Paul is the self taught
wizard behind the Phish
soundboard. He has been their soundman since 1986.
He is also a guitar maker and has created 3 custom guitars for Trey Anastasio and at least 2 bass guitars for Mike Gordon, as well as the band's stage risers, and their monitors.
Before meeting Trey in Burlington, VT. in 1984 Paul was a philosophy major at Bates College and rebuilt pianos.
He built his first guitar at the age of 18. He had never mixed sound for anyone before Phish, but the first time he heard the band play at Hunt's in Burlington was also his first time behind the soundboard.
Paul recorded every one of the band's shows for their archives.
"Well, I make sure everything is labeled carefully. I spend at least a half-hour every day labeling tapes. We run forty tracks of multi-tracks and with two sets, that winds up being five tapes per set, so that's ten tapes. (note: each multi-track deck has eight tracks). Then, there's a DAT of each set, so that's two more and then two cassette tapes that are just audience tapes made with a stereo mic, probably pretty similar to what the tapers get."
No he doesn't listen to Phish when he's off tour and he works with an all analog board. His favorite song isn't Dog Log.
" I wouldn't say that's my favorite song. (laughs) I don't know how that rumor started. The only reason that happened was because they used to go up on stage and mess around and I would ask them to play a song, you know, for sound check. I mean, this was a long time ago. I would just want them to play a song that had vocals so that I could get a mix and I just remember one time Trey going, "well, what do you want to hear?" And I said, "Oh I don't know, Dog Log." And from that point on, for some reason that became my favorite song. It's not my favorite song, but it's an OK song."
You can write to Paul at: Box 4400, Burlington, VT 05406.
sources: jambase interview by Jeff Waful
The Phish.net FAQ