Just as the Disco Biscuits reached the height of recognition of their 16-year career and seemed on the verge of even more, founding keyboardist Aron Magner and bassist Marc Brownstein began focusing on a side project called Conspirator. Off-and-on since 2004, the group explores
technologies and techniques to make more "true to form" electronic
music, which is in contrast to the Biscuits' improvisation-based,
electronic-infused, "rock band" approach -- sometimes referred to as
"trance-fusion" or "jamtronica."
Extra-curricular bands are nothing new, but these days, it seems to many that the
two are focusing on Conspirator because being in the Disco Biscuits
full-time is not an option. Even though Camp Bisco, their annual festival
in upstate New York, grew from a 900-person
get-together in 1999 to 25,000 attendees this past summer, not all members are prepared to continue moving that band forwards. On Conspirator's website, it even states that the band
"can no longer be considered merely a side project."
of a world without the Disco Biscuits has caused many among the band's long-time "rabid" fans -- who follow as obsessively as Grateful Dead and Phish devotees -- to express concern and vitriol on message boards, such as Phantasy Tour. Some Conspirator threads go so far as to
call for a boycott, but one online poster sums up many fans' rage: "No one
would be bitching if the Biscuits were touring." Recently, Brownstein posted an infamous Facebook comment stating that
he "miss[es] the Disco Biscuits too," and wishes that they would do a
"real fucking tour."
Ahead the Conspirator's late-night, post-Yom Kippur show at the Culture Room on Saturday, County Grind had the opportunity
to talk with Magner about the "rabid" fans,
Brownstein's "candid" comment, and some of the uncertainties swirling