To celebrate last night’s kickoff of a cross-county Mike Gordon Band tour that consists of a herculean 18 shows in 22 nights, we caught up with our favorite bass player on the planet to chat about the tour, his approach to all things techie and some amazing insights on Phish. You might want to brew a pot of coffee, because I think we caught Mike in a particularly good mood this time around. He really dives deep into some pretty interesting topics and philosophies.
[Photo by Joe Ringus]
Hidden Track: Why don’t we start off with the current tour. It seems as though a lot of thought goes into how you route the Mike Gordon Band’s tours. How involved are you in terms of determining where the band plays and the venues?
Mike Gordon: That’s funny, somebody on my hotline actually asked the same question: somewhat involved and somewhat not involved, mediumly involved.
Usually, the manager and the booking agent come with kind of a scheme, which is based on not going back too often to the same place if we had just been there, but also not forgetting it for too long before we go back. For example, last tour, we felt really good about the West Coast and we had some really good crowds, so we decided to hit it again, but not the same exact cities. We decided to hit some that are near the other ones, but different. The secondary markets as they say, but that makes it sound like we’re routing sugar cane. I never really liked that term, but that’s what the managers call them.
The problem is that there just isn’t enough time to play everywhere that we’d like to play and that people would like us to play. I end up going to a lot of places where I haven’t played in a while, because Phish played there in the early ’90s. On my last tour, I did that over and over again, and the places would say, “Why don’t you tell the Phish guys to play here,” and the answer usually is, “Well Phish is not going to play here, that’s why I am.” [laughs] Phish is looking for places that can fit as many people as would like to come, and that’s often certain ones in certain places. In the meantime, it’s really fun for me to get to visit some of these places I wouldn’t normally see.
READ ON for more of Ryan’s chat with bassist Mike Gordon…