How Does A Jam Band Write Songs? We Asked Phish | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio
Filed Under:

How Does A Jam Band Write Songs? We Asked Phish

Play associated audio

The world of rock 'n' roll once thought it would never again see the cult-like devotion of Grateful Dead fans. Then came Phish.

The Vermont-based band enjoyed a similar cult following throughout the 1990s. Then, in 2004, things came to an abrupt halt; it was five years before Phish would be ready to climb back on a stage together. One of the most reliable and workmanlike touring bands of the '90s has become more of a rarity these days — so it's a treat for fans to have a new album on the way.

Fuego, Phish's 12th studio album, is out this Tuesday. Guitarist Trey Anastasio says the writing process behind the new songs almost resembles an academic exercise: The members would sit in a room with writing pads, all looking at a random photo they'd pulled from the Internet, and had five minutes to write down whatever came to them.

"And then a bell would go off," Anastasio explains. "Each person would read to the other three what they had written. If there were certain lines that really resonated with the other three, we would put them on a fifth pad — until they were all intermingled and we couldn't remember who had written what."

Hear the full interview with NPR's Arun Rath at the audio link.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Lowly Worm Is Back! Richard Scarry Jr. Brings Dad's Manuscript To Life

The younger Scarry, also an illustrator, found a draft of Best Lowly Worm Book Ever! in his dad's Swiss chalet. He says all that was missing was the final art, "so that's what I did."
NPR

A Food Crisis Follows Africa's Ebola Crisis

Food shortages are emerging in the wake of West Africa's Ebola epidemic. Market shelves are bare and fields are neglected because traders can't move and social gatherings are discouraged.
WAMU 88.5

McDonnell Corruption Trial: Former Gov Defends Relationship With Jonnie Williams

On the stand today, the former Virginia governor defended his relationship with the businessman at the heart of the trial, saying it was appropriate.
NPR

New Camouflage Material Is A Color-Change Artist

Researchers say they've produced octopus-inspired materials that can sense color and change accordingly. NPR's Scott Simon talks to John Rogers, professor of engineering at the University of Illinois.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.