Trey Anastasio Answers Questions at the Y
During a public interview last night with longtime Relix contributor Anthony DeCurtis at New Yorks 92nd Street Y, Trey Anastasio came clean about his recent arrest. Though scheduled long before Anastasios mid-December run-in with the law, DeCurtis jumped onto the stars drug problems at the start of his interview. Last week, the Glens Falls Post-Star reported that a Washington County grand jury on Thursday filed a felony drug possession charge against Trey Anastasio. On December 15, Anastasio was arrested in Whitehall, New York while diving erratically. The story indicates that in addition to prescription painkillers a substance was found in the car later was determined to be heroin. As a result, the grand jury opted to file the felony charge. A formal indictment is expected to issue next week with the arraignment to follow.
After introducing Anastasio, DeCurtis joked that it was good to see Trey without a series of numbers across his chest, to which Anastasio responded, I see you saw me watching the Super Bowl this weekend. While the former Phish guitarist was unable to go into specifics regarding his actual arrest due to legal issues, he admitted that he is an addict and is currently in rehab. Confirming numerous online reports, Anastasio mentioned that he thanked the officer who arrested him. The guitarist then said that after Phish he felt like he could confront his problems on his own and that his recent experience made him realize that he needs help. He also discussed the roots of his addiction and when asked why his friends didnt confront him about his problems, Anastasio commented that he realized he employed all [his] friends. Like the Grateful Dead before them, Anastasio said that the enormity of the groups organizationwhich at its peak employed almost 70 employeeswas a huge burden to carry. He cited Big Cypress as Phishs peak and, without referencing Coventry, joked that everything went right it didnt rain and there was no mud. When pushed about the roots of his drug use, Anastasio laughed and said, I just did whatever Page told me to do.
Anastasio touched on some other themes throughout the night, including the possibility of a Phish reunion. Though he stated that Page McConnell is tied up working on his first solo album and that Mike Gordon is taking a year off from touring, Anastasio said
that if he ever found himself onstage with Phish again, he would be the happiest man in the room. During one particularly edgy moment, Anastasio confessed that he felt Gordon, who is known for his interaction with his fans, felt distant from the rest of Phish near the end and that they are closer in the post-Phish era than in the bands final days. Similarly, Anastasio related that hes felt distant from Jon Fishman musically in the post-Phish era, though the two remain close friends. He also talked about the roots of the modern jamband scene, which he cited as a reaction to 1980s culture.
The night also included a few acoustic songs, chosen for their revealing lyrics: Shines Wherever You Find It, Bar 17s Case of Ice and Snow, and Round Rooms Pebbles and Marbles. Throughout the night, DeCurtis solicited questions from the audience via comment cards which were collected by the 92nd Ys ushers and drew from a series of questions fans submitted to him before the program. The evenings final question discussed playing with Phil Lesh, something Anastasio mentioned he will likely do in the near future. Anastasio cited Leshs strong family ties as an inspiration and discussed playing with him at Vegoose, remarking that he played in the Grateful Dead they invented this type of music.
Trey Anastasio will next perform in Florida this March. The guitarist will perform at both Ft. Lauderdales the Revolution on March 8 and Langerado later that weekend.