That 1 Guy
With an extensive and amazing track record of unique and imaginative performances featuring his curious instrument and copious amounts of originality, Mike Silverman aka That1Guy has supplanted himself as a true one-of-a-kind talent that rivals any other artist currently in the entertainment industry. Averaging 150-200 shows a year all over North America and Canada, he has been a consistent favorite at such festivals as: Wakarusa, Electric Forest, Big Day out, All Good, Bella, High Sierra, Summer Meltdown, Montreal Jazz Festival, and many more. He was also the ‘Tap Water Award’ winner at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival for best musical act. His legendary collaboration and multiple tours with Buckethead as The Frankenstein Brothers has further cemented his virtuoso story as a creative visionary as well.
His innovation continues to soar with the announcement of a new tour, That1Guy & The Magic Pipe Present: An Evening of Musical Magical Wonder... The Likes of Which Ye Haven't Yet Seen, kicking off in the early spring of 2013. Along with his pioneering main instrument, The Magic Pipe, a monstrosity of metal, strings, and electronics, facilitates the dynamic live creation of music and magic in ways only That1Guy can conjure, expect to see magic as well now integrated into the already clever performance. With this addition of incorporating magic seamlessly into his live shows, he has legitimately achieved an all inclusive audio/ visual performance unlike anything experienced before. “So much of my music has miraculous qualities to it because it’s hard to tell what’s going on. There are lots of slights of hand and sonic misdirection. It feels like I was meant to do magic”.
Silverman’s back story is very similar to many musicians that have come before him. He grew up a self proclaimed music geek, soaked in the influence of his jazz musician father, and enrolled in San Francisco Conservatory of Music before joining the local jazz scene himself as a sought-after percussive bassist. This is where the similarities end, though, and where That1Guy truly began. “In my case, being a bass player, I just felt very restricted by the instrument itself,” he says. “I’ve always wanted to sound different and have my own sound. I was headed that way on the bass, but for me to fully realize what I was hearing in my head sonically I was going to have to do it my way”. His influential and innovative double bass style eventually evolved into what we see today as That1Guy and ‘The Magic Pipe’.
As his story continues to develop, Billboard has famously noted, “In the case of Mike Silverman’s slamming, futuristic funk act... the normal rules of biology just don’t apply.” In addition, Silverman also has promised new music and videos for the early part of 2013 that will only further validate his status as an industry trailblazer. “I like being my own person”, he says. “I didn’t set out to be a weirdo but I’m starting to embrace it”.
Ultimately, his motivation can be encapsulated as this: “Human beings do our best work when we’re challenged and pushed up against the wall”. He further explains, “By nature, we’re hunters and gathers, spending each day looking for their next meal. It’s easy to be lazy when you don’t have to come up with something creative right away.”
Wolff and Tuba
A Boy and his Tuba
Brian Wolff first discovered the tuba at a music store in Austin, Texas. It was the summer of 1994, one of the hottest July's on record. And Wolff, whether deranged by the heat or the instruments sumptuous curves and shiny bell, knew instantly and inexplicably that he would dedicate the rest of his life to the pursuit of Tuba Stardom.
Knowing little of the tuba itself, he had few preconceived notions of the tuba's roll in music and thus was under the impression that, as a creator of sound, the tuba had no limitations at all. Wolff quickly dove in, starting a band with old friend Tony Nozero. They called themselves Just Drums and Tuba. Soon they added a guitar player and summarily dropped the "Just" from their name.
The band developed a visceral blend of old brass and new electronics, and toured the world extensively with Cake, Primus, Ani DiFranco among many others, building a fierce underground following in the process. But as over 50% of the marriages in the United States are wont to do, Drums and Tuba eventually packed it in and went their separate ways. Determined to strike out on his own in pursuit of the aforementioned Tuba Stardom, Wolff conceived of a solo act appropriately entitled "Wolff."
He returned to New York and barricaded the door to his apartment, emerging only after he had perfected a solo electronic tuba rock show whereby all sounds were produced by, with, through, and on the tuba, created live by banging, beat-boxing or singing through it, and playing in a conventional manner. With the use of loop pedals, Wolff was able to tie all these disparate sounds together, forming music that was both out there (somewhere) and yet rooted in traditional song structures and strong melodies.
Soon enough, Wolff was joined by drummer Steve Garofano (Triple Delight and Vic Thrill), recently displaced from New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina. As a duo, Garofano and Wolff made an instantaneous connection, carving out a sound somewhere between rock and dance music, with Garofano's drums countering Wolff's Tuba-centric loops. The two have honed their sound at delirious late-night shows at Pianos every Friday and Saturday.
Wolff's friend David Harris once said there was a mythical brass ceiling in the sky that dictated how big a star you could become when you dedicate your life to playing the tuba. In this prophecy, Wolff would some day wrestle with those demons in the sky, shattering that brass ceiling. Not coincidentally, Wolff's new album, recorded by the legendary Paul Mahajan and Mark Ephraim (TV on the Radio, The Yeah Yeah Yeah's) is entitled The Brass Ceiling.