In Spirals

Originally Performed ByTrey Anastasio
Appears On
Also Known AsSweet Peace
HistorianTim Wade (TheEmu)
Last Update2015-03-22


During an interview/solo-acoustic performance on XM Radio, recorded 3/7/06, Trey spoke frankly about the recent breakup of Phish, bearing the anger of the fans, and where it might have gone wrong. He also debuted one, exquisite, delicate, bittersweet lament that would later be called “In Spirals.” What was first titled “Sweet Peace” would be played on just this one occasion, solo acoustic.

Described by Trey as referring to “memories of childhood,” the song puts its finger on the ironic pain of happy memories. The future is “full of silence,” and memories of youthful, simpler times that should bring a “sweet peace” are falling out of reach, “in spirals.” It’s one reason why people listen to sad music when they’re sad; a joyful memory that fails to evoke joy hurts even worse.

Addressing the breakup, Trey said, “It wasn’t personal, it was more a sense of young people, starting at about 18… this was our entire adult life, we had no idea what we were doing...and we all started riding this crazy train." Trey goes on to describe how life with Phish went out of control, seemingly overnight, and the only way to keep from going off the rails was to get off the train. 

“In Spirals” would appear on the 18 Steps EP when it was released in 2006, but if you want to know more about what Trey went through between Coventry and Whitehall, you should listen to this interview and intimate live performance (not to mention Shine and Bar 17).

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