On Thursday, Phish bassist Mike Gordon spoke with SiriusXM host Ari Fink on the band’s Phish Radio (channel 29). Mike discussed a variety of topics including his upcoming January tour with his solo outfit, Phish’s 2019 summer tour, listening back on his various musical projects, collaborating with Leo Kottke, and more.

First, Mike elaborated on what fans can expect during his upcoming tour with his solo outfit. He explained,

I used to just bring as many songs as possible because I’m always excited to try a lot and see how it feels. My manager, Jason (Colton), at one point said, ‘You know, if you brought less you could really take a deeper bite out of each song and get used to it by playing each song more’. He was so right.

This tour will see new originals and new covers that we’re gonna be dabling in at some rehearsals. But, what we’re really gonna do is find new ways to stretch limits of what we’re doing. Sometimes by simplifying, sometimes by complicating—it doesn’t have to just be a challenge of ‘Oh, can we handle the trickiness?’. That might not serve us. Maybe the challenge is to make it simpler so it’s not tricky—so that it just feels really good. That was one of my Phish insplorations that I was bringing to the table. 

Mike went on to discuss listening to Phish summer tour content. He continued,

These last few years I’ve been doing a lot of listening back and I never was too comfortable listening back to either band—all the years of Phish and the last 11 years of my band. Maybe just afraid to, because I won’t like it or maybe I’ll like it too much and won’t be able to repeat the feeling. I’m usually just on to new things and don’t have enough time to listen back. But, I’ve really liked it these last couple years doing a lot of listening back. I’ve liked sometimes being pleasantly surprised and other times finding things I need to work on. This has been informative and fun. So, I now have a favorites list from Phish summer and I’m gonna do a separate session where I introduce a bunch of those songs.  

When asked by host Ari Fink, “What was your main takeaway from listening back to Phish’s summer tour”, Mike exclaimed,

My thing this year is noticing how great that Phish is at just relaxing—setting up a jam by sitting on a chord and percolating. Letting the rhythms percolate without trying, without soloing, without trying to embellish at all, just letting it be. That’s astounding to me sometimes how effortless that sounds—how it feels going down and then how it sounds coming back. 

Mike concluded his SiriusXM interview by discussing his collaborative project with Leo Kottke. He concluded,

I’ve been dabling pretty deeply now with Leo Kottke on some material that’s in some ways pretty different from what we had done before. So, it’s really exciting for me. It’s been ongoing for a few years but it’s starting to culminate. We wanna be able to pull that together and have been thinking about doing some limited, small whatever shows together at some point hopefully.

It’s some intense material. In some cases we’re allowing it to be melancholy and others to be just as whimsical as ever. So, that’s been fun for me. It’s been real joyous. 

Head to Mike Gordon’s website for a full list of his upcoming tour dates, ticketing, and more information.