Yesterday, The New York Times published a lengthy interview with Trey Anastasio recapping Phish’s Baker’s Dozen run and now writer Jesse Jarnow has shared a number of outtakes from the talk, shedding additional light on the band’s process throughout the thirteen night run that featured no repeats.
On playing in the same venue for an extended period of time, Anastasio said things get “very loose” due to the consistency of the setting. “When you’re on tour in the summer one night there’s a metal roof and the next night you’re inside. There’s no adjustment period. The interplay between the four band members becomes heightened based on the fact that that’s the only place changes are made,” he said.
The guitarist also touched on the surprising cover of Radiohead’s “Everything In Its Right Place” along with the decision to let Jon Fishman take the lead vocals. “Having Fish sing it was great,” he said. “He’s Fish. We love him. But he has some character to his voice. How do you explain [to outsiders] that the guy who sang it—‘well he’s the heart and soul of the band, he’s not normally the singer.’”
Anastasio also mentioned that he hopes that if the members of Radiohead hear the song, “they know it was done with absolute love and honor.”
When asked about the large number of expansive improvisations throughout the run, Anastasio expanded on the group’s chemistry on stage these days. “We haven’t had a tempo battle in 15 years,” he said. “That doesn’t happen anymore. It’s just incredible. Just patience.”
Anastasio continued, “I don’t even know how to express the amount of gratitude that I have. All three of them are so good and so smart and so funny, that’s how I feel the whole time I’m up there. How did I get so lucky to meet such great people? And for them to, like, put up with my bullshit over the years? I feel like I don’t deserve this or something.”
Read all the additional excerpts here.