The January/February issue of American Songwriter features an exclusive Q & A with Trey Anastasio. In his short interview, the guitarist discusses his new solo album Traveler, his Bose headphones and his current obsession with Jimmy Webb. He also talks about Phish’s forthcoming studio album, their first since 2009.
“We’re starting a new Phish record soon, and we’re communicating pretty well for a band that’s been together for thirty years,” he says. “We’ve been talking about ways to turn lemons into lemonade, going forward with the record. We really want to try to bust open the door. We do all get along so well, and we’re used to collaborating so much that we’ll find a way. But even if you think about the Beatles later in their careers, they were ultimately better at making solo records in the studio.”
Elsewhere, he elaborates on Phish’s studio process by saying, “When we get in there, nobody wants to step on each other’s toes. That might have something to do with why [we haven’t used the studio as an instrument much]. [Trey Anastasio Band bassist] Tony Markellis is an incredible bass player, but he did not play bass on [the Traveler track “Architect.”] Because it’s a solo album, I don’t have to ask him. If I want to pick up the bass and do some cool thing, I just do it.”
During the interview, Anastasio also talks about his 2005 solo album Shine. When talking about his work with producer Brendan O’ Brien on that project, he says that their process “revealed a lot of flaws in the songwriting that needed to be worked on before we started making the record.”
Trey Anastasio Band will kick off their winter tour in Toronto on January 18.