Brown Sabbath Show The Funkiness Of Black Sabbath


BROWNOUT plays BLACK SABBATH at The Casbah Jan. 10, The Wayfarer Jan. 11, The Roxy Jan. 12; photo James Christopher

Brown Sabbath started off as “half inside joke and half psychotic” according to Brownout guitarist, Greg Gonzalez. The 8-piece band who are also part of the Grammy Award-nominated Latin small orchestra, Grupo Fantasma, bring the funk to their renditions of Black Sabbath classics and deep cuts.

Brown Sabbath has performed at a plethora of music festivals including Bonnaroo, and will be returning to SoCal in 2017 stopping first at The Casbah Jan. 10, then on to The Wayfarer Jan. 11, before appearing at The Roxy Jan. 12.

CGL: How did you come up with Brown Sabbath? What’s the meaning behind it?
BS: Brownout was doing a residency at a club in Austin this past Sept. and the goal was to do a different theme every week. We did James Brown’s classic album “Black Caesar” as “Brown Cesar” we did a BBoy night called “Brownout II Electric Boogaloo,” a hip hop night “Fear of a Brown Planet” and a Black Sabbath tribute night “Brown Sabbath.”

All the shows were great, but the Brown Sabbath show was the biggest hit of the four. We sold out the club, with a line around the block. That success inspired us to record an EP of Black Sabbath covers, one thing led to another, we got a record label involved, and the next thing you know we’re doing a run of shows to promote an album based upon the Brown Sabbath theme!

CGL: “Hand of Doom” with Alex Maas of Black Angels has been getting a lot of great responses and feedback from USA Today and Noisey/Vice. How do you guys feel about that?
BS: We’re stoked to be getting so much positive feedback on the track. Alex Maas did a great job on that song and it’s a pretty obscure Black Sabbath track to begin with. Whenever you try to play Sabbath there are a lot of “Sabbath purists” out there who consider it sacrilegious to do things like add horns and percussion to a Sabbath song, but overall most people have been super receptive.

CGL: How would you guys describe your sound?
BS: Heavy Psychedelic Afrofunk

CGL: What was it like earning your third Austin Music Award?
BS: It was like winning our second Austin music award, not so much like winning the first one. Definitely an honor, like always, plus our guitar players got to take part in one of the inevitable 15-guitar-players-on-stage-blues-jams that seem to happen every other year.

CGL: What has been your favorite music festival that you’ve played at?
BS: That’s a tough one. Probably Bonnaroo, backing up the GZA, or UtopiaFEst jamming with Bernie Worrell. Or Bear Creek jamming with Antibalas, maybe High Sierra… We recently played Psych fest, that was awesome. So many festivals, so little time.

CGL: What are you most looking forward to for your shows in Southern California?
BS: California weather (beats the Texas heat)