Trey Black T-Shirt

HT Interview: Trey Anastasio, Part Two

Guitarist Trey Anastasio kicks off a 12-show tour with his solo band tonight at the State Theater in Portland, ME. To preview the Phish front man’s latest TAB tour, we’ve dedicated a post a day to Anastasio as part of the first-ever Hidden Track “Trey Week.”

[Photos by Joe Ringus]

“Trey Week” concludes today with the second part of our wide-ranging e-mail interview in which the guitarist talks to us about TAB keyboardist Ray Paczkowski, his songwriting process, black shirts and much more…

Hidden Track: Ray Paczkowski has been the one constant in this band since 2001. Can you tell us what aspect of Ray’s playing makes him perfect for this band and these songs?

Trey Anastasio: Oh man, where do I start? , Ray.. Ray takes my breath away. Ray’s spirit, Ray’s playing… Indescribable. His playing is… “unhinged?” He’s capable of letting go in a way that I’ve rarely heard a musician let go.

The thing is, if you believed in the muse, or the spirit, or the concept of an artist being a channel, then you would know that there is nothing in music to fear except fear itself. The more you let go the more “right” everything would sound, you know what I mean? Ray has that fearlessness. I’ve been in the studio with engineers and producers, and I’ll say “turn up Ray,” and we’ll turn him up and up and up and you can’t turn him up too much, because it’s a selfless playing so it never seems to intrude on the overall sound. It’s an amazing thing. I just love playing with him so much. I can’t wait to get to do it again. I usually spend the whole night just staring at Ray.

READ ON for more of our interview with Trey Anastasio…

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