Trey Anastasio and the No-Analyzing Rule

BLVR: I’ve heard you guys had a no-analyzing rule for a while. You wouldn’t talk to each other about how the show went.

TA: That was for about a year. You come offstage and no one can say anything. At all. At all. Because everyone’s got their own perspective.

BLVR: Someone might think it’s a horrible show and another person could think it’s a great show.

TA: Today what I do is—I do this every night we play—I have a little quiet moment where I picture some guy having a fight with his girlfriend, getting into his car—the battery’s dead—then he gets to the parking lot and it’s full. Meets up with his friends. Comes into the show. I try to picture this one person having their own experience, and I picture them way in the back of the room. And I try to remember how insignificant my experience is, and how people’s experiences with music are their own thing. We put it out there, and if it’s of service to someone, great, but I try to get away from the idea that it’s even starting from us. And when you do that listening-exercise stuff, when I actually get into a moment where I’m only listening, I find that the music gets so much… beyond us. And I can tell that from the reaction I hear from the audience. It always feels more resonant if I can get my hands off it. If all four of us were here, they’d all be saying the same thing. It’s great as long as you listen to anybody but yourself. Anything but yourself.

BLVR: Seems to be true of life, just walking around.

TA: Right. It’s when I start applying my own fucked-up perspective to a show—so I had a bad day, whatever—that I start adding judgment to it. Or I play something and start judging what I’m playing. It’s just like that, walking around in life, that’s true! How often do I find myself walking around and being aware of my surroundings and not having some fucked-up internal dialogue in my head that never ends?

-Trey Anastasio, in a 2011 interview with The Believer.

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