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Oz Knozz

Oz Knozz

Oz Knozz is a Progressive Rock band from Houston, Texas. The band was formed in 1969 as a trio, consisting of Duane Massey on Keyboards, Trumpet, and Lead Vocals, Bill Massey on Bass, Guitar, Saxophone and Vocals, and Jack Alford on Drums, Flute, and Vocals. All three were students at Westbury High School in Houston, Texas. After a couple of years, Jack decided to leave the band and pursue another profession, at this point fellow Westbury student Marty Naul took over the drumming duties. After graduating from high school, Marty and Duane attended Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas, where they both majored in Music, and it was here in 1972 that they met Richard Heath of Austin, who became the band's original Lead Guitarist. It was also at this time that the band experimented with a three piece horn section, with Bob Odneal on Trumpet, Randy Griffin on Saxophone and Flute, and Curtiss Byrd on Trombone.

The band played in this configuration for a couple of years, finally cutting the horn section in about 1974, and recording the band's debut album, "Ruff Mix", in 1975. Shortly after "Ruff Mix" was released, Richard left the band to head his own musical projects, and he was replaced for a short time by Keyboardist Patrick Brennan. The line-up of two keyboardists and no guitarist didn't work out too well, so Patrick eventually left the group and was replaced in late 1975/early 1976 by guitarist Rick Wheeler. In 1980, it was decided that Duane had stretched his vocal abilities about as far as he could, so the band welcomed Lead Vocalist Glenn Gibson to the line-up. Glenn was with the band for roughly three years, sharing vocal duties with Randy James, who also appeared about this time. After Glenn and Randy had both left the band, singer Matt Jernigan joined the group in 1983, and the band toured all over the Western US in this configuration.

After Oz Knozz came home from the 1983 tour, Rick Wheeler, Matt Jernigan, and Bill Massey all left the group, leaving Duane and Marty looking for new players if the band was to continue. After looking around and trying out various musicians during the early months of 1984, three new people were hired to carry on; Milton De Coronado (Miltonio) on Lead Vocals and Keyboards, David Frasier on Guitar, and Scott Langston on Bass, Lead and Backing Vocals. After about six months, David Frasier was replaced on guitar by Robert Guinea (Robert-O). Milton then left in 1986 and moved to Los Angeles, Ca. and was replaced by Lead Vocalist Joel Vinson. Scott was also trading his place on bass with Craig Chambers, and the two of them alternated on Bass for the next couple of years.

In early 1987, it seemed like the end for Oz Knozz, nobody was really interested in investing the time or effort needed to keep the band alive, so for the first time in 18 years, it was decided to break up the band completely. This was the state of things until early 1996, when Marty and Duane started talking about giving things another go, but doing things a little differently. In the early days, the band put alot of pressure on themselves to "make it", this time around would be much different; keeping the pressure off, have fun playing the music, and quit worrying about "being Rock Stars"! Milton was contacted, and immediately said yes, Bassist Victor De La Garza was hired, as was Bill Mohelsky on Lead Guitar. After a few shows, Victor decided his schedule wouldn't allow him enough time to carry on with Oz Knozz, so Jason Arkfeld was brought in to play Bass, which he did from 1996 until 1998, when Bill Massey expressed interest in not only playing bass again, but doing it within the framework of Oz Knozz. Jason understood completely, so he left the band amicably in the spring of 1998 and Bill regained the Bass Player's position. Four years later, in the summer of 2002, Guitarist Bill Mohelsky was replaced by the return of Robert-O to the band.

It is impossible to name every person who has ever played with Oz Knozz, but it has been estimated that as many as 25 people have worked with the band on at least one show! The current line-up is the one that can be heard on the new CD, "10,000 Days & Nights", so this group of musicians seems destined to stay together for the forseeable future.

As of March 2010, Oz Knozz is back in the studio recording a brand new CD, titled "True Believer", to be released sometime in the Fall of 2011. The CD has ten tracks on it as opposed to eight on "10,000 Days", and is more Progressive. The band is recording the project over at Sound Arts Recording Studios in Houston, Texas, with studio engineer Brian Baker at the console.