Trey Anastasio Talks Halloween Album, Touring Plans & ‘Big Boat’ In New Q&A

By Scott Bernstein Oct 6, 2016 12:54 pm PDT

Earlier today the Wall Street Journal published an article about the new Phish album Big Boat, which hits stores tomorrow. WSJ has now posted more from journalist Alan Paul’s conversation with the quartet’s front man Trey Anastasio.

One of the big take aways from the main article was Anastasio saying the band aimed to slow down and try different things over the next two years. Trey expanded on that thought, “Our kids are at a certain age and there are things that we all want to do, so I think you’ll see us slow down a little in the next year or two. We are definitely not stopping – just shifting our focus. There might be some really creative changes in the touring schedule, which will be super cool and might not involve the same kind of travel. I think it’s going to be an interesting year.”

Trey talked about what producer Bob Ezrin brought to the table and that he really liked having a person outside the band help with the creative decisions about the album. That said, he mentioned Ezrin cut his favorite song. What was that song? “‘Mercury.’ When I left that songwriting session with Tom [Marshall], I really liked it and I still do. But, hey, we can play it live!” The guitarist also discussed what happened when the quartet produced their own LP, “When we did [1998’s] The Story of the Ghost, we had a whiteboard on the wall and it included ‘Twist,’ ‘Heavy Things’ and ‘Farmhouse,’ all of which we tracked. Then we started the democratic conversation and all of these songs that I knew were going to be huge Phish songs got cut; ‘Twist’ broke my heart. But we didn’t have a producer in the room with an opinion. I love Bob so much that I just accepted everything – and he cut my favorite song!”

Additionally, Anastasio made his first mention Phish will perform an album in Las Vegas on Halloween:

It’s just a nice time with the four of us. I’m nervous about saying it too much, but there’s just a lot of love and respect among the four band members. We played all day today, rehearsing for the Halloween album, and had so much fun. It’s really something marvelous; the hair on the back of the neck is standing up talking about it.

We’re laughing harder than we were when we were kids. We had fun hanging out and writing songs together for “Fuego,” so everyone was excited to get back to it. I don’t think another one will come out so fast.

Head here for the complete Q&A.

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