Chris Kuroda Talks Phish’s Early Days & More On ‘Bioluminescence’ Podcast
Phish lighting designer Chris Kuroda was host Greg “Lazer Shark” Ellis’ guest on the latest episode of his Bioluminescence podcast. Kuroda spoke with the Pretty Lights LD about his early days with Phish, his evolution, influences, the infamous “Rescue Squad” incident on New Year’s Eve, his love of sports and more.
Chris famously got the gig with Phish in 1989 when he took over after the band’s LD at the time took a short break during a show. Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio liked what Kuroda brought to the table during Chris’ brief time operating the rig that night and hired him. Kuroda spoke with Ellis about his first year working with Phish. He explained all the sacrifices he made in those early days and how it affected his relationship with his family. “I rolled the dice, got in the van (and) blew off my college career,” Chris explained.
The conversation then got into the evolution of both Kuroda’s skills and Phish’s light rig over the 30 years that followed. Chris noted how heartbroken he was when the band broke up in 2004 and how he started collaborating with other LDs when Phish returned five years later. He also spoke about the classes he took while Phish was on the rise to make sure his skills could keep up and the influence of Grateful Dead LD Candace Brightman.
Greg Ellis compared and contrasted his experience with Kuroda’s and Chris explained how much has changed since his first decade behind the board. Chris went on to recall how scary it was when Trey Anastasio got stuck in mid-air during the quartet's New Year's Eve gag at Madison Square Garden. He then gave a prediction on how his beloved New York Giants would do this year before the episode came to a close.
Listen to Chris Kuroda’s appearance on Bioluminescence below: