Osiris Media Launches Phish ‘Undermine’ Podcast

By Scott Bernstein Feb 3, 2021 6:09 am PST

Phish‘s early days are explored in the inaugural season of Osiris Media’s new podcast, Undermine. The first episode has arrived and includes a rare interview with former Phish guitarist Jeff Holdsworth.

Undermine folds three of Osiris Media’s Phish podcasts — Under The Scales, Helping Friendly Podcast and Beyond The Pond — into a new weekly series. Phish lyricist Tom Marshall serves as host and “tour guide.” Marshall’s friendship with Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio pre-dates the quartet’s formation.

The first episode of Undermine begins with Tom Marshall sharing the story of how he met Trey and their initial songwriting collaborations. Anastasio and Marshall reconnected when they both landed at New Jersey’s Mercer Community College for different reasons and teamed up for recording sessions.

Undermine dives into how Trey met Phish drummer Jon Fishman at the University of Vermont in Burlington with a dormmate of the pair sharing her experience. Marshall explains how understanding the friendship of Trey and Fish is to understand the essence of Phish. Steve “The Dude Of Life” Pollak talks about how Anastasio and Fishman recruited Holdsworth and bassist Mike Gordon to form the band.

Amy Skelton details how she became “the first Phish fan” and recounts her experience attending a number of the band’s earliest shows. Fellow UVM student and Trey’s former Princeton Day School mate Billy Rossmassler also speaks on Phish’s initial performances and how keyboardist Page McConnell came into the picture. Additionally, early fan and longtime Phish crew member Eric Larson shares a story of the filming of Phish’s May 20, 1987 show.

Marshall discusses the importance tape trading had in the group gaining fans and the spark in Phish’s music and community that was present from the start. Tom then explores the importance of Burlington’s vibrant bar scene as an incubator for the band before most of the members of Phish transferred to Goddard College. The Joneses were another group from Vermont that often performed with Phish. Drummer Steve Drebber and bassist Jim Tasse talk the Burlington scene and Halloween double bills that also featured Phish.

Tom catches up with Jeff Holdsworth who currently resides in Ottawa, Canada. Holdsworth rarely talks publicly about his Phish experience. Jeff details his connection with Trey, Mike and Fish, who were each a year younger than him. He discusses his musical influences and why he parted ways with Phish. The co-founding member of the band also talks about what he’s up to currently, whether he’s kept in touch with his former band mates, his thoughts on the Phish phenomenon, performing with the group on December 2, 2003 in Boston and various other topics.

Listen to the first episode of Undermine below:

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