26 Oct 2010
- By Nick Rhodes
- Published on October 26, 2010
The Disco Biscuits are undoubtedly a band by the people, for the people
With multiple annual events aimed at creating a family-like environment for their hardcore fans, Facebook fan-written setlist contests and a ton of shows centered around their core fan base’s area, the band values little more than making sure the Bisco faithful are left satisfied.
The Philadelphia quartet’s summer-fall tour is coming to an end, culminating in a five-night East Coast Halloween run that includes a Hulaween show with String Cheese Incident on October 29, a performance at Moogfest in North Carolina on Mischief Night and a blow-out Halloween show in Charlottesville, Va.
Headstash Magazine caught up with the band’s vocal leader and bassist Marc Brownstein asking him some questions directly from the Headstash community about everything from setlist writing, to his feelings on the scene and the band’s fans to balancing a new baby and his family.
Headstash Magazine: Halloween’s right around the corner and fans are definitely getting amped. So how has the tour been going so far and what should people expect for the end of the run?
Marc Brownstein: We’re kind of off tour right now. We played three weeks at the end of August and the beginning of September. It started to get real good every night. The band got really heated up and I think we can pick up right where we left off when we get out for this Virginia run.
[DISCUSS the Halloween run, grab setlist updates and talk about all things Bisco on our message boards.]
It should be really exciting because I’ve been to a lot of concerts at The Hampton Coliseum, myself. So playing in there with String Cheese is just going to be cool and a special experience for fans.
HM: Without giving too much away, what do you have in store for Halloween?
MB: Halloween is great because the fans have been writing all these fantasy setlists on our Facebook page for the last month and we’re going to go through it this week and choose a winner.
It’s fun to get up on stage and play the stuff that these other people who have been following the band for a decade thought of. We decided to do it again for Halloween because we figured we would get 500 really dark setlists and in addition to it being something fun to do, the fans get to imagine what it would have been like to have written the setlist themselves.
HM: Are you ever really surprised at the types of setlists fans come up with?
MB: The “Ghostbusters" theme and “Monster Mash”. Those songs must have been requested 50 or 60 times. Every setlist I was reading had something like that in it so it’s pretty cool.
I don’t know which one we’re going to choose but I’m sure it’s going to have something cool like that in it. That’s what it’s about: the kids getting creative and trying to think of something that’s themed and works for Halloween.
[READ Headstash Magazine's Halloween preview for all your favorite bands.]
HM: The Disco Biscuits are really accessible with social media and seem to value fan interaction immensely with fan-made setlists and festivals like Camp Bisco and Bisco Inferno. Why is it so important to you guys?
MB: It is what it is. There are so many different things you can do technologically. So as technology evolves, we’re just trying different things to shake it up and have fun and let it be an interactive experience.
I don’t know if it’s good or bad to be accessible. It’s kind of an ongoing experiment, you know what I mean? Sometimes it has its positives, sometimes it has its negatives but I feel like overall, there’s a community and the fans feel like they’re a part of that community and I feel like I’m a part of the community with the fans. And I value that extremely.
[FOLLOW The Biscuits on Facebook.]
These are the people that make it possible, what we do. I like to know what they like. I think [the fan setlists] are all sick. Crowd sourcing is great because it brings the band that much closer to the fans in terms of what is really important. What’s important is that the customers are satisfied – that the people who are providing the entertainment are doing a satisfactory job of entertaining the people who came to see them. It bridges that gap. It’s fun and I think people like it.
Continue reading to see Marc's answers to questions from the Headstash community about their setlist-writing process and what the band does before each show.
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