Whether you’re a Trey-basher, a Trey-fluffer or anything in between, this is a must-read interview. I’ve always said, all interviews of any member of the popular rock band Phish should be conducted by fans. This is proof: Jess Minnen’s interview with Big Red.
Click “Read more” for some excerpts.
–I remember having a conversation with Paul. In the beginning there were five people who traveled with Phish: The four of us, and Paul. He used to do everything. Paul Languedoc. I remember one day he came up to me backstage and said, “This doesn’t fit.” There were all these people around and this darkness had come over the whole thing. It was seedy and depressing. I remember looking at him and saying, “God that’s the realest thing anyone has said to me in a long time.”
–So what I saw at that Bonnaroo show was so interesting. I had two people on stage with me. One was this guy who is very religious. Matisyahu. He was singing the most beautiful…His voice…He’s singing and it’s not about him. It’s about God. He’s very straight up. He’s a Hassidic Jew. The look in his eyes…they were kind of glistening. I was playing and looking right into his eyes, and it was so moving for a couple of reasons. One was that he used to follow the band… He told me he’d been to like, every Phish show for ten years. And then he went and became a Hassidic Jew and sings reggae because of the spiritual purity of a lot of reggae. He’s singing about God. So was Bob Marley. So was Bach, for that matter. Bach wrote at the top of everything he ever wrote “For the Glory of God.”
–I think our guest list at Coventry was like, three thousand people. Everyone on our crew was taking care of this ongoing scene, and it was becoming more and more difficult to do what we were supposed to be doing, which was concentrating on the music and practicing. I always think about what was to me one of the great Phish shows. I just look at it as an amazing night, symbolic of everything good about Phish: the 1996 Atlanta Halloween show when we did the Talking Heads album. It was because we spent months practicing for that thing. All the way up until four o’clock in the morning we were practicing for that show. And then we played the music once. That’s always what it was like with Phish. That’s the way I like to work. I love writing. I love practicing. I love working towards that experience on stage.