Paul Heinz

Original Fiction, Music and Essays

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Meals and Ulcers (1992)

A superior effort to Rocks Off, and a nice summary of the mindset of a 24 year old.  

This album, originally recorded under the band name of BACKSEAT MATH, was recorded in June of 1992 using an 8-track cassette recorder mixed down to DAT.  The DAT has sadly been misplaced, making the .mp3 and .wav files on this website a minor miracle of digital audio.  It was an exciting endeavor to “clean up” a cassette copy using software that costs as little as a two-night stay in a cheap hotel.  Tape hiss was largely eliminated.  Where possible, I edited songs to get rid of errors that inevitably occurred during the 7-day whirlwind recording and mixing session all those years ago.  In many cases the quality couldn’t be improved upon from the original recording, and perhaps that’s as it should be.  However, “Burning My Belonging” was re-recorded to eliminate horrid abnormalities introduced from the cassette copy. 

The original tape was recorded in my father’s basement in Brookfield, WI.  John Marrs, an old friend and fellow Berklee College Of Music student, had recorded a similar project for my friend John Neumann, so we followed the same template for this recording.  Marrs managed all recording and mixing in only seven days, and I worked well into the night a few evenings when the sequences in my Korg M1 keyboard unexplainably disappeared! 

MEALS AND ULCERS represents a collection of ten songs with a mix of musical styles and themes. Four vocalists appear on the album, and the material ranges from songs influenced by Bruce Hornsby and Randy Newman to INXS and REM. Though I hadn't exactly honed in on any particular "sound" back in 1992, this collection contains some strong material that I'm still fond of to this day, including "The Subtle Side," "The Wild Child," and "Truth."  All the songs were written between May 1991 and May 1992 (the last being “Truth” just a few weeks before recording) except for “You Best Believe,” written in August of 1988.

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