Being the manager for Mac Sabbath can’t be an easy job.
Ostensibly, it’s a fast food-themed Black Sabbath parody band. The group takes its name and songs and some of its general aesthetics from the English metal pioneers, with lyrics about the evils of the fast-food nation.
Sabbath’s “Paranoid” becomes “Pair-a-Buns.”
“Sweat Leaf” gets redone as “Sweat Beef.”
But Mac Sabbath is also a parody of America’s most iconic fast food chain, which band manager Mike Odd doesn’t mention by name, for legal reasons, one presumes.
It should be super obvious.
It’s the non-Sabbath part of the name, shown in the band’s logo as golden arches. It’s also the core of the band’s identity and musical style, which they have dubbed “drive-thru metal.”
The band’s record single comes with a coloring book, which features the dementedly skewed versions of the restaurant’s characters that the band portrays on stage.
There’s Slayer MacCheeze and Grimalice along with the Cat Burglar on drums (that one borrows some from Kiss, too). The whole thing is fronted by a zombified Ronald Osbourne, who, to hear Odd tell it, refuses to acknowledge any technology post 1979.
It has something to do with his traveling back through time via a wormhole, Odd says.
He communicates with the band via land line telephone.
“I am at the mercy of this crazed anonymous clown,” Odd says.
And that clown tends to leave the manager in the dark about important happenings. Like, when the band met and performed for Ozzy Osbourne as part of the singer’s “Ozzy and Jack’s World Detour” TV show. Odd says he found about the meeting only after the video clip was released and picked up by Rolling Stone.
“I didn’t get to meet Ozzy Osbourne,” says Odd, sounding slightly annoyed by the ordeal.
Mac Sabbath maintains its mythos and Odd is obviously in on the joke, though he does play earnest about his dealings with Mac Sabbath, even if his interviews tend toward the outlandish and are filled with fast-food puns.
The band’s success is no joke.
Mac Sabbath’s first gig outside California was the Download Festival in England, alongside headliners Kiss, Judas Priest and Mötley Crüe. That same year, Mac Sabbath also played Outside Lands. This year, the band has been booked at the infamous Gathering Of The Juggalos (its the 20th anniversary, FYI) and on next year’s Monsters of Rock Cruise.
“It’s a lot,” says Odd says, describing the theatrical nature of the band’s live show. There is the intricate, if not slightly homemade costumes and the silly on-stage banter, but also some serious social massages about the harm of corporate farming and fast food.
And kid’s magic, too.
“It’s a live thing,” Odd says. “It’s not something you can get through YouTube.”
Other events of note
▪ Fresno County Wine Journey, noon Saturday and Sunday. Fresno County wineries, breweries and distilleries. $10 in advance. www.fresnocountywinejourney.com