The Collegian
Thursday, July 16, 2020

Electronic jam band eager to play in Virginia

The Disco Biscuits, who will be playing in Richmond, Va., at The National on Oct. 1, will be releasing eight songs this fall from their new album "Planet Anthem," which drops January 2010.

Allen Aucoin (drums), Aron Magner (keys), Marc Brownstein (bass) and Jon Gutwillig (guitar/midi keyboard) make up The Disco Biscuits, an electronic "jam band" based in Philadelphia, Pa.

The band was created when they met at the University of Pennsylvania and created their "trance-fusion" sound. The original drummer, Sam Altman, left the band but was replaced by Aucoin after he won a "drum-off" at a gig in 2005.

The band got its name on July 4, 1995, when the guys were hanging out at the New Jersey shore, Brownstein said. After changing its name during every show, the band finally decided to stick with The Disco Biscuits, he said.

The Disco Biscuits' fall 2009 tour started Sept. 11 in Baltimore, Md. at the Hippodrome Theatre and will end with a four-day "Caribbean Holidaze" concert in Runaway Bay, Jamaica, from Dec. 10 to Dec. 14.

The band plans to release eight songs from "Planet Anthem" during the fall in the form of three EPs, also known as extended play discs, that are composed of one or two songs.

There will be seven more songs on the album when it is released in January, Brownstein said.

The songs "Konkrete" and "You and I" can already be downloaded for free on The Disco Biscuits Website,

Next week, the band's first EP, "On Time," will be released, Brownstein said. The rest of the EPs will be released in six-week increments.

Releasing the EPs during a five-month period keeps everyone thinking about it, Brownstein said. It's easy for an album to get lost in the shuffle when the release date is far away, he said.

The band will be making four music videos to accompany the new songs as well and will release three videos from its May 2009 show at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, Colo.

"The first video [for 'You and I'] was made in Japan, when we were there this summer," Brownstein said. There are Japanese actors and it has a "Lost in Translation" feel to it, he said.

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"Everyone always hates our videos," Brownstein said. "Our first video for 'World is Spinning,' was universally trashed. Our goal was to make 10 videos."

Nine out of 10 girls may smack you, but that meeting with the 10th girl will be beautiful, he said, and people are bound to like one of the videos.

"We should have six videos by the end of the year, so we'll be halfway to our goal," Brownstein said.

The Disco Biscuits' new album was created by using a collective of musicians, Brownstein said.

"There are a lot of pop songs on this album," Brownstein said. The band didn't set out to make pop songs, it just ended up that way, he said.

"The album came organically," he said. "We worked with super accomplished musicians in our field."

Two of the producers of the album, Dirty Harry and Don Cheegro, had produced albums for Usher and Ludacris and had already won Grammy Awards, Brownstein said. Combining electronic and hip hop styles gave the album a new sound.

"We very naturally ended up where we were," Brownstein said.

Pretty Lights producer, Derek Vincent Smith, will produce a song on the album and Shpongle's Simon Posford will produce five songs on the album, Brownstein said.

The Disco Biscuits record in their own 3,000-square-foot studio, Diamond Riggs Studios in Pennsylvania, Brownstein said. The band opened its studio's doors to local Philadelphia musicians as well, he said.

"They're in our world and use our studio," Brownstein said.

In addition to electronic groups, hip hop and R&B producers have used the studio, he said. A country album was even made in the studio, Brownstein said.

"We're in the center of a lot of creativity in Philly," he said.

In 1999, The Disco Biscuits created an electronic festival called Camp Bisco in Cherry Tree, Pa. The ninth installment of Camp Bisco will take place this summer at the Indian Lookout Country Club in Mariaville, N.Y.

"When we were a young band," Brownstein said, "we couldn't get good time slots at the other festivals, so we created our own."

Camp Bisco is one of the largest electronic festivals on the East coast, Brownstein said. Most of the electronic festivals have been found on the West coast in the past, he said.

Eight hundred to 900 people attended the festival in 1990. Last year's Camp Bisco drew 8,000 fans.

Although The Disco Biscuits have traveled the world from places such as Jamaica to Amsterdam and Japan, the band is thrilled to play in Richmond, Brownstein said. Virginia knows how to treat its musicians, he said.

The Disco Biscuits tickets are on sale now for $22.50 at and other ticket venues. The show begins at 8 p.m. Oct. 1 at The National with Big Gigantic as the opening act. The National is located at 708 East Broad Street, Richmond, Va., 23219.

Contact reporter Ryan Clark at

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