CULTURE- INTERVIEW- New band rising: Biscuit lineup tests the water

For the past 10 years, the Disco Biscuits have built a name for themselves by fusing jam-band rock with elements of electronica. Despite the difficulties of orchestration this has presented, they've also done their best to maintain a strong live show, retaining an affection for improvisation so pronounced that it has been known to drive them to reinterpret their songs on the fly– playing them backwards and sideways and every which way but the one on the record. Late last year, drummer Sam Altman bailed and was replaced by newcomer Allan Aucoin; the Biscuits are currently on tour with this lineup for the first time ever, and will end up at Starr Hill as part of their attempt to find their sea legs.

The Hook: It's been 10 years since your debut. What's the most important milestone you've hit along the way?

Aron Magner: I don't think we necessarily passed one milestone to look back on other than our longevity, our ability to have a career that's lasted over a decade. I don't think that's something that exists very often in any relationship, let alone within music. Are we resilient within the industry? I don't know, but a lot of people seem to listen.

The Hook: This was your longest break between records. What did you do with all the time off?

Aron Magner: The band spent the majority of the time on the road; we just weren't in the studio making albums. We were trying to figure out how to continue.

The Hook: How to continue after Sam left?

Aron Magner: Sam really wanted to take a different career path. It was something that he was pretty much decided on. How he came to that decision, I can't really say, but he was convinced of what he wanted to do before he brought it to the band. It took me and the other guys in the band a good six or even twelve months before we came to terms with it. Obviously we're giving Sam our support, but I think we needed a little bit of time.

The Hook: How has his departure changed the group's chemistry?

Aron Magner: I think obviously when you're playing with a new member of your band, it ought to be different. The dynamic, of course, has changed. It's exciting and invigorating to play with another musician, especially someone as talented as Allen. There are no other three guys I'd like to play music with in the world, but after playing music with those guys for ten years playing with the new lineup is a nice change of pace.

The Hook: What's your biggest weakness as a group?

Aron Magner: I guess it's that we haven't been on tour with this lineup yet. We haven't been on tour in three years, actually– just three- or five-day runs. We're heading in headfirst.

Aron Magner