The Disco Biscuits Change The Anthem

I don't know if in ten years I'm going to look back and say this was a good thing or a bad thing, or even a thing, but if we had made that other album [referring to typical Bisco releases] then we wouldn't be talking about MTV.

-Marc Brownstein

Brownstein even contends that Planet Anthem seems to fit in with the band and their overall timeline.

"If you know The Disco Biscuits, you know that we started out as a jam band with no electronic music. And if you really followed us, you watched us start to incorporate trance, then dub, hip-hop and all different styles of music over the years, you know, classical, the whole nine [yards]," explains Brownstein. "You've seen us go from a band that would play jazz standards to a band that never plays jazz standards. You've seen us go from a band that has electronic music in our jams to playing songs electronic the whole way through. And all [the way] back again to writing songs like 'Big Wrecking Ball' that are just rock songs."

What makes this studio effort unique is how it mixes and matches so many elements together, while holding true to the band's trademark top-flight musicianship. "It would have been very easy for us to go in and attempt to make an all electronic album," he says. "That's what everyone is doing now. They've dropped the music."

The Disco Biscuits at Camp Bisco 2009 by Vann
In line with their mantra of anything goes, the band also employed the help of many local and, in a few cases, world renown names to help contribute, tweak or produce. These names include Simon Posford, Harry Zelnick, Tor Hyams and longtime friend and side project cohort Tom Hamilton (Brothers Past, American Babies).

"The thing that I love about The Disco Biscuits is that you get in the studio and there are no barriers, no walls, there is nothing stopping us from doing anything in any direction," says Brownstein. "[We're] four guys who all write music regularly, plus a team of our producers - Harry, Tommy, Alex, Simon, Tor - a team of the top musical people in our city AND some of the top in the world coming together to kind of guide the sound, and the sound goes in fucking twenty directions at once yet it works together!"

One of the major and immediate results of this approach was the band's initial music video for "You and I", which has been in steady rotation on MTV2. "I don't know if in ten years I'm going to look back and say this was a good thing or a bad thing, or even a thing, but if we had made that other album [referring to typical Bisco releases] then we wouldn't be talking about MTV!"

As we rub up on the topic of fans, evolution and that video on MTV, Brownstein is eager to discuss more upcoming videos. The next clip is for "On Time" (catch a preview of the video here), perhaps the catchiest tune on the album, a club-banger that could bring a whole new type of fan to the party.

"There's four more videos on the way. We're even making a trilogy of videos," says Brownstein. "It's 'Fish Out of Water,' 'On Time' and 'Widgets.' The three songs are all tied together in video, and it's the story of a robot who picks up this really, really bangin' girl in a club. It's a really, really crazy looking video and it's done in animation, and it's really, really hot. In addition to the 'You and I' remix video that we're going to do, we're going to have four more videos coming out. So, we're looking at five or six videos for this album."

Regardless of your opinion of The Disco Biscuits or Planet Anthem, which many fans will likely hate due to the unexpected, almost unrecognizable nature of the material, it's hard not to be impressed by the band's willingness to try new things. The Biscuits have been doing this for well over a decade and the last thing they needed was another album that tried to capture what they already do onstage every night.

"We're not even swinging for the fences," says Brownstein. "We're just making different music. Our goal was not to make a massive album. Our goal was to make a good album. Our goal was to make good songs."

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[Published on: 3/18/10]

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