Q&A – Big Gigantic is Back to Free Your Mind

Big Gigantic is a national treasure, but their Colorado roots remain thick in the Rockies. Their latest album, Free Your Mind, came out February 28 and serves as an impressive follow up to 2017’s Brighter Future. The duo, made of Jeremy Salken on drums and Dominic Lalli on saxophone, have delivered their signature sound while fusing a movement forward, toward self-love and manifesting dreams. The album features artists Pell, Felly, TOBi, Jennifer Hartswick, Louis Futon and The Funk Hunters.

We chatted with the band to get ready for the new release and to catch a glimpse into what is coming on their epic 3D tour starting this spring, ending in September with the 12th Rowdytown at Red Rocks. Read below to find out how the idea of Free Your Mind came to be, the band’s favorite parts and why they love bringing a rowdy party to their hometown.

303 Magazine: Thank you for chatting with us about your first album in three years, Free Your Mind. You have mentioned the new project is meant to engage your listeners with themes of self-love and gratitude. Can you tell me more about the manifestation of this project?

Jeremy Salken: Our last album, Brighter Future, was successful for us and a great project. We wanted to find a way to expand on that and see what the next step past Brighter Future would be. We came up with Free Your Mind as a concept. We thought, what does that entail?

It’s a big subject, but we wanted to touch on things that would get you to a place where your mind is free. The first place you would go would be to look inward, look at yourself in the mirror. That’s where “You’re the One” came about. You’re the one, talking to yourself, you’re everything and you have everything, you know to be happy. That was the first step, then we started talking about loving yourself and other people, and our “Friends” came out with Ashe. Then we moved to love loving someone else and that song, called “Burning Love” we put out a couple of weeks ago. Those were some of the concepts and ideas that we wanted to touch on in terms of free your mind.

303: The album features artists like Jennifer Hartswick and the Funk Hunters. How did the features on Free Your Mind come to be?

 JS: We worked with Jen (Hartswick) before, and we had the idea for that song and the vocal line. She’s just such a good singer and totally gets our vibe, so we wanted to have her back on a song. The same happened with Pell, he’s featured on another song and that was on our Brighter Future album. He’s just a really cool guy, super talented and great to work with. Felly actually had us on to play one of his songs and, that’s how we met. That’s how you meet someone, you have a good rapport and then you get in the studio with a similar mission and usually can come out with a great song.

303: Do you have a favorite song on the album?

JS: One of my favorite songs — that I keep coming back to — is a song called “Moonlight.” It hasn’t been released yet, but it’s a really good song. 

Dominic Lalli:  I would agree that one is a good one. I think fans are really, really going to like that one.

303: Big Gigantic is featured on the 303 Music Volume 3. What was your experience contributing to a local publication featuring other local Denver artists?

JS: We’re all about it. We’ve been really big on the community aspect of the music scene. Starting in Boulder, in the community we had there, we’ve always had a lot of love for Colorado. It’s really cool to support that and have fan support. That kind of feel like it feeds itself a little bit and we’re really proud to be featured with you guys and be part of it.

303: True to your past endeavors, the accompanying tour for Free Your Mind will be the first of its kind. The upcoming tour as been stated to be 3D. Can you please elaborate on what to expect?

DL: Well, we’re bringing our 3D show where we have this 3D wall e that projects images and everybody wears glasses. We have video content so it’s kind of like watching a movie while you’re at a concert. We’ve done it at Rowdytown the last few years at Red Rocks and we decided to take it on the road and let the rest of the country experience it. It’s definitely an intense undertaking but we’re excited to bring the show all over the country.  Playing all of our new music with it will be really cool. We really think people are going to love it, we’re excited to take it out there.

303: What are you most excited about bringing this tour and album to Red Rocks?

JS:  You know, it’s our hometown show. The energy and space are like none other. It does it on its own and it’s naturally built-in. I always get some nice butterflies in my stomach before we go on. We have each played their 25 times and it’s still just as special as the first time. Honestly every time.

303: Big Gigantic is known for their roles as putting a jazz influence in popular electronic music today. Can you expand on the importance that your jazz background has had on your success?

DL: I think when you’re performing and you want to play your best, you have to be yourself. We are so influenced by that music, it’s just natural that if we want to play our best, those Jazz vibes \just kind of comes out. It’s just natural to kind of go in that direction.

This interview and been condensed and edited.

Listen to Free Your Mind here and get tickets to the 12th Rowdytown at Red Rocks here