Phish Members Stay Busy During Hiatus
Phish is on a hiatus of undetermined length, but its members remain as busy as ever. At the top of the list is guitarist/vocalist Trey Anastasio's summer tour with a seven-piece band, set to begin JulPhish is on a hiatus of undetermined length, but its members remain as busy as ever. At the top of the list is guitarist/vocalist Trey Anastasio's summer tour with a seven-piece band, set to begin July 11 in San Diego. The artist toured U.S. theaters and ballrooms earlier this year, but tells Billboard that fan demand necessitated larger venues for the upcoming trek.
"The last tour sold out really quickly, and we received a lot of mail from people complaining the venues were too small and they couldn't get in," Anastasio says. "We also wanted to play outdoors in the summer."
Anastasio's band will feature bassist Tony Markellis, drummer Russ Lawton, saxophonist Dave Grippo, trumpeter Jennifer Hartswick, trombonist Andy Moroz, and newly-added members saxophonist Russell Remington and keyboardist Ray Paczkowski. "There's a real chemistry with these people," Anastasio says. "We're getting together for three weeks of rehearsals, and we plan on writing some more."
Anastasio has also been in the studio recording the Elektra debut from Oysterhead, which also includes Primus' Les Claypool and the Police's Stewart Copeland. The set is tentatively due this fall.
Elsewhere in the Phish camp, keyboardist Page McConnell has been working with engineer John Siket on a live Phish release due on Elektra in July. Drummer Jon Fishman toured this spring with his side project, Pork Tornado, and the group has been in the studio. Bassist Mike Gordon embarked on an April mini-tour with Col. Bruce Hampton and his band, the Code Talkers.
Anastasio confirms that Phish has "no plans to do anything right now. We're on hiatus pretty fully. I'm in touch with the guys and everybody seems to be very happy and healthy. [Taking a break] was probably the best thing we could've done from the standpoint of our states of mind."