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Published: 2012/11/09

Trey Anastasio Talks Phish’s Break-Up, Addiction and More

Photo by Michael Weintrob

In a story that appears in the latest issue of Rolling Stone, the members of Phish reflect on the band’s break-up back in 2004. Drummer Jon Fishman, recalls that Trey Anastasio “came to the band, in ’04, totally out of his mind, saying, ‘The only way I can describe this is, if I don’t get out of Phish now, I’ll die.’ When your good friend says this to you, you go, ‘It should have never come to this. Absolutely, go home. Nobody should die over this.’ ”

Anastasio remembers that around this same time, “Page [McConnell] pulled me aside and said, ‘For 20 years, I’ve had 100 percent faith that you would lead us onstage, and it’s always made me feel good. For the first time, I’m not sure I feel that anymore.’”

David Fricke’s piece, which focuses on the recording of Anastasio’s album Traveler, as well as his work on the musical Hands on a Hardbody, also looks back on the moment in December 2006 when Anastasio was stopped by police in upstate New York who found “prescription medications, including Percocet and Xanax, made out to another person, in his car.”

Anastasio is now sober following treatment and Fricke reports that every day while on tour, “He asks everyone in the band and members of the crew which songs they would like to see in the sets that night. Then, before gig time, Anastasio will go into a backstage bathroom and, he says, ‘get quiet. I’ll think about how many people are coming to the show, who’s had a hard day. I’ll meditate on that person and think of them way in the back of the room.”

Folks in the back of the room can look forward to four nights of music when Phish returns to the stage at Madison Square Garden at the end of next month.

For more on the recording of Traveler, check out our recent interview with Trey.


There are 13 comments associated with this post

Gooombay November 9, 2012, 02:18:48

I bet he still thinks about the chicks in the front row, too :)

scott November 9, 2012, 06:22:21

While in the bathroom is he pooping?

TCinNYC November 9, 2012, 07:42:54

Last month I celebrtated my 25th anniversary of seeing Phish live. I never dreamt when I walked into Nectars in October 1987 that this band, & the 4 men in it would become the soundtrack of my life. All I can say is “thank you Phish”. I love that they have projects outside of Phish, and just like last week at The Meter Men, i’ll be there to support them. Can’t wait to take my wife to see “Hands on a Hard Body”. Keep going Trey, your doing great!!

me November 9, 2012, 10:39:45

I hear you TC… being told to go see Phish for $7 when I was in college at Plattsburgh State on 12/4/1991, I never had any idea… but trying to play the crappy recording I made of that show to my then girlfriend (and now wife) a few days later when she came to visit (the first thing when she walked in my apt. after a 5 hour drive), gave me a good hint they had grabbed my attention… and when we danced to “If I Could” for our wedding song 4.5 years later… I had a pretty good idea they had changed how my life would unfold… I’m thankful that they were friends first, that Page could be honest, that even Trey could be honest enough to (likely) save his own life… there are things more important to me in my life, but Phish is right up there!

Luby November 9, 2012, 12:44:30

Hey “me,” I too went to Plattsburgh State, graduating the year before they played what was called “The Blue Room”. I was bummed as hell I missed that, but redeemed years later during the Clifford ball, which also happened to be my birthday weekend. Fast forward over 100 shows and many years later, I consider myself lucky to have had them such an integral part of my life for so many years. Here’s to many, many more, may they all play them in good health!

Kyle November 9, 2012, 17:05:53

Hey Me and Luby, I live in Plattsburgh Now and grew up in Saranac Lake. I bet we know the same peeps!

me November 9, 2012, 18:26:47

Luby & Kyle… I knew it as E Glen Giltz Auditorium… but blue room sounds familiar… spent many nights in the basement of that building in the computer lab (software engineering)... and I loved the Clifford Ball… even though I graduated in 93, I remembered the gym and so mtn biked back each day of CB for the showers and to pick up ice from further away than the one store that was nearby! Definitely know some peops if you lived in Saranac Lake… Waterhole #3… Winter Carnival… Ominous Seapods… Monopole pizza and the mtn bike trail on the Saranac River… How I miss them good ole days (Okay Alright %^)... would have stayed in the burgh had there been more nearby jobs!!

norma stitz November 9, 2012, 20:45:11

Trey does not poop man. My dad gave me my first blowjob in Pittsburgh.

Jdog November 11, 2012, 08:50:29

Does Page still have a cool shirt?

Fishman November 12, 2012, 12:41:05

I saw him masturbating in the bathroom!

Poop November 16, 2012, 21:37:20

Trey does poop. Believe me.

Loubert November 20, 2012, 18:08:03

Your dad gives you blowjobs?

Bryan September 6, 2013, 19:15:16

What does Pittsburgh have to do with anything?
I am also a PSU grad, and CB attendee. Too bad I was 9 years too late for that Giltz show though.

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