Conspirator plots course for Boone

By Derek Halsey (

Article Published: Mar. 27 | Modified: Apr. 3
Conspirator plots course for Boone

Conspirator consists of Marc Brownstein on bass, Aron Magner on keyboards, Chris Michetti on guitar and Torch on drums.

Photo submitted

Side bands are fun.

So says Marc Brownstein of The Disco Biscuits, who is bringing the group, Conspirator, to Legends on Hardin Street in Boone on April 2.

Conspirator consists of Brownstein on bass, fellow Disco Biscuits band mate Aron Magner on keyboards, Chris Michetti on guitar and Torch on drums.

Legends will open at 8 p.m. the night of the show, and the concert is BYOB. Tickets are $12 for ASU students in advance and $15 for the public and at the door.

The focus of Conspirator is to explore the possibilities of mixing together electronic music with live instrumentation, creating a jamtronica groove that evolves from concert to concert.

“A good portion of the show is played without any computer in it, which is newer for Conspirator to just drop the computer and let our instrumentation do the talking,” Brownstein said. “And that part of the show has really started to get good in the last couple of weeks. We’ve made major strides in the communication, because improvisation in instrumentation is a language. It’s a language that you learn together with a group of people and develop over the years with people.”

These days, what is injecting fuel into Conspirator’s creative fire is the addition of new band members.

“We have a new drummer this year, Torch, who is just incredible, and he has been learning the little cue points that we put into our conversation musically, so he knows what is coming next,” Brownstein said. “What kind of drum beats to drop, when to go down, when to go up, and the same goes for our guitarist, Chris, whom we have been playing with for four years. So, the communication is starting to get really tight, and it’s really exciting. The other side of the show is that when we play songs, almost all of them have some sort of computer Ableton element that’s being played. So, we’re on click tracks, the computer is in sync with us, and we have our songs split up into lots of different cue points, so we can go back and forth between different parts of the song and not get stuck just playing along with a track. That is what we want to avoid. We don’t want to be a track band, somebody that has a backing track and says, ‘This is what we do, we play along with it, and this is how it goes every time.’”

Conspirator has played on some big stages before some large crowds. Still, according to Brownstein, the smaller indoor gigs, such as this upcoming concert at Legends, can be just as intense as the festival shows.

“I’ll say, there is something really special about getting up onstage in front of 10,000 people and having that epic moment,” Brownstein said. “When you’re a kid and you were dreaming of being a rock star, that’s the moment you are dreaming of. But you have to realize that all musicians across the board, from Prince to the great jazz musicians, we’re still dogging it out in clubs, because that is a whole different kind of love that you can’t give up, getting down in front of 300, 400 or 500 people.

“It’s confessional, that intimacy that you have when you are bringing your music to that size of crowd. I’ve said this all along. The first time my first band, The Disco Biscuits, got to play in front of 100 people, it felt like playing at Madison Square Garden. The first time we played in front of 300 people, it felt like playing at Madison Square Garden. When we hit 10,000 people, on every stage, the excitement was the same. You can’t get more excited than a sold-out, 300-person room. So, when you get to that 2,000-person room, it feels exactly the same.

“The excitement of playing music for people is enormous, even if it’s five people in your practice room, 20 people in your studio or 10,000 people at Bonnaroo. The feeling, the adrenaline and the rush is the same.”

For more information on Conspirator, and to hear the band’s music, visit

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