Since last year, The Disco Biscuits’ keyboardist Aron Magner has been splitting his time with his new project, SPAGA, a stripped-down trio that puts the focus on Magner’s grand piano stylings. The “mostly acoustic” trio, rounded out by string bassist Jason Fraticelli and drummer Matt Scarano, eschews the jam-rock/electronica fusion of the Biscuits for a more classic sound that harkens back to Magner’s jazz upbringing. The trio’s self-titled debut album is due out on July 26th via Magner’s own AM Records.
Today, Live For Live Music is excited to premiere the latest single off SPAGA’s upcoming debut, “Resurrection”, a song with which many Disco Biscuits fans will already be familiar. However, this version is “Resurrection” like you’ve never heard it before. As Magner explains,
“Resurrection” is a song I wrote for The Disco Biscuits in 2003 that has been in mild rotation over the years. I always liked the juxtaposition of the sections, but particularly enjoyed the swagger of the verses, even how they feel so different a half step apart from verse 1 to verse 2. When writing for this SPAGA album, I wanted to include one tDB song. The project was not meant to be “Jazz is Biscuits” by any means, but I thought one song may be enough to raise some eyebrows amongst our loyal fanbase.
The eight-minute instrumental piece opens up with a simple but tight drum beat from Scarano to match some light playing from Magner before Fratacelli’s bass joins in a few moments later. Magner then takes the reins with some impressive lead work on his keys before the music quickly builds into a quicker, more energizing rhythm. Just as the piece appears to pick up steam, the trio changes direction almost on the dime to a more relaxing state. From there, the song starts to build again before reaching a point where the notes coming out of Magner’s piano begin to dance along frantically. The instrumental piece then returns to calmer waters as the music continues past the six-minute mark, allowing the listener to come back down to earth for just a few moments before picking back up again for a triumphant closing.
As Magner explains, the band utilized some interesting studio techniques to yield this rollercoaster of a song:
There’re some fun studio tricks hidden in the track. After the piano was recorded, certain sections were played back through a Leslie speaker and then recorded again, a technique not customary for a piano. One of the high pitch melodies in the “circus” section is actually Fraticelli on electric bass (the only time he played electric on the album) through effect pedals. Aside from the two things mentioned above, there are no overdubs.
We spent an entire day recording this song, and each take had its own very unique jam. The final version was probably the last take of the day and I didn’t think we got ‘the one.’ It wasn’t until I came back into the studio the next week to review that I realized how interesting the end of this jam was. To get to the climax by bringing it almost all the way down right before the end “chorus” as opposed to something linear.
You can listen to the Live For Live Music debut of SPAGA’s “Resurrection” below:
SPAGA – “Resurrection” – Debut
SPAGA is scheduled to close this month out with performances at the Rochester International Jazz Festival in Rochester, NY on June 28th, followed by their appearance at Electric Forest in Rothbury, MI on June 29th.
The new SPAGA “Resurrection” single is officially out this Friday, June 21st on all streaming services. You can pre-save the stream on the platform of your choice here.
SPAGA Tour Dates
6/28 – Rochester, NY – Rochester International Jazz Festival
6/29 – Rothbury, MI – Electric Forest Festival
8/6 – Ft. Collins, CO – Washington’s
8/7 – Denver, CO – Ophelia’s
8/8 – Steamboat Springs, CO – Old Town Pub
8/10 – Telluride, CO – Telluride Jazz Festival
8/10 – Telluride CO – Sheridan Opera House
8/11 – Crested Butte, CO – Center for the Arts
9/6 – Ardmore, PA – Ardmore Music Hall
9/7 – New York, NY – Le Poisson Rouge
1/7-12 – Miami, FL – Jam Cruise 18