That One Guy: A man of many talents

by JARED CURTIS

After playing in bands for years, Mike Silverman, also known as That 1 Guy, decided to go out on his own. He left behind the days of sharing a stage with other musicians and evolved into a one-man band, creating a sound all his own.

“When I was at my peak as a bass player, I had this crazy idea to try and be a one-man band. I loved the idea of a bass player as a solo act because I’d never seen it before and there seems to be so many limitations for the bass solo accompaniment,” he said. “I booked a gig anyways just to try it and it was the most terrifying experience I have ever had as a musician, so sparse and difficult yet I knew there was a way for me to figure out how to fill the space. I knew I’d spend the rest of my life attempting to make this work.”

That 1 Guy admits that being a one-man band is a tough task, but it’s a challenge he overcomes every time he steps onstage.

“With a band, it’s a genuine collaboration. Especially with great musicians, there is a real dialogue going on between all the instrumentalists. But when you’re by yourself, you need to figure out how to create that type of atmosphere completely by yourself. Connecting to the audience as a solo act is very challenging and something I am still trying to master.”

That 1 Guy realized he wasn’t getting the sound he wanted from traditional instruments so he started looking elsewhere.

“When I started writing songs for my solo act I realized they were sounds that I wanted to make that the traditional instruments couldn’t do,” he said, “so I started experimenting in an attempt to get more control over the sounds.”

Two of his homemade instruments include “The Magic Pipe” and “The Magic Boot.”

“The Magic Pipe is a stainless steel and aluminum constructed device with two strings and array of trigger sensors that can create almost any sound imaginable and allows me various techniques to control sets out,” he said. “The Magic Boot is an electric cowboy boot that I plug-in at the heel. It sort of functions like a cross between an African talking drum and an Indian tabla but completely electrified… plus, it’s a cowboy boot.”

That 1 Guy’s unique sound can be found all over his latest album, Poseidon’s Deep Water Adventure Friends, which he believes is his most ambitious recording yet.

“The album was an attempt to reach new sonic depths. It’s meant to be a real journey to the deepest places and then to return with new insights. It’s much more epic and a little less funky, but my sounds are always changing.”

Before heading out on the summer festival circuit, That 1 Guy will make a stop in Bellingham on March 13. He says he always looks forward to coming here.

“Bellingham is such a magical place. It feels like its own world and the ocean and coastal western trees give the air a feel like nowhere else on the planet. My shows always have such a great energy up there and I have built a great fan base in the region. Since then, it’s always been a home for me.”

LIVE SHOW: That 1 Guy performs at the Wild Buffalo on Friday, March 13. See that1guy.com.