For decades, Vermonters Phish have commanded perhaps the most uniquely devoted fanbase in all of rock music outside of the Grateful Dead and their various offshoots.
The band's lead singer and electric guitar player, Trey Anastasio, is an integral part of this enduring musical appeal, drawing from a mind-bogglingly wide array of influences to craft his one-of-a-kind guitar parts.
In the video above, posted last week to Phish's YouTube channel, Anastasio takes viewers on an incredible guided tour (in 4K HD, no less!) of the enviable rig he uses to recreate and expand upon those parts for the band's legendary live shows.
Things begin simply enough, with the custom electric guitar Anastasio uses pretty much exclusively nowadays. Built in 2020 by master luthier and former Phish soundman Paul Languedoc, the guitar – as the Phish frontman excitedly points out – boasts a pair of Seymour Duncan humbuckers, complete with coil-taps for switching between 'bucker and single-coil sounds.
Anastasio then gives viewers a look at his main guitar amp, a Trainwreck Express – hand-built by Ken Fischer – affectionately dubbed “Jan Marie.”
From there, we move to pedals, of which the Phish guitarist has quite a few. Selected highlights include a pair of vintage Tube Screamers and a genuine Klon Centaur overdrive pedal, a Ross Compressor, a vintage Shin -Ei UniVibe, an Eventide Space reverb pedal, a pair of Line 6 M5 Stompbox modelers, and a pair of Boss SY-1 synth pedals.
Anastasio notes that some of the effects in his rig – his Ibanez DM-2000, for instance – are the very same ones he used as a teenager, stating at one point in the video his belief that "A lot of times when they 'improve' these effects they actually make them worse."
All told, if you're curious about how Anastasio crafts his live guitar sound, this is about as good and comprehensive as it gets. Even if you're not a Phish fanatic, the video is a treat to watch for any gearhead.
Phish are currently in the midst of an American tour. You can check out their remaining dates on their website.