Pavement co-founder Scott Kannberg is currently out supporting his second release as Spiral Stairs, and first since his famed band’s 2009 reunion, Doris & the Daggers. Though Kannberg has used the Spiral Stairs moniker since Pavement’s earliest days, he initially decided to record as Preston School of Industry when the seminal indie-rock band split in 1999.

While not a fan himself, the first recording Kannberg released as Preston School of Industry was actually a cover of Phish’s “Axilla (Part II)” for the 2000 Mockingbird Foundation compilation Sharin’ in the Groove.

“A buddy of mine was a huge Phish fan, and he was putting together that compilation,” the Pavement guitarist reveals in the April_May issue of Relix. “The only contact I had with Phish at that point was that I knew they were huge Pavement fans and had covered our songs. So I asked my buddy, ‘What’s the weirdest Phish song ever?’ And he was like, ‘‘Axilla (Part II)!’” which is kind of cool ‘cause it’s one of the easiest Phish songs and one I can understand. It’s sort of Captain Beefheart, Zappa. I did it with the guys in the band Oranger, who I recorded a bunch of stuf with early on. I tried to sing it like a Butthole Surfers version of a Phish song. [Laughs.] I’ve never tried to play it again, though, because it’s so tough.”

In addition, he also discusses Pavement’s short-lived reunion, his decision to relocate to Mexico and his friendship with a new generation of musicians, including members of Broken Social Scene and The National, in the wide-ranging interview. The complete interview is now available on