Interviews: Trey Anastasio (Musician) [The Believer]

BLVR: Your set lists are analyzed by fans and published in books. What is your thinking about the art of the set list?

TA: In the mid-’90s I was incredibly obsessed with it. I’d always be thinking about key changes between songs. So you’d put one song in D, and then the next one in E, and then rise up to it. Then there was an attempt to make everyone onstage sing. Much of the songwriting was written to the set list, not the album. We’d say, “We need a set-closer. We need a big whopping set-closer.” Or we’d need a song for Page to sing. Or we’d write a song for a piano solo. But then later in the ’90s it became more organic, spur-of-the-moment. We’d just let it rip. The problem is, there are so many songs now.

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