TREY ANASTASIO: THE HOPE OF A NEW SONG

 
What I'm doing when I'm staring out over the crowd is, I'm listening for the music coming out of the air and then I'm just playing that... And if I look right into the lights, my glasses have moisture on them so they start to break into prisms and stuff and then voom, I'm gone.
-Trey Anastasio
 
Photo by Jeff Kravitz


Phish 1985 - Just like old times
Trey has always been a leader, an alpha male all the way. And by once again following his intuition, he's been able to push through some dark, stormy times and has emerged happier than he has been in recent memory. "It was a tumultuous couple of years, that's for darn sure," says Trey. "I felt a little bit like a compass with the dial spinning wildly, but now I feel a little more grounded and I feel like some element of peace has entered the picture."

Not only has peace come to Trey, but with a couple years off the bus and off the stage, the four members of Phish have been able to reconnect. "When I had dinner with Mike and Fish and Page at my house last month, it was the first time we had been together since Coventry, and it was so nice because everybody got together, and the chemistry, it was just like old times."


Trey Anastasio by Statia Molewski
A little perspective will do that for a man. Taking a step back (or forward) has allowed Trey Anastasio to appreciate his old surroundings. "I gotta tell you this story," he says. "Recently, thanks to Sirius 17 Jam On, I've had a couple of experiences where I heard Phish, and it was so exciting. The first was, I was driving with my kids and their friends, it was four nine to eleven-year-old girls, and we were flicking around and we put it on the jam channel, and it was 'Tweezer.' And they don't even really understand Phish or know Phish barely, and they said, 'Is this you?' And I said, 'Yeah, it's Phish.' And they were listening and one of them said, 'This is kind of a funny song. What are you saying?' And then it got to the 'Uncle Ebenezer' line, and they just started cracking up, just howling with laughter. And it was soooo cool because I started sort of howling with laughter and I was just thinking how funny it was because I hadn't really heard Phish in a couple years, and really for years before that, I felt like I couldn't listen to it because it was such an enormous part of my life that I couldn't get away from it. But it was like I suddenly heard it because I was hearing it through their ears, and then we stopped the car and they got out and I started listening sort of without prejudice, and it was that jam from the California gig. It's got that (in his unmistakable singing voice) 'California, knows how to party,' and it was really good, just so gentle, and I could hear what everybody was playing. It was a really great experience. I called Mike and I called Fish and Page and talked to them about it."


Trey with Phish by Dave Vann
With Trey digging Phish music again, playing shows with Mike Gordon, and reconnecting with his former band mates, the question of a reunion leaps to mind, although Trey is quick to move around the subject. While it may not be out of the question, that's clearly not where Trey's head is. He's still growing, moving forward, and following his creative impulses; he is not trying to recreate the amazing madness that occurred when Phish would hit its stride. At this point in his career, he is simply attempting to harness the power of song.

"My dream is that one person one day would hear some song that I wrote and have it brighten their day a little bit," he says. "I absolutely live for that, and if that can happen, then it would make me really, really happy. That's pretty much the extent of my wanting to have a hit."


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