Trey with the National Symphony Orchestra Tonight…
This is why we can’t have nice things, Phish fans.
Welp, Hands on a Hardbody was a huge bust on Broadway and is now dunzo (though Trey’s contributions to the music have received high praise as the only part of the musical that was good). BUT we’re left this ridiculous Harlem Shake video, featuring Big Red, acting a fool.
Trey talks about 30 years of Phish and shares his thoughts on Phish fans
Trey and Tom, Cayman Islands, January 1996 (via TomMarshall111)
They wrote nine Billy Breathes songs in this beautiful place.
So Trey made a music video.
(…and it’s pretty entertaining)
“I don’t listen to me. I listen to Mike, Page and Fish. I ask them, almost to a fault now: ‘Do you want me to guide what the next song is?’ As long as the other guys want that, great. But I can’t even describe how much energy I spend not wanting to lead or control this beautiful thing that happens with us. If I made mistakes in the past, on tequila or hard drugs, and my ego got in the way, I so don’t want that to happen.”
Trey Anastasio made it a point in the latest Rolling Stone to talk about Phish and where he’s at.
It’s important to read and perhaps re-read what Trey says because it is essential to understanding Phish in 2012, understanding how Phish was able to return in 2009, and adjust or re-adjust your own expectations accordingly.
Here we have a 48 year old music prodigy that propelled Phish to stardom and to improvisational heights by putting it all on his own back. He pushed the rest of his bandmates to achieve more, practice more, want more by his own example. And yet, Phish unraveled because of his own compulsive, obsessive nature. More importantly, Trey’s life unraveled because of a drug-fueled ego.
The obsessive, note perfect, frenetic Trey is gone. Does that mean that he’s not capable of being an amazing guitarist, of being an amazing band member? Not at all. If anything, this last tour is proof that when Trey listens to the other three, when he’s at peace with his role in Phish and all four of them are locked in, the hose turns on and he finds his place to unleash amazing runs and push the music forward.
For the first 18 months of 3.0 I tried tirelessly to preach patience. Then I gave up. The evolution of this band, especially in essentially starting over, is not an overnight process. The overcritical Phish fan points to a lack of confidence in Trey. Yet, I think his confidence has grown as his comfort in a new role has. What seems hardest for people to accept is that Trey doesn’t want to be that guitarist, he doesn’t want to be that guy. He’s not that guy anymore. He’s moved past that.
What’s always defined Phish is their collective ability to redefine themselves. So many periods and styles have existed over the past three decades, and what we’re seeing is the emergence of a new one. That Phish has continued to exist, that the love and care for the band, the music, the crowd… for IT pushes on into a thirtieth year? That’s amazingly special. But it also requires context. Trey was the one who led that change and diversity year after year. That growth and evolution is something we as fans trusted him with for the longest time. Now he doesn’t want to always be the one driving the bus. Above all else I think he appreciates the growth and musicianship of each one of his friends. He’s proud of not only them and their accomplishments as individuals and collectively, but Trey’s proud of what he has brought out in each one of them. Why not let them shine? Why not let them lead too?
It’s those moments where the ego drops out of each of them, where we lose our own egos as fans standing before them and listening, that really sets Phish apart from anything else in music. I think we’re just touching on many more beautiful moments of HOSE ahead. And as those unfold, it will be Trey who we have to thank again, whether he’s the loudest or he’s just dancing along like the rest of us.