Tom Marshall Shares Insight on "Bug"
Again again Phish lyricist Tom Marshall has posted a demo online and offered his thoughts on the creation of the song. This time it’s the Farmhouse track “Bug.” Marshall writes:
I get asked about the meaning of this one a lot. This was written in October 1997…the same session as Farmhouse (see below). In fact, I believe we plowed right into this one after the success of Farmhouse…a very quickly put-together song, but still with a good amount of soul and happiness. With our confidence up, we quickly got BOGged down…this one took forever. It started with that little piano riff, and got pretty thick pretty fast. We were experimenting with a lot of different techniques…like singing every-other syllable in alternate speakers. In other words for the line “there’ve been times that I wonder and times that I don’t” — we only sang “There’ve…times…I…der…times…I…” on the left track and then the alternating syllables: “...been…that…won…and…that…don’t” on the right track. it came out strangely…and eventually we sang the whole thing correctly on top of it, but you can hear it in this recording if you listen carefully. This recording broke one of our unspoken rules: record carefully and QUICKLY...to maximize our productivity. Our previous two Vermont Farmhouse sessions had yielded about 5 or 6 songs per day. We were deeply into the morning of the second day and our tally was only 1.5 songs. Eventually we took advice from the lyrics and realized that it doesn’t matter and finished Bug after a few hours of sleep the next day. Despite being the “slow” song…it’s one of our favorites because it answered a lot of important questions for us as writers. It does leave an important one unanswered however. So what does it mean?
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