OZ KNOZZ (pronounced Oz Ka-nozz'), has been on the Music Scene for many years, touring and opening shows for the likes of Supertramp, Kansas, Peter Frampton, Point Blank, and Judas Priest, to name just a few. In addition, they have headlined many of their own shows, building an almost fanatical fan-base over the years. In 1975, OZ KNOZZ released their first album,"Ruff Mix", which, incredibly, is still enjoying worldwide sales! The band took some time off during the 90's, but is back and better than ever, with the June 2008 release of their come-back album,"10,000 Days & Nights". The members of OZ KNOZZ have always been known for their playing abilities, and their superior song writing. The CD amply shows off those talents. On March 15th., 2009, Oz Knozz was presented with a Grindie Award by RadioIndy for best new Independent Rock CD release of 2008!
In early 2009, Oz Knozz also signed on with Nicky Baldrian and TwoSideMoon Promotions of Swansea, Wales, to handle the band's overseas affairs. TSM Promotions has just recently renewed its contract with the band for 2012.
In March 2010, Oz Knozz returned to the studio to begin work on a new CD project, titled "True Believer", to be released in late summer or early autumn of 2011.
The new CD, "True Believer", was finally released on October 22nd, 2011 and by the second week of November, the band's song "Goodbye Again" was voted TSM Promotions #1 Song in their Top 50 Songs for 2011!
On March 6th, 2012, Oz Knozz was signed to a multi-year, multi-album contract with Prog Rock Records of Los Angeles, California!
In September, 2012, Oz Knozz was informed that their new CD "True Believer" was on the ballot for up to NINE Grammy Nominations in SIX different categories!
Oz Knozz is now managed/booked by;
American Bands Management
3300 S. Gessner, Suite 207
Houston Texas, 77063
Miton DeCoronado (Miltonio) - Lead Vocals and Keyboards
Duane Massey - Trumpet, keyboards, Lead and Backing Vocals
Robert Guinea (Robert-O) - Guitar, Backing Vocals
Bill Massey - Bass, Saxophone
Marty Naul - Drums, Backing Vocals, Percussion
1."Ruff Mix" ; LP, 1975. Originally released on vinyl, "Ruff Mix" has been re-released on CD by several labels, and can be found in such places as Amazon.com and the Target Online Store! The vinyl records bring Premium prices on the Collector's Market.
2."Goodbye Again/Always There" ; Single, 1981. This was a limited release on vinyl. It was issued as a 33 1/3 RPM, Stereo Single.
3."10,000 Days & Nights" ; CD, 2008. This CD is for sale at www.cdbaby.com/cd/ozknozz, www.mindawn.com/artists/ozknozz and is also available at Apple I-tunes, Rhapsody, Napster, and other Digital Download sites.
4. "True Believer", the third full CD album by Oz Knozz, released on October 22nd, 2011. This release contains 10 songs, and is a radical departure from some of the band's previous releases.
Here Comes The Night
Kings And Treasures
Review of the CD "True Believer" by Strutterzine Webzine, The Netherlands, January, 2013
[+ Show ]
OZ KNOZZ 'TRUE BELIEVER' (INDEPENDENT/USA IMPORT/TSM PROMOTIONS) The Houston,...
OZ KNOZZ 'TRUE BELIEVER' (INDEPENDENT/USA IMPORT/TSM PROMOTIONS)
The Houston, Texas based band OZ KNOZZ makes a sensational return with their new album 'True believer', which follows their 2008 album '10,000 days and nights' (review at: http://strutter77.angelfire.com/HOTNEWREVIEWS139.htm ). If there's one genre that has seen very little new records during the past few decades, let alone high quality new album releases that reach the incredible high level of that genre's heydays, then it is definitely Pomprock. Somewhere between 1977 and 1982 the Pomprockgenre reached its peak with legendary acts such as TOUCH, STYX, ZON, THRILLS, ROADMASTER, SPY... The Pomprocksound developed throughout the 1970s in the USA, when UK Progressive Rock influenced bands in America started to add more melodies to their sound and eventually make more song-based material. The songs followed the midtempo route most of the time, with a tight straight-ahead pompous rhythm section (70s Rock/Hardrock drum/bass sound instead of the complex Progrock tempo changes of the 1970s), massive harmonyvocals (clearly QUEEN influenced), clean crystal clear melodic pop/high pitched vocals (70s AOR/Westcoast influenced), big rich synths/keys (YES), Classic Rock influenced precise guitarwork (the JEFF BECK/JIMI HENDRIX/CARLOS SANTANA school) and to top it all, catchy hooks and radio-ready memorable choruses. The songs were not as lengthy as their prog heroes from the UK, but nevertheless, there was a lot happening during each song on any of the classic albums in the genre. The very first and probably also the defining album for everything called Pomprock is the STYX album 'The grand illusion' from 1977. If you ever start listening to the Pomprockgenre, then better check out this album first, because this is the album that should be seen as the Bible for Pomprock. Nevertheless, many more great albums were released after that STYX classic and there's actually one record that beat the STYX album, because the 1979/1980 one-off TOUCH album is in my book the finest Pomprockalbum ever released! In the early 1980s the genre was blown away by the 3 minutes counting songs from the Powerpop/AOR/Melodic Rock area and by 1983 the Pomprockbands either changed their sound to a more easier direction or simply quit the music business. Back to OZ KNOZZ, because this band was formed all the way back in 1969, released an album in the 1970s, toured with established acts like KANSAS, PETER FRAMPTON, URIAH HEEP, SUPERTRAMP, JUDAS PRIEST, etc. etc. but the following decades they vanished into the local clubscene. However, in the late 2000s they made a comeback with a new album and now another new record is released. Without a doubt, this album contains some of the best newly recorded pure Pomprock recorded since 1981.
Especially the beginning of the album is pure Pomprock heaven! These are the songs "Empty Room" (ROADMASTER meets STYX), "Goodbye Again", "Far Away" (like THRILLS) and the amazing Pomprock Classic "Always There" (SUGARCREEKish, the absolute highlight on the whole album!). The second part of the album is a little less impressive and is apart from the AOR song "Here Comes The Night" (borrowing from JOURNEY's "Don't stop believin") also tapping more out of the 70s Classic Rock, Hardrock and Progressive Rock genres. Closing track "Kings And Treasures" offers some really high quality Progressive Rock in a classic KANSAS direction. In the end, we may conclude that a couple of songs on this new OZ KNOZZ album belong to the absolute finest recorded music of the past few years. Make sure not to miss this release if you call yourself a dedicated Pomprock/AOR fanatic. More at: www.ozknozz.com and www.myspace.com/ozknozz
(Points: 8.7 out of 10)
Review of the CD "True Believer" by Uberrock Webzine, 9/7/2012
[+ Show ]
Oz Knozz were formed way back in 1969 in Houston, Texas as a trio, with two of those original three ...Oz Knozz were formed way back in 1969 in Houston, Texas as a trio, with two of those original three members still rocking it up in the group to this day, brothers Duane and Bill Massey, albeit with a band hiatus during the period 1987 to 1996.
An American orientated rock sound is instantly evident as the band roar into 'Empty Room', an impressive piece of songwriting with some neat melodies and chord progressions running through the song. 'Goodbye Again' follows the same formula as the previous number with Milton De Coronado's vocal leading the way but once more a great song arrangement with some infectious keyboard work to boot.
'Far Away' and 'Fox Paws' keep the rocking fully flowing with some classy six string riffage courtesy of Robert Guinea with the latter tune having a sexy little groove to it and some fitting funky moments. The ballad obviously rears up on any release from this genre of music and 'Always There' is a very impressive effort indeed with some fantastic instrumentation incorporated throughout the track, and whole album for that matter, with an extremely powerful production being of some relevant note too. 'Here Comes The Night' and 'Visitor' continue in a strong commercial harmonic vein, with the latter tune ringing my bell simply for drummer Marty Naul's use of the cowbell. "It's the little things." The laid back bump and grind of 'What The...?' and title track 'True Believer' offer up quite the hooky little opening riff and some decent melodic vocal passages.
With the group's roots dating back to 1969 it could be said on this album there are elements of musical influence associated with that late '60s period, especially for me on final number 'Kings And Treasures', with artists such as The Zombies having a small say in the inspirational equation.
Oz Knozz are not gonna set the musical world on fire but 'True Believer' is well worth a listen for any AOR aficionado.
To pick up your copy of 'True Believer' - CLICK HERE
Review of the CD "True Believer" by ProgPlanet Webzine, Holland
[+ Show ]
Rating: 4 / 5 Year of Release; 2012 Label; Prog Rock Records/The Record Label Catalog Number; TRL...Rating: 4 / 5
Year of Release; 2012
Label; Prog Rock Records/The Record Label
Catalog Number; TRL080
Format; Audio CD
Total Time; 48:18:00
Genre; pomprock/art rock
Yes, I know it is rare that I review pomprock, but these guys are so brilliant! Think Boston, Trillion, Trickster & Touch and you are almost there! Listening to this album (and their former) really takes me back to the good old days, where power rock and pomp rock ruled, the majestic power chords, the excellent vocals, the vocal harmonies, the tight tunes, the wonderful hook lines. All of these and then some are to be found on this excellent album. I must admit I am a sucker for great power rock, the always clean, lean and perfect soundscapes, the perfect harmonie vocals, the towering guitar soli, the magnitude of the arrangement in each song (at least with this fine band!) makes this listen a pure joy and somehow relief to this old geezer! Everything seems in perfect place with this band every tune, every song, every instrument has and hits a perfect spot, had this been 20 years earlier, these guys would have topped the list of pomp rock/power rock band, easily!! I love this album for the sheer brilliance, the pure delivery, the enthusiasm, the power of their musicians ship and by god the excellent tunes, every tune/song a gem, at least to these trained ears!
So hats of to Massey, Massey, Guinea, Coronado & Naul, great music you guys, keep it coming!! Don't be strangers you guys..ok?!
P.s. Also check out their "10.000 days & Nights" album, just as brilliant!!
Review of the CD "True Believer" by Houston Music Press, May 3rd, 2012
[+ Show ]
Oz Knozz, True Believer: Quick, name a Houston rock band that started in 1969 and still exists...
Oz Knozz, True Believer: Quick, name a Houston rock band that started in 1969 and still exists. Okay, one not named ZZ Top. That would be Ozz Knozz, which came together around a core of Westbury High alumni — Duane Massey, his brother Bill and Marty Naul. The band has survived periods of inactivity, innumerable lineup changes (even the band doesn't know how many) and shows with up to 25 people onstage at once to arrive at new album True Believer. The members of Ozz Knozz call their music "progressive rock," but True Believer is so much more than that. "Far Away," for example, throws a Dizzy Gillespie-esque bebop trumpet break into the middle of some serious Iron Maiden power-metal riffage.
And that's just one song; others are heavy with piano and keyboards from every Yes album you've ever heard (maybe there is something to that "prog" thing). Overall, True Believer can seem a little arbitrary and rely more on jamming than true songwriting, but it's so far out of the realm of what any other recent band is doing these days, maybe anywhere, that...well, it's just awesome. It's a trip.
Col. St James Blog on 93.7, the Arrow
[+ Show ]
Wednesday, May 02, 2012 Oz Knozz! I've met a few Rock and Roll acts in my career, and I've...
Wednesday, May 02, 2012
I've met a few Rock and Roll acts in my career, and I've even became friends with some of them. However, there is only one band I can say I've known very well for over forty years, and that is Houston's Oz Knozz!
I've literally been friends with these guys since we were kids. We went to Westbury High School here in Houston together, and we've shared more than a couple of stages together throughout our years as friends. Early on Oz Knozz sounded like this:
That was from their first album Called "Ruff Mix". Then, what seemed like 10,000 days and nights later, they recorded their follow up album called "10,000 Days & Nights". I first heard it when it was released a couple of years ago, and I knew they not only hadn't lost anything, but they were even better than before! Here's a taste:
And now, a third album called "True Believer", and finally a record company contract from Prog Rock Records! Congratulations, Guys! If there is anybody in the Rock and Roll business that deserves this and more, it's gotta be you! Continued success! Oh, and don't forget about us little folks who were there when it all began!
Oz Knozz. The next time you get a chance to see them live, you really should. You can get their CDs and the latest band news at their website:
Oh and just in case you're wondering, or you're my boss....No, I don't recieve any kind of payment from the band or their label or management. Nor do I own any part of the band or their record company or organization. I'm just a guy who's is proud of my friends and wishes them plenty of success and happiness!
Read more: http://www.937thearrow.com/pages/colonel.html?article=10097110#ixzz1tlhDtSrH
GloryDazeMusic of Western Australia Reviews the CD "True Believer"
[+ Show ]
GloryDazeMusic Review of “True Believer”, by George Thatcher, 4/7/2012 Background; There are p...GloryDazeMusic Review of “True Believer”, by George Thatcher, 4/7/2012
There are plenty of OZ KNOZZ fans here by the sounds of things. Even though we got to reviewing their 2008 comeback album “10,000 Days & Nights” toward the end of that year, it seemed the band’s stocks were on the rise long after. Now with us again for their recent 2011 effort “True Believer”, the line-up is stable yet again, but for mine, the music is not as good as its predecessor. Graced with a gorgeous cover, “True Believer” has flown under the radar for many websites, as not many can be bothered going off to buy a copy, waiting instead to see if they can pilfer one online.
Being a (excuse the pun) “true believer” in the band, it wasn’t a difficult job to procure a copy from the band’s website (recently redeveloped by the way, and again, looking fantastic!) and thanks to regular CD and parcel dispatcher Marty Naul, a CD arrived from Texas to Western Australia within a week, all thanks to the airline equivalent of the Pony Express!
Some of you probably got a sneak preview of Oz Knozz thanks to the promo CD from the “Classic Rock Presents.. AOR” magazine, Issue 5, which featured the track “Visitor”. The “True Believer CD has been out for a couple of months now, and due to the congested highway that is my “review articles queue”, we’re only getting around to it now.
There is an element of the unpredictable and unusual on “True Believer”. What I’m probably trying to say is that there’s something for everyone on this album. A venture through the description of the songs listed above will hopefully give the pundits a better idea as to what’s onboard here. After releasing this CD on their own back at the end of 2011, Oz Knozz have now signed to Prog Rock Records, “True Believer” will become a renewed “branded” CD release on that label, with an expected ETD of June 2012. If you can’t wait till then, email Marty over at the OK website for a copy of the CD.
Oz Knozz weblink; http://www.ozknozz.com/
Oz Knozz email; email@example.com
©George Thatcher and GloryDazeMusic, reprinted with permission
OZ KNOZZ SIGNS RECORD CONTRACT!!!
[+ Show ]
Subject: OZ KNOZZ SIGNED TO THE RECORD LABEL To: firstname.lastname@example.org OZ KNOZZ SIGNED TO T...Subject: OZ KNOZZ SIGNED TO THE RECORD LABEL
To: email@example.com OZ KNOZZ SIGNED TO THE RECORD LABEL
Rancho Santa Margarita, CA – 3 April 2012 – “True Believer”
up to 2008's high praised 10,000 Days & Nights CD. The album which has
been mixed and mastered by Brian Baker (of Derringer fame) is currently
getting rave reviews in the UK press from Fireworks Magazine, Powerplay
Magazine, Classic Rock Presents AOR and numerous websites and
independent radio airplay in the UK (including ARFM).
Oz Knozz is Duane Massey, Milton DeCoronado, Robert Guinea, Bill Massey,
and Marty Naul. The ten tracks on their latest release are as innovative
as they are impressive. The majestic "Empty Room" sparkles with two
familiar Oz Knozz elements: great solo work and subtle, tasteful
harmonies. The guitar-driven "Goodbye Again" sports a Kansas (the band)
flavor, and "Far Away" is a splendid vocal fest. The award for best
groove on this offering goes to "Fox Paws", a sharp and sleek number
featuring tight horn solos that provide a compelling contrast to the
rest of the song. The pace slows, albeit briefly, with the melodic
"Always There", while "Here Comes The Night" boasts a stadium rock intro
and perhaps the finest vocal on the album. The up-tempo rocker "Visitor"
is followed by the band's interesting take on the blues, "What The...?,
complete with horns and a biting guitar solo. The title track brings the
energy level up once more, before Oz Knozz wraps things up with the
Queen-inspired "Kings and Treasures". The production and performances
here are all first-rate. Give this one a listen, and you just might
become a "True Believer" yourself!
”True Believer” is The Record Label debut release from Oz Knozz and can
be found at
album is available for immediate sale and shipping from our site, the
title will be in stores on June 5, 2012
Tune into the best progressive rock station on the planet - ProgRock.com
Announce-progrockrecords mailing list
ROOMTHIRTEEN review of "True Believer"
[+ Show ]
Posted: Wed Mar 28 21:06:56 2012 by Avril Simister 40 years in the making... prog rock from Tex...Posted: Wed Mar 28 21:06:56 2012 by Avril Simister
40 years in the making... prog rock from Texas? Houston, what problem?
Oz Knozz have brought this album to the table with nothing to prove. Formed in 1969, in the last 43 years this is only their third album (Kate Bush, eat your heart out) and their hometown of Houston, Texas isn't exactly prog rock heartland. So we go into this almost blind. Which is incredibly exciting.
Acting as if the last couple of decades haven't happened has given Oz Knozz the chance to re-visit the synthesised heartbeat of progressive rock with nods to Deep Purple, UFO, and Rush. Here Comes the Night has an intro reminiscent of Journey's Don't Stop Believing but that's quickly forgotten because so many of these hooks are so damn catchy. They take the harder side of AOR/classic rock and meld it with the melodic and harmonic sense of ELO or modern Uriah Heep (with True Believer).
Standout tracks are lighters-in-the-air Empty Room and Goodbye Again. The curiously-titled Fox Paws moves the album from nostalgic riffing to quirky beats and a horn section, which although interesting is somewhat tenuous (except perhaps compared to the jazzy What The...?). But they crown it all with the epic Kings and Treasures, a 7-minute anthem encompassing everything there is to love about 70s prog rock - tense drumbeats, pompous fanfares and wistful harmonised lyrics... kitchen sink and all. Despite voyages into the unknown, True Believer hardly breaks new territory. But to expect that is to somewhat miss the point: this album makes you feel great. It's hardly heavy going for prog, and cuts to the quick of the best elements of an almost-lost genre with fantastic modern production and sound quality.
It's intense, uplifting - at times nostalgic - but always so much fun.
01 - Empty Room
02 - Goodbye Again
03 - Far Away
04 - Fox Paws
05 - Always There
06 - Here Comes The Night
07 - Visitor
08 - What The...?
09 - True Believer
10 - Kings And Treasures
Review of "True Believer" by "Your Music Blog"
[+ Show ]
It is with great pleasure that I write about this disk. The previous album from these Texan ge...
It is with great pleasure that I write about this disk. The previous album from these Texan gents I already liked very much, and this one grabbed me from the opening seconds of Empty Room. This is pomp in optima forma! The kind of music that got me into playing myself, and I will never stop listening to.
Okay, fair is fair, expect nothing really new or earth shattering. But if you feel, like me, that music should be about good songs, craftsmanship and energy, then look no further. This stuff is highly addictive and still not predictable. With their history and experience, they avoid clichés easily. So nothing new maybe, but still oh so good. By the way, what is unique is that they have a trumpet and a sax player among them. Listen to Fox Paws and tell me that is not working!
So in short: go out and buy this thing if you are into pomp, hard rock and or progressive stuff and help raise awareness for this fantastic outfit. And as the band recently signed a record deal with Shawn Gordon, owner of Prog Rock Records / The Record Label, availability won´t be an issue either. Fingers crossed the next one will be just as good.
"Classic Rock Presents AOR" Magazine CD review of "True Believer"
[+ Show ]
"Oz Knozz have been gigging and recording for the last 43 years, and, impressively, "True Believer...
"Oz Knozz have been gigging and recording for the last 43 years, and, impressively, "True Believer" enhances the Massey Brothers' melodic rock legacy. Fusing the arena pomp of Asia with the progressive ambition of Yes and the AOR styling of Journey, this is an engaging and wholly unexpected album. The fantastic "Fox Paws" imagines Kiss with horns, and that's not the only surprise the Houston band throws up across ten tantalising tracks. Milton De Coronado's vibrant vocal performance compliments founder member Duane Massey, a multi-instrumentalist playing trumpet, flugelhorn, keys and alto horn to tantalising effect. It's difficult to predict how many more records Oz Knozz have left in them. However, if "True Believer" were to be their last, they'd be going out with an almighty bang."
Melodic Rock Webzine Review of the new Oz Knozz CD, "True Believer"
[+ Show ]
OZ KNOZZ RETURNS: Houston based 70's Prog/AOR veteran's Oz Knozz have completed work on their new C...OZ KNOZZ RETURNS:
Houston based 70's Prog/AOR veteran's Oz Knozz have completed work on their new CD True Believer, the follow up to 2008's high praised 10,000 Days & Nights CD. The album which has been mixed and mastered by Brian Baker (of Derringer fame) is currently getting rave reviews in the UK press from Fireworks Magazine, Powerplay Magazine, Classic Rock Presents AOR and numerous websites and independent radio airplay in the UK (including ARFM).
'In amongst all the pomp and circumstance there are some wonderful moments that lean towards a more commercial U.S. 70's Rock sound. Early Reo Speedwagon, and even some Whitesnake in the guitar parts. I have to admit I really enjoyed this album, and that's testament to the delivery, and the honesty of the songs. And as good as the musicians are, they're nothing without the songs, and here you have the perfect combination, and that's good enough for me.' - Ant Heeks, Fireworks Magazine
'What a great, musically verbose album, may Oz Knozz flourish' - Steve Swift, Powerplay Magazine
'Up there with the likes of UFO and other vintage pedallers of classic rock. It harks back to early Journey, Kansas and Deep Purple, the crisp sound makes it obvious this is a new release' - Rock Realms
'There's enough spontaneous musical highs here to interest all self-respecting prog and classic rock fans alike' - Get Ready To Rock, UK
'Pomp rock of the highest order, the sound is superb and the song writing exemplary. Bands like New England, Avalon and Morningstar all spring to mind when playing this album. It sounds like 1979 never went away for these guys. Essential' - Rob Evans, Powerplay Magazine
The band are: Miton DeCoronado (Miltonio) - Lead Vocals and Keyboards; Duane Massey - Trumpet, Lead and Backing Vocals, keyboards; Robert Guinea (Robert-O) - Guitar, Backing Vocals; Bill Massey - Saxophone, Bass; Marty Naul - Percussion, Drums, Backing Vocals.
The album contains 10 tracks: 1. Empty Roon, 2. Goodbye Again, 3. Far Away, 4. Fox Paws, 5. Always There, 6. Here Comes The Night, 7. Visitor, 8. What The...?, 9. True Believer, 10. Kings And Treasures.
More info at: www.ozknozz.com / www.myspace.com/ozknozz / www.reverbnation.com/ozknozz.
Metalliville Webzine Review of the Oz Knozz CD "True Believer", January 24th, 2012
[+ Show ]
Oz Knozz - True Believer (S/R - 2011) Nice to see these guys back as I enjoyed their album last ...Oz Knozz - True Believer
(S/R - 2011)
Nice to see these guys back as I enjoyed their album last year. Kinda like a progressive rock version of Journey mixed in with Styx who come from Houston, Tx.
Big high voices, loads of keyboards and of a gratuous standard indeed from beginning to end with highlights including 'Far Away' with some slamming guitarwork that works so well with the drums and vocal arrangements. They have that magical, musical majesticness that you'd associate with artists of the top realm calibre like Yngwie J. Malmsteen or Rush as their songs are so solidly performed and put together so magnificientlly with notable numbers being 'Here Comes The Night' & 'Fox Paws'.
'Visitor' reminds me of Humble Pie gone prog and has plenty of cowbell and awesome guitar riffery thoughout and what about the title track, 'True Believer' with the monster voice and wailing guitar solo alongside throbbing rhythm playing.
You need to hear these guys if you haven't already done so.
Houston Music News Magazine Review of the CD "True Believer" by Oz Knozz, January, 2012
[+ Show ]
Perhaps the greatest challenge veteran recording artists face is staying true to their signature s... Perhaps the greatest challenge veteran recording artists face is staying true to their signature sound while continuing to evolve. It can be an elusive goal, but it's one that progressive rockers Oz Knozz clearly achieve with "True Believer".
Oz Knozz is Duane Massey, Milton DeCoronado, Robert Guinea, Bill Massey, and Marty Naul. The ten tracks on their latest release are as innovative as they are impressive. The majestic "Empty Room" sparkles with two familiar Oz Knozz elements: great solo work and subtle, tasteful harmonies. The guitar-driven "Goodbye Again" sports a Kansas (the band) flavor, and "Far Away" is a splendid vocal fest. The award for best groove on this offering goes to "Fox Paws", a sharp and sleek number featuring tight horn solos that provide a compelling contrast to the rest of the song. The pace slows, albeit briefly, with the melodic "Always There", while "Here Comes The Night" boasts a stadium rock intro and perhaps the finest vocal on the album. The up-tempo rocker "Visitor" is followed by the band's interesting take on the blues, "What The...?, complete with horns and a biting guitar solo. The title track brings the energy level up once more, before Oz Knozz wraps things up with the Queen-inspired "Kings and Treasures".
The production and performances here are all first-rate. Give this one a listen, and you just might become a "True Believer" yourself!
Review of the True Believer CD from Classic Rock's "Prog" Magazine, January, 2012
[+ Show ]
Barring a period of inactivity from 1987-1996 the Houston, Texas-based band Oz Knozz (pronounced O... Barring a period of inactivity from 1987-1996 the Houston, Texas-based band Oz Knozz (pronounced Oz Ka-Nozz) have existed in various permutations since the tail end of the 60s. Curiously, this is just their third album, following in the wake of 2008's "10,000 Days & Nights" and a positively ancient debut entitled "Ruff Mix" from 1975.
Unsurprisingly, their sound is extremely accomplished, though pigeonholing them as a progressive rock band would be to over-egg the pudding. Dominated by the radio-friendly vocals of keyboard player Milton De Coronado, a name straight out of Derek Oliver's "Wimpwire" column, the band offer an occasionally muscular yet always highly melodious strain of pomp-rock that for reasons best known to themselves is occasionally peppered by unexpected parps from a two man horn section.
At moments such as "Empty Room" and "True Believer" they sound a little like Styx jamming with Kansas as Saga and Survivor look on, though such lofty comparisons do flatter the end results. No matter, this is a strong, confidently performed album that does its creators proud.
Oh, and apparently Oz Knozz are available for hire for performances at weddings for a modest fee of $18,000. Now that's something we'd like to see!
Oz Knozz Interview with Rock Realms Webzine, December 15th, 2011
[+ Show ]
Vintage U.S. rockers Oz Knozz have just released their 3rd album in 42 years, the excellent "True Be...Vintage U.S. rockers Oz Knozz have just released their 3rd album in 42 years, the excellent "True Believer". I caught up with drummer Marty Naul to find out what makes these so great.
Hi Marty, hope you guys are well?
Marty: Hi, yes thanks, we’re all doing fine!
Does it really feel like Oz Knozz started back in the late 1960’s? That’s a whole lifetime ago!
Marty: (Laughs) In one respect it seems like it was long ago, but in another it seems like only yesterday. Oz Knozz has had many Line-Up changes over the years and we had shut the band down entirely from 1987 to about 1996, when we decided to give things another go, but to take the pressure off of ourselves this time around. Because we did that, it has been lots more fun, especially since our music is being played around the world now.
What was the musical world like back then for you guys, and who or what were your original inspirations for creating the band?
Marty: Well, the musical world in the United States was much, much different from the way it is now. Back then, progressive bands like Yes, King Crimson, Jethro Tull, Emerson, Lake and Palmer and others were making the charts on Mainstream FM Radio. That doesn’t happen in the US any more. Since Oz Knozz started out as a trio, albeit with a different drummer, we were heavily influenced by bands such as ELP, Trapeze, Cream, etc.
Did you originally see the band heading all the way to superstardom, or were your aspirations a little more down to earth?
Marty: I think we all had the dream of becoming “Rock Stars”, but the reality was, we were in Houston Texas, which was pretty much a musical backwater. If anyone wanted to be successful they had to leave and gain their fame elsewhere, and then the local radio and media would pay attention to you. We didn’t really realize this back then when we started, but it became more and more apparent to us. We never quit trying, and we did tour extensively, both as an opener for National Acts and as Headliner for some of our own shows.
We made it farther “up the ladder” than most other local bands, for a time during the late 70’s and early 80’s, Duane, Bill, and then-guitarist Rick Wheeler owned a Sound and Lighting company, and we would tour with a 30 foot truck that was chock-full of gear! We even toured with our own stage for a while, and had an eight or nine man road crew! We didn’t make much money with so much overhead, but we learned how to tour and I think that experience was invaluable.
What sort of music did you originally play, and how would you say that compares to the sound of the current iteration of the band?
Marty: As I said, back in the early days, the band was a trio, and we were heavily influenced by the trios of the day. When I joined the band in May of 1971, Duane and Bill were just starting to get into a really experimental period. At that time, Bill played a 6-string guitar, but he played it through a guitar octave synthesizer, which lowered the sound of his E-string and A-string an octave, so he could actually play rhythm guitar and bass at the same time. When it came time for him to play a lead, he hit a footswitch which cut out his octave synth and cut in a keyboard bass that Duane had on his keyboard stack! Then when the guitar lead was over, Bill stomped the footswitch again, cutting out the keyboard bass and cutting the guitar synth back in, and this was in 1971 and 1972!
The original stuff we played sometimes really got out in “La-La Land” and I’m sure the audience wondered what the heck we thought we were doing! We experimented with odd time changes, meters, different keys, and I’m sure some of our stuff sounded just awful, but we were learning the craft of song writing, and it got better! We also experimented with reworking cover tunes, and a couple of them come to mind. We did a cover of “Norwegian Wood” by The Beatles with ELP overtones, and we did a rocked out version of “Take Five”, the old Jazz classic by Dave Brubeck, so there wasn’t much that was off-limits for us in those days. Today, I guess our music is much more structured, but I sort of miss those early days when we just played anything we wanted.
What level of musical success and recognition have the band and individual members had over the years?
Marty: Well, I’ll start with the band first. We did release our first album on vinyl back in 1975, the title of the album was “Ruff Mix”, and it was aptly named! However, that album just won’t die, and it has become somewhat of a Cult Classic! As I mentioned earlier, we did quite a bit of touring, opening for bands like Supertramp, Kansas, Peter Frampton, Bloodrock, Mark Farner, Judas Priest, and the list goes on! When we were still a trio, Duane and I attended the same University where we both majored in music, Duane being good enough that he became the Student Teacher of the Lab Band, which consisted of 20 or 25 people, horns, guitar, bass, piano, etc. The cool thing about that is Duane would chart out Oz Knozz tunes for the Lab Band to learn and when we did our concerts, it was with Oz Knozz, playing Oz Knozz music backed up by a 25 piece horn band, and we got graded on the performances!
Individually, most of us have continuously played most of our lives. Duane is in huge demand in the Houston music community, as much for his Jazz Trumpet playing as for his keyboard skills. Robert-O also majored in music, and is now a teacher of music in the public school system here in Houston. He and I have also collaborated on many other bands over the years, and currently have a side project named Midnight Circus that we have worked with off and on since the 1990’s. Milton has had several projects including Funk, Salsa and Jazz bands over the years. Bill has chosen not to play music outside the context of Oz Knozz, but he has kept busy working as Crew Chief for a Top Fuel Drag Racing Team for the last few years. As I mentioned before, I work with Robert in Midnight Circus and some other projects. I have done some recording over the years, even doing a country CD back in about 1998! Needless to say, that was a very different discipline for me!
When did you start work on the excellent new album “True Believer”? Was it an easy or difficult album to create?
Marty: We started preparing for “True Believer” in January of 2010, as there were a few songs that neither Robert nor Milton had even heard before! We started recording the basic tracks in the middle of March 2010 and I think we did the basic tracks for all 10 songs in about three days. The process slowed down quite a bit after that, as there is a lot of multi-tracking and over dubbing on the album. I won’t say it was difficult, but it was tedious at times, because of the complexity of some of the music and the way we wanted everything to sound. The song “Kings and Treasures” has something like 142 tracks on it, and “Always There” has 151! So, it just took time, lots and lots of time to get things right.
How do you go about writing songs? Talk us through a typical example.
Marty: Ha ha! Well, what usually happens is someone, usually Duane, but not always, brings an idea for a song and presents it at rehearsal. It could be a complete song, or it could just be an idea or two. No matter what it is, the song, or idea goes into the band one way, and gets folded, spindled, and mutilated before it comes out the other end! Everyone has the ability to make suggestions, and we try all of them to see what works and what doesn’t. However, the original writer of the song maintains veto power over everything that everybody is doing.
For instance, if Duane has a song and he wants a certain drum part played at a certain point and I disagree with him, his decision takes precedence because it’s his tune! I’ll have to say, that has only happened a couple of times in all the years we have been working together.
Some songs are just “jam” tunes, they sort of fall together by themselves. The song “Fox Paws” comes to mind. That song really takes you back to the roots of Oz Knozz, as it was conceived over time during live performances. Someone (we give Duane the credit, but I think Bill may have actually come up with the idea) came up with the original riff at a live gig when we were running short of songs and still had some time left in the set. We just sort of built on it at gig after gig, keeping some ideas and throwing others out until we have what you hear on the CD. Incidentally the name “Fox Paws” is a play on the French term “Faux Pas”, which I think means “by accident”, which is how that song happened!
Do you do anything special in the studio or mixing desk to get the Oz Knozz sound?
Marty: What we did was to sort of marry new technology with old-school technology. We recorded “True Believer” at Sound Arts Recording Studios in Houston, using ProTools, but we ran everything through their analog mixing desk, which just happens to be the next to last British Trident 80-8 mixing desk ever built! The other really cool thing is Jeff Wells, who was the owner of Sound Arts at the time, was a huge collector of old gear, and it’s my understanding that when Abbey Road Studios upgraded a bunch of their gear a few years back, Jeff ended up with a bunch of the outboard equipment, and we got to use some of that gear! Tragically, Jeff passed away in April of this year, and never heard the finished product.
Brian Baker, who was our brilliant engineer on the “True Believer” project, has kept the studio open, which is what Jeff would have wanted. I’m sure that we would seriously look at going back into Sound Arts for any future projects. Brian was really easy to work with, and now he knows how we like to work in the studio. He was a very good fit with the band.
Do you have any favourite moments on the album?
Marty: There are so many things I like about the album, it’s kind of hard to decide, but I guess my favourite personal moment is the middle section of “Kings and Treasures”. That section is only about 2 ½ minutes long, but it took Duane and myself a couple of weeks to record it! The really cool thing for me is that I got to play all manner of percussion instruments on that section. If you listen closely, you’ll hear Tympani, Concert Bass Drum, Tubular Bells, Antiphonal Concert Snare Drums, Tenor Drum, Field Snare and Concert Cymbals, all played by yours truly! That sure was fun!
Who did the brilliant artwork?
Marty: A local Houston artist by the name of Dave Foreman (http://www.rebelriotconcepts.com/) did the artwork for us. He had done a CD cover for some friends of ours, and they recommended him. Dave not only did the front cover, but he did the back, the inside panels, and he did the art on the disc itself. Dave worked VERY hard at creating this , the cover art that you see is actually version 10.1!
Do you guys have any plans to tour?
Marty: We were planning to tour the UK and the rest of Europe in the late summer of 2011, but the CD needed to be out by March or April, and that didn’t happen. Now that the CD is out and seems to be gaining ground, we are definitely reconsidering coming over in the summer of 2012.
As far as I can tell, Oz Knozz have recorded three albums in 42 years. When can we expect the next one? ?
Marty: Hmmm, at our present speed, that would make it about the year 2027! Seriously, if “True Believer” gains the success that I think it will, I would expect us to be turning out something every two or three years. I wouldn’t look for anything faster than that, we just don’t work that quickly. Coming up with material isn’t a problem , it’s getting in the studio and recording it and making everything as good as we know how to make it.
Any question you love being asked that I’ve missed? If so, what’s the answer?
Marty: Hmmmm, I guess that would be people asking why we’re still doing this after so many years and relatively little success up to this point. My answer would be this; We’re all still having fun doing this. It wasn’t fun for a while in the 80’s and that resulted in the band’s break-up from 1987 to 1996. When we decided to put the band back together, we promised ourselves that we would not put any pressure on ourselves to “make it” like we did the first time round. This time, when it ceases to be fun, we will quit doing it. So far, I’m still enjoying myself and I think the other guys are too! The other reason is that, we have found that we still have an incredible fan-base out there, and when people find out Oz Knozz is still alive and well and making music, the reaction is priceless! We get emails all the time from people who were fans back in the 70’s and 80’s that just found out we’re still around, and those people just can’t believe it. You can’t put a price on that kind of fan loyalty, but you can continue to make good music for those fans, and that’s really what it’s all about!
What are you up to once you’ve finished answering these questions?
Marty: (Laughs), I’m going to bed! Don’t you see how late it is?
Anything else you’d like to mention?
Marty: I’d just like to thank all of our fans who have stuck with us all these years, and I’d like to thank all the people in the music business today who are finally giving us the recognition we’ve wanted for all these years. I would especially like to thank our Promoter and Publicist, Nicky Baldrian of Two Side Moon Promotions. Without all his hard work for the last three years or so, no one over here would ever have heard of Oz Knozz. And I’d like to thank you Jon, for giving me this opportunity to talk about the band a little!
Review of the new Oz Knozz CD "True Believer" by Metal Perspective Webzine, December 10, 2011
[+ Show ]
Three years might seem like a long gap between albums, but when you take into account that Houston T...Three years might seem like a long gap between albums, but when you take into account that Houston Texas Proggers come Rockers Oz Knozz had been existence for around the three decade mark before releasing their debut album 10,000 Days & Nights in 2008, I think we can forgive then a little downtime! All five members have a long heritage with The Knozz and that shows in both the seamlessly tight nature of the music on “True Believer” and the gloriously retro-modern feel to this music. In terms of style, O-K are pure 70’s and 80’s bliss, with a sound that leans on the likes of Kansas, early Asia and to a lesser extent early Uriah Heep for a basis, but which veers off in numerous less obvious directions. However sound wise “True Believer” is as current as it could be, with a feisty, aggressive mix bringing these familiar themes smack and indeed bang up to date. The album cascades into life with flurries of keyboards which actually hint at Foreigner, before an easy going bass line courtesy of Bill Massey and strong, but relaxed vocal from Milton De Coronado heads us towards Asia, although during the guitar solo and chorus, we actually veer towards early Europe, via Abba-esque piano stabs! From there “Goodbye Again” finds guitarist Robert Guinea grinding together a Heep like riff into a stunningly soaring, but gritty chorus which evokes Kansas, although a far ballsier version of that particular band. The sound and vibe continues to ebb and flow, never satisfied at the thought of staying still, with “Far Away” being a frantic blast of 70’s US Prog, whereas “Fox Paws” offers up a different proposition entirely. Suddenly we get full-on hollered vocals accompanying a gargantuan blood vessel bursting riff, which the rest of the band just seem to feed off. Just when you think you’ve got it sussed, the funkiest, grooviest bass line this side of Funkadelic heralds a trumpet, flugelhorn and sax interlude that proves to be utterly irresistible! From there things Prog-out, with the brass, guitars and keyboards jostling for supremacy through solos and tradeoffs, before the mighty riffage takes us to the song’s end. It’s a hell of a journey, especially for a song of just six minutes, but boy is it a trip worth taking! Cleverly “Always There” takes things right down with a piano and vocal led ballad, before “Here Comes The Night” heads us back into Europe, Asia and this time Journey territory. The quirky “Visitor” adds a rich bluesiness to proceedings – and another oh so tasty guitar solo, where the immensely solid beat and clanking cowbell from Marty Naul nails the song to the floor, but in a constantly flowing sort of way. “What The...?” extends the hard hitting blues feel into altogether dirty territory, with the brass again making a welcome appearance. Disappointingly the strangely straight ahead stomp of the album’s title track actually proves to be the only missed step on the album, although the hint of Boston (is there anywhere we haven’t visited?) makes a for a change of focus, as do the threatening spoken word vocal interludes. “Kings And Treasures” plays the album out in splendidly regal fashion allowing the amazingly consistent and uplifting keyboard work of Duane Massey to dominate in all conquering style. “True Believer” is a truly eclectic, yet cohesive album that while always song based, does allow both the band and individual musicians to really express their undoubted talents. Glorious and uplifting Oz Knozz have created an album that you’ll be playing for years to come, plastering a huge smile on your face every time.
Rating, 8 out of 10
Review of the CD "True Believer" by Annular Media, December 9th, 2011
[+ Show ]
Oz Knozz : True Believer Prog and classic rock have been around for 40 years now and many have tri...Oz Knozz : True Believer
Prog and classic rock have been around for 40 years now and many have tried to emulate the (for want of a better word) heady days of the 1970s when bands of the genre were innovators and their music intricate; all vying to produce the most complex melodies, changes of time signatures and above all make music that mattered. Over the years many bands have come and gone, tried their best but failed to reproduce the sounds of that golden era.
Originally formed in 1969, the original group consisted of Jack Alford (drums, flute, guitar, and vocals), Bill Massey (bass, guitar, saxophone, and vocals), and Duane Massey (keyboards, trumpet, drums, and vocals). After many changes over the years the current lineup of the band now consists of:
Bill Massey, bass
Duane Massey, keyboards, trumpet, lead and backing vocals
Marty Naul, drums, backing vocals
Milton Coronado, lead and backing vocals, keyboards
Roberto Guinea, guitar, backing vocals
After all that time, the band has just released only their third studio album ‘True Believer’. With many references to the bygone eras, the album is a freshly produced take on the bands roots. Taking in deep gulps of the nostalgic sound of the likes of Deep Purple and Kansas, the band have a knack of delivering a tight, sweet take on things. There are lots of catchy moments as with ‘Here Comes The Night' as well as the big production and almost epic sound of ‘Always There’; a fine effort. On the progressive side there’s the very pleasing 'Kings And Treasures' which is the longest song on the album but in my opinion not long enough; a great effort. I know nostalgia ain’t how it used to be, but this album is. If you want to be transported back to those less complicated times, this one’s for you.
Review of the new CD "True Believer" by Rock Realms Webzine, December 4th, 2011
[+ Show ]
Houston, Texas band Oz Knozz was originally formed all the way back in 1969 by current members Duane...Houston, Texas band Oz Knozz was originally formed all the way back in 1969 by current members Duane and Bill Massey, plus Jack Alford. Their first album "Ruff Mix" came out in the mid 1970s, and plenty of touring followed. It wasn't until 2008 that the follow-up emerged, and that makes new album "True Believer" only the 3rd album in 42 years.
You know what? Whilst this album isn't going to change the musical landscape, if the band had consistently been making music like this for the past four and a bit decades, I have a sneaking suspicion they would be up there with the likes of UFO and other vintage pedallers of classic rock.
The Oz Knozz sound definitely nods to the past. The production is mostly modern, but the vibe is firmly rooted in the 1970s. It works really well because, though it harks back to early Journey, Kansas and Deep Purple, the crisp sound makes it obvious this is a new release. I'm not convinced by the relationship between the vocals and the playing - the singing hasn't been given the same dose of polish as everything else - but any doubts are more than glossed over by the shiny positives...the positives being catchy songs and that certain feeling of 'right' you can't quite put your finger on.
Of the songs, the rocking 'Empty Room' is awesome, 'Goodbye Again' and 'Far Away' are both weirdly contagious, 'Fox Paws' is a change of direction that doesn't work quite so well, the slower 'Always There' is progressively epic, 'Here Comes The Night' is great but the start really does rip off Journey's 'Don't Stop Believin`', 'Visitor' is good but nothing more, 'What The...?' is groovy and kind of fun, the title track is huge and deserving of the role. Final track 'Kings And Treasures' is the longest at nearly 7 minutes, and though it's way more progressive than the rest of the album it manages to be brilliantly moreish.
There are a couple of average tracks on "True Believer", and I'm still not 100% on the singing, but as a whole this is an awesome retro-biased album that should bring a smile to anyone with an ear to the past.
Rating, 5 out of 7
Oz Knozz song "Goodbye Again" voted Number One in TSM Promotions Top 50 Songs of 2011, November 25th, 2011
[+ Show ]
1- Oz Knozz - Goodbye Again 'There's enough spontaneous musical highs here to interest all self res...1- Oz Knozz - Goodbye Again
'There's enough spontaneous musical highs here to interest all self respecting prog and classic rock fans alike' - GRTR, UK.
2- Robin Beck - Don't Think He's Ever Comin' Home
3- Hard - Speeding Into Slow
4- Guru - Addiction Love
5- Zarbo - Walking Back To Happiness
6- Voodoo Highway - Broken Uncle's Inn
7- This Is Lizzard - Leaving This Town
8- Smirnov - The Sunshine Never Cries
9- Kelly Padrick - When It Comes To You
10- John Pratt - Yin Yang
11- Knock Out Kaine - Goin' Down (She Goes)
12- D Drive - Chains On You
13- 8-is - The Final Curtain
14- The Dudes Terrific - Just Tonight
15- Moonbird - Falling Down
16- Everwood - Desert Sun
17- Shift - In My World
18- Deep Rising - The Weight
19- Neversin - Trust
20- M.I.C. (Made In China) - Off The Throne
21- Dust And Bones - Tongue And Cheek
22- Hercules - Wanna play
23- Dirtswitch - Looking Back
24- Cornerstone - Like A Stranger
25- X-Piral - One Piece Of Paradise
26- Roadfever - Outside
27- Full Turnout - On the Ground
28- Speed Limit - Heartbreakin' Valentine
29- Sahara Rain - Dreams Die Young
30- Wrathchild - Psycophantic Suicide
31- World Secret - World Secret
32- Orion's Departure - Shiver
33- Shear - Trapped In A Shell
34- Neil Zaza - To the Moon and Back
35- Lords of the Trident - Fighting for Love
36- Lick And a Promise - Loser And A Fool
37- Jamie Allen - She Gets Around
38- Homerun - Princess Of Time
39- Ferreira - Searching
40- Instant Hobo - Side Door Slim
41- Diatessaron - The Statue
42- Captain Black Beard - Hey Man
43- Travis Larson Band - Would You Believe
44- Stemm - Left Behind
45- Seks - Not Far From Shallow
46- Perpetuate - Medusa
47- Greenthief - Vultures
48- Lester B. - Walk Away
49- Hopscotch - With the Devil
50- Guardians Of Time - The Man
Review of the new CD "True Believer" by Get Ready To Rock Webzine, November 24th, 2011
[+ Show ]
Oz Knozz are nowhere near as strange as their name suggests, though a classic rock band with Prog le...Oz Knozz are nowhere near as strange as their name suggests, though a classic rock band with Prog leanings from Houston Texas is slightly different from the norm.
In fact the band has a rich musical heritage all the way back to 1969 and with the exception of a 9 year period between '87 and '96 and countless line-up changes they managed to keep going.
The present line-up boasts founder members Bill Massey on bass and tenor sax, multi-instrumental Duane Massey on keys and horns, long time drummer/percussionist Marty Naul, lead vocalist/keyboard player Milton De Coronado (who joined in '84, but left in '86) and guitarist Robert Guinea whose band career is traceable back to the mid 80's.
And it's a keen sense of their musical lineage and prog rock history that lies at the core of the band's powerful style.
The title of the album 'True Believer' might easily refer to the band's collective belief in the music they play, that is keyboard and guitar led AOR /Classic rock meets Prog Rock head on, with the emphasis on rich vocals and occasional big hooks. And curiously it's the lack of a hook on the Europe influenced 'Empty Room' that robs the band of a triumphant opening, though there's a powerful dynamic at play.
The following 'Goodbye Again' references 80's Asia with plenty of keyboards and doubled up vocal lines, while 'Far Away' makes a judicious use of a vocal collage on a song that repeats the chorus like a mantra, in a sing-along fashion.
More interesting still, is 'Fox Paws' which veers from a machine gun, drum and prototype Metal guitar opening into a Zappa style funky figure with an unexpected trumpet break. The juxtaposed keyboards and a whammy bar guitar led frenzy resolves itself in an outstanding blistering rock track.
As with several moments on this album there are inspired moments of instrumental interplay that evokes the true meaning of Prog. And in that respect the double harmony lines and guitar and keyboards make the piano led 'Always There' a successful powerful rock ballad.
Aside from the band's intense playing and stellar engineering work by Brian Baker, there's always room for melodic development, as evidenced by 'Here Comes the Night' albeit with a hammy chanted hook. And aside from a few telegraphed guitar breaks and synth lines, much of the material is surprisingly open ended.
In fact there isn't a moment on this album when you truly feel you have the band's measure. Listen for example, to 'What The…' which is a heavy rock/blues groove with a growled vocal and blazing horns and has an early Chicago feel about it, as the band sing 'tell me what you want me to play' Then in the blink of an eye its back to the Asia style title track, albeit with a riff reminiscent of The Who's 'Substitute', before an unlikely Doom Metal vocal over pounding riffs.
The album finishes in bombastic Prog rock fashion on the splendidly titled 'Kings And Treasures' with suitable pompous lyrics. But the music has an epic quality built on the back of pounding drums, a trumpet voluntary and banks of keyboards as part of a climactic finish worthy of a splendidly played album.
'True Believer' is by no means an unblemished consistent album, but there's enough spontaneous musical highs here to interest all self respecting prog and classic rock fans alike.
Rating, 4 out of 5
Review by Pete Feenstra
Fireworks Magazine Interview with Marty Naul, March/April 2009
[+ Show ]
Drummer and acting manager for this intriguing band from Houston, Texas, MARTY NAUL recently hooked ...Drummer and acting manager for this intriguing band from Houston, Texas, MARTY NAUL recently hooked up with PAUL JEROME SMITH after Paul became aware of a buzz that was generated on a couple of melodic rock websites by well-known music enthusiast Carl Noonan. A review of the band's second release "10,000 Days & Nights" appears elsewhere in this magazine.
I began by asking Marty about the origin of the band's name and how it is pronounced...
"The name was originated by the band's first drummer, Jack Alford. I'm not really sure how he came up with it. The name is pronounced "Oz Kanozz", so that contrary to what most people think, the "K" in "Knozz" is not silent! Perhaps we should have spelled it differently, but it's been this way since 1969, so it's too late now!"
Having looked at various references on the Internet, I was not surprised to learn that the origins of the band stretch back some 40 years. However, I checked with Marty as to why he felt that the readers of Fireworks are unlikely to have heard of the band until now.
"While the band has been together for this length of time, we have never played outside the United States, and we haven't been blessed with what I would consider great management in the past. We had also broken the band up entirely from 1987 until about eight years ago when we decided to give it another go."
Interested in the members of the band, I next asked Marty whether the current personnel is in any way similar to the one that recorded 'Ruff Mix' that became available in May 1975.
"Of the four people that were in the band and performed on 'Ruff Mix', three of us are still with the band. Duane and Bill Massey, and myself. The original guitarist, Richard Heath, left the band shortly after 'Ruff Mix' was released and started his own band. Tragically, he was killed by a drunk driver on Halloween Night in 1982."
I continued by enquiring what the band has been doing since those early days...
"(laughs)...Well, we've been doing a little of everything, including playing music both in and out of Oz Knozz. We all continued to play, even if it wasn't within the structure of Oz Knozz. Duane and Milton both play a variety of styles, in addition to his keyboard playing, Duane is an accomplished Jazz Trumpet player, and is in constant demand in the Houston area. Milton plays Jazz and Salsa, in addition to his rock duties. Robert and I have collaborated on several Rock projects in and around the Houston area, so we all stay pretty busy."
This seemed to be an ideal time to find out more about the band's personnel - their instruments and influences...
"Let's see, I'll start with Duane Massey. He plays Keys, Trumpet, Flugelhorn, and Lead and Backing Vocals. He says his musical influences include Paul Desmond, Keith Emerson, the Beach Boys, the Beatles, Spirit, Genesis, Al Hirt, and Jan Hammer. Bill Massey plays Bass Guitar, and occasionally Tenor Saxophone. His influences would be Paul Desmond, Tony Levin, and Stanley Clark. Milton DeCoronado (aka; Miltonio) is the Lead Vocalist and Second Keyboard Player. His influences are Glenn Hughes, Ronnie James Dio, Stevie Wonder, and Jan Hammer. Next, we have Robert Guinea (aka; Robert-O) on Guitar and Backing Vocals. His playing is influenced by Al DiMeola, Michael Schenker, Steve Morse, and Richie Blackmore. Lastly, you have me, Marty Naul, on Drums and Backing Vocals. I can also play Keyboards when needed. My drumming influences include Neil Peart, Michael Portnoy, Carl Palmer, Clive Bunker, Buddy Rich, Gene Krupa, and Louis Bellson."
I then turned to the new release, suggesting to Marty that it is one helluva good album - if a little short: a case of quality over quantity, perhaps. I enquired about the reactions of the band to the great reception being received by it, as virally it begins to creep into the awareness and conciousness of a wider listenership...
"Thank you, Paul! First let me address the length of the album. We actually had started tracking more than eight tunes, but the original expectation was just to archive our music for our own edification. It was only after about a year or more into the project that we started thinking about finishing a CD. I'd like all your readers to know that this CD is completely self-recorded and self-produced, we only brought in "professional" help during the Mixdown and Mastering stages. Everyone in the band has very busy schedules, and during the entire recording process not once were all five of us present in the studio at the same time! It's sort of a small miracle that we were able to complete eight songs and get a finished product! Having said all that, we are absolutely thrilled that so many people seem to like our music, especially in Great Britain and Australia! I'm very flattered that '10,000 Days & Nights' is being so well received!
I was anxious to put the point to Marty about the album sounding like Oz Knozz are paying homage to a wide range of melodic rock influences. I thus enquired whether it was intentional to write and perform songs in the style of those various bands...
" I asked Duane this question, since he was the Primary Songwriter on '10,000 Days...' and his answer was: " No,these songs were written without any conscious effort to emulate any other recordngs. The oldest tune, 'S/M Woman', was actually written in 1976, and the most recent, 'Who's The Hero', was written in the late 80's/early 90's. I can't honestly deny any outside influences, but the similarities are unintentional. This CD is a collection of songs from Oz Knozz's musical history, and there was no particular plan than to record eight of our original compositions. The next recording will be along the same lines, along with some brand-new (for us) material as well"."
Bearing in mind that effective marketing seems to be essential to reach the appropriate target audience, I queried how it was intended to further the spread of knowledge of the album...
"Well, obviously, interviews like this don't hurt (laughs)! In addition, we have had several music magazines do un-solicited reviews of the CD, and they were all very favourable! We have been in contact with several publicity firms, and have talked to a couple of record companies. All this, plus getting the band on stage and performing the music. I'm actively trying everything I can think of. I should mention that for the last several years, I have been acting as the Manager for the band, a duty I will gladly give up to someone else! All I want to do is play the music, and leave the business to someone who is much better at it than I am!"
Although we haven't had the experience of a live show from Oz Knozz in the UK, over the years the band has toured and appeared with the likes of Kansas, Judas Priest, and Supertramp, so I then asked Marty to describe a typical gig...
" Normally, a live show consists of a mix of tunes from '10,000 Days...' and 'Ruff Mix', plus a few un-recorded, un-released tunes if time permits. Depending on whether we're playing an opening spot or headlining, our set can be from an hour to an hour and a half, or longer. We stretch out a bit live, and tend to be very loose and have a lot of fun. All of our music was conceived live instead of in a studio, so it all works well in a live setting."
Hoping that with interest in the band picking up in Britain, I checked with Marty about plans for the next twelve months and whether there is a chance that Oz Knozz might visit Britain to do some gigs...
"We plan to play, play, play, and sell that CD! Seriously, the more exposure the CD gets, the better. We, of course, have other merchandise as well, T-shirts, caps, lapel pins, and so on. Anything that can keep us in the public eye. As for touring Britain, until about a month ago, we had never seriously thought about doing that, but since '10,000 Days...' is being so well received, it's definitely something we're starting to consider. There is nothing firmed up yet, but it's definitely within the realm of possibility."
In conclusion, I asked how Fireworks readers might get hold of a copy of the album...
"The CD is available at CDBaby: www.cdbaby.com/cd/ozknozz. It's also available at the usual Digital Download sites, iTunes, Rhapsody, Napster, etc. For those who would like to download it in a non-compressed format such as FLAC, it is also available at Mindawn Records: www.mindawn.com/artists/ozknozz
Fireworks Magazine CD Review, March/April 2009 Issue
[+ Show ]
This album - released in summer 2008 - finally saw the light of day some three years after the band ...This album - released in summer 2008 - finally saw the light of day some three years after the band started work upon it, but a far more telling statistic is that this second release by Oz Knozz (see feature elsewhere in this magazine for pronunciation) has come many years after the debut "Ruff Mix" first appeared - over 10,000 days and nights ago, in May 1975! Even more amazing is the fact that the band has been in existence since the late 1960's!
It's one of those intoxicating albums that once heard you can end up playing repeatedly for a while, with a great variety of strong songs that are likely to be so reminiscent of some of your favourite bands. "Telephone" gets things rolling with an initial keyboard riff that put me in mind of "The Final Countdown". It's a super song with fabulous harmonies and great musicianship. "Hear What I'm Saying" begins with some "plinky" keys before building into a much beefier sound that overall reminded me of early Styx. "You Can't Win" is a dead ringer for Toto, whilst more of those "plinky" keys on "Graven Image" this time reminded me of the arena rock pomp of mid-period Styx.
"Hi Fi" is the hardest rock song on the album and really showcases the band's combined instrumental prowess and experience: especially the tight rhythm section of Marty Naul (drums) and Bill Massey (bass) whilst Robert Guinea's lead guitar playing is once again a revelation. "Midnight Mambo" is another great song - Toto without the brass section - and with lead vocalist Milton Coronado very effectively completing the illusion. "Who's The Hero" is (at 6:24) the longest song here and I dare those of you who hear this atmospheric number not to recognise the structure snd feel of a Saga track. Finally, "S/M Woman"...... Well...... my take on this is that it is supposed to be a tounge - in - cheek piece of humour. How else can you interpret the Bohemian Rhapsody-esque middle section with lyrics: "When she gets you on the plywood all wrapped up in chains, and she whips you and kicks you and laughs at your pain" (?) Well, I laughed hysterically upon first hearing this, and I still think it highly amusing...
"10,000 Days & Nights" is a fine tribute to 70's and 80's keyboard - driven (hats off to Duane Massey) pomp and arena rock with some slightly proggy moments here and there. My only real criticism of the album is that at 38 minutes it is frustratingly short, but then I remember the comments of those who say that 38 minutes of totally superb music (which this is) is better than 55 minutes of music that includes 17 minutes of filler! It is a musical diverse selection, but stylistically never strays beyond the staple diet of this magazine's readership and as such is to be a heartily recommended purchase. Very interesting indeed...
Paul Jerome Smith
Houston Music News CD Review, March 2009
[+ Show ]
Veteran local rockers Oz Knozz are back with a tight, well produced CD of dynamic new material. The ...Veteran local rockers Oz Knozz are back with a tight, well produced CD of dynamic new material. The 8 tracks on "10,000 Days & Nights" were recorded by keyboardist Duane Massey, mixed by Gregg Gill, and produced by the band themselves.
The current Oz Knozz lineup features Milton Coronado (vocals), Marty Naul (drums), Bill Massey (bass), Duane Massey (keys), and the sensational Robert Guinea (guitar). Guinea's stunning fretwork highlights the album's first two numbers, "Telephone" and "Hear What I'm Saying". His warm, hard rock tone combines with Duane Massey's majestic keyboard lines to create an almost Mannheim Steamroller sound.
The band shifts gears a bit for song number three, "You Can't Win". It's the most commercial piece on the album, sporting a catchy Survivor feel. Other standouts include the progressive "Graven Image", punctuated by Naul's outstanding drumming, and "Hi Fi", a straight ahead groove complete with Boston-style harmony vocals on the verses.
But Oz Knozz saves the best for last. "Who's The Hero" is an epic, six and a half minute opus that is sure to become an instant fan favorite. And the riff-heavy "S/M Woman" includes a vocal bridge that pays homage to Queen and may be the most memorable moment on the album.
Oz Knozz knows that there is no substitute for experience. On "10,000 Days & Nights" they prove it.
Powerplay Magazine CD Review, March 2009
[+ Show ]
With the resurgence in rock and metal of all genres it was about time that pomp rock got in on the a...With the resurgence in rock and metal of all genres it was about time that pomp rock got in on the action. Pomp rock is an area that's less crowded than other genres. There weren't a huge amount of pomp bands in the first place and even fewer young bands to carry the baton. All of which means that the Texan veterans Oz Knozz have just gone and produced a record that is set to become a pomp rock classic.
Oz Knozz, pronounced oz ka-nozz', jokingly named the album "10 Thousand Days And Nights" because it's that long since they released their first and only previous album back in 1975. What you get here is Kansas, early Shooting Star and Styx, with prominent keyboards. The retro feel is compounded by titles such as "Telephone (You Know It's One With A Dial)", "Hi Fi (Bet It's Got A Twin Cassette Deck)" and within minutes you are transported back to a time, say around 77, when men wore silk blouses, and long bouffant hair wth a droopy moustache was a good look. However, the great production job gives the songs some modern oomph with all the instruments super clear in the mix.
The magic begins when the keyboards and guitars blend together to create something very pompous indeed as on "Hear What I'm Saying". "You Can't Win" carries big melodies, while "Graven Image" allows the band to stretch out in a more prog direction. Retro Prog, how's that for an oxymoron? Only on the closing track "S/M Woman" when the band try to get sexy do they betray their grey roots and pot bellies, but even that's saved with a fun choral bridge that sounds like Monty Python doing Queen.
Bands playing pomp don't come along every day and as a result this disc sounds fresh and invigorating. (Points; 8 out of 10).
Strutter Magazine CD Review, Feb. 2009
[+ Show ]
OZ KNOZZ "10,000 DAYS AND NIGHTS (OZ KNOZZ MUSIC/TWO SIDE MOON PROMOTIONS) OZ KNOZZ is a band with a...OZ KNOZZ "10,000 DAYS AND NIGHTS (OZ KNOZZ MUSIC/TWO SIDE MOON PROMOTIONS) OZ KNOZZ is a band with a long past behind them, although this CD is the first recording I am personally aware of. The band is coming out of Texas, USA and they are playing a mix of Classic Rock, AOR and Progressive Rock, sort of like ENCHANT meets Q5 meets WHITE SISTER meets IAN PARRY and although described as Prog, the Pomprock influences are really very present here. Quite a surprise actually as this sounds also like updated mid 1980's uptempo Pomprock. Their CD sounds really impressive, keeping in mind they have performed with acts like KANSAS, JUDAS PRIEST, POINT BLANK many years ago and this new CD is the follow-up to an album they released in 1975! Opener "Telephone" is a pretty good Melodic Progrock track a la ENCHANT, but with "Hear What I'm Saying" it's like we have stepped in a timemachine back to the year 1985, a superb uptempo powerful Pomprocker with keys and harmonyvocals straight outta the WHITE SISTER first album book, also TOUR DE FORCE is a good comparison here. Then I am not even talking about the pure late 1970's SPY/TOUCH/ROADMASTER/STYXish midtempo Pomprocker "You Can't Win" that has a pumping beat that could have been on a mid/late 1970's STYX album. This song is sounding really TERRIFIC, with amazing harmonyvocals and keyboard/guitarwork and a pure STYX chorus, a MUST-HAVE for all Pomprockfans. Besides the fact the songs are superb, the musicianship is really amazing, with superb vocals of the 2 lead singers MILTON DE CORONADO and DUANE MASSEY, who also play both the keyboards, how AOR/POMPROCK can you get! The fantastic guitarwork is provided by ROBERT GUINEA, while the rhythm section is provided by bassist BILL MASSEY and drummer MARTY NAUL. The song "Graven Image" with its dut-dut keys and superb lead vocals (not sure who of the 2 sings here, but here the vocals sound from AOR HEAVEN a la ALLIANCE/FRANKE AND THE KNOCKOUTS) is going for a more pure 1983ish uptempo AOR sound like FOREIGNER meets AXE. After these 3 supersensational songs, it's time to get some breath for a more modest midtempo heavier tune titled "Hi Fi" that is a bit 80's Metal mixed with GREGG GIUFFRIA/ANGELish keyboardwork, so good instrumental work here, but songwise less interesting than the 3 previous Pomprock/AOR masterpieces. Anyway, final 3 tracks are "Midnight Mambo" (a somewhat bluesier midtempo track a la BOBBY KIMBALL fronted TOTO). "Who's the Hero" (showing the band's diversity as this lovely midtempo epic Progmetal tune is sounding like a mix between DIO, BLUE OYSTER CULT (Godzilla), URIAH HEEP and SAVATAGE, with heavy riffs and powerful vocals, a superstrong chorus and fantastic guitarwork, and "S/M Woman" (a sorta experimental piece like BLUE OYSTER CULT doing something together with the old QUEEN, ending up sounding like CITY BOY/THE TUBES). I did not expect that OZ KNOZZ was such an impressive band, especially on the first couple of tunes that sound like something you don't hear everyday and all together the 8 tracks on this CD are a must to hear and it really is something special if you consider the fact that the band was formed 40 years ago and have until now been undiscovered! Be sure to check out this band asap at www.ozknozz.com and www.myspace.com/ozknozz and www.sdcd.com (Points: 8.8 out of 10)
Overloaded Radio CD Review, Feb. 2009
[+ Show ]
This one I left until last for some reason, not sure why, maybe the name didn't appeal to me but WOW...This one I left until last for some reason, not sure why, maybe the name didn't appeal to me but WOW! What an album!!! Complex, powerful, intricate, well produced and most of all well played. Nicely executed guitar solos, a solid backing and great vocals. An album it will be hard to get bored with. Excellent - Dave Watts, Overloaded Radio UK.
Powerplay Magazine CD Review, Jan. 30, 2009
[+ Show ]
Oz Knozz - '10,000 Days & Nights' Pomp rock is alive and well and has completely taken me by surpri...Oz Knozz - '10,000 Days & Nights'
Pomp rock is alive and well and has completely taken me by surprise. Think of a band with elements of Shotgun Symphony, Survivor, Kansas and Le Roux and you'll be near to the Oz Knozz experience, faultless performance!- Powerplay Magazine UK
AOR-FM CD Review, December, 2008
[+ Show ]
Houston, Texas based pomp rock band, who's origins go right back to 1969. That's right, 69, and havi...Houston, Texas based pomp rock band, who's origins go right back to 1969. That's right, 69, and having supported the likes of Supertramp, Kansas, Judas Priest, and releasing an album in 1975 ("Ruff Mix"), I'm only getting to hear this fantastic band in 2008. Better late than never, I guess.
In truth, debut "Ruff Mix" doesn't offer anything to the AOR fan, as it's mostly Zep influenced hard rock, and progressive rock in its true sense.
However,"Nights" is a different story. This album mixes the prog elements of Presto Ballet and Kansas, with the pomp and melody of Le Roux and, say, Sugarcreek, delivering a great album, accessible to AOR and Prog fans alike.
The problem I now have is, which track do I offer up as a sample?
This is a fantastic album folks, and contender for my album of the year!
RadioIndy CD Review, Dec. 17th., 2008
[+ Show ]
"10,000 Days & Nights" is the impressive new release from Oz Knozz, a polished progressive rock band..."10,000 Days & Nights" is the impressive new release from Oz Knozz, a polished progressive rock band from Houston, Texas with a radio-ready sound. Their approach is highly melodic and characterized by heavy synthesizer work, hard driving guitars, solid grooves and wonderful lead and harmony vocals. The commercial "You Can't Win" is a great example of their captivating hooks, great vocal harmonies and powerful guitar riffs. The production is very professional throughout, producing a refined, marketable sound. "Hear What I'm Saying" and "Graven Image" are further illustrations of their signature keyboard sounds, multi-layered guitars, and full, melodic vocals. The aggresive "Hi Fi" features the drums upfront, with a strong bass line and muscular guitar work providing a forceful, heavy groove. Fans of progressive rock from the likes of Kansas, Europe, and Emerson, Lake & Palmer will definitely enjoy this release...-Rodney and the RadioIndy.com Reviewer Team
Glory Daze Music CD Review, Nov. 2008
[+ Show ]
BACKGROUND: According to the background of this album, the title is a playful reference to the a...BACKGROUND:
According to the background of this album, the title is a playful reference to the amount of time it took to release this long overdue second effort after their debut first appeared way back in 1975! If it were me, I would've titled the album 'Long Time Between Drinks', but I'm guessing Americans won't get that bit of quirky British humor. So, who are Oz Knozz? These boys are a melodic progressive rock band from Houston, who's name is pronounced as 'Oz Ka-Nozz'. Their history goes way back to 1969. Goodness, Man had just landed on the moon, and nearly forty years later this lot are still going strong. The band, though keeping their progressive origins true, were still influenced by the various sub-genres of rock over the decades- as their visual appearance suggests. Looking like early folkie prog rockers in one decade, to near hair metal contenders in the next. During the eighties, the band were promoted quite heavily by San Antonio DJ legend Joe Anthony, but during this time, the band didn't have any current product on the market. As mentioned, the band's first album 'Ruff Mix' was released back in May 1975, but Oz Knozz still commanded a great deal of respect, having toured and supported the likes of Supertramp, Kansas, Peter Frampton, Point Blank, and Judas Priest. In addition, they have headlined many of their own shows, building an almost fanatical fan-base over the years. Even though many years have passed, the members have stayed in touch, and decided to offload their ideas into the digital domain, hence this CD.
Each of the eight songs are separate bodies of work, with contrasting styles, and it surely is fascinating to hear what the band sound like many years after they were popular. The influences and reference points are mainly melodic prog. The obvious choices from back in their heyday would've been Yes, Kansas, and E.L.P, but hearing these tracks, Oz Knozz sound much more modern, and I gotta say, damn fantastic!! Merge Saga, Shadow Circus and Presto Ballet together, and Oz Knozz will be the offspring. Funny though, the band tend to get more retro as you venture further into the album.
"Telephone" is the first track, and is very keyboard laced. If you were listening to this for the first time, you'd be thinking this is sourced from the mid 80's, taking into account the song structure and style.
"Hear What I'm Saying" reminds me somewhat of Twenty Twenty and a few CCM bands from that influential late 80's era.
"You Can't Win" is the obvious AOR/pomp moment on the album. I can't put a reference point, I'll leave it up to you guys to pin the tail on the donkey. Very commercial, radio oriented stuff. From here the album just keeps getting better!
The dual keyboardists bash out some hard ivories on "Graven Image", staccato pomp all the way on this spectacular offering.
"Hi Fi" is a harder rockin' affair with an array of keyboard effects through the first solo section. A rampaging guitar solo rounds out the second solo section.
Yep, it's an unusual name, but "Midnight Mambo" cuts some capers for the discerning 70's hard rock fan, being a slab of sassy retro rock with a blues edge. The vocals are delivered in real 'chest-beating' fashion, you can just imagine a guy like Jim Dandy belting this out. Many of our GDAZE readers into the hard rockin' 70's vibe will dig this track!
Atmospheric layers of synth precede "Who's The Hero". Ambience abounds initially, before another 70's flavored onslaught of rock takes over. It's not too dissimilar to the previous track, and at 6 min 24 sec, it's the longest track on the album. There's a load of organ, and the vocals have a David Byron feel to them, suggesting that Uriah Heep or fellow Texans Hobbit may have been an influence for this band at some stage.
Closing the album is the fun-time romp of "SM Woman". Again, it's 70's flavor to the core, with a few twists and turns. It bears all the hallmarks of a southern boogie number, but the middle section (with a vocal/choir piece reminiscent of Queen) kills that notion in one foul swoop. The guitar solo is run through what must be a Wah/Fuzzbox system. The track is currently on repeat play for me!
This CD will come as a great surprise to many. Proggie fans and AORsters will equally enjoy what is on offer. The production is classy, and brings to life many of the arrangements. Oz Knozz truly represent what this site is all about - excellent long lost melodic hard rock with a variety of styles that touch nearly all the sides of this website. Stunning stuff! I am lost for words - where have these guys been all these years?
The band's typical set list varies from an hour to more than two hours, depending on whether the band is opening a show or headlining. The set consists of songs from the new album with several tunes from the band's past mixed in, plus new tunes from the up and coming 2010 CD release. A typical set list;
1. Hear What I'm Saying
2. Goodbye Again
3. Here Comes The Night
4. For Pat
5. Graven Image
7. What The...?
8. True Believer
9. Empty Room
11. Hi Fi
12. Peanutbutter Yoni
13. Always There
14. You Can't Win
15. Fox Paws
16. Midnight Mambo
17. Who's The Hero
18, 19, 20. Doodley Squat #1, #2, and #3
The band can adjust this set, for either longer or shorter time slots.
PDF RiderOz Knozz Performance Contract Simple Rev 2e 51713.docx
|Aug 11, 2013 Sunday||TBA||The Concert Pub-Galleria||, TX, US|
|American Bands Management 40th Anniversary Reunion Concert. Additional bands and ticket prices TBA|