Mike Gordon Talks Phish Kasvot Växt Halloween Set On SiriusXM

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SiriusXM previewed the return of the limited-run Phish Radio channel by airing interviews with bassist Mike Gordon and keyboardist Page McConnell today on Jam On. One of the topics host Ari Fink discussed with Mike Gordon was Phish‘s Kasvot Växt set played by the band in Las Vegas on Halloween. Gordon dived into the genesis of the idea.

“We were of course all disappointed about [the cancelation of] Curveball and we had recorded some music that would be used as a special surprise,” Gordon explained. “[Phish guitarist] Trey [Anastasio] had this idea to recycle the music and use it in a different way … even to reuse some of the props and some of the things Moment Factory was working on for Curveball. He even presented to us an album cover and said I think we should cover this it’s from 1981.” Anastasio then shared that the album didn’t actually exist.

“I loved the idea, everyone seemed to and what we ditched is we ditched that music we had created on a soundstage in L.A. for Curveball and we ditched using any of the props or even any of the other kinds of digital creations Moment Factory had made for Curveball,” the bassist said. “We threw all of that out with the idea of starting from scratch with this concept of something a little bit imaginary. After we got together at The Barn [rehearsal/space studio in Vermont] it became very collaborative at that point.”

Fink went on to ask about the songwriting process. “The first place it started out, just like that L.A. experience, had come from Trey making a point that after Phish shows people are in the parking lot, let’s say at The Gorge, having dance parties. And this is going to be Halloween now and people want a dance party. So he had recorded on this phone these funk grooves that were really were getting people going in the streets of Nashville. Not the honky tonks, but more like the dance clubs or whatever in Nashville. So he just sings the beats into the phone and then we were in The Barn and it started out with playing back one of these beats.”

The bassist revealed drummer Jon Fishman would create the beat and then the band would tweak it. At that point, Mike would come up with a bass line and Page would match what he was doing on the keyboard before Trey or other members would add melodies by humming. “In about one day we had all the songs, musically. Roughly speaking, it was one day of music and then it was two days of working on lyrics,” Gordon revealed. He also discussed how “object writing” came into the process of creating the songs and how they worked with the people at All Music to put up a description of the album they made up.

Phish performed the 10 songs they created as the Kasvot Växt í rokk set on October 31 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Trey will talk about the Kasvot Växt set as part of the all-new installment of “Ask Trey” that premieres on Monday at 12 p.m. ET. Phish Radio launches on Monday morning via SiriusXM’s Channel 29. The channel will air through January 1 including a live simulcast of the band’s New Year’s Eve concert at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Head to SiriusXM to listen. Check out a preview of the channel:

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