NY - Scalpers, get your automatic dialing machines ready! Legendary psychedelic Rock band, Phish, announced on Tuesday that they will hit the road as A Barbershop Quartet for their 2013 Summer Tour. Pete Estring, of the jamband world's, Really Long Song Magazine, sat down for an interview with Phish's front man, Trey Anastasio. Here's a snippet of their conversation.
Really Long Song Magazine: Hi Trey, thanks for sitting down with us, we are very excited about your announcement!
Trey Anastasio: Yeah, its' been a long time coming. We can't wait to finally be able to explore all realms of traditional Barbershop Quartet music.
RLSM: Now, you guys have dabbled in the Barbershop genre before with songs like Amazing Grace, Sweet Adeline and even Freebird, right?
TA: Yeah, we love doing those songs. We've even written a couple of our own Barbershop songs over the years.
RLSM: That's right! So what made you finally decide to go all the way and do a whole tour in the Barbershop style?
TA: Well, besides my parents, who listened to a lot of Barbershop, Phish has always gone through a lot of different musical stages. Sometimes we get into Jazz influences for a whole tour, other years its Blues or straight out Rock & Roll. It was just the right time to try this.
RLSM: I heard that you guys aren't even taking any instruments on the road with you for this tour?
TA: That's' right! If we bring them, we think it might be too much of a temptation, so we are leaving them all at home.
RLSM: Will you be covering a lot of your regular songs, but in the Barbershop style?
TA: No, we will mostly be doing traditional Barbershop Quartet songs, like Sweet Adeline, Hello Ma Baby, Down By the Riverside, Stuff like that."
RLSM: Wow! So fans shouldn't come expecting any half hour long versions of some of your more classic songs, like "You Enjoy Myself" or "Down With Disease."
TA: That's right! (Laughs) Even though YEM (You Enjoy Myself) has a vocal jam at the end of it, we decided to dedicate our entire 30th year as a band to the traditional style of Barbershop. Pay homage to it if you will... but that isn't to say that a lot of the material won't get really far out there and spacey. I can easily see a song like "Let Me Call You Sweetheart" or "Goodbye My Coney Island Baby" stretching over the half hour mark.
RLSM: Awesome! Will you be wearing the traditional Barbershop Quartet costume?
TA: Oh, most definitely. We are in the middle of fittings for our red striped vests and bow ties right now. You should see the straw hats, they are pretty killer! We just have to find the perfect white canes. One that we can all agree on, one that we all feel comfortable with for the entire tour.
RLSM: Is that proving difficult? The canes?
TA: Yeah, it's been a bit of a sticking point, no pun intended. (Laughs). I prefer the canes with a more traditional curved handle. Our drummer, Fishman (Jon), likes the ones that have a more James Bond-ish feel. Page (McConnell), our keyboardist, doesn't even want a cane. He wants to focus entirely on doing jazz hands and feels the cane will get in his way.
RLSM: Wow! Who knew there was so much to think about? Will you be taking your entire lighting rig on the road?
TA: Yeah, for sure, that's the fifth member of the band… but in addition to the lights, we are going to have twenty giant Barbershop poles spinning behind us, which I just saw for the first time. It's going to be really trippy.
RLSM: That sounds amazing! The lucky folks in the front row are really going to be spinning!
TA: Yeah, three hours of staring at a twirling Barbershop pole will be quite an experience for our fans.
RLSM: Aren't you afraid that people will start falling over?
TA: Not really. People fall over at our shows all the time. It comes with the territory.
RLSM: Should fans expect one of your infamous three day festivals next summer, along with the tour?
TA: No, we weren't sure if anyone, including us, could handle that much Barbershop Quartet music.
RLSM: (Laughs). Well I know that I for one, am anxiously awaiting this tour. Trey, thanks so much for sitting down with us. We really appreciate it.
TA: Oh your very welcome, I enjoyed it very much.
Tickets for Phish's 2013 Barbershop Quartet Tour will go on sale through the band's online ticketing service starting now and on public sale through TicketBastard starting on February 2nd at 11AM EST.