MM: Yeah‚ it would become routine. It's interesting - I had a conversation with Brian Haas from Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey...
DL: I haven't heard those guys‚ but I've heard great things about them.
MM: Yeah‚ they're total freaks when it comes to improvising and worshipping jazz; you know‚ very interesting characters. But he was talking about safety and how it's just so boring to him with music. It shouldn't be about safety‚ but then he goes on to state that at the same time there's a time and place for that‚ and since they're from Oklahoma‚ he mentioned the Flaming Lips. Their music is cool as hell‚ but when they play live they know what they're going to do for the most part. I mean‚ they do it's wild as hell…
DL: Yeah‚ I saw them once‚ at moe.down last year.
MM: Yeah‚ it's wild stuff.
DL: Yeah‚ it was wild. I don't know if I would want to see them multiple times‚ but...what a show they put on.
MM: They were at a few of the festivals last summer so I saw them a few times and it was little different each time‚ but mostly they went with the whole spectacle they created. And that works for them. But if you have three guys pick up their instruments every night and do the same thing...
DL: Yeah‚ yeah‚ the spectacle - the whole projection and film going on behind them...
MM: Yeah‚ what a freak out. It's great and I love it‚ but at the same time I'm not going to drop out of life and go see them for two weeks straight. (laughs)
DL: I wonder if there is anyone out there who does. It would be interesting to talk to them and see what the attraction might be. I'm sure there's somebody.
MM: I think the ultimate goal would be to get on stage in one of the animal costumes and...yeah‚ I don't know. (laughs) The live show is cool‚ but they're more about putting out great studio albums.
DL: And their albums are great - like The Soft Bulletin; I throw that in from start to finish. It's a great that's a different approach.
MM: Well‚ let me ask you about this: Phish broke up this week. It's been a really interesting week here in Burlington. I'm curious about your reaction to the news‚ with you being part of this movement of improvisational bands.
DL: I think Phish is great. I've seen them a bunch of times. I haven't seen them since they came back from their hiatus. I still like their music; I guess I used to be a little more fanatical about it‚ but I'm not anymore‚ for whatever reason. I still really like the band. As far as them breaking up: if that's right for them personally‚ then that's the right move to make. They did something unbelievable for so long. The stresses - mind you it's a different stress at their level - but the stresses of being in a band and committing everything you have to it and being on the road all the time will wear anyone down. So if it makes sense to them‚ then it's the right thing to do.
It's too bad though; I was looking forward to seeing them play again. I might go to Coventry. We'll see. As for how it affects everything else: when they were on hiatus there were more festivals and they were better attended. And talking with a lot of the bands that we played with last year‚ like The Slip...we were talking with Brad (Barr) and he was saying that they would get offered more money consistently to play certain rooms and he was saying now they get offered less money to play the same room even though things are going really well. It's tough when people are making their plans for Phish because Phish is the band unquestionably‚ and when they're not playing that opens things up not just for one other band‚ like it did when the Dead stopped‚ but for the scene to continue to grow as a whole.
MM: I agree. That was the best part of them taking time off. People still want to hear good music and people went looking for it. There is that curiosity to go out and hear something new. And I think that's the idea behind Phish. I mean with the bigness of it all; there are thousands of reasons why people go‚ but ultimately I like to think - and maybe this is naïve of me - but I like to think that it's because of musical appreciation‚ and the musical curiosity to hear something new. So‚ I think you're absolutely right. When they stopped playing in 2000‚ it was great because all the festivals did really well‚ and you got to take in so many different kinds of music. A lot of bands got new opportunities. It's funny - I just spoke with a musician the other day right after the announcement and we were joking around and I congratulated him on his promotion. (laughter) Hopefully that's the attitude that people who love Phish and love music will have: that this is what it's about - finding new music and evolving. There are so many great players out there making great music‚ like your band. People should be out there hearing that and getting off on it. I know a lot of them are already‚ but there should be more.
DL: Yeah‚ I agree with that. (laughter) There's so much out there and I think with Phish‚ people have been into it for so long and you know when you go you're not going to be disappointed‚ and you know it's good. And without that you'll go out and check out all sorts of stuff and get away from that safety net of knowing what you're going to be doing for the summer. I think it will be good. I can only imagine what life on the road must be like for those guys. One day you're at your daughter's elementary school play and the next day you're playing to an arena full of people and staying up all night and then traveling to the next city. It would be a weird sort of lifestyle once you have a family.
It's been a bad week all together. We were supposed to be at a festival in New Brunswick called the Spring Shaker‚ and we were supposed to leave this morning‚ play tomorrow night‚ and we were supposed to be getting paid a lot of money. It was going to be our first outdoor show of the year and a lot of people from all over Ontario and Quebec were going to be there. The guy ran into some legal problems with his permit and he had to pull the plug on it. We're out of this time to play.