Disco Biscuits’ City Bisco tour plays three Philly venues

Disco Biscuits come home this weekend. Credit: Brantley Gutierrez Disco Biscuits come home this weekend.
Credit: Brantley Gutierrez

When performing a song, the Disco Biscuits do not necessarily start at the beginning.

“Nobody ever thought to play a song backwards,” says Biscuits bassist Marc Brownstein. “By backwards, we just mean play the end of the song first and then the beginning of the song second. Is there any reason to do that beyond just being different? The answer for us is yes — there’s an enormous reason. In the Disco Biscuits world, we like to seamlessly go from point A to point B. We like to do it in a way that will create the most energy.”

Brownstein says he figures that if you go from point A to point B, then you’re at the end of a song and you have to stop and start another song and that stops the flow.

“What we’ve found was when we were in the jam of song A and we wanted to go into a different song, before finishing song A …. we’d try to work our way to the peak, the climax of the other song, which gets you into the middle of the jam, usually.”

The Disco Biscuits — which also count among their members Jon Gutwillig, Allen Aucoin and Aron Magner — have always been a little bit backwards. Forming at the University of Pennsylvania in the mid ’90s, they merged progressive rock, jam music, pop excursions and electronica music for a unique blend. Rolling Stone just named them No. 26 on its list of the 50 most important people in EDM.

When not ending up on influential lists, the Disco Biscuits are still getting their groove on. Up next is this year’s edition of the City Bisco tour of their hometown.

It’s a bit streamlined compared to last year when they brought in about 20 acts — including Method Man & Redman and Big Boi — over two days into the Mann. This year, Giorgio Moroder, known as the Godfather of Disco, is the featured opener on Saturday.

“Only like 100 people showed up for the early bands,” says Brownstein of last year’s City Bisco. “We had to make a decision that instead of … flying the acts all the way out here and then not having the kids support them, we had to focus on having one or two big acts open.”

Bigger than Biscuits

The members of Disco Biscuits have aspirations outside of the band.

“Our goal is to present things the way they haven’t been presented before and I think ultimately the goal of the guys in the band is to change music and to change the world,” Brownstein says.

Case in point: Gutwillig co-founded the software company Splice, which helps in the creation and editing of online music.

“He’s creating companies on the side that are changing the way people do business. He’s continued to take that same idea way into different fields,” says Brownstein, who himself co-founded the voter registration movement HeadCount. “We see all these people out there adapting the world for technology and for John, that wasn’t enough just to adapt the music for the technology. He wants to adapt everything for the technology.”

If you go

Disco Biscuits
Thursday, 8 p.m.
Trocadero Theatre, 1003 Arch St., SOLD OUT

Disco Biscuits with American Babies
Friday, 8:30 p.m.
Electric Factory, 421 N. 7th St., $50-$80

Disco Biscuits with Giorgio Moroder,Orchard Lounge and Risky Disko
Saturday, 6 p.m.
Mann Center for the Performing Arts, 5201 Parkside Ave., Fairmount Park, $50-$80

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