Five questions: The Disco Biscuits

Fresh off a new album release, Philly favorites The Disco Biscuits and plan to have a three-night stay at the Fillmore. | Image: Jesse Borrell

Those of a certain age will remember when The Disco Biscuits burst out of Philly in the mid-90s. Flash forward to today, and the band is as strong as ever.

While the band has changed over the years, as most bands do, The Disco Biscuits are still very much the pioneers of “trancefusion,” bridging the gap between electronic music and jam bands. They still remain rock pioneers whose soul belongs as much to marathon dance parties as it does to live improvisational journeys. They still employ emerging technologies to help them create music that is 100 percent human although, perhaps, not entirely of this earth.

Now you have the chance to see the band up close and personal when it comes back home for three shows starting today (March 12) and running through Saturday at The Fillmore. The band will be on its headline Act 1 tour, performing its hits and a few new tracks off of their upcoming full-length album.

PW recently caught up with Aron Magner of the group to talk about all things Disco Biscuits.

Your bio says that you’re an “entirely different band” today than you were when you broke out of Philly in the mid-90s. How are you different today?

We’ve evolved. Individually, collectively, musically. 

Today (March 12) marks the start of a tour that will last through mid-July. How has life on the road changed over the years? Is it better now, or worse?

Well … we’re not traveling around anymore in a Ford E-150 van eating dried ramen. But those formative years of traversing the country back and forth is what allowed our songs and our sound to develop. We spent those years cultivating a fan base that’s just as active decades later. 

The touring strategy over the past six years or so has changed more towards multi-night stands. It’s great for the band and the crew to set up in one spot for three to four nights. And it’s easy for the fans to travel in from other cities and make a weekend out of it. In the last six months, we committed ourselves to go back and re-activating states and regions that we haven’t been to in years.  

The Disco Biscuits are scheduled to kick off a three-night show at the Fillmore beginning March 12. | Image courtesy: Jesse Borrell

The tour culminates with the 18th Camp Bisco at Montage Mountain in Scranton. Can you share a little about how this year’s festival is shaping up? Any advice for fans who want to attend? 

Advice for a fan who wants to come? Come! The lineup just got announced and it’s our best yet! We’ve grown this festival over the last 20 years and we’re proud of what it’s become.

Camp Bisco started as the fusion of live band and electronic DJs. Electronic music has come so far in the past 20 years. And the musicians and producers that create both electronic and live band music seem to now have a much more appreciative understanding of each other’s art form. Often times people are producing both. The original concept of Camp Bisco was to introduce our fan base to artists and DJs that they may not have known otherwise. Now it has come full circle and our fanbase is introducing us to artists that we would not have otherwise been exposed to. Camp is always a fun time.  

What’s the stage show like these days? What will your Philly fans see at The Fillmore?

Our fans will see their favorite band of 25 years newly reinvigorated and reenergized. It’s a fun time to be a Disco Biscuits fan. There’s brand new music entering the sets. There’s new concepts for how we approach our improvisation that are immediately noticeable to the audience. We’re definitely entering a new stage of our career and everyone can feel it. 

How is the new album coming along? In addition to that, what’s next for The Disco Biscuits?

Our next studio session is already set for March. Jon (Gutwillig, guitarist) has introduced a plethora of material that we’ve been bringing to life and evolving over the past few months. Now that we’ve gotten an opportunity to crawl inside these songs, it’s time to put it to tape. 

The Disco Biscuits | March 12-14, 8 pm. $37. The Fillmore Philadelphia, 29 E. Allen St. Tickets and info:

  • Eugene Zenyatta was raised on old-time Memphis 'rasslin' and strongly prefers the company of dogs to people. His greatest heartbreak came in the 2010 Breeders' Cup Classic.

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