Quotes from That 1 Guy
On his weirdness: "I like being my own person. I didn't set out to be a weirdo but I'm starting to embrace it."
On using magic in his shows: "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."
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Mike Silverman, more commonly known as That 1 Guy, defines what it means to be a one man band. Classically trained as a double bass player, Silverman quickly developed the ability to play the bass in a percussive manner as well, essentially becoming a one man music machine.
While the notion of a one man band may sound gimmicky, That 1 Guy is anything but. He creates original soundscapes through an instrument of his own invention, calling it the Magic Pipe. Standing about seven feet tall, the Magic Pipe consists of a series of electronically connected pipes, each rigged with a bass string. Additionally, there is a drum, as well as multiple pedals and buttons that allow That 1 Guy to sample and distort sounds on the fly.
On his fourth studio release, “PACKS A WALLOP!” That 1 Guy’s songs range from completely absurd songs about mythological beans to funk-heavy instrumental tracks to sarcastic yet surprisingly grounded songs like the first track, “Modern Man.”
“Introducing modern man/the future’s in his modern hands/don’t talk to him about yesterday/he looks ahead, he knows the way,” sings a high-pitched distorted voice over synth sounds and heavy guitar reminiscent of The Who’s “Baba O’Riley.” This high energy song serves as an excellent introduction to That 1 Guy’s style and would be a crowd-pleasing opening song at any live show. To add to that live show ambiance, there are samples of crowds cheering at the end of the song.
The next song, title track “Packs a Wallop,” is where That 1 Guy’s silliness shows up in an intro consisting of him rhythmically singing “duck duck goose” over a slow thumping beat and the metallic clanks of his pipes. The lyrics to this song are fairly abstract and shouldn’t be interpreted for more than what they are: fun. It is extremely evident on the album that That 1 Guy is having a lot of fun making music. The song deserves to be the title track, packing a hefty wallop and setting the tone for the rest of the album.
Following the heavy bass and low grumbling singing of “Step into a Striped Light” is “Luck Bean,” the first of three songs titled after beans. This song features a Dr. Seuss-esque story of a bean that holds the magical power to make a person lucky. “And when the day goes your way/you’ll be thankin’ the bean/and so they tell you go to hell/good luck is just what they mean/hold the bean in your hand/make a wish keep it clean/the bean is true to you/if you’re true to the bean,” sings That 1 Guy. While on the surface “Luck Bean” is about a bean, the story appears to be a metaphor for success in the music industry.
The album continues with the deep, percussion driven “Suckatash” and “Laser Beans,” the latter of which channels both the gruffness of Tom Waits and the linguistic absurdity of a modern Lewis Carroll. Where the album switches things up is on the instrumental track, “Stones Throw.” This ethereal, slow moving track features That 1 Guy plucking his bass strings and looping them over one another to create a dense melodic sound not previously heard on the album. It is a testament to his versatility as a musician.
The depth and character of “PACKS A WALLOP!” is something that words don’t do total justice. Some of the sounds that he makes with his Magic Pipe are completely out of this world, and should be seen and heard to be properly experienced. That 1 Guy is a musician so eccentric, creative, and true to himself that he will likely never be understood and accepted by the masses. This is a good thing, though, as he is a truly original auditory magician who performs creative, inspired music and redefines what it means to be a musician.
Graduate of GVSU, having studied both professional and creative writing. I like to absorb all kinds of music and writing, and will give anything that crosses my path it's fair shake. I also dabble in photography, videography, as well as punnography. Someone once told me I had a bad memory, but I couldn't remember which one.
Reports on: Music, Food, Art