Good fences make good neighbors, and strong side projects make for healthy bands. Just ask Mike Gordon. For 32 years, he’s been bassist and one quarter of the collective mind with Phish, the world’s biggest independent band. During that time, Gordon, like his fellow bandmates Trey Anastasio, Page McConnell and Jon Fishman, has balanced his commitments to the collective against a prolific solo career. This has helped keep the atmosphere in the band healthy, and has also provided an outlet for Gordon’s songwriting, which is more than Phish could possibly accommodate, since all four members write.
“(The other guys in Phish) are all very inspired songwriters and decision makers, and one of my personality defects is that when there is already a lot of creativity involved in something, I don’t really push myself,” Gordon told the Charleston City Paper. “I really need a situation where I wake up and have to make a hundred decisions or the project won’t get done. That is what I don’t get out of Phish, and what I get out of doing my own material. I have to do it with my own band.”
That band, which also includes Max Creek guitarist Scott Murawski, has just launched a summer tour that will occupy Gordon right up until he joins Phish for its own summer tour, which will include “Magnaball,” a three-day Phish-fest to be held in Watkins Glen in August.
Gordon and his band will perform at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Town Ballroom (681 Main St.). Tickets are $28-$32 (box office, Ticketfly.com).
– Jeff Miers