This week, SiriusXM kicked off their second running of Phish Radio, which will run on Ch. 29 through New Year’s Day. In addition to a bevy of Phish content, live streams of the band’s upcoming New Year’s Eve show, and more, the new edition of Phish Radio features a brand new installment of its centerpiece program, “Ask Trey,” in which Trey Anastasio answers the burning questions of fans across North America.
There’s plenty of juicy new info to learn from the “Ask Trey” segment, and we’ll touch on it all in due time. For now, we wanted to call your attention to one part in particular. In answering a question about how to push past creative roadblocks, Trey explains that he owes his perseverance to his highly creative mother, a “lifelong boundary-breaker,” who taught him, “If there’s a wall, leap over it. Failure or a stumble can be turned into an asset if you change your perspective.”
He goes on to give a recent example that hits close to home for Phish fans everywhere—the unceremoniously cancelled Curveball. Trey explains how “absolutely heartbroken” the band was about the situation—not only for the fans and vendors and the expenses they incurred to get there, but also for themselves, as they’d been cooking up some very special surprises for the better part of a year that nobody would get to see. “We had a big silver sphere,” he reminds us, and some exciting plans for how to use it.
The Curveball program booklets hinted at the magic to come: “Steps from the concert field, and towering nearly six stories off the ground, BIG SILVER is a massive chrome sphere, surrounded by constellations of smaller orbs. During the day, come by BIG SILVER to relax and reflect on the world around you. Come sunset, the constellations come to life and offer visual and audio delights deep into the night.”
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A reflective sphere surrounded by a bunch of speaker stacks and lights and other fun stuff…with what looks like a trap door underneath it. Some wild stuff was about to happen. Got a quick look, and watched workers deflate it shortly after. #curveball was ready to blow us away. It all looked fantastic. I guess we’ll never know. Christmas is cancelled. But so much respect for everyone who stayed Thursday night and commiserated and made lemonade. Love you all. #phish #phishcurveball #watkinsgleninternational
However, just like his mother taught him, Trey was quick to turn this roadblock into something positive. Trey explains,
The next morning we woke up and my first thought was, “How can we take this loss and turn it into a gift?” I always think that way, but where can creativity and joy turn this thing around? My first thought was, how can we repurpose that plan for Halloween, and started brainstorming. …
That brainstorming led to an idea about a fake band that was originally gonna be called The Sphere. That brainstorming continued, the band got involved, we kept going, we kept going, we kept going, and eventually we ended up with Kasvot Växt. I can tell you right now, straight up, that wouldn’t have happened if Curveball hadn’t have gotten cancelled.
There you have it. When one door closes, another opens. Curveball still stings for many fans, and that sting probably won’t go away any time soon. But knowing that the festival’s downfall led the way to the band’s fantastically strange and quintessentially Phishy Kasvot Växt Halloween celebration should offer some amount of solace.
Tune in to SiriusXM’s Phish Radio (Ch. 29) or listen online here for more illuminating band insights. You can check out a schedule of upcoming airings of the new edition of “Ask Trey” here or listen on demand here.