In timely fashion, a post on PhishPosters.com led me to this great old MTV interview. It's 18 minutes of unedited Q&A with Trey and Mike from the 1992 H.O.R.D.E. festival that has somehow eluded me all these years.
One of my favorite parts comes early in the first segment when each of them takes a stab at describing the band's sound, something I'm always hard-pressed to do well.
Trey calls it “a mixture of loud and soft,” to which Mike amusingly retorts, “it hones in the medium.” He quickly adds, “it's a cross between rock, jazz, punk, Latin, Broadway, and bluegrass” which seems accurate if not a bit narrow.
And stick around for the second and third segments too. Trey and Mike talk about building a following, wax philosophical about keeping things fresh, and consider why fans become “obsessed” with the band.
It's an incredible job. To be able to travel around… and jam and play music that we've never heard before because it's all spontaneous… and have some people be blown away by it.
Overall the interview is a great encapsulation of the band's first 9 years, with some classic Phish undertones — from Mike's ridiculous shirt to the synchro beer swilling and leg crossing.
I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I did.