Ben Cronin and Evan Dorfman of Gilligan Moss go way back. The electronic duo met in preschool in Chicago at age three and started making music together in 2015. Their self-titled debut album, “Gilligan Moss,” combines the duo’s love of seventies records and dance music. The album got the deluxe edition treatment via ODESZA’s Foreign Family Collective with its release in October 2021.
Cronin and Dorfman joined us for a live conversation by phone in advance of their performance at The Mangy Moose on April 2 presented by KHOL.
The following interview was recorded on March 29 and has been edited for clarity and brevity.
JACK CATLIN/KHOL: So, last fall, you guys embarked on an extensive tour with the artist Elderbrook and you just announced that you’ll be opening up a few of the dates on ODESZA’s huge upcoming tour this summer. Can you tell us about your experience with the Elderbrook tour, what you learned from it and what you’re looking forward to most with the opportunity to open for ODESZA?
BEN CRONIN: Well, first of all, we’re insanely excited for this upcoming tour. We’re going to be playing 11 or 12 shows with ODESZA, and it’s a huge lineup. It’s like ODESZA, Sylvan Esso, Elderbrook’s playing on some dates. The Great Ford is playing on a couple of dates, and this is actually the first tour that we’re going to be on a tour bus, which is very exciting for us. And as it so happens, we get off the tour and then two days later, I get married. So, I feel like I get a fun pre-marriage vacation, which is great. But the Elderbrook tour was so fun. It’s strange and challenging to play new music for the first time. It was the first time we had played a lot of our new record and to be honest, it was my first time singing live. So, we did a lot of new stuff but I’m glad that we were sort of ambitious with how we went about it because I think the tour was really successful. And we got to see the music connect in real life, which is truly the best part of doing this whole thing.
EVAN DORFMAN: And I think we saw it for the first time. It’s cool to see actual fans. You know, we had people in the crowd singing the words. There’s no crazier feeling than that. And some of it’s like this album has more songs where you could actually know the words but just seeing faces in the crowd singing our music back to us. That was the coolest part about that tour. And this summer, hopefully, [it’ll be] more of the same. We played two shows with ODESZA a couple of years ago and just the scale of their show. Like a 50-person [group] traveling with 18-wheelers. It’s going to be a whole thing. So, we’re pumped to be a part of it.
KHOL: So, finally guys, it’s your first time performing in Jackson [this weekend]. How excited are you to come to the Tetons, and what can we expect from the show on Saturday night at the Mangy Moose? I know you’ve got some new music. Are you going to be playing some of that?
CRONIN: To say that we’re excited is an understatement. I’ve been to Jackson probably 10 or 15 times. I think actually this is a great Jackson Hole Easter egg. Evan had an Instagram account, like his personal Instagram account, as a sort of joke to himself. The only thing that he would ever post was pictures of him at Jackson once a year and hashtag it with #JHOLEJAMS. His account got hacked last year by a Russian who was posting lewd photographs of Russian women on it.
DORFMAN: I made it five years into the five-year running joke. And the damn Russian hackers ruined the whole joke. Jackson has a deep connection with us. We’ve never played there, so I think that’s going to come through at the show, and I think it’s going to be a party. Yeah, you’re going to be there Jack. And I think we’re going to have a bunch of friends there. I think it’ll just be a good old-fashioned hoedown.
KHOL: And you guys have live instrumentation? Live singing? It’s going to be a full-spectrum event?
CRONIN: The whole thing. We’re bringing the whole live set. I think this is going to be the most bags I’ve ever checked for anything ever because I’m going to be bringing all of our music equipment, and I think I’m bringing my skis. I’ve been advised that it’s probably worth it to bring skis, even though the snow isn’t great. So, if I can make it with all of our items, I’m going to be insanely excited for the show.
Listen above for KHOL’s full conversation with Gilligan Moss.
This coverage is funded in part with an Arts For All grant provided by the Town of Jackson and Teton County.