Matt Kurz One
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Matt Kurz One

Athens, Georgia, United States | SELF

Athens, Georgia, United States | SELF
Band Rock Punk


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Orlando Weekly: This Little Underground By Bao Le-Huu"

Being both delicious and loaded with value is an accomplishment that would satisfy anyone. But in a clear attempt at supreme awesomeness, Pabst Blue Ribbon sponsors the occasional free concert, the latest being Athens one-man band the Matt Kurz One (Jan. 14, Will’s Pub). Kicking with garage, soul and even some MC5-isms, his rock & roll is solid. But the guy’s most defining distinction is his jaw-dropping dexterity.

Just detailing the logistics of how this cat works all his instruments could easily eat up all my column space, but I’ll try to keep it short. Going far beyond the standard sing/play guitar/stomp a kick drum one-man format, Kurz works a rig full enough for a four-piece band all by himself. The guitar, as you know, occupies both hands. But his strumming hand also holds a drumstick that works the high hat, toms and cymbal. There’s a second stick duct-taped to the guitar head that acts as the finger with which he plays the keyboard. Meanwhile, the toe of his right foot works the pedal that kicks the bass drum, while the heel works another that slaps the snare. Finally, his left foot works the fretboard of a flat-lying bass guitar with, yes, his toes. So suffice it to say, this octopus-man is one coordinated fucker.

Besides totally sick efficiency, Kurz also has that vaudevillian showmanship that one-man bands tend to have, slinging hilarious banter that was virtually a comedy act between songs. He may not be the most musically innovative one-man band out there, but he is the most musically complete I’ve seen yet. - Orlando Weekly

"REAX MUSIC: Matt Kurz One Interview By: Alastair St. Hill"

The Matt Kurz One will be appearing at the New World Brewery on Friday, January 15th. They're based in Athens, GA , and as you might infer from the name, 'they' consist of just a single member, Matt Kurz, although the instrumentation he employs is typical of a modern rock band. There's a full drum kit, set up in a fairly straight-forward manner, but he operates both kick and snare with his right foot. He hits his toms and ride cymbal with a stick held in his right hand as he strums his guitar, which has another stick strapped to the headstock that he uses to play a hi-hat sitting to his left. Also, lying on the ground in front of Matt is a bass guitar which he frets with his be-socked left foot. For good measure, he plays the occasional keyboard solo with yet another drumstick attached to the end of his guitar, this one pointed straight down. He does all this while belting out the vocals to his tight garage rock tunes, most of which clock in at around the two minute mark. It is truly a sight to behold, even if only through the videos posted on his MySpace page.

Matt's first instrument was the bass — played with his hands, he helpfully points out. Although he's spent some time playing in various groups, including Bomb the Music Industry, The Matt Kurz One is now his primary focus. At first, I imagined that he may have happened upon the one-man-band style by necessity, after tiring of dealing with unreliable musical partners or schedule conflicts. But, according to him, throughout his tenure in other acts he's been honing his solo skills through a number of incarnations, including some resembling the stereotype you might envision of the solitary figure playing oom-pah music with cymbals between his knees.

The gimmickry of Kurz’s current arrangement might get you to pay attention a bit longer than you would to any number of anonymous rock trios or quartets. The energetic quality of songwriting and the soulful execution are the real draw of this project, however, and he's likely to win over anyone who witnesses it firsthand. In conversation, he has a good sense of humor that also comes across in his stage presence. He must realize that if he’s going to play a bass guitar with his feet in public, he shouldn’t try to act too cool or sullen while doing it. I spoke to him about some of the trials of life on the road, collaborating with oneself, and the pros and cons of his unique configuration.

AS: People talk about the lonely life of the musician, but usually they're talking about a group of a few guys going around in a van. This is just you. That takes some commitment.
MK: Yeah, my life is surprisingly dull.

AS: Books on tape must be great for you.
MK: My stereo got stolen, so I drive around our great nation in silence. I just kinda, like, think.

AS: When you're in a writing or practicing mode, other members of a band are what motivate you by bouncing energy off of each other, or just bitching at each other to attend practice or work on songs. Do you find it's harder to get stuff done, or do you work better without having to worry about the collaborative process?
MK: Uh...(long pause)...Yeah?
It's a little bit of both. Sometimes having other people around really motivates you to do things, you know, because other people are relying on you, or you're relying on them to help you. Getting the shit done after the momentum is already there is way easier.

AS: Once the bloom is off the rose?
MK: Yeah. On the last tour I was on, which was way too long...and weird, there were a couple times on longer drives when I wrote complete songs in my head and then played them at the show that night. Once you get a feel for playing, if you arrange all the parts in your head and remember what they are, you can just kind of instantly do whatever's in your head, which is kind of the upside. The downside also being that when you write songs, you usually tend to like them, because everything you did comes out of you. But, not all your songs are good, and having people in your band to be like, "Yo, that kinda sucks," that speeds up the songwriting process in a different way. A lot of times I write something, and I do have to bounce it off a crowd a couple times before I know that it sucks and stop doing it. And that's a waste...three minutes of people's lives that they'll never get back...'cause I have no friends.

AS: Do you struggle against first impressions and preconceptions that people might have when they first hear of your configuration or when they see you setting up your situation?
MK: No. The novelty of what I do really holds the door open for me. If there's one misconception about my music that I'd like to stop it's that I'm an acoustic act. A lot of people just see that it's me, and for some reason they don't bother to read the sales pitch, or look at the video links, or whatever it is that I have to do to get the show in the first place, and they're surprised that there's going to be amps and stuff. - Tampa REAX Music

"10 Reasons Why I Love The Matt Kurz One"

A couple of years ago, Matt Kurz left the cold Northeast for the artist friendly Athens, GA. Since then, he's been slowly gaining a reputation as one of the most exciting live acts in town. After watching him steamroll an audience last Thursday at the Star Bar, I have a feeling he's going to have a lot more shows in this town soon...mark my words.

Here are 10 reasons why I love The Matt Kurz One...
1. He Plays Guitar, Bass, Keyboards, Drums, and Sings all at the same time...and he does it better than anyone in your shitty 5 piece band.
2. Girls love him, and if you hang around him after a show you're immediately cooler by association.
3. If you're a fan of all the wonderful garage/punk/pop coming out of the south these days, you'll enjoy this.
4. Call it a gimmick if you want, but he's taking home all the cash at the end of the night...
5. He's an excellent slow dancer, and a thoughtful lover.
6. He doesn't drink, so if you blow him you'll get an extra drink ticket...yayyyy!
7. Does an unbelievable cover of Purple Rain...just yell for it.
8. Now lives in Athens instead of the cold, harsh its easier to see him these days.
9. Nipples that will cut glass
10. The best Neil Diamond singing Metal impression I've ever heard! - The Super Black Crystal Death Vampire Wolf Fuck

"Athens Music Junkie: New Addiction: Matt Kurz One"

When you think of one man bands, you're usually thinking of Bert from Mary Poppins. You know, the cute little drum tied to him, the cymbals at his knees, the adorable fake accent...

Anyway, Matt Kurz One is not an adorable one man band. He is badass. The dude plays bass guitar with his left foot, snare and bass drums with his right, with his left hand he plays the guitar, hi hat, and the keyboard, with his right he plays guitar, rack toms, and crash. The dude is insane. And the music? It rocks.

I was introduced to Matt by a friend of mine (ironically also named Matt) who had seen this guy playing around and was just taken immediately. I'll have to say, I was a bit skeptical. Who does one man bands? So Friend Matt convinced me to help him record Band Matt at Tasty World one night. I kept forseeing the camera falling over on me and crushing me, giving me the death in Athens I had eventually hoped to suffer. Death by rock.

I didn't die and the camera didn't fall. We did, however, push together about three tables and set up a second camera on a tripod on top of the slightly unstable construct and proceeded to record the event. We hope to have the dvd circulating soon. Until then, enjoy a video. If you're struggling between seeing Dinosaur Jr./Dead Confederate or Wilco, make sure to catch Matt Kurz One at Go Bar on the 20th. - Athens Music Junkie

"The Independent Florida Alligator: Matt Kurz One sings, plays all for show at The Atlantic by JON SILMAN, Avenue Writer"

JON SILMAN, Avenue Writer

Matt Kurz is a busy man. He’s the lead singer of the Matt Kurz One. And also the bassist, guitarist and keyboardist. Kurz sings scratchy, intense punk funk songs with a fiery slant reminiscent of The Who and James Brown.

He’ll be playing at The Atlantic on Saturday at 10 p.m. Tickets are $6.

Wouldn’t it just be easier to be in a band and not have to do everything?

Bands can be a real drag. I was in a couple bands that did really well, but right at the payoff period they disbanded for what I found to be really, really dumb reasons--considering the amount of work we had put in to get to that point. I’ve always been interested in being a one-man band, and since I turned 17 I’ve been in nine or 10 incarnations of what I am today.

How did you get started?

I lived in Richmond, Va., for a year, and that year was pretty sad and amazing at the same time. I didn’t know anyone or have any friends, so I pretty much just locked myself in the attic of the house I was living in, and that’s where I taught myself to play the bass with my foot and stuff like that.

Did you have an epiphany moment when you figured out you could tape drumsticks to the head of your guitar and play the keyboard?

Pretty much everything I figured out how to do was complete, stupid coincidence. First, I started bashing the headstock of the guitar on a keyboard set to drum noises -- that’s how I played the cymbal. I figured out I could bash a high hat instead, but I started chipping my guitar, so I taped a drumstick to it. Eight months later it occurred to me, ‘Hey dummy, you can play notes instead of cymbal noises (on the keyboard)!”

What about playing the bass with your foot?

I was playing guitar one day, and I laid the bass down precariously on the floor in front of me. I happened to look down, and the bass was just where it is when I play it now (at shows). I was like, “No way,” and I just started hitting my foot on it and it worked.

And the sock, necessary or not?

You just don’t want blisters and calluses on the underside of your big toe, and it also keeps my foot warm. There are so many good reasons for the sock.

Is there a reason you don’t use effects pedals or pre-recorded tracks when you play live?

To me that kinda feels like cheating. If I fell back on those things I might not have ever achieved my goal of being a full one-man band that I set for myself when I was 14. Also, I’m one of those people that if I touch small electronics, they explode and freak out.

What do you say to people who automatically assume you’re doing some kind of gimmick?

That kinda stuff drives me. If there weren’t as many naysayers I’d probably be a lot less active. I love that it’s a fight. I love turning the crowd.

Is this your life’s work? Is there a legacy you want to leave behind?

Life’s work is not a bad way to describe what I’m doing. I’m barely getting by on this thing, but it’s worth it to me. When I’m eating Ramen noodles and worrying about my dishwashing job at home, the kinda solace I give myself is that, like, 14-year-old Matt Kurz would be stoked about what I’m up to right now. The idea was never to make a million dollars or sell out stadiums. The idea was, ‘I’m going to be able to do that one day.’ And I am able to do that, so as far as that’s concerned, I am satiated. - The Independent Florida Alligator

"Shock & Yawn MAgazine: The Matt Kurz One: 5 instruments and one Matt Kurz: By Brad Luttrell"

The Matt Kurz One: 5 instruments and one Matt Kurz

by Brad Luttrell on October 27, 2009 · Leave a Comment
Matt Kurtz plays the drums, guitars and sings all on his lonesome.

Matt Kurtz plays the drums, guitars and sings all on his lonesome. Photo by Mike White | Deadly Designs

This is not a gimmick. It’s “one man. Five instruments. No Machines.”

Matt Kurz’s extremities all have a dedicated instrument. His head will take full credit for the voice. His right foot can handle the snare and bass drum. His hands get into the guitar, cymbals and such. Oh, and his left foot – the bass.

In one is probably one of the most impressive one-man-band setups to hit rock n’ roll, The Matt Kurz One (AKA, Matt Kurz) does it all. A drum stick fashioned to his guitar headstock, and another pole strapped on for playing the keyboard. This is not the circus, ladies and gentleman, but it certainly may be a freak show.

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The show is at the Green Lantern

Kurz, from where else but Athens, Ga., has been on the road for several days now and will make a stop in Lexington, Ky. tonight at The Green Lantern. The show is only $3 (see map for location).

From Lexington, Kurz heads down I-75 South to Chattanooga, Tenn., his hometown of Athens, then will wrap up his short tour with three extensive shows in Gainesville, Fla. at The Fest 8.

Kurz plays raw garage rock that Jay Reatard fans would appreciate, but it’s also modern-rock enough that it’s not too punk for those who hate power chords. - Shock & Yawn Magazine

"Flagpole Magazine: Record Review : The Matt Kurz One: Debt Sounds"

The Matt Kurz One
Debt Sounds

Matt Kurz’s left foot is a decent bassist. His right foot plays pretty good snare and bass drum. His right hand is a respectable guitarist. His left hand plays keys and high hat well enough. But the sum of all these limbs (or rather his band The Matt Kurz One, of which he is the sole member) excels. See, Kurz plays everything simultaneously, and sings determinedly over it all. It makes his debut Debt Sounds, which would otherwise be a perfectly enjoyable rock and roll album, into something truly impressive—something to which you can’t help but tap and sing along. That is, as long as you’ve accepted you’ll never be as coordinated as he is.

Kurz’s garage vocals grate and slide from pitch to pitch and, in fact, are the only part of the record that was overdubbed, the album notes reveal. He uses them to tell adorable, charmingly slanted stories, drawing lyrical inspiration from everything from James Brown’s verbal wisdom (“Solid Gold Coffin”) to in-town interpersonal relationships (“Hey Renee”). The latter, the album’s standout, talks about an outwardly excited friendship that belies the indifference beneath and cleverly overlaps multiple thoughts into one line: “We hug each other’s names we both shout.” “Hey Renee” and tracks like “God Said” and “I Don’t Fucking Believe It” exemplify the bright melodies that demonstrate Kurz’s gift for making simplicity into something more, something driven by solid charisma and, of course, very dexterous feet.

Julia Reidy - Flagpole Magazine

"Athens Banner-Herald: Matt Kurz releases CD One-man band to perform tonight at Go Bar By Julie Phillips"

Matt Kurz releases CD
One-man band to perform tonight at Go Bar
By Julie Phillips | | Story updated at 12:58 am on 3/28/2009


As Matt Kurz One, he hammers out on a full drum kit while playing guitar and keyboards, at the same time singing - and playing bass with his big toe.

If you go...

Matt Kurz One album release party for "Debt Sounds"
When: 10 tonight
Where: Go Bar

? TRACK BY TRACK: Get info on each song from Matt Kurz One's latest CD, "Debt Sounds"

What you first want to know about Matt Kurz is: How?

Because Kurz is the kind of artist who inspires as much for how he plays music as the music itself.

As Matt Kurz One, he hammers out on a full drum kit while playing guitar and keyboards, at the same time singing - and playing bass with his big toe.

Coordinated beyond belief sums it up. That the music is truly good makes him pretty much just amazing.

It all started in the basement of his broken dreams, when teenage bandmates dropped out of his early efforts to bring the rock. Most were lured away by drugs, he says, and either left their instruments at his parents' house in New York - where he held band practice in the basement - or sold them to him for dirt cheap so they could get out of debt.

As it goes, it worked out in the end just fine for Kurz, who'd taken up drums at the tender age of 8 or 9, he estimates. At about 11, he learned bass, and then not long after that, borrowed his brother's guitar to learn it, too. So maybe playing on his own wasn't all that much of a stretch.

"I've had different incarnations of a one-man band since I was about 18," Kurz says, adding he started with guitar and drums and added instruments along the way.

The bass, for instance, just sort of came to him a few years back: "I was playing the bass drum with my right foot, and I pedaled the snare drum with my left. And I just so happened to have my bass laying on the floor and I turned to reach for something ... and I looked at it and I was like 'Hmmm ...' " he says. "I started pounding my toe on it, and I found it to be a lot easier than I thought it would be."

He then flipped the snare drum around to hit it with his heel, he says. That worked, too.

It does take a lot of practice, though.

"To get to where I am now, doing walking bass lines - that took me a couple years," Kurz says, adding he's always pushing himself to play better. He worked up to playing the full drum kit, holding a drumstick in his fist while he strums the guitar.

Kurz moved to Athens in October 2006, after sharing a tour with Bomb the Music Industry that brought him here. "I fell in love with it," he says noting it was a mix of the architecture, the feeling of Athens' being a little metropolitan and small-town at the same time, and the positive response he got from that first show.

Last year, he took time off from touring to work on his music, and ended up recording two albums - a solo album, in which he plays the instruments individually, to be released later this year, and "Debt Sounds," as Matt Kurz One (playing the instruments at the same time). He celebrates the release of "Debt Sounds" tonight at the Go Bar.

Not surprisingly, Kurz has started his own record label, Team Lincoln, named for his interest in the 16th president, and his inspiration for being an independent. "Debt Sounds" will be Team Lincoln's first release - and he says he hopes to grow it, to help other musicians along the way.

As for his own sound, he says being a one-man band generates attention for him, but most important to him is bettering himself as a musician.

"The novelty aspect allows me to get in doors I wouldn't be able to get into otherwise - playing shows with metal bands, ska bands, indie bands - because nobody can pigeon-hole me because of the novelty aspect. It works pretty well for me. ... But it's only gonna carry you so far," he says.

When people stick around for the whole show - that's the payoff.

"The compliment that means the most is, 'It's cool that you can do that, but I love your music.' That makes my soul happy."


Where recorded: All of these songs were recorded by Joel Hatstat at The Bakery in Athens.

1 Solid Gold Coffin

Musical notes: This song is for Georgia legend James Brown, who was presented in a solid gold coffin at his wake at the Apollo. Lyrics are quotes from an interview he conducted while under the influence of drugs, which Brown refrained from using until his late 50s.

2 God Said ...

Musical notes: One night I had an especially vivid dream in which an amorphous cloud of unearthly geometric shapes and colors, claiming to be the almighty, made me promise I would pass on a message for It. While certain this was a dream, I figured I'd cover my bases and just write the song.

3 She's a Shining Light

Musical notes: Well ... she is. And if you don't treat - Athens Banner-Herald


Debt Sounds - 2009
Impending Doom Is No Excuse - 2007



The Matt Kurz One may be the best one man band that ever lived. For starters, he is armed with the ability to play a bass guitar (with his left foot!), a full drum set, a guitar, a keyboard, and sing all at the same time and without the aid of backing tracks, tape loops, or drum machines. (That’s five instruments at once, folks) Then take into account that his music is being praised as much as his abilities, being compared to such giants as Elvis Costello, Bruce Springsteen, and The Who. Matt Kurz One was also recently proclaimed “Athens, GA’s Best Band” by the Athens Banner Herald. In a city that hosts REM, Of Montreal, The B-52’s, Widespread Panic, etc; this is not a claim to be ignored.

“Coordinated beyond belief sums it up, that the music is truly good makes him pretty much just amazing”
-Julie Phillips Athens Banner Herald

“The gimmickry of Kurz’s current arrangement might get you to pay attention a bit longer than you would to any number of anonymous rock trios or quartets. The energetic quality of songwriting and the soulful execution are the real draw of this project, however, and he's likely to win over anyone who witnesses it firsthand.”
-Allistair StClair REAX Music

"Matt Kurz must be the most coordinated man on the planet... To do this is challenging but, to do this AND write and play good songs is something unbelievable. "

“A true Rock and Roll Virtuoso”
-7 Inch Atlanta