Photo by Casey Flanigan
According to an article on Spin.com, Trey Anastasio is working with noted producer Peter Katis (The National/Mates of State, Interpol). The article states, “Since winding up his fall tour, the Phish guitarist has been making a daily commute from his New York City home to Bridgeport, Connecticut’s Tarquin Studios, recording with his band and members of the National and Mates of State for the last month.” The album will also feature members of Anastasio’s current solo group, including Jennifer Hartswick and Natalie Cressman, who tweeted about recording sessions with Anastasio earlier this month.
As the piece points out, Anastasio and Katis, share a common bond through the Burlington, VT punk group The Pants who Katis produced in the ‘90s. Members of The Pants were also part of Anastasio’s short-lived project New York!, whose lone show introduced future Phish songs “Dirt” and “Saw It Again” (and perhaps signaled the band’s shift toward the more, ambient, indie-leaning songs which the guitarist wrote at the tail end of the ‘90s).
The members of The National also have deep roots in the Phish world. One of the band’s earliest predecessor, Equinox—which featured future National members Aaron Dessner (guitar), Bryce Dessner (guitar) and Bryan Devendorf (drums)—covered The Allman Brothers and the Grateful Dead and has a sound that saxophonist Kevin Seal described as “Sorta jammy and the product of listening to a lot of Phish and classic rock radio.” Bryan Devendorf and his brother Scott, who play bass and guitar in The National, also took National frontman Matt Berninger—the only non-jam fan in the group—to a Deer Creek Phish show once. As Aaron Dessner recalled on Jambands.com in 2009, “He listened to one song and then went and hid in the car. Matt can still not understand at all how any of us can stomach Phish but pretty much everyone else in the band grew up on their music.”
Phish has played a number of indie rock songs over the years, including TV on the Radio’s “Golden Age,” Pavement’s “Gold Soundz” and Neutral Milk Hotel’s “In the Aeroplane Over the Sea.” Anastasio and Bryce Dessner also share backgrounds in both improvisational and classical music. The members of The National are also working on an all-star Grateful Dead tribute album benefiting the Red Hot Organization.