Phish’s Jon Fishman on The Who’s Keith Moon: A Beat To Call His Own
One of my favorite albums is Loveless by My Bloody Valentine. That album has so many layers of distortion on it that it comes back around to sounding smooth. It doesn’t sound distorted; it sounds like a smooth, ethereal, comforting, warm, enveloping sound. It’s not a harsh, distorted thing. There’s so many layers of harshness that it comes back around to being smooth. I think there are some similarities to The Who in that the business of the rhythm section created a bed that was really solid and strong to almost anything on top of. It didn’t feel like you could do anything too busy.
Their whole approach to a rhythm section was really busy, thick and kinetic—all the time. I can’t think of any other band where that was the whole approach to the rhythm section. Even Hendrix’s band, Mitch Mitchell was a pretty busy drummer but Noel Redding was a very solid, four-on-the-floor type of bass player. Certainly, The Stones, The Beatles—those rhythm sections created simple beds that you could build things on top of logically.
I remember spending an entire year of my life coming home where all I did was put Live at Leeds on. It was that second side, where it goes from one side to another. Nothing ever released that energy level for me. It was such ecstatic release for me to able to listen to that whole side of Live at Leeds. I’d put my headphones on and I’d air-guitar. I’d pretend I was Pete Townshend. I didn’t pretend I was Keith Moon! It was the feeling you’d get, like you just want to scream from top of the mountain kind of feeling.
They always played angry. Pete Townshend always stayed angry and I always felt like he was angry and Keith Moon was always not angry. He was always laughing his ass off. I guess someone had told him or he had gotten word that Phish had covered the Quadrophenia album for Halloween. The feedback that we got from other artists like when we covered Remain in Light or even Waiting for Columbus. I heard Billy Payne said, “Wow, what a nice compliment” even though we screwed up part of it and I felt bad about that and I still feel like apologizing to him. And like, the Talking Heads people, we met David Byrne, and we heard that Tina Weymouth and those guys, there seemed to be a positive vibe of like, “That’s really cool you covered our album and went to the trouble to do a good job with it.”
Someone told me that they read in an interview that Pete Townshend where they’d heard that we—I don’t know if he’s ever heard of Phish or even gives a shit—but that he heard some band in America had covered Quadrophenia and it was big date in America. It sold a lot of tickets and a bunch people went to the show of Quadrophenia and what do you think of this band covering Quadrophenia and his response was negative. Like, “No one plays The Who like The Who! Fuck them!” Which I thought was just right on. Like The Who would just be pissed that we would go out and put a production of Quadrophenia and that his answer to it was like, “Fuck those guys in America, we’re going to do it right.”
The Howlin’ Brothers take to the Relix rooftop and share a song they wrote with Warren Haynes.
Beth Hart shares the opening track from her latest album, Bang Bang Boom Boom, live at Relix.
Jamie Lidell sets up in the Relix boiler room and delivers a tune from his 2005 album Multiply
Duane Trucks is happy to announce his new project, King Lincoln. Watch them perform “Coffee” live and acoustic at Relix’s Online-Video Coordinator’s loft in Williamsburg.
Here’s another song from Crystal Bowersox’s new record All That For This, live at Relix.
WYATT share a song in the famed Relix boiler room.
Goodnight, Texas share a song from their latest studio album, A Long Life of Living, live at Relix.
Warren Haynes performs a solo, acoustic version of “Railroad Boy” and explains how he adapted the traditional Celtic song for Gov’t Mule, backstage at the Hangout Music Festival.
Australia’s Alpine recently made their NYC debut at the Relix office with this song from their new album A is for Alpine.
In honor of Umphrey’s McGee’s return to Summer Camp this weekend, we present the group’s Brendan Bayliss and Jake Cinninger performing this version of “The Pequod” from UM’s Anchor Drops.
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