Bored with hearing the same music over and over? Are you hungry for something different, something with a message yet fun? Want to have fun at a show and get silly at times? Do other shows leave you hungry for something different? Well, your taste buds about to get a treat.
Say hello to Mac Sabbath, a parody heavy metal tribute band that focuses primarily on songs from Black Sabbath. What makes them stand out is the fact that they use lyrics and imagery focused around fast food, one specific fast food chain in particular. The band is performing at The Firebird on March 29.
The band consists of four members (Ronald Osborne – singer, Grimalice – bassist, Slayer Mac Cheeze – guitarist and the Cat Burglar on drums) each with a persona that is as wacky looking as it sounds.
There is no easy way to describe the outlandish claims the band makes about their origins and what they are about. The band itself doesn’t grant interviews and they don’t speak offstage. So I chatted with their spokesman, their manager Mike Odd (You couldn’t ask for a better name for the person who represents what is arguably the weirdest group on the planet) about the band, their origin, the music and 8 track tapes.
Sean Derrick: Tell me about Mac Sabbath for people who don’t know the band.
Mike Odd: Want me to start from the beginning?
SD: Yeah, go for it.
MO: You want me to super-size it? Alright, here it goes. I used to run this oddities shop, this freak museum in East Hollywood. So, I’m that kind of guy who searches out strange and wonderful odd things. And it seeks me out too, I’ll take a call from a a guy who has a skeleton of an aardvark with two heads and then have to go down there and go meet him in the dark and hope he doesn’t hit me over the head and make me his slave. So Stuff seeks me out, too. So, I wasn’t completely surprised to get this anonymous call to come down to this burger joint in Chatsworth, California, and that it was going to change my life. So, I packed up the truck and went down there expecting to find someone with a hamburger bun that was toasted in an image of the Virgin Mary, or something like that. And I am asking around and nobody knows anything and I am sitting in the booth just waiting there when this abomination of a clown just burst through the door with these red and yellow dirty tassels just scraping the floor, Skeletor-type makeup who starts spewing these Orwellian concepts all over everyone’s lunch. He tells me it was his destiny to manage his band. At this time I am looking around thinking I am on Candid Camera or something, just waiting for someone to jump out and tell me I’ve been punk’d.
By the time we were thrown out of there he invited me back at 3:00 in the morning for this secret turnkey meeting thing, and backdoor weird secret stuff. So, I find myself in the basement amongst boxes of freeze-dried condiments and bleached burger buns watching these mutated versions of fast food mascots play these Black Sabbath songs screaming about changing all the lyrics to be about fast food, and screaming about GMO’s and Monsanto. And it was one of the most amazing things I had ever seen. So, I am like Ok, I will work with this guy. This will be fun this will be interesting for a minute, you know. It moved me completely, but I didn’t foresee such mass appeal. I just figured it was me.
Right away I started booking shows, as I had experience with that same concept with my band, Rosemary’s Billygoat, with the whole theatrics thing and monsters, you know. I was still trying to figure out who was going to like it because no matter how heavy the music is and how wicked the show is, something about it was still just sort of cute and family friendly. So I booked it a Halloween party at a grammar school in Silver Lake, California and the band played for these elementary kids on the playground. And at one point this woman comes up to me and says “Sir, are you responsible for this?”
MO: I was like “Yeah, I’m soooo sorry. I didn’t know. I didn’t…” and she is like “This is wonderful, this is so great. You should definitely do more of this and get this in more schools.” And I was like “Reeaallyy?” Because at the time I wasn’t sure what was going on and wasn’t sure I had the right deal, wondering if I went too far on that. Then I started thinking that if this was really a thing we could do tours and play for the drunks at night and play at the schools during the day in the same town haha. They could play in the cafeteria and do some special health food message type of set. You know, we could make a deal with Michelle Obama or something haha. That never really came to pass because I don’t have Michelle’s number. But I am still looking for it, so if you have any leads let me know.
SD: Haha yeah, I’ll see what I can do.
MO: Anyway, then what happened during one of the first shows I took some video and put it up on YouTube with the lyrics of the song “Frying Pan”, which is a parody of the song “Iron Man.” it immediately got picked up by Fox News and MTV News. Black Sabbath also put a link up on their website on New Year’s Day 2015. I was thinking “alright, this is the year for Mac Sabbath.” And it was! The momentum that happened from that was amazing. Before I had taken the band outside of California I had a call to go to England to play the Download Festival with KISS, and Motley Crue, and Judas Priest, and Slipknot, and Marilyn Manson. So, we were like WOW, and made a tour of that, touring England and came back and made another tour, including a festival in San Francisco called Outside Lands. This was in Golden Gate Park and the band went on right before Elton John.
SD: Wow. Really?
MO: Yeah, so no it is rolling really fast. We are out on the Rock-Sham Shake Tour and it’s the longest tour yet.
SD: Wow, so I was listening to the songs that are up on YouTube and it seems each song has a message of the dangers of eating at fast food joints.
MO: Yeah, Ronald Osborne’s whole thing is maintains he has travelled here in a time space continuum from the 1970’s to save us from the current state of sustenance and government food control while claiming the 1970’s were the last time that food and music were genuine. And then this whole Orwellian 1984 thing came and went and no one noticed, and we are all living under the rule of it and they are controlling what we eat and… there is a sort of kill the poor situation going on and it gets heavy and complicated. And he doesn’t respond to any technology, because you know it was the 70’s. And that is trying to say the least.
SD: I bet so. So he is only up on albums and 8 tracks, and such.
MO: Oh my God! Thank God, you are the first person who has said it first.
SD: Okay, haha
MO: Every time someone asks “what about the album”? I’m like “(Ronald) wants 8 track tapes.” Do you know what it’s like to call around to get people to print you 8 track tape? It doesn’t go very well haha.
SD: I bet not.
MO: Remember in the middle of a song how it would go “Ching Chunk” in the middle and it would just change channels? Haha.
SD: Sadly, I do haha.
MO: That is one thing I am looking forward to hearing again hahaha. But a lot of times I bring that up and it’s a kid who’s interviewing me and he doesn’t understand what I am saying, but he doesn’t say anything. Then I go back and read the interview and it says “Oh yeah, and it will only be available on 80 track format” hahaha.
SD: 80 track?? Hahahaha.
MO: And I am like “Whar’s that? What is he talking about?” Haha. Then I realized I should shut up, but you brought it up first, so.
SD: Yeah, I was around in the 70’s so I have vivid memories of 8 track haha. So you mentioned Ronald, what about the rest of the members in the band?
MO: Um, they are easier to deal with. They are Monsanto mutants in a more easygoing fashion.
SD: So, they don’t talk much?
MO: No they don’t. They just smile and nod and are fuzzy and warm. Some more than others. Grimalice is so huggable.
SD: So you refer to them as Monsanto Mutants. Is that in the same way that nuclear testing gave rise to Godzilla?
MO: Toxic Avenger, is that was you were going to say?
MO: hahaha Yeah I think it’s kinda like that, I think it’s been mutated by all the fast food maybe in the past. And now they are doing penance for all their sins haha.
SD: Gotta spread the Word, right?
MO: In the van. Yeah something like that.
SD: Is that what their self-described Drive Thru Metal is like, or how it came about?
MO: Drive Thru Metal is an oxymoron, with an emphasis on moron haha. It’s the genre that Ronald created yet he does not condone a fast food lifestyle. Whatever that means. And he is always ranting and raving about how Cinna-Bon Jovi or Burger King Diamond are taking the food out of his mouth. I didn’t even think Burger King Diamond existed until he started showing up at random shows, cities and states apart and making his way onto the stage during opening bands sets. Ronald is all riled up and crazy and upset and talking to security screaming at them saying “How’d you let this guy in?” and they claimed they had no idea, so Ronald comes back and says “I think they are telling me a whopper.”
MO: Hahaha Yeah so, that’s what I am dealing with.
SD: So have Ronald and Burger King Diamond ever confronted each other then? You know, fast food fight?
MO: Mild face offs, but no fisticuffs. That’s not Ronald’s style.
SD: What would someone expect at their show this Tuesday?
MO: Expect the unexpected. I will say this: It’s like an arena-rock show packed into a club stage setting. Giant towering laser-eyed clowns, weird stuff being pulled out of Ronald’s pants, giant burger’s bopping around the crowd. Something crazy with every single song. High audience participation. It’s an experience, not just a rock show.
SD: Have you played St. Louis before?
MO: No. But I will say this: I don’t know much about St. Louis clowns but I think there is a local clown from St. Louis that is going to make a surprise appearance. I can’t say more than that but we are excited that there is someone that maybe would think that Ronald Osborne would want to hang out with, lives in St. Louis and might just make an appearance.
So there you have it, don’t be left hungry and miss out on this super-sized show.
Tickets are still available For this all ages show, and can be purchased here.