Q&A: Jazz Is Phish Drummer Adam Chase Tells Us His Favorite Phish Song, Shares Advice For Aspiring Musicians!

Posted on Wednesday December 9th in


Q&A: Jazz Is Phish Drummer Adam Chase Tells Us His Favorite Phish Song, Shares Advice For Aspiring Musicians!

Jazz Is Phish drummer Adam Chase spoke to Knockdown Alley about his favorite musicians, liking Phish, and more! Take a look, find out his favorite cocktail, and see the innovative jazz and jam approach to one of the most important and influential bands in rock and roll history, Phish, at Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas on Saturday, December 19!

1. If you could describe Phish’s music to someone who has never heard it, how would describe?

Phish’s music is a conundrum. I think I would have to say that it is multi-genre rock and roll that embraces the theories of classical music in it’s compositions, explores the theories of jazz in it’s improvisation, and steeps itself in thoughtful, playful, and highly creative song writing. At its core, I believe their music to be a very Avant Garde version of American Rock and Roll.

2. What is your favorite Phish song to play? What about the song makes it stand out?

It’s hard to pick a favorite, but as a drummer, the first song that comes to mind is “Stash”. I love the polyrhythms between the high hats and base drum. It’s a song that has an amazing soundscape. Great dynamics, crowd participation, polyrhythms, and amazing changes to improvise over. Of the new arrangements we have done for Jazz Is Phish, my favorite is definitely “46 Days”. It has the feel of The Headhunters album “Thrust” and I can’t get enough of it. I could sit in that pocket for hours.

3. Who are your top 5 favorite jazz musicians of all time?

Another very tough question to answer. I’ll have to start with John Scofield. Mainly because he consistently reinvents himself and remains relevant to the jazz and jam worlds, which I love. I have to mention Lionel Hampton. He was known as a vibes player mainly, but he was also one of the best drummers of all time and an incredible showman and band leader. The first Jazz concert I ever saw was Ahmad Jamal, and it was one of my inspirations to pursue a higher level of music studies and for that he’ll have to be on this list. Herbie Hancock also has to make the cut for me as I find his music to be one of my biggest influences and I love how he made funk and jazz collide. For my last spot, I’m split between Grant Green and Benny Goodman. Grant Green Jr. is a friend of mine and my cousin was a drummer for Benny Goodman for many years, so I’ll leave that last spot as undecided.

4. If you could collaborate with one of those musicians, who would it be and why?

I would be thrilled to collaborate with any of them, but not all are alive today. I do think Herbie Hancock would be an excellent guest musician for this project in particular considering we have drawn inspiration from him on some of our arrangements and he has a knack for bringing jazz and other styles of music together beautifully in collaborations that he has done in the past.

5. What was the first Phish song you ever heard and how did it make you feel?

The first Phish song I heard was “Reba” and at first I hated it! I had never heard anything like it and I just didn’t get it. It certainly did not fit into the 11 year old, grunge music binging, idea of cool music that I had adopted. It wasn’t until I got into the composition that I began to appreciate it. Now “Reba” is one of my favorite songs and I think every aspect of it is incredible.

7. What is your perfect night out from start to finish?

My perfect night out has to include good food, preferably sushi! If I get to play music at some point in the evening that’s a plus too. I always enjoy seeing live music especially if it’s something that’s been on my bucket list. For instance, I recently saw Stevie Wonder and left the show on cloud 9.

8. What is your go to cocktail?

Tequila and Pineapple Juice

9. If you could play any other instrument and had to choose between a didgeridoo or a glockenspiel, which would it be and why?

It would have to be the glockenspiel because I already play didgeridoo.

10. What’s your number one piece of advice to all aspiring musicians?

My number one piece of advice is don’t be an @#$hole. Haha. Really, just play music because you love it, not because you want to be famous. Love endures.


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