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THAT ONE GUY INTERVIEW::: :)


Jay Funk Dawg
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“That One Guy,” Mike Silverman is a full-on one-man spectacle. Out of necessity to create an original one man live show, Silverman, an accomplished bass player from the San Francisco music scene, carved his own direction by conceiving an instrument of his own invention called the “Magic Pipe”.

That One Guy Canadian Tour

Satuday, May 22 Waterdown ONT - Come Together Music Festival

Sunday, May 23 London ONT - Elements

Tuesday, May 25 Guelph ONT - Trasheteria

Wednesday, May 26 Toronto ONT - El Mocambo

Thursday, May 27 Kingston, ONT - Elixir Nightclub w/The Mystic Caravan

Friday, May 28 Hamilton ONT - Pepper Jacks Cafe

Interview by Jay Cleary

I had the opportunity to catch him opening for Ani DiFranco last fall in Buffalo, NY. His quirky, funky one man show was one of the most original and engaging acts I had seen in a long time. It’s a show that must be seen to be believed, as That One Guy unleashes sounds of a full band, using a combination of harmonizers, looping pedals, kick pedal, his secret weapon “The Magic Pipe.” Along with an oddball lyrical-delivery style, That One Guy will loosen you up and make you smile. I recently got a chance to speak with That One Guy about his upcoming Canadian Tour.

Jay: Where are you calling from?

TOG: I’m calling from just outside Baltimore, on my way to New York for a couple of shows before I head up to Canada. This is my first trip to Canada.

Jay: How long have you been performing as a one man show?

TOG: About 10 years, or so, “The Magic Pipe” was finished about 7 years ago. I had the idea for a one stringed instrument for about 3 years, and it came together really slowly. The idea for the instrument was a flash of inspiration, but I took a long while to put the idea into use.

Jay: What exactly is the “Magic Pipe”?

TOG: It’s made of two stainless steel pipes with two strings, first an upright bass string tuned to a low C, an octave lower than an actual bass, then on the other pipe there is a cello string tune to G for melodic stuff. I do a lot of bowing on that string, string pad stuff and I can pick it like a guitar. To make the whole thing really come alive I have a couple harmonizers and processors to fill out the sound.

Jay: How has the instrument influenced the music?

TOG: The basis of the material is quite simple, lots of single line stuff on the low sting and a counter line with the higher string. I’ve learned to push the limitations of the instrument and have found sounds I originally didn’t conceive were possible. It has inspired me to play very rhythmically. I tend also to let the songs evolve every night as I learn more about the instrument.

Jay: How did this all come about?

TOG: The material I was writing was very simplistic and very rhythmic. At first I was envisioning a 10-stringed instrument until I realized that the material and direction I was going in could go the other way… so I decided to go for the one string. More recently I added the extra string, drum triggers, looping effects (Echoplex digital looping unit). People thing that I’m doing some sequencing, but all of what I do it live,

Well I had this idea of a one man show and being an upright bass player; I started performing live with a kick pedal, my upright bass and vocals. I was searching for a sound. Back in those days I was very much a purist; I shied away from midi and synthesized sounds. Then it was like stumbling on a whole new world of sounds when I learned about digital delay and drum machines. Basically I found my sound with lots of trial and error.

Jay: Was the connection with you playing with Drums and Tuba specifically that you both did live looping?

TOG: I though all along that Drums and Tuba was a like 8 piece group. I had their record and when I saw them I was really amazed with the sounds that they are able to get live with only 3 people. It was a total coincidence that we both play with live looping. Brian, of Drums and Tuba, has a great set up; it’s a very intensive rig.

I toured with Drums and Tuba in the fall of 2002 for two months straight, it was pretty intense. And in the fall of 2003 I toured with them for about a month and a half, until I was called to play some shows with Ani DiFranco.

Jay: How did that opportunity to play with Ani DiFranco come about?

TOG:The Drums and Tuba guys made Ani aware of what I was doing. I guess she really dug it. It was really that simple. Ani is a very inspiring and considerate person. It was great to work with her. I did about 10 dates with her at the end of 2003, and there maybe some more dates to come. Her record label “Righteous Babe Records”; is home for Drums and Tuba and she may put out my next CD.

Jay: What is the lyrical message of your show?

TOG:Lyrically, I approach things very improvisationally. I don’t really sit down and write the words or think about them too hard. I let them write themselves, basically. I tend to let them fall into place. I can’t really justify them or explain them. I like leaving the words open-ended, and so they mean different things to different people. I don’t even try to justify the words to myself.

Jay:What do you want people to know about “That One Guy”?

TOG:I want people to know that my show is really different. I tell people to check it out, I only get around the country about once a year, and I say give it shot you won’t be disappointed.

Jay: What are your influences? What music has inspired you forge your own direction?

TOG: I’d say Captain Beefheart, Frank Zappa… I’m a huge Rush Fan; they’ve been my favorite since I was 10 and still are today. Ornette Coleman, Charles Mingus, Miles Davis… You know all types of honest music has influence me, I pick up things from everybody. I had my own lyrical thing going, and then someone turned me on to Captain Beefheart, who has a similar style, so I gravitated to the sounds that I like. Melodically, I think I draw heavily from Ornette Coleman.

Jay: I hear some Primus in what you do.

TOG: Funny you should say that, because I grew up in the Bay Area, where PRIMUS formed, and that sound that they tapped into, the Punk-Funk rock sound of San Francisco of the 80’s was around the time I was growing up. In high school my friends and I used to go downtown and check them out every opportunity we had…Primus, Limbo Maniacs, and a really great band Go Mungo … I think also the improvisational aspect of the Grateful Dead had a big influence on San Francisco’s history of breaking lots of different styles of music. That and Weird Al Yankovick really pushed me in some wacky direction. I’ve just been drawn to music that is different and makes you smile

Jay:What are your future plans?

TOG:I have a new album due around the first of the year. A live DVD in the works as well. An international tour this fall and after the new CD/DVD next year.

That One Guy is currently touring in support of “Songs in the Key Beotch” and will be touring Ontario at the end of May. Visit That One Guy website for more details.

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