About Trey Anastasio
Two years after dismantling Phish, one of the jam scene's most beloved institutions, Trey Anastasio continues to receive hate mail from bereft fans. But he didn't dissolve the august outfit without a lot of forethought and stringent soul-searching. He first tested the waters by recording three solo albums and forming Oysterhead, which was initially an ad hoc group with Primus' Les Claypool and former Police man, Stewart Copeland. He also performed with the Vermont Youth Orchestra, and spent time putting together various configurations of musicians and prosaically dubbing them the Trio, the Sextet, and the Octet. After first putting Phish on hiatus Â effectively a year and a half trial separation -- he decided he could no longer bear to feel creatively stifled and claustrophobic, and unilaterally decided to disband the band. Rationalizing the move by explaining that Jerry Garcia might still be alive if he had exited the Grateful Dead, Anastasio left Phish in August of 2004, ostensibly to save his life. Prior to that time, he had been enmeshed in a free fall of depression and destructive behaviors. "I felt light and honest after I left," he explained in 2005. "I let myself be led by my heart and I think I did the right thing." He celebrated by recording his fourth solo album, the optimistically titled Shine, which could have been a missing Phish album. Produced by Pearl Jam and Bruce Springsteen knob twirler Brendan O'Brien, it went a long way to establish an independent identity for the innovative songwriter, showcasing his superior guitar playing -- which falls somewhere between Carlos Santana and Robin Trower -- and the fact that he could write a pop song that came in under five minutes. He currently heads up 70 Volt Parade, a six-member rock band. And fans can still hold a shred of hope for a Phish reunion: Anastasio is part of SerialPod, a trio featuring Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann and Phish bassist Mike Gordon.