This past Halloween, Phish fans expecting the band to follow their tradition of covering a classic album in its entirety got a surprise. Instead, the band debuted music from Wingsuit, the tentative title for its next album. "We went right from Atlantic City to record, and it was a great week in Nashville, a whirlwind," bassist Mike Gordon tells Rolling Stone.
Gordon says that the album title and track list – songs written during secret sessions in their Vermont practice barn – are still in flux. "What we did on Halloween was not exactly. . . it was a lot of what the album is, but not exactly the same of what it's going to be. It might be a slightly different song selection and a slightly different title. It's not all figured out, but since that week in Nashville, I've been kind of out of the loop, although I am going back for something." Gordon adds he wrote at least two songs on the LP with his frequent collaborator Scott Murawski, who also plays in Max Creek.
For now, Gordon is focused on his fourth solo album Overstep, due out February 25th on ATO. The songs were written with Murawski on several weekend trips to remote towns throughout New England. "I get to enjoy just working on my own stuff and other people kind of work on [Wingsuit] and send me a link and say, 'How is this is sounding?' [It] works out well because I’m having so much fun stuff going on with my tour and album, you know: videos and technology for the stage. I'm trying to do some groundbreaking stuff." Gordon kicks off a tour February 28th in Syracuse, New York.
In July, Trey Anastasio described the making of Wingsuit as their most intimate process in years. "We've created an atmosphere where it's just the four of us again, and that was really the problem from the late Nineties on. And we're the ones who did it. But we just turned everything into such a big scene and a huge party. It was fun, too. But there were so many people around that we invited. It's our fault, but we didn't do anything except socialize. But I want to socialize with them. With Mike and Page [McConnell] and Fish [Jon Fishman]."
So far, Phish have one date on the books: They'll headline the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival on April 26th.
Stream Gordon's new song "Yarmouth Road" below: