Maybe you’ve heard of speed metal. But fast-food metal?
Heavy metal has a staggering number of sub-genres. Death metal, thrash metal, doom metal, stoner metal, power metal, black metal, grindcore, Christian metal.
One such classification that has been flying just a bit under the radar is “drive-thru” metal, played by a sect of musicians that blend their obsessions with greasy fast food and heavy rock. You might call it a riffage-over-roughage diet.
At the leading edge of the drive-thru metal metal style (never mind that this band might be the genre’s only participant) is Mac Sabbath. From an alternative dimension (or Los Angeles, depending on who’s telling the story), the costume-clad Ronald Osbourne, Slayer MacCheeze, Grimalice and Catburglar have only been together since 2014 but have quickly gained notice for cheesy send-ups of Sabbath tunes — “Frying Pan,” based on “Iron Man”; “Pair-a-Buns,” based on “Paranoid”; “Sweet Beef,” based on “Sweet Leaf” — and over-the-top live performances.
The band members’ true identities are secret, so in advance of Mac Sabbath’s shows at The Foundry at The Fillmore in Philly (March 8) and Brooklyn Bazaar (March 11), we chatted with the man that knows these weirdos the best — Mike Odd, the appropriately named man who manages the drive-thru window.
How would you describe the Mac Sabbath live experience?
There are towering clown heads spewing fiery brimstone, a smoking grill, and giant burgers bouncing on the crowd and birthday party magic tricks. It’s an arena-size stage show packed on to a club size stage. A feast for the senses that can only be experienced live.
You’ll be in Philly and Brooklyn this week. Do you have a message for the fans in those cities?
COME HUNGRY FOR WEIRD!
Tell us how Mac Sabbath got started.
Well, as band manager I can really only tell you the start of how I got involved with them. It used to be some sort of a secret cult that met in basements of a fast food franchise after hours and perform ritual performance art for employees and those in the know. I started receiving strange secret messages. Finally I agreed to meet up and solve the mystery at this burger mecca in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles. In walks an abomination. Dripping with smeared face paint and dirty red and yellow tassels scraping the ground. I was shocked, horrified and delighted at the same time. He sat down in the booth with me and I listened to the clown pitch, by the time we were thrown out, I had a new purpose in life.
What is “drive-thru metal”? Are there any other bands in the genre besides Mac Sabbath?
Ronald is here to warn us all about the evils of fast food. He literally is trying to get us all to slow down. That’s why he screams things on stage like “Let’s have a quiet” and “Let’s get Lazy!” So Mac Sabbath, the creators of Drive Thru Metal, don’t actually condone the lifestyle they might seem to. He goes on and on about the bands stealing food from his mouth, KFC/DC, Pantera Bread, Iggy Popeye’s and on and on, but I have yet to see any of them perform. Sometimes I don’t think we exist in the same dimension.
What did these guys listen to growing up?
I’m guessing Black Sabbath.
Where does the band like to eat?
Does the band have any kind of relationship with Black Sabbath?
Black Sabbath posted a live video for the song “Frying Pan” early on. It’s at well over 1 million served now thanks to the boys in black. Ozzy recently plugged the band on his TV show “Ozzy and Jack’s World Detour” on A&E. Now Zakk Wylde seems to have taken an interest.
Did the guys see any of the shows on the Black Sabbath farewell tour?
I see all Black Sabbath shows always. Sometimes I’m wondering if I’m watching some of the same guys I watch every night.
Sabbath’s estranged drummer Bill Ward seems to be available. Have you invited him to play with Mac Sabbath?
Got his number?
Call ‘em whatever you want, just don’t call them late for dinner!
How do you go about keeping the band’s identities secret? You’ve done a better job of it than Ghost.
Since all these characters seem to exist in an alternate reality where fame and ego are not a factor, all seems right with the universe.
Tell me a bit about Galactic Empire, the Star Wars-themed band you’re on tour with.
They are truly out of this world! The dark side of the force up there on stage in full regalia churning out metalized mayhem straight from the most epic cinematic score ever written. Did I mention Vader on lead guitar! Has to be experienced to be believed!
And how did things on tour go with Okilly Dokilly, the Ned Flanders-themed metal band?
The Neds were amazing to travel with and see perform every night. I felt under the left-handed spell so wholeheartedly I think I’m ambidextrous now!
What’s next for Mac Sabbath?
Many surprises coming very soon but likely the only one I’m allowed to mention are the nervous breakdown of the manager. Coming soon to a venue near you!