that1guyThat 1 Guy

Despite performing under the stage name That 1 Guy, Mike Silverman is proud of the fact he utilizes as much gear onstage as an entire band. Silverman is best known for performing on a gigantic instrument of his own design, which he affectionately calls the "magic pipe." The device is fashioned from steel pipes and shaped like a harp Dr. Seuss might envision. Each pipe has its own string on it. One is pitched high, the other low, and both are played in a percussive manner. Oh, and smoke billows out the top. A classically trained upright bass player, Silverman paid his dues in the California jazz scene of the '90s before reinventing himself as That 1 Guy. He has since expanded his skills to include playing bizarro instruments known as the magic boot and the magic saw. And in 2008, he also released a collaborative CD under the name The Frankenstein Brothers, which teamed him with avant-garde guitarist Buckethead.

"I played at this country-western bar for this country-western radio station in Florida. ... It was a welcome-home party for this big country star who was going to be the new morning DJ. It was a party for all the listeners, so it was packed with country music fans -- and I've got nothing against country music. I just showed up and thought, 'I'm so out of my element here.' Not a single person had any idea who I was. I didn't think anybody knew what to expect. I got up there to play, and it was the first time I was really scared. They were all staring at me like, 'What the hell is this guy doing? Who is this dude? Where is he from? He ain't from around here, that's for sure.' It was a little, weird town, too -- a funny little city that was not even on the map. It was packed and I was scared to death. But by the end, they were really, really friendly. It was a great lesson for me. It made me realize that people just want to check out and see good music. And if you can play all right and kind of get to them, then they're gonna dig it. It doesn't really matter geographically. If you're playing from your heart, it's gonna reach folks."

— Mike Silverman, That 1 Guy