Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio discussed the band’s Sci-Fi Soldier Halloween set, Trey Anastasio Band‘s 2021 tour, his guitar rig and many other topics during an appearance on SiriusXM’s “Phish Radio’s 2021 Year In Review” special. The special premiered on Phish Radio Wednesday afternoon with replays coming tonight (Thursday, December 23) at 7 p.m. ET, tomorrow (Friday, December 24) at 10 a.m. ET, Saturday at 1 p.m. ET and Sunday at 9 a.m. ET.
Host Ari Fink started the special by asking Trey about his highlights of 2021. Anastasio noted the TAB tour, Phish’s fall tour and the Shoreline shows that were moved from Lake Tahoe due to the Caldor Fire were among the standouts. Talk then turned to 2020’s “The Beacon Jams” livestream series and how much Anastasio enjoyed communicating with fans via Twitch during the concerts. The guitarist said he wants to perform live even more in 2022 and would be open to incorporating more communication with fans similar to what went down during “The Beacon Jams” in the future.
The second portion of “Phish Radio’s 2021 Year In Review” dealt with Sci-Fi Soldier. Anastasio explained how the musical costume set the band pulled off in Las Vegas on Halloween came together. He specifically revealed how “Don’t Doubt Me” was written and brought up “how cool” the demos the band members recorded are. Trey hopes the Sci-Fi Soldier demos will be released at some point. Fink and Anastasio dove into Trey’s “Harpua” narration from October 30 in Las Vegas with Trey detailing the math behind “The 9th Cube.” The guitarist also discussed his contribution to the story laid out in the Sci-Fi Soldier comic book distributed to fans in Las Vegas on October 31.
Ari Fink and Trey Anastasio spoke about bust outs in the third segment of the special. Anastasio revealed pianist Jeff Tanski asked Trey to play “Esther” for a SiriusXM Rubber Jungle Radio special which led to Phish revisiting the tune. “You look at the old material through a different lens because you change over the years,” Trey noted.
“It’s a finite adventure and after 38 years you get a little more in touch with that one day will be our last show and we won’t know which one it is,” Anastasio added and brought up how TAB performed at Bonnaroo before what turned out to be the Beastie Boys final set. “You think about this stuff and you’re like, ‘wow, if I play ‘Esther’ once a year or even ‘Divided Sky’ or ‘Reba,’ how many times am I going to play them?” said Trey. Fink then mentioned the “Axilla (Part II)” from Las Vegas to which Anastasio recalled the song was recorded for the band’s Hoist LP during sessions held in Los Angeles in 1993. “I started playing that tune in Vegas and you remember all this stuff and then you’re jamming, it’s all kinda in there,” the guitarist said. He also noted he has “spies” who alert him to what rarities Phish fans want to hear.
Trey shared his opinion on which actors should portray his bandmates in a potential Phish biopic in response to the news Jonah Hill will portray Jerry Garcia in a Grateful Dead biopic, including his choice of Succession’s Jeremy Strong as bassist Mike Gordon. Additional topics hit upon were Trey’s appreciation for Madison Square Garden, getting stuck on a platform at the venue, past New Year’s Eve “gags,” the Divided Sky Foundation, changes to his guitar rig and more.
Tune in to Phish Radio on Channel 29 or outside the car via SiriusXM.us/PhishSXM to hear replays of “Phish Radio’s 2021 Year In Review” special over the next few days.