In anticipation of next week's show at the Fillmore, Umphrey's McGee bassist Ryan Stasik stopped by to discuss when best to schedule mid-set bathroom breaks, Rodney Dangerfield, and what CO's favorite jam band could've been called, had they decided to go with something dumb.
What's the craziest thing that's happened while you've been on stage?
People have sowed their seed. People have made sweet, sweet love to our smooth music.
You've looked out and seen that?
I've watched it. Yeah.
How do you even play when that's happening?
Obviously you haven't listened to us long enough, but when that sound emanates from the speakers, it's hard for some people to control themselves. We encourage it.
How much of your set can be labeled "experimental"? Specifically, when are those parts, so our readers can schedule their bathroom breaks?
All you really need to know is when the drum solos are. That's usually about two-thirds into the second set. That's when you want to schedule your pee breaks.
String Cheese Incident or XYZ Affair?
I don't know who XYZ Affair is, so I'm going to have to go with String Cheese Incident. [Ed note: The XYZ Affair caused a naval war between France and the US in 1797. String Cheese Incident is a Coloradan jam band that didn't come along until several years later.]
Bong or joint?
As a noted jam band, which is better on toast: marmalade or preserves?
So, the story goes, Rodney Dangerfield once mispronounced your name and "created" Umphrey's McGee. Now he's dead. Does that mean there's a death curse on anyone mispronouncing your name?
No, it just means (in passable Dangerfield impression) "we're all gettin' laid."
Umphrey's McGee was the name you chose. What names did you reject?
G-spot. And We Changed Our Name.
Photo by Chad Smith