Phish Aims To Make Lemonade Out of Lemons on New Album

In 2012 Phish didn’t debut any new original material, not a great sign for a band that has always thrived on evolving. Recently, both Page McConnell and Trey Anastasio had mentioned the band will soon enter the studio to record a new album and today has reprinted part of an interview with Anastasio that ran in the January/February issue of American Songwriter in which he talks about Phish’s return to the studio and much more.

“We’re starting a new Phish record soon, and we’re communicating pretty well for a band that’s been together for thirty years,” he says. “We’ve been talking about ways to turn lemons into lemonade, going forward with the record. We really want to try to bust open the door. We do all get along so well, and we’re used to collaborating so much that we’ll find a way. But even if you think about the Beatles later in their careers, they were ultimately better at marking solo records in the studio.”

Elsewhere, he elaborates on Phish’s studio process by saying, “When we get in there, nobody wants to step on each other’s toes. That might have something to do with why [we haven’t used the studio as an instrument much]. [Trey Anastasio Band bassist] Tony Markellis is an incredible bass player, but he did not play bass on [the Traveler track “Architect.”] Because it’s a solo album, I don’t have to ask him. If i want to pick up the the bass and do some cool thing, I just do it.”

[American Songwriter article via]

According to (the American Songwriter article hasn’t been posted online yet), the article also finds Big Red discussing his recently released solo album, his headphones, his admiration of country singer-songwriter Jimmy Webb and his work with producer Brendan O’Brien on 2005’s Shine. We’re excited to hear, once again, that the band is gearing up to enter the studio.

[Hat Tip – @mrminer]

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9 Responses

  1. I think what he means is that they are not great in using the studio (lemons) in something good, they are afraid of stepping on each other’s toes. But this time they want to make “lemonade” out of it.

  2. Perhaps “the lemons” comment has something to do with the fact that they may not have any set ideas, and they know they can go into the studio and use that to their advantage, ala The Story of the Ghost sessions.

  3. I loved the way that they evolved their 2012 jams, especially during the Dick’s run. It would be interesting if they could create a framework, jam, and then find themselves in some sort of unknown melodic terrain. Yes, they have done that before, but it was interesting to see/hear Phish jam in a new way in 2012, which produced some incredibly memorable sequences. Anyway…my .02.

  4. The Beatles essentially made “solo” records in their last few years because they couldn’t stand each other. Phish is an entirely different beast.

  5. Trey is saying, rather nicely, that he is once again writing circles around the rest of the band ala ’98-2000. He wants to tell Mike that not only can he not make lemonade as good as Peter Katis and those Devendorf guys but he also writes poopy songs.

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