Jonathan Keifer, The Moment Ends?, Gadfly Online, 6/02
Phish is not the next Grateful Dead, but the Phish scene is to the Grateful Dead’s something of what Volkswagen’s new Beetle is to the old: obedient but hardly servile; bolder, with more horsepower; slicker seeming, yet goofier when you think about it; a good idea to some, a bad one to others; an idea whose time has gone, or come. But not merely a replacement. Such things, to the people who hold them dear, the true groupies, are irreplaceable.
Trey Anastasio in Rolling Stone, 7/19/2001
We always knew we'd be a cult band. People who liked us really liked us, right from the beginning, from the first show. But we would just do this stuff, and have these rituals where we would play all night long, and it was amazing. It just was amazing, it really was. Right to the last minute, we ended this last show in San Francisco, and we were doing 'You Enjoy Myself,' which was always, we felt, the song. It ends with a vocal improvisation, and it was just so emotional. I felt such a huge wave just to think that for seventeen years we were focused on this thing. It was overwhelming. And we just went backstage and sat there for hours.
By Jon Lober (Atlanta, GA), originally published in the first edition ofThe Phish Companion…
Reflections of life often surface in Phish songs like pieces of sky captured in water’s natural mirror. The loss of my girlfriend Mitzi was the still-life reflection of Bouncing Around the Room. At the University of Florida we bounced around the roomy confines of our relationship until one day she whispered words and I awoke to find that the woman was a dream I had, one I could not keep. As I tuned out the siren’s song she sang for me I saw the beautiful coral maze of our relationship was a prison. I realized we lived underwater in a hazy reality we created. Once I awoke from that dream, I could no longer sink beneath the sea of our troubles obscured by the crystal haze of our dream world. So the siren disappeared beneath the waves and, barely alive, I swam to the shore and recovered in the shallow waters of solitude. But even today, three years after we broke up, I can still hear the gentle echo of her beautiful voice bouncing around the roomy confines of my mind. I know she is happy and I know another man tends the beautiful coral maze of the siren Mitzi and this makes me smile.
Trey, quoted in 7/3/00 SonicNet
I felt at Big Cypress so relaxed and so much part of a thing much bigger than us. This amazingly cool group of people in the audience, and hooked up on the Internet. It was a turning point in my mind about this potential that had just appeared. This community that has been created around the four of us. That's why my mind is on this type of music that is a positive community-building activity. I feel the cool thing about the Internet is the availability of all kinds of music in the world. I hope a new kind of music will come out of all this. I hope that some form of non-commercial, ritualistic, spiritual music is the end product.
Phil Lesh, quoted in the June 2000 issue of Bass Player Magazine
I did a bass duet with Mike Gordon when I sat in with Phish [on 9/17/99]. I generally abhor bass duets, but it was marvelous. It was actually beautiful. …we just played it by ear. He knows how to get out of my way, and I know how to get out of his. It was like two hippopotami humping!
Charlz Franz, quoted in Newport News Daily Press, 12/18/99
Phish know American music really well and they play it really well. And I like improvisation. They're the best there is at improvisation.
Mike Gordon, Outside Magazine, June 1999
Once I was driving three cats to the vet. They were loose, running around my feet, and since I'm allergic, I needed to get out of the car fast. But then 'Nellie Kane' by Hot Rize came on, so I just went around and around the cul-de-sac in front of the vet's office until the song was over.
Trey Anastasio, Providence Journal, 6/1/99
When we play an arena, we cover up all the ads as much as we can -- the corporate sponsorship thing has nothing to do with music. We've had offers, but forget it. I know when we tour we're going to have to play SFX buildings, because they can control everything. But our goal is to take more and more in-house by promoting our own shows and releasing our records through our own mail-order business, and move in exactly the opposite direction that everyone is moving.
Trey Anastasio, on CNN 2/13/99
I genuinely believe that you can't fool people with music.
Trey Anastasio, New York Post 1/1/99
Phish and the Grateful Dead are not the same band. It must be said they were and remain one of my favorite bands. In fact, the Dead are one of the most important American bands, if not the most important. To me, the Dead are a genuine link to traditional American music. They moved music history forward. Jerry Garcia was as important a figure in this country’s music history as Bill Monroe or Elvis. Phish has learned a lot from them. They are an influence. But, that said, we are also very different. The most important lesson we learned from the Dead was how to be a live band.
Trey Anastasio, New York Post 1/1/99
I'm the overbearing leader type, although I sometimes shy away from that. If Page is the father, I guess I'm the mother.
Trey Anastasio, New York Post 1/1/99
My three all-time-favorite guitarists are Jerry [Garcia], [Jimi] Hendrix, and [Frank] Zappa. They are all totally unique from one another, yet oddly similar. They were all striving for this depth where a solo would take you on a journey. But the journey was their own vibe: Zappa was sarcastic, Hendrix was bluesey, Jerry was downhome. I guess I have a suburban vibe. But I still want to get to the places that they got to.
J.D. Considine, Guitar World, 12/98
Listening has been at the heart of the Phish aesthetic, almost from the start. Part of what differentiates the band's following from the Dead-heads to whom they are regularly (and unjustly) compared is the intelligence and intensity of their listening habits. Not only are Phish-heads voracious music fans likely to know anything from Count Basie to P-Funk to the latest house records, but they're uttery discerning, actually following the music instead of simply bobbing along in a state of mood-altered bliss.
Jon Fishman, quoted by Gemma Tarlach in the 12/25/98 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
There are two ways to create original music: You can lock yourself in a closet and not listen to anything, and whatever comes out will be something that sounds like nothing else; or you can immerse yourself in every traditional way of making music, and then what comes out of you is your own personal, unique blend of the best.
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