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“I’m A Keyboardist & Touring Musician With A Band”

Aron Magner is a Touring Musician; the keyboardist of jam-band mainstays and festival hosts The Disco Biscuits. Join us as Aron takes us through life with the band; playing with his friends; and, his lifelong connection with the fans.

Aron Magner: Touring Musician

This is the story of Aron Magner, a two-decade touring musician and the keyboardist for the genre-bending jam band, The Disco Biscuits.

Aron is a founding member of The Disco Biscuits, formed in Philadelphia in 1995 while Aron and his bandmates were in college. Aron has also played keyboards in side projects including Electron, Conspirator, and Billy & the Kids.

He plays dozens of live shows each year.

“The most creative energy that I get is from our live performances,” he says. “To feed off the energy of the crowd, and have that symbiotic relationship personified in the music [is special].”

To capture more of that energy, Magner and his Disco Biscuit bandmates hosted the first Camp Bisco in 1999. The festival aimed to combine the forces of electronica and improvisational rock.

Today, Camp Bisco is an annual three-day event that features more than 70 bands and 20,000 fans.

“Camp Bisco¬†bridges the gap between electronic music and rock music,” Magner says, “which, at the heart of it, is the entire ethos of the Disco Biscuits.”

He also celebrates the role of The Disco Biscuit fans in the lives of members of the band. “Our fans are rabid and loyal. The community in the culture is really at the heart of what the Disco Biscuits are.”

Hear more from Aron Magner, who has one of the coolest jobs in America.

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Episode transcript

Hi, my name is Aron Magner. I’ve been a touring musician for over two decades.

So the Disco Biscuits met about 22 years ago in college and started out playing parties.The music that we were creating at that time even in its infantile stages, we were passionate about. And we realized pretty quickly that that passion extended to this small, but growing, fan base.

When we first started touring, I was still in college. And we did what you do as a young band: you pile into a crappy van and you get on the road And, we’d go around from city to city, market to market, and we’d stand on our soap boxes praising the gospel of the Disco Biscuits.

By the time that my senior year rolled around and we had another tour booked in the fall, I decided to actually dive into the deep end and commit myself fully to the band. 22 years later. I haven’t really looked back.

We used to kind of joke that we were the hardest working band in Show Business. We were always very involved in our careers, not just musically, but on the business side of things as well.

The main source of income for the Disco Biscuits and my career personally has always been ticket sales which is why we concentrate on making each individual concert a unique experience.

The most creative energy that I get is in our live performances and to feed off the energy of the crowd and have that symbiotic relationship personified in the music.

One of the turning points in our careers was the advent of Camp Bisco, which was our first band-curated festival where we basically bridged the gap between electronic music and rock music which, at the heart of it, is the ethos of the Disco Biscuits.

Our fans are rabid and loyal. The community in the culture is really at the heart of what the Disco Biscuits are.

Every fan is the most important fan. And that’s how we began our fanbase of really having almost, like, a blurred line between bands and fans. And, I think our fans do feel like they know us individually, you know, we started when we were in college and now those kids are in their 40s just like I am. But that’s really what’s helping to bolster and grow our career is a multi-generational fan base.

The longevity of the Disco Biscuits actually still kind of impresses me to this day. I think that it’s a testament to the power of the music, the power of the improvisation which is kind of at the heart of our live shows at this point. But, I think that the longevity is also a testament to our malleable relationship with each other.

We’re all friends and I feel like that relationship off-stage actually translates on-stage where you have a certain amount of trust in each other. It just makes things fun to be on stage playing music with your friends.

What I realize now reflecting back on the past 22 years of one band’s career is that regardless of any sort of technological advancements in life and jobs and society, they’ll always be music.