Joe Koontz talks MC1 (his one-man band) and Punk Rock for Autism (May 21)

Good South Florida rock ‘n’ roll for its own sake is often reason enough to get out of the house and go somewhere, but toss in a good cause to boot and the allure can feel downright mandatory.

Such is the case with this month’s Punk Rock for Autism, an all-ages benefit show taking place on May 21 at Anonymous Guitars in Lauderhill, Florida. Proceeds from the show will go to We Rock for Autism, a South Florida based 501(c)(3) nonprofit that assists families in exploring the benefits of music therapy by sponsoring and helping arrange music therapy sessions at the Cadenza Center for Psychotherapy and Arts in Hollywood, Florida.

The show, arranged personally by We Rock for Autism founder and president Chris Wilson, will feature music from The Dead End Losers, a new band formed by Wilson, who played bass for the L.A. punk band The Mistakes; Ticket 2 Nowhere, a new pop punk outfit; The Already Gone, a punk band from Coral Springs who have been playing locally since 2005; Wallace, a Fort Lauderdale foursome who recently released the album, Hubbubery; and Dirty Nasty Rotters (D.N.R.), a punk three piece founded in 2009.

But for many, a big draw will be the Magic City 1 (or, more succinctly, the MC1, a wry reference to Detroit’s the MC5), a one-man garage punk band from Joe Koontz, the former guitarist and singer from bands including Against All Authority, Nobody’s Heroes, On the Accounts and The Pretenses.

MC1-logo“I have a couple friends that have children with autism and my wife is an art therapist who has done work with autistic children before, so I’m pretty well aware of it,” said Koontz. “I thought it was a good cause. To me, being in a punk band and coming from a band like Against All Authority, you always try to play for different causes and I like to take an active role in that type of thing.”

For Koontz, what began as a side project to keep busy while he was healing from an injury has since turned into his main musical gig.

“With the one-man band, at the time when I first got into it I had a detached retina,” he said. “I had some health problems and I couldn’t really do much. I was listening to a CD that my buddy gave me—I don’t know if you’ve heard of the Lone Wolf one-man band; he’s been doing it for a while—and I was like, ‘Man, I really think what you’re doing is cool; you don’t really have to rely on other band members.” So he kind of showed me a little bit of what to do and I just kind of took it and ran with it in my own direction.

“I started listening to a lot of music where the beat influenced me—bands kind of like old-school Jesus and Mary Chain where the only percussion they had was a snare and a kick drum that the guy was playing with. I listened to a lot of old-school hip-hop, where that bass and kick was very prominent. So then I kind of figured that out with my feet and added the guitar to it and just kind of had it all in unison. You know, to me the music is kind of minimalistic because there’s only so much you can do, but as far as influences go, I have a bunch of influences, at least from song to song.”

To date, the MC1 has released two recordings, both of which will be available at the show in addition to t-shirts. However, the band still currently has scant digital presence but for a YouTube video.

“I have two releases out, but being digitally challenged I’m trying to figure out how to get them up on Bandcamp,” he said. “If it comes to old-school, go-to-the-Xerox-machine to make covers, I’m like a genius, but when it comes to getting on the computer I kind of missed that boat. I’m learning little by little. I don’t have anything in any stores right now. I’m not on a label. This is self-released. I’m basically taking that Against All Authority D.I.Y. ethic and starting up on my own again. I’ve worked with different people. I’m just kind of doing it on my own.”

Punk Rock for Autism is taking place on May 21, 2016 at Anonymous Guitars – 5101 N. University Drive, Lauderhill, FL. The show is all-ages and begins at 7 p.m. Look below for the full lineup and schedule. For more information on the show, visit PunkRockForAutism.com and for more information about the nonprofit benefitting from the show, visit WeRockForAutism.org.

Punk Rock for Autismpunk rock autism

7:00 – Doors open

7:10 – Wallace

7:50 – Dead End Losers

8:30 – Ticket 2 Nowhere

9:10 – The MC1

9:50 – D.N.R.

10:30 – The Already Gone

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Jesse Scheckner

A freelance MMA, entertainment and business journo born, raised and residing in Miami, FL, Jesse Scheckner is a former semi-serious musician, cinephile and recovering ne’er-do-well who still believes Mickey Rourke’s finest performance in film has yet to come. He is TuffGnarl.com's editor-in-chief, a feature staff writer for MMASucka.com and the 2014 MMA Media Correspondent winner at the Florida MMA Awards. Follow him on Twitter @JesseScheckner to talk about the stuff he writes about with him.

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