Interview with: Conspirator

Conspirator, a project fronted by Aron Magner and Marc Brownstein of The Disco Biscuits, have taken themselves to new heights in the past year. From sold-out theaters around the country to support slots for Ghostland Observatory to performances as Electric Forest, Camp Bisco and an upcoming slot at the 2012 Wanee Music Festival in Live Oak, Florida, they can no-longer be referred to as simply a side-project. is more than thrilled to be covering this year’s Wanee Festival in April and we had the opportunity to catch up with Aron as he had some time off at his home. When I called, he comedically picked up the phone and said, “Oh f*ck, is this that interview that I have to do”. It obviously took me a bit off guard so I replied, “Yeah, let’s reschedule so I can go have a beer” (this was the first thing that came to mind, though I came up with a thousand more appropriate responses like “No, this is the IRS…” that would have worked better). Either way, Aron was more than happy to chat with me about Conspirator and what the year holds for them. Make sure to check out the 2012 Wanee Festival plus all of their tour dates below.

We’re somewhat unfamiliar with the groups history. I followed the Disco Biscuits and somewhere along the lines missed out on the fact that you all had started a newer project. When did Conspirator start to take shape and what prompted the new outlet to come to existence?

It was 2005 and the Biscuits were on a break. We were figuring out our drummer situation as he had chosen a different career path and so I just started working with a producer in New Jersey on some things. I basically took lessons from him, we began writing together and things came together rather quickly. I brought Marc on board and we just decided “let’s make art for the sake of making art, it’s something we enjoy, it’s something that we’re getting better at and it’s hands down the best way of expressing ourselves. So, through that our album somewhat came to be. We pulled the elements that we knew to create this sound. We removed the things that we could perform live while enhancing the parts that were programmed and couldn’t be reproduced on our instruments. We called it Conspirator for somewhat obvious reasons; we’re a group of friends and musicians each adding our own touch to this project and it gradually sustained itself. We brought on Chris and a rotating cast of drummers. And these drummers, they literally are some of the best people playing music right now, it still sort of shocks me when we’re on stage together (from Lotus, Pendulum and more). They’re people that genuinely love what they do. 

You all just finished a run of shows that include Ben Samples and Dr. Fameus. What is your connection with these artists in choosing them to join you for the dates?

Dr. Fameus is Alan from the Biscuits. Just Alan actually. Nothing really makes the man more at ease than playing drums and so he’s created this very unique blend of pre-programmed tracks that he’s produced in the studio that he alters live and mixes with his drumming. When he’s drumming it’s like… it’s like a “John Stienbeck – Travels With Charlie” sort of happiness, just a man and his most beloved companion. Ben was just recently introduced to us. We hung out for a few weeks on tour with us and got into his sounds as well as he into ours and it just .. just went from there. 

You’ve got upcoming dates with Paper Diamond, Ghostland Observatory and Spongle. What’s your history with those artists?

We’ve opened for Ghostland before actually. The “Live from the Georgia Theatre” recording was that show actually. They’ve played Camp Bisco a few times as well. One of our favorites for sure. Spongle just rocks. We’re not trying to compete with those guys at all, that’s just not our scene. We compliment each other stylistically and personally. Love them. 

The dates are Mid-West, North East and West Coast until a short run through the South with a notable performance at the Wanee 2012 music festival. Have you all played Wanee before and what are you most looking forward to about the audiences in the South, but also specifically at Wanee?

In particular, we have a show in Charleston. Have you ever seen the women in Charleston?! It’s like there some.. something special in the water because that city has some of the most beautiful ladies I’ve ever laid my eyes on. Um, you guys also really like your koozies in the South, that’s not something that we see all the time, but whatever, that’s cool. Wanee is going to be an awesome time and we’re thrilled to be a part of that lineup. We’re hoping to add a more lively presence to that festival’s audience and get people up and moving. 

For someone who hasn’t experienced your live show, how can you best describe the collective creativity that goes on, not only with the music but thought lighting and stage effects? The videos I’ve seen set quite an impressive scene..

We like people to have a good time because we like having a good time. Obvious things.. It’s fun for us to experiment on a theme and so most of our live sets are very different from one another. If you’re going to show up, show up ready to let loose and enjoy everything around you. 

Camp Bisco has become one of the most talked about crafted festivals on the US schedule. What can you tell us about how the 2012 festival is shaping up and can crowds be expecting sets from Conspirator?

It’s something that came together years ago and just developed organically. We started off just asking friends to come share a stage with us and as years past by it became something completely  self-sustaining. We have a management group that puts the event together now but we all still curate it and make sure that the bands playing are people that we love and want to share with you.

Should the Mayan’s prediction be correct, where will Conspirator’s “End of the World” Party be and who else will be playing?

Man, I don’t know. Maybe in Mexico? That would be fun. (I mentioned the potential BBQ party in Yellowstone Park..) Yeah man, Yellowstone sounds just right.

Conspirator Spring 2012 Tour

Mar 9th 2012 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Mr. Small’s Theatre

Mar 10th 2012 – Buffalo, NY @ Town Ballroom w/ Eliot Lipp

Mar 16th 2012 – Enfield, NH @ LIFT @ Whaleback Mountain

Mar 22nd 2012 – Solana Beach, CA @ Belly Up Tavern

Mar 23rd 2012 – West Hollywood, CA @ Roxy Theatre

Mar 24th 2012 – San Francisco, CA @ The Independent

Mar 25th 2012 – Arcata, CA @ Arcata Theatre

Mar 26th 2012 – Crystal Bay, NV @ The Crystal Bay Club/Crown Room

Mar 31st 2012 – Kerhonkson, NY @ Rock n Roll Resort v2: A Psybient Soiree

Apr 1st 2012 – Kerhonkson, NY @ Rock n Roll Resort v2: A Psybient Soiree

Apr 15th 2012 – Harrisburg, PA @ Abbey Bar

Apr 17th 2012 – Wilmington, NC @ The Soapbox

Apr 18th 2012 – Charleston, SC @ Pourhouse

Apr 19th 2012 – Live Oak, FL @ Wanee Music Festival 

Apr 20th 2012 – Athens, GA @ Georgia Theatre

Apr 21st 2012 – Asheville, NC @ The Orange Peel

Apr 27th 2012 – Philadelphia, PA @ Trocadero

Apr 28th 2012 – New York, NY @ Irving Plaza

Jul 26th 2012 – Floyd, VA @ Floyd Fest