Mac Sabbath is an American parody heavy metal tribute band formed in Los Angeles, California in 2014. The self-appointed founders of "Drive Thru Metal", the band is primarily a parody of English heavy metal group Black Sabbath, utilizing lyricism and imagery centered around fast food.
Musically, Mac Sabbath performs faithful covers of Black Sabbath's songs with the lyrics humorously re-written about fast food. For example, the band's repertoire includes such parodies as "Pair-a-Buns" ("Paranoid"), "Frying Pan" ("Iron Man"), "Sweet Beef" ("Sweet Leaf") and "Never Say Diet" ("Never Say Die"), while the band's T-shirts read "We Sold Our Soul for Cinnamon Rolls" (parodying the compilation We Sold Our Soul for Rock 'n' Roll).
Mac Sabbath is visually inspired by characters from McDonaldland, the fantasy world which fast food restaurant McDonald's uses in its marketing campaigns geared towards children. Performing in elaborate costuming, the band's line-up consists of vocalist Ronald Osbourne, guitarist Slayer McCheese, bassist Grimalice and drummer the Catburglar. Mac Sabbath's concerts are described as a "multi-media show with video, theatrics, audience participation and sing alongs", featuring an array of food-related props which tie into their overall theme.
Mac Sabbath was formed in early 2014, debuting online through a (since removed) demo recording of a "Children of the Grave" parody entitled "Chicken for the Slaves", which was posted to an official Mac Sabbath YouTube and Facebook account on March 26, 2014. The members of Mac Sabbath are musicians from the Los Angeles rock and metal underground, though the band retains total anonymity behind their characters and an elaborate backstory which alleges the band comes from a "delicate part of the space time continuum". Though none of Mac Sabbath's members have been openly identified, Mike Odd, lead singer of the Los Angeles hard rock band Rosemary's Billygoat, publicly acts as the group's manager and speaks on their behalf in press releases.
Mac Sabbath performed their first public concert on July 12, 2014 as part of an art show at Bergamot Station in Santa Monica. The band spent the remainder of the year sporadically playing nightclubs around Los Angeles and even hosted a surrealistic performance at the Micheltorena Elementary School in Silver Lake as part of the school's Halloween festival. On October 26, 2014, Mac Sabbath was the headlining act for the final day of the three-day Long Beach Zombie Walk, which had featured novelty music DJ Dr. Demento and veteran horror punk group Haunted Garage as the previous days' headliners. In their coverage of the event, the OC Weekly newspaper wrote "Though Mac Sabbath is a one-line joke, they are great performers. Both musically and comedically, Ronald Osbourne and his band of characters keep the energy high and the smiles wide".
In late 2014, news of Mac Sabbath and a video of them performing their "Iron Man" parody "Frying Pan" first caught public notice on the heavy metal websites Loudwire and Metal Injection, the former of which praised the "hilarity" of the band's presentation, singling out the "coked-out clown" and the "skullet-sporting Grimace". Several days later, the band effectively went viral, receiving widespread online coverage from a myriad of sources including international music sites such as MTV News, Stereogum, Gigwise and Music Times, lifestyle and culture sites like the LAist, horror movie site Bloody Disgusting, food-centric website The Daily Meal and even Fox News, who called the band "creepy". Mac Sabbath was reported on by music publications from Germany, France, Italy and Spain, and on January 1, 2015, Black Sabbath's official Facebook page posted a link to Mac Sabbath through the LAist, though the post made no overt opinion about the band's existence.
Press response to Mac Sabbath was largely incredulous - Digital Spy proclaimed them "without question...the weirdest band we've ever seen" - but overall positive, with Kerrang! calling them "bizarrely awesome" and Consequence of Sound describing them "possibly more awesome" than the similarly food-themed parody band The Pizza Underground, praising their "righteous stage show". Bloody Disgusting admitted "I gotta give these guys some serious credit. The costumes are awesome, they stick to the theme like glue...and they legitimately sound tight", while NJ.com wrote "[a]s a Black Sabbath cover band, they're not bad. With the Mickey D costumes on, they're hysterical". Australia's FasterLouder boldly proclaimed them "the best fast food-themed Black Sabbath tribute band ever". LA Weekly ranked the band #1 on their list of the Top 20 tribute bands in Los Angeles, praising their "ferocious metallic flavor and demented props", summarizing "from their elaborate super-sized costumes to their clever, freak-fried takes on Sabbath's lyrics, these happy meal menaces sizzle live, and always serve up more than the empty calories of most cover bands".
After going viral, Mac Sabbath spent much of early 2015 touring Southern and Northern California, including a headlining performance at the Whisky A Go Go on April 15, 2014, where Black Sabbath performed their first North American show in 1971. That same month, it was announced that Mac Sabbath would be appearing at the Download Festival in Leicestershire in June as part of a seven-show tour of England, appearing alongside such bands as KISS, Judas Priest and Mötley Crüe. In an interview with LA Weekly, Mike Odd commented tongue-in-cheekly that Mac Sabbath was likely the first band to play England before they ever left California.
In popular culture
Mac Sabbath was mentioned by Kennedy on an episode of Kennedy. She described the band as her favourite Black Sabbath cover band, replacing her previous favourite Black Sabbath cover band, Pink Sabbath.
Ronald Osbourne - vocals
Slayer McCheese - guitar
Grimalice - bass guitar
Catburgler - drums
Mac Sabbath on Facebook
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