Tom Marshall Details Phish’s ‘Two Versions Of Me’ Lyrics On ‘Under The Scales’ Podcast

By Scott Bernstein Dec 28, 2020 7:10 am PST

Phish lyricist Tom Marshall talked about the lyrics to Phish‘s song “Two Versions Of Me” on the final installment of Osiris Media’s Under The Scales podcast. Comedian Mike Finoia, who co-hosts fellow Osiris podcast Comes A Time, also appears on the episode.

Marshall launched Under The Scales in 2016. Under The Scales along with Helping Friendly Podcast and Beyond The Pond are three existing Osiris Phish podcasts that will be merged into Undermine, a new weekly show that premieres on February 3, 2021. Undermine begins with a deep dive into “The Early Years” of Phish.

Tom starts the final Under The Scales by thanking a number of people that helped him with the show during its four-year run. Marshall then explores “Two Versions Of Me” with Finoia. “Two Versions Of Me” was written by Tom and Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio in April 2003. Phish included the song on their 2004 studio album, Undermind.

Marshall notes how infrequently Phish has played “Two Versions Of Me” over the years. The band debuted the song on July 12, 2003 and performed “Two Versions Of Me” five more times in 2003. Phish dusted off the ballad on November 27, 2009 and have yet to play “Two Versions Of Me” again. Marshall shares a demo of “Two Versions Of Me” from the songwriting sessions that yielded the tune.

Mike and Tom discuss the tumultuous time in which “Two Versions Of Me” was written. Marshall recalls getting a call from David “ZZYZX” Steinberg asking whether “Two Versions Of Me” detailed the breakup of Phish. While Tom didn’t have a response for ZZYZX, he did reveal the song was penned well before Anastasio announced Phish was parting ways in 2004. Finoia notes “Two Versions Of Me” has a post-apocalyptic feel, a notion to which Marshall agrees.

“I really did have two lives and my home life didn’t mix with my Phish life at all,” Tom says of taking the song title literally. He explains his usage of descending numbers as part of a countdown in the tune. The pair speaks about the line “No more fish in the sea,” one of many intense lyrics within the song. Under The Scales ends with live audio of “Two Versions Of Me” from Phish’s November 28, 2003 concert:

Listen to the final episode of Under The Scales below:

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