On his latest Under The Scales podcast episode, host and lyricist Tom Marshall discusses the meanings behind five different Phish songs. Marshall is joined by Under The Scales regulars RJ Bee and Stephen “Tebo” Thomas.

The trio begin their conversation by discussing their thoughts and feelings towards Trey Anastasio‘s recent Ghosts of the Forest tour. Tom mentions that he attended four shows on the tour (Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., New York City, and Berkeley), and touches on the Berkeley show being a particularly emotional performance, as the late-Chris Cottrell’s daughters were members of the audience. Tom goes on to discuss his thoughts on the possibilities of Ghosts of the Forest material entering Phish‘s expansive catalog.

Next, Tom leads his co-hosts into the episode’s main theme, diving into the lyrical analysis behind five favorite Phish tunes. The trio begin by discussing “Blaze On”, a newer tune that appears on Phish’s 2016 Big Boat release and was debuted the summer prior at Phish’s 2015 summer tour-opening show at Bend, OR’s Les Schwab Amphitheater. Tom explains that he wrote the tune with Trey in February 2015 while on a songwriting retreat in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, where the duo also conceptualized and arranged “Shade” and “Mercury”. Tom was gracious enough to share a clip of a “Blaze On” demo recording.

The trio move forward with “Wading In The Velvet Sea”, a setlist staple since 1997, off of Phish’s 1998 Story of the Ghost release. Tom begins by playing a clip of the original version, recorded at the Trampled by Lambs and Pecked By The Dove sessions in Stowe, VT. Tom describes “Waiting In The Velvet Sea” as a love song that encompasses elements of uncertainty and missing someone.

Next, Tom, RJ, and Tebo choose to involve Under The Scales listener’s questions into the latter half of the episode. Tom explains that he wrote “Lifeboy” with Trey while Anastasio was on a vacation in Tortola. Trey’s brother-in-law, Kevin Statesir, recently reminded Tom that Trey was communicating with him via a pay phone to write the song, long before cellphones, or even household phones on the island existed. Tom shares a beautiful rendition of “Lifeboy” from October 18th, 1994 at Vanderbilt University Memorial Gym, which features Béla Fleck on banjo. The trio then discuss the lyrical process behind “Bug”, as they also analyze the similar themes of God in both “Lifeboy” and “Bug”. Tom Marshall closes out the podcast discussion with a brief dive into “Horn”, off of Phish’s 1993 Rift LP, and shares a clip of the studio version because, as he puts it, “it’s so f-ing great.”

Listen to Tom Marshall’s latest Under The Scales episode with RJ Bee and Stephen “Tebo” Thomas below:

Head to Under The Scale’s website for more information.