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Published: 2013/07/22

Trey Anastasio Talks New Phish Album, Robin Thicke, Children and More

Photo by Dave Vann © Phish 2013 via Phish’s Facebook page.

Rolling Stone has published an expanded version of Assistant Editor Patrick Doyle’s recent interview with Trey Anastasio. In the Q & A, which was conducted before Phish kicked off their summer tour, the guitarist discusses the Vermont Quartet’s upcoming album.

“There’s no one there except the four of us,” Anastasio says of the brief recording sessions, which took place in Vermont a few weeks before Phish kicked off their current run on July 3. “We have one guy who helps, who’s amazing at being quiet, who sits at the board and records stuff for us. But it’s like we’ve created an atmosphere where it’s just the four of us again, and that was really the problem from the late Nineties on. And we’re the ones who did it. But we just turned everything into such a big scene and a huge party. It was fun, too. But there were so many people around that we invited. It’s our fault, but we didn’t do anything except socialize. But I want to socialize with them. With Mike [Gordon] and Page [McConnell] and Fish [Jon Fishman].”

He goes on to say, “Another thing that’s really cool about it is we kind of walked in there and said, ‘Let’s just write stuff together,” which hasn’t historically happened a lot. But it’s such a good area right now in terms of communication. You know, writing together. Sitting up in the cupola in my barn with four pads of paper and looking out at the Vermont landscape and writing. So we’ll see where it goes. We don’t really know right now. But I think that’s more important to everybody than anything. It’s not really about the results, it’s the fact that we’re writing together. We like what we’ve got. We got stuff on tape, but it’s not done yet. We’re probably going to do a lot in the fall. As soon as this tour is over we’re going to go right in the barn, but right now we’re just going to enjoy playing.’”

He also reveals some possible new material that may pop up later this summer. “Page [McConnell] put out his solo album recently, and we’re all listening to it and talking about it and calling each other up and talking about putting some of the songs in the Phish set,” he says. “I [also] want to do Robin Thicke’s ‘Blurred Lines.’ We’re not gonna do it, but that’s what I would want to play. My daughter and her friends are in the car a lot, so we’ll drive, and that’s like the soundtrack to my life right now. A lot of girls screaming and singing along to all the words. We could do ‘Blurred Lines”‘or that new Fall Out Boy song. I really like that song: ‘I’m on firreeee!’ [‘My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light Em Up).’] It’s crazy!”

While talking about his family, Anastasio mentions, “My daughter’s going to college next year and my second daughter will be in college in a couple years, so I’m kind of fascinated by the idea that a certain amount of time is going to open up in the near future for me to tour more and do more stuff. When we came back in 2009, that was probably the prime directive: spend time together, the four of us. You know, for better or for worse, tons of stuff happened that led us to separate in 2004, but at the core of it was probably losing the most important thing, which is that Phish is the four of us, together. And that we have to make time for that.”

“I’m happy to have just carved out a time to sit in the room with those guys, and the fact that 30 years later it feels exactly like it felt in 1988,” he ends the conversation by saying. “I’m still with my best friends and everybody’s healthy and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. That’s why I said two of my favorite eras were in the car and in the band practice room. I just like being with those guys. It doesn’t last forever, so I’m taking it while I got it.”


There are 15 comments associated with this post

Jeff August 2, 2013, 00:28:07

Robin Thicke is joining Phish at Hollywood Bowl!!!

TCinNYC July 22, 2013, 13:58:56

Great stuff in that RS interview. Im so happy for Trey, Mike , Page & Fish. I thank God I landed in Winooski in the fall of 1987 & caught this ride at the ground floor. It has been better then i could have ever dreamed. Keep doing it Phish, whatever “it” is.

gone phishin too long July 22, 2013, 16:24:12

One Phish show is too many for my tastes,they have pre school lyrics for pre school minds,i wouldnt brag about jumpin on their bus since 87.Lol lol lol,good musicians if they stuck to jazzy jams ,leave out the vocals.Lets roll on this Phishheads.Anyone for some bathtub gin?

Preschooler July 22, 2013, 16:45:09

They have playfully irreverant lyrics. Im sincerely sorry that you are, for whatever reason, so dismissive of something you don’t immediately understand or like. I really am. Im not self righteously saying “you dont get it, maaaaaan.” Im saying i am sorry that you take yourself so seriously. Im sure you miss a lot of joy because of this. The band also has a grip of quite tasteful lyrics that speak to some very deep and universal experiences. If youre looking for that, it’s certainly there. Im not posting this in response to your “lets roll on this phishheads” remark. Its just a genuine request from an absolutel stranger that you try it again….or something.

Lee Price July 22, 2013, 16:46:54

They definitely need to tour more, I’ve gotta move Firemost shardage somewhere

me July 22, 2013, 17:53:53

Dear God, I want to publicly thank you for my preschool mind… It has allowed me to set the gear shift for the high gear of my soul! Through that mind you have allowed me to be incredibly happy for the majority of my life… that mind has allowed me not only to enjoy the positive vibes of ALL kinds of music, including my favorite band currently playing live (Phish… and thanks for 22 years of their music), but it’s also allowed me an education that, in turn, has given me a career I’m very happy in! Additionally, my preschool mind has allowed me to make many wonderful friends around this globe, including my best friend… my wife of 18 years (and partner for 25)... and my preschool mind has given me the ability to have two of the best children I could ever imagine having. So, again, God… thank you for my preschool mind, the love and happiness that it has given me is beyond complete comprehension to some but has not been lost on me %^)

drasticjasper July 22, 2013, 20:20:21

I like the band but you have to admit Phish have some of the most sophmoric pedestrian lyrics in the business…literally something an 8 year old could write

theSquid July 22, 2013, 21:25:13

in response to gone phishin too long: it’s hard to take somebody seriously, ESP if they are trying to sell a point about pre school mentality when you use the acronym “lol”....THREE times in a row.

My Name July 22, 2013, 22:12:49

Welp. Trey said he likes Fall Out Boy. Guess I’ll start following Fall Out Boy on tour now. Anybody care to join me?

An 8 year old July 22, 2013, 22:41:55

Yeah they have some lyrics that are silly or stupid, like Tweezer, for example, it was an instrumental song, a little jam, that, for whatever reason, someone decided to add some silly lyrics to it. But who cares, the lyrics have become something we all know and well, don’t really think about, but it has fun music behind it. The music is what’s important. But then they do have lyrics that do make you think, or feel, cry, or smile. They can be poetic or fun. Some of their lyrics can be interpreted in so many ways. I have observed that people who say they (a) don’t have very much lyrics/singing or (b) the lyrics are stupid or childish, haven’t heard more than five minutes of their actual music but have formed their opinion based on senseless stereotypes.

me too July 23, 2013, 04:13:25

Thanks for the post, me :) Stay smiling.

Just Another Preschooler July 23, 2013, 06:00:52

I’d rather hear Tom Marshall’s zany lyrics over some cliche nonsense about love, revolution, or sadness, most days of the year.

TCinNYC July 23, 2013, 11:12:16

To Gone Phishin Too Long: Yeah…no. I consider myself one of the lucky ones because of how far back I go with the band. The days of them being a bar/club band were incredible. The ascension to the top thoroughly earned. And it’s funny not once, not one time in the 26 years I have been seeing them did i ever even consider their lyrics as a defining reason for why i loved their music. To me it was & is always about the “fun”. Phish is fun. You however sound like your not much fun at all. Peace.

Mike D July 23, 2013, 22:31:16

Phish’s lyrics, to me, have just been rhythmic instruments. The percussive nature of poetry combined with melody leads to interesting counterpoint and harmony. I’ve always felt that Phish had words in their songs because it enabled them to use their voices AS instruments and the words themselves didn’t matter, as long as they produced interesting rhythmic/rhyming combinations that complimented the music.

Mars Young August 15, 2013, 01:00:47

Thank God phish doesn’t come to the mid-west often, I’d be broke.

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