Dominic) We were just hanging with those guys last night. I don’t think tonight we’ll be up there, they haven’t asked, but we’re always down.
(Jeremy) Something soon though. Any festivals in the next month…something might go down.
Big Gigantic is booked at a ton of festivals this summer. How does the Red Rocks show rank against playing Bonnaroo?
(Dominic) Huge. It’s another really big show. It’s Bonnaroo.
I feel like every band that plays the Thursday show at Bonnaroo really blows up after that.
(Dominic) Shit, I hope you’re right. I want you to be right. We’re bringing our whole production and going all out for Bonnaroo. If you know anyone that is asking “should I go Thursday?”, they should just go. Its going to be a fun night.
Are you looking forward to any other artists at Hangout?
(Dominic) We’ll be here all weekend and we’re looking forward to 40 acts or so.
(Jeremy) It’s cool because some acts that we’ve never seen like Jack White and the Chili Peppers are here, but a lot of our homies are around also. String Cheese, who we’ve known for years is playing. There is really a great family vibe here.
There were some EDM acts at Hangout last year, but this year there are even more. Counter.Point was just announced in Atlanta. Electronic music has blown up at festivals across the country as well. What do you think that growth is attributed to?
(Jeremy) Kids love it right now. It’s what people are listening to, but the music is growing so fast. The music has become a lot more melodic in the past year or two, whereas before it was mostly rhythmic. The scene is growing, Skrillex winning the Grammy was huge and brought more attention to it. There is this organic way that the music has grown and we just want to be part of it.
(Dominic)It happens with all genres where the music has a big moment and people wonder if its here to stay. The funk/jam music scene went through the same thing 10 years ago. When that music turned the corner, there was no looking back and people 10 years ago probably didn’t think it was going to last. Its all about the kids, the community and how everyone is coming together. We are just honored to put our footprint in it, in any way.
I know everyone in Atlanta is looking forward to your set at the first year of Counter.Point Music Festival.
(Jeremy) We’re really looking forward to that. I wish we could hang all weekend, but we’ll be at Red Rocks that weekend.
(Dominic) I honestly feel like Atlanta deserves something like Counter.Point because there is so much love for music in the city. There aren’t really a lot of festivals and the support for music in Atlanta and Athens is insane.