Trey Anastasio Gives Update On New Music, Says He’s Open For More Grateful Dead Gigs

first_imgAfter a brief teaser the other day, Rolling Stone has shared a major interview with Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio covering a number of threads in his ongoing career. The main focal point of the interview was the band’s current level of cohesion and their new music, for which Anastasio gives a major update on the new album.When asked about the progress of the album, Anastasio cited an interview with Jon Fishman where the drummer said the album was mostly done and that none of the new songs recently debuted would be on it.It’s not as far along as Jon Fishman would like to think! We were laughing really hard. He actually got a little ripping about that. Because he came in and played drums on a few songs and then left to go on Bernie tour. And then we saw this interview: It said, “The Phish record is done!” We were all laughing at his, um, perspective. But it’s not done. It sounds really great to me. We’re really happy. The band’s firing on all cylinders right now, so this is the perfect time to go into the studio. We’ll see, but it’s been pretty joyous. We’re kind of all over the place, flying down to Nashville to work, and then I’ve been doing a lot of work on overdubs at Avatar, which is in Manhattan, and then we go to Burlington, and worked at the barn, and we’re even working at Page’s house and Mike’s house a little bit. As for the songs themselves, Anastasio is confident they’ll be ready for the road.I do think we’ll be playing them this summer! Actually, contrary to what Fish was saying, a couple of the songs we busted out last year have been tracked for the album. I’m not entirely sure what’ll be on there, but I think in the interview he said there weren’t any. That’s not true. Another reason why we were laughing.Anastasio also talks about the band feeling more like a collective unit than in years past.There’s a feeling of unity that is pervasive on tour. When I think about last summer and then in Mexico, and the amount of time that we spent together, and where everybody is in their lives right now, it’s pretty magical. And I think that’s why it was really important for us to go right into the studio. Everybody’s bringing songs to the table. Page brought some great songs, Mike brought some great songs, Fish brought some great songs. I’ve got a lot of new songs. And everybody’s just diving in, in a unified way. And we can’t wait to get back on the road. It’s going to be a good summer.He also spoke at length about the band’s drive to play mostly original music, and even touched on the absence of “Fluffhead” for those fans keeping score at home (aka everyone).Yeah, first of all because we love to. We’ve always had a lot of fun playing covers, and I’m sure we will continue to. But what was starting to happen was after 2013, 2014, 2015, I would get home and kind of think to myself, “Man, we played, like, ‘Guelah Papyrus’ once in the last two years.” And I like that song. I’m a big “Guelah Papyrus” fan. It’s one of my faves. Last year we got home, and and we didn’t play “Fluffhead” the whole summer. And that wasn’t a conscious thing. We have a lot of good songs, and we have more in the repertoire all the time. But I’m sure this summer we’re going to do at least six or seven more [new songs], because we’ve been making an album. So we’re probably going to want to play them. So the original songs have sort of moved to the front burner. The interview then touched upon Anastasio’s role in the Fare Thee Well celebration for 50 years of the Grateful Dead. The band had mentioned there was “unfinished business,” and RS asked if Anastasio would be willing to do more shows with them.I’m open all the time. It was definitely a little gigus interruptus [laughs]. There’s a lot of practicing for a short run, but I don’t know. I had such a good time playing with Bob and hanging out with Bob. I spent a week out at his beach house before the Fare Thee Well tour; the two of us just played. We sat on two little stools in his living room and just played and talked and it was fantastic. He’s such a good guy, and really fun. And I got to go to Phil’s and spend time with him and his family before the shows. Billy came to New York and played drums with me. So, I mean, I love those guys, and I’m always open. I’m grateful for the opportunity.The Phish guitarist wraps up the interview by talking about his method for reviewing each show and how often the band members are in communication. You can find the full interview here.last_img

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