Birds of a Feather: Artists Reflect on Phish
Keith Moseley (String Cheese Incident)
Phish leaves behind a legacy of music above all else. But perhaps they don’t quite leave it behind. They’ve given that legacy to the masses, and I bet each of the band members will continue to make music in one form or another. Rock on.
Jon Fishman played with my band once at this club in Burlington called Toast, which is no longer around. It was in the winter and I was waiting for my band to arrive. Fishman comes walking up the stairs with his drums wrapped all around his body. His bass drum was swinging from his neck and he had this big coat on so you could barely see his body. He just looked like a walking mound of drums. I was like, “Dude, what you doing?” He just said, “ I had to see if I could carry my entire drum kit by myself.”
Eric Krasno (Soulive)
I saw them twice at the Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, NY. I had dubbed a copy of the tape Junta from a friend, but had never seen its cover. I remember watching them play “You Enjoy Myself” and “Divided Sky” from the balcony—the two songs I wanted to hear. People wanted the band to explore: the more out they went, the more excited everyone got. Aquarium Rescue Unit opened one of the shows and that was also the first time I saw Oteil and Jimmy Herring play. Right around then, I also went to a party at Fishman’s house. A friend of mine was going to school with Trey’s fiancée and we spent the night there. They were all jamming and playing different instruments—Trey was on drums. It was wild to see that.
They created a forum for a lot of other music to be heard. They opened a lot of young people’s minds to music that is not MTV or fed by the media. Bands like us are able to do well because when kids check out Phish, they see the Zappa influence, they see the funk influence and Tower of Power influence.
Ben Cohen (Co-Founder of Ben and Jerry’s)
They are true Vermont-rock stars. Since the beginning they have made a conscious decision to not go the celebrity route. They are so laid back and avoided many of the rock star trappings by living away from the major cities. Ever since we came out with Cherry Garcia many bands have approached us about coming up with a flavor, but we always said no. But with Phish we truly believed in their ideology and it was a simple choice: Phish Food.
On his favorite live Phish memory:
At the Clifford Ball, Phish had Jerry and I come out to sing “Brother” in front of about 70,000 people. They hadn’t played “Brother” for a long time at that point and we were real nervous, sitting backstage running the line over and over again: “Wow, wow wow, someone is definitely in a bathtub with my brother.” Trey heard us practicing and said, “just have fun with it and remember two things: strong and wrong. Just get out there and play it loud and the crowd will go nuts.” Sure enough we did and it was wild.