Jon Gutwillig expects a party this weekend at Ultra Music Festival.
As the guitarist for the jam band the Disco Biscuits, he intends to make the make the most of his extra week in Miami as he stays with a friend on the beach.
“I’m gonna go crazy and just have the best time of all times,” he said. “I just expect to have a lot of fun. I need to get out of my hotel at some point in time. I expect to miss all of my phone-based requirements while I’m there.”
While the Philly-based quartet has never played in the Magic City, it has put on shows at Revolution Live in Ft. Lauderdale.
Starting in the mid-1990s, Gutwillig and his bandmates played fraternity houses at the University of Pennsylvania because “that’s where you make the good money.”
“We were chosen to do it,” he said. “We didn’t really want to do it, but people came up to us every time. You can’t fight it, you just have to go with the flow.”
But what exactly is the type of music that Gutwillig, bassist Marc Brownstein, keyboardist Aron Magner and drummer Allen Aucoin play?
According to the band’s Web site, the Disco Biscuits mix free-form improvisations of jazz with the hypnotic rhythms that provide the soundtrack for rave culture, something that’ll fit right in at Ultra.
“Our style of music is often called ‘trance fusion,’” Gutwillig said.
Set to perform on Friday on the Bayfront Live Stage, the band is no stranger to the festival lifestyle.
Since 1999, the Disco Biscuits have hosted Camp Bisco, a summer music festival, with musical acts like Snoop Dogg, Kid Cudi, Umphrey’s McGee and Infected Mushroom.
Over 20,000 people attend, and the event now involves four stages and three tents in Mariaville, N.Y.
“The whole point behind Camp Bisco was to make a biscuit festival and add electronic acts,” Gutwillig explained. “There were a couple of bills in the early years that were legitimate live music concerts by day and electronic bills by night. It’s what Ultra’s doing now and what we’ve been doing for eight years. Ultra’s understanding that these trance fusion bands are making the best dance music of today.”
Part of being in a trance fusion band means that Gutwillig holds the distinction as one of 10 people in the world that can play songs on the guitar backwards.
Just don’t ask him to spell the alphabet that way.
“I can’t do that one sober,” Gutwillig said. “They ask you when they know you’re drunk so they have a reason to take you in. They need some way to prove it to him. ‘Hey, touch your nose and say the alphabet backwards.’ Nobody can say the alphabet backwards! How are you supposed to say ‘LMNOP’ backwards? That’s one letter when you’re saying the alphabet.”
Christina De Nicola may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
-Their latest album, “Planet Anthem,” is on sale now.
-Bayfront Live Stage performance on Friday
-After the interview, Gutwillig injured his wrist in an accident and received immediate medical attention. He had surgery in New York and missed the band’s March 19 show in Boston. An announcement of the lineup at Ultra will be released sometime this week.