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Phishin’ With: Jake Goldberg And Chris Houser From The Werks

Phish’s Baker’s Dozen run is quickly approaching. As is tradition for summer tour, there will be an enormous amount of talent surrounding the entertainment with pre- and post-shows galore. Phish’s thirteen nights at Madison Square Garden will be no different, as Live For Live Music plans to take over New York City with over a dozen shows of our own.

L4LM’s Official Guide To Phish Baker’s Dozen Late Nights

As the shenanigans approach, we’ll be discussing Phish with a number of artists who will be in town performing some of these late-night shows. So far, we interviewed Craig Brodhead from TurkuazMatisyahu, and Ryan Jalbert from The Motet. In the fourth installment of our “Phishin’ With” series, Jake Goldberg and Chris Houser from The Werks discuss their relationship with the band Phish — ahead of The Werks’ 7/21 and 7/22 post-Phish performances at American Beauty just a block away (purchase tickets here).

With the recent release of their latest LP, Magic, The Werks have continued to evolve their sound, both sonically and from a songwriting perspective. With a devoted fanbase, countless live recordings, their own successful Werk Out Music Festival in Ohio, and the will to tour the country year-round, The Werks have established themselves as a staple in the jam world over the last decade. These shows will begin the three-week long marathon of late-night shows to complement Phish’s historic run at MSG. Show information can be found here.


Live For Live Music: Tell us about your first Phish concert experience.

Jake Goldberg: My first Phish show was June 18th, 2009, at Post Gazette Pavilion in Burgettstown, PA. I went with my older brother, Lane. I didn’t listen to Phish much at that time, so I was a little confused when the drummer started playing a vacuum, but I never forgot how they lit up that huge pavilion and I never stopped going.

Chris Houser: My first show was 9/20/00 at Riverbend Music Center in Cincinnati, OH. I’ll never forget the sound of “Cars Trucks and Buses” as we made our way into the lawn area shortly after the show had started. The world literally opened up before my eyes as I rounded the corner and the stage came into view. There was a hellish thunderstorm that night, and I remember seeing so many people dancing and that I felt weird about not dancing. My life changed considerably after that first time, considerably.

L4LM: How would you describe the music of Phish?

CH: The music is so etched in my brain at this point that it just seems like the truth, like all I’ve ever been meant to hear. It’s like the music is a part of me that needs no description. The live show takes you on a journey in which there are highs, lows, and unexpected twists and turns that always leave the people who witness it wondering “How do they do it?” That’s what has kept me coming back time and time again.

L4LM: How many Phish shows have you seen?

JG: 86

CH: 14

L4LM: Do you have a favorite show or most memorable experience?

JG: It’s hard to pick my favorite show, but one time, on 7/3/10, my friend Kevin and I held a sign up front that said “McGrupp” (a favorite song of ours). Around the third song, Trey waved us up to the front row and took our sign, set it by his amp, and proceeded to play the song.

CH: Although I’ve been to few shows, since I’ve been a fan, every show has had a memorable experience or two. My favorite show was probably Star Lake in 2009, when we all snacked on some paper in the parking lot and ended up playing music with our friend — the infamous Space Panda — before going into the show. It didn’t seem like it at the time, but we were some grizzled wooks, and the pictures have turned into fantastic memes. I also got my first YEM at that show, and I had been chasing it for years until then.

L4LM: What are two of your favorite Phish songs?

JG: “Wolfman’s Brother and “Fluffhead.”

CH: That always change,s but for as long as I can remember, “Stash” and YEM have always been at the top of that list. Thanks a lot to A Live One, which was the first Phish CD ever given to me by my cousin on Christmas in 1996.

L4LM: What’s the wildest thing you’ve ever seen at a Phish show?

JG: Me. I’m the wildest thing you’ve ever seen at a Phish show.


Purchase tickets to The Werks at American Beauty here, or enter to win them below.