Jam band Phish stokes reunion speculation

File photo shows Phish guitarist/bassist Mike Gordon performing during the first of two sold-out performances at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, September 29, 2000. REUTERS/Ethan Miller

NEW YORK (Billboard) - In the wake of increasing chatter about a Phish reunion in the coming months, keyboardist Page McConnell has confirmed that the group’s members plan to meet later this year to discuss their options.

The jam-band quartet broke up in 2004, increasingly exhausted by years of touring. McConnell said in a statement that “the prospect of Phish reuniting is something I consider very seriously, and I think about it a lot.”

He said he has enjoyed the four-year break, and is now closer with his three former bandmates “than I’ve ever been in our 20-year relationship.”

“Recently the conversations have turned toward the possibility of spending some time together,” McConnell said, adding, “later this year we hope to spend some time together and take a look at what possible futures we might enjoy. In fact, the only real decision that has been made is that when we do get together, it will only be the four of us, hopefully with no distractions. I am really looking forward to that.”

McConnell, guitarist Trey Anastasio, bassist Mike Gordon and drummer Jon Fishman were on hand in New York last month to accept a lifetime achievement honor at the Jammy Awards, but did not perform live or address the possibility of a reunion.

Speculation has lately centered on Phish making a new studio album with producer Steve Lillywhite, who declined comment to Billboard when asked about the possibility last week. Others see a reunion tour as a foregone conclusion, noting the massive dollars that would be in play and a rabid fan base practically willing Phish back to life.