Bug

ThunderBurn on February 29, 2012 01:13

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    In 4 Sets

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    Tags: phish

    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? {this track, like several others that appear on my SoundCloud, is part of a compilation of 25 original recordings that Trey and I released in 2000 called "Trampled by Lambs and Pecked by the Dove" which is now available on LivePhish.com.)

    6 Comments

    0 timed comments and 6 regular comments

    • garysheer
      garysheer on August 20, 2012 15:56

      Hey Tom!!! Ever since being turned on to Phish I have always loved your powerful ability to write music that not only swings with the melodic structure of each tune, but make them shine! Keep up the astounding work!
      Also if you could come to Denver at some point I would much appreciate it=) I'v never seen you preform live, and yes, i know its kind of odd to request something of this nature, but I would be forever grateful.

      Ps. I will be rocking out, as close to the stage as possible, all three nights with a large smile and a large lack of stillness.

    • 7272Smile
      7272Smile on March 22, 2012 18:47

      Joe P, thanks for the mystical story. It really helps to have a different perspective that beautifully melds in with Tom's and Trey's, as writers. I guess we are all searching for the 'I get it' song whether we know it or not. And although I share the 'I get it' feeling for many songs, it always seems to just open more doors to bigger questions.
      I guess though,,, in the end, it really doesn't matter.

    • 7272Smile
      7272Smile on March 21, 2012 04:37

      I guess pondering concepts can really 'slow' down writing a song?? Tom, thanks for the heads up to listen carefully for the alternating syllables, without a good education things like that can easily get overlooked.

    • Christian Collard
      Christian Collard on February 29, 2012 21:58

      don't need it! don't feed it! my thoughts faded! overrated!

    • Joe Pater
      Joe Pater on February 29, 2012 16:50

      I've always felt Bug was the "I get it" song...

      The chorus "It doesn't matter" can be really powerful at your first Phish show, especially if you're out in the distance watching as an observer, taking in the lucidity of the moment.

      At Alpine 03, with my friend Jim we took a break up near the concessions area during Bug. We looked out onto the crowd with the lights moving slowly and that long drawn out chorus "it doesn't matter."

      My friend turned to me and said, I get it now, it doesn't matter.

      All the worry, all the fret and all the feeling of being an observer melted away in that moment. We were part of that song, just like the other 18k in attendance.

      Bug always brings me back to that moment....

      Joe

    • Freekapaug
      Freekapaug on February 29, 2012 02:57

      So cool. Now lets get some old photos up too!

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