We knew Big Gigantic was going to own it at LIB, and we got plenty of satisfying “I told you so” moments after they blew the leaves off the trees at the Lightning Stage. Their pictures would end up in SPIN Magazine’s Wakarusa coverage the next weekend, but that doesn’t mean Dominic and Jeremy have lost their taste for casually shooting the shit. Neither have we.
How is the universe treating you guys today?
Salken: It’s great. The universe has been treating us very nicely over the past few years.
S: It’s true.
L: The universe has been treating us immaculately for the last three years. Ever since our first interview, however long ago that was.
S: Y’know, just trying to stay busy and keep creating new music, pushing our whole thing to the next level. Just trying to be positive and put a good vibe out there. Everyone has been very receptive to the music and the whole thing, so we were just so thankful and so psyched.
L: Likewise, same, same. Since I saw you last we did New Years at Chicago, did a huge winter tour that was really awesome and had a great time, we had this new production and all that stuff, and we’re kinda supporting a new album Nocturnal. We’re just kicking off summer season: we played Hangout Festival last weekend, which was awesome, and then this weekend we’ve already played two other festivals other than here. So we’re kicking off summer, and it’s been awesome already.
I do want to mention that your stage setup at the Boulder Theater was sick. They looked like two digital ice cream cones on top of each other.
S + L: [Laughs]
S: I like that!
But it sounds like you’ve been keeping very busy. I’m trying to figure out how I’m going to get myself to the next festival a month from now, let alone one that is tomorrow. That must be insane. Do you feel like you’re festival veterans at this point?
S: Yeah, for sure. I’ve been going to festivals as a fan since ’99, and I felt like a veteran just as a fan. And then we started playing them and I already kind of knew the vibe out there. But you have to pace yourself when you’re doing three festivals a weekend. When you’re bouncing around, and then you literally have three days to rejuvenate and then go back out and do it again. But it’s so much fun. I love summertime and the whole festival thing, it’s the best.
What advice would you give for how to psyche yourself up and keeping that energy level high enough you can make it all the way through?
L: You gotta know your peak, and then you just gotta work towards right under your peak all weekend. Y’know, until the right points. But the main thing is you gotta be prepared; maybe you’re hot, maybe you’re cold, maybe you’re hungry, maybe you’re thirsty. You have all that shit you need? Bring all that stuff with you…
S: …and you’re gonna be money.
So it’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon, right?
S: For sure, if you sprint, first day you go hard you’re gonna be done Thursday night.
L: Well you can go hard every night, but you can’t go hard past your little… you gotta know your little point! Because if you get ruined the next day, then you miss out. You want to be able to keep it right in that little spot, that money spot all weekend.
S: Napping, too.
Napping is underrated. Tons of people have been napping all over the festival grounds. They don’t close them at night, so you can walk in there in the middle of the night and people are just scattered around. Like “Fuck it, I’ll be here in a couple of hours anyway.”
S: I’ve been that guy. At Rothbury and Electric Forest they have all those hammocks set up. That is the perfect spot to take a nap after the sun goes down, you get a little recharge and you’re good to go until 6 in the morning. Or you can sleep in some weird thing out here… I mean there’s so much crazy art here! It’s awesome.
I think the hundreds of people who were asleep when I walked in this morning would attest to that.
Yeah, sleep in some random girl’s tent? Whatever! [Laughs] I’m just kidding [laughs].
What is something that you SHOULDN’T bring to a festival?
S: Guns! Don’t bring guns. Don’t bring negativity.
L: Guns are negativity.
S: Yeah. Don’t bring guns. Squirt guns are key.
Bubble guns, too.
S: And a lot of bubble gum.
L: For the ladies! [Laughs] No, I’m kidding.
Well as random as it seems, I think everything you said is pretty much in line with this festival. Never heard the word “bliss” more times in my life than I have in these last three days. But that’s why LIB is taking an early lead for my favorite festival of the summer.
S: Lightning in a Bottle is really focused on like you said, the intention. Art, music, reusable everything including the stages made of recycled wood.
L: “Leave no trace” everywhere, all that stuff. It’s amazing.
S: I really like how they push that. Well… not push it, but they’re really active in going about that. That’s the one thing I hate after playing a show: you’ll see the empty grounds and it’s just littered with water bottles everywhere, and beer, and pizza crusts, cups, plates… I don’t see why people don’t use trash cans. It’s like they were never taught to use a trash can.
L: You are actually consistently, when I hang out with you and we walk by places after a concert, you go “Oi, look at all the cups everywhere. Man…” [Laughs]
S: I hate it. I volunteer, and before I started playing I used to volunteer with Clean Vibes who does a bunch of East Coast festivals. Literally you get your ticket and you help clean up in exchange for a ticket. I’ve done that for years, and worked with Conscious Alliance doing food drive stuff. It’s cool to help out.
L: When I played Jam Cruise with The Motet, you’d go to these islands like Jamaica and play for these kids at their school, y’know or whatever. And then they’d take you a place where you could hang out on a beach… but anyways, we’d go clean up parts of the beach where people just threw shit everywhere. We’d go with trash bags along this beach picking up needles and weird shit [laughs]. That’s why we go good with this type of festival, or at least we’re on the same page in a lot of ways in terms of that.
What about yoga?
L: I don’t do yoga, but I stretch.
Basically the same thing though. You’re halfway there.
L: It’s a stretch for the mind, too. I associate yoga with a form of meditation, and I associate improvising and playing music with a source of meditation. So coming from a different way, but when you’re “speaking” the music, you’re meditating. I don’t know any other way to describe it, other than you’re not thinking about anything. Even though you’re thinking about playing, it’s very subconscious, very felt. It all sort of comes back to the same place.
I highly recommend going to one of the yoga workshops then. There’s one left, it’s at 5:45.
S: Don’t think we’re gonna make that one.
L: I might meditate from now until then to see if I can get close.
Well I’m not gonna front, for the last three days I told myself I was going to make it to one.
L: Never made it?
L: And I ain’t mad at you if you don’t make it tomorrow either, bro. [Laughs]
Appreciated. So tell me about some of the things you guys have coming up in the near future.
S: This summer we’re hitting a ton of festivals, and we’re really excited in the fall to play Red Rocks on September 29th. We’re transforming it into what we’re calling ROWDYTOWN, and we’re just trying to throw the biggest, best show possible. Our production is going to be amped up times twelve, trying to create a really, really good experience for Big G. We’re going to have a really solid lineup that we’re announcing in a couple months. Don’t miss it, it’s gonna be fun.
L: It’s like our first little mini-festival thing that we’re putting on. Like Jeremy said, a lot of cool people we feel are up-and-coming that are about to pop in a lot of different genres.
L: Can’t tell you yet, bro! Gotta keep that shit a secret for a second. But yeah, we’re stoked about the lineup, I think it’s gonna be a really fucking awesome party at Red Rocks. Visually, artistically, musically, it’s going to be an experience and definitely something that peole don’t want to miss. If you’re at all into like… fun… if you like fun at all, then you’ll probably be there.
Pretty hard to argue with that.
L: [Laughs] Nah, man. Yeah, just trying to do it bigger than we’ve ever done it in terms of everything. Big Gigantic times Big Gigantic, squared.
S: I think it’s cubed, actually.
It might be coned, like ice-cream-coned..
L: To the ice-cream-coned-th degree!