Mike Odd is a truly interesting individual. As he giggled his way through our fifteen minute interview I couldn’t help but wonder if he was on a little more than his morning coffee. He had a lot to share about the origins of perhaps the weirdest band in hard rock, Mac Sabbath. Picking his brain about the origins of the band, how the group may be his destiny, and where these drive thru metal freaks are going next left me agog, in awe of the monster they have mistakenly created.
How are you?
I’m well! I’m ready for another Groundhog Day!
Another Groundhog Day?
Well it tends to be familiar things happening every day you know?
What is life like on the road with Mac Sabbath?
Complicated! For the most part it’s pleasant, but Ronald is very complicated. He’s very unpredictable and very left field. He’s all obsessed with these Orwellian doom and gloom concepts and he’s under the impression that he time traveled here from the 1970s to save us all from the current state of sustenance and wants to bring us back to the last time when music and food was genuine. I get to hear a lot of that, and there is no understanding of technology. There are a lot of fights when it comes to anything technological. If I put you in a room with him you would end up with a pie in our face for saying the wrong thing. The rants go on and on about the 70s coming before 1984 and how 1984 has come and gone without us realizing it. Weird conspiracy theory stuff. It just gets really confusing from there. That’s what I deal with on a day to day.
What about the other guys?
They are much easier to deal with. They are cuddly in comparison.
We’ve seen a lot of bands like Mac Sabbath rise up in recent years, be it Ghost, Babymetal and weird things like that seem targeted towards viral marketing. Was that a goal setting out for you guys?
I don’t think so at all. That happened. But I don’t think there was any intention of that whatsoever. We are all very surprised about what happened. I haven’t heard that take on it before! I think it’s more about fun, and if fun translates to viral then hey, that’s great!
One of the things that appealed to me early on about Mac Sabbath is that you are about fun, and not a lot of bands are fun these days. Why is it that way?
Life in general is not fun! The thing that’s interesting about it is that not only is it really fun and funny, if you break it down and look at the lyrics you see that it is very serious and has a poignant message. I don’t thin you usually get a combination of the two.
One of the things that captured my attention is that you have no recorded material out, but you have been around the country a handful of times now. What’s that like?
Well that’s what it is. It’s a live act. It’s not like a band. It’s a lot more than that. I don’t like to use the words multimedia experience, but it’s theatrics, it’s visuals, it’s comedy, it’s so many things that I don’t think would wrap up neatly on an album. That doesn’t mean that that won’t happen, I just haven’t really been ale to get it done. There is pressure for that to happen since things are going so well. I am trying to figure that out, but trying to do an album in 2016 with somebody whose only reference points go up until 1979… that makes it difficult. Things get lost in translation. I’m on the phone trying to find people who will put out eight track tapes, and we can’t find the players anywhere. It gets a little silly. I don’t know how it’s going to go, but so far it’s been great without it!
You said just now that you want Mac Sabbath to be a multimedia experience; what do you envision it growing into?
Well it already is! I’m not sure where it’s going to grow. I haven’t planned or foreseen anything that happened. It’s all been a surprise to me, I think it just kind of is. It belongs to the people, and it’s going to be what they make of it. One thing I will say is that Black Sabbath is in the middle of a tour called The End, and for this band it’s just the beginning.
So you are rising from the ashes in the name of hatred of fast food?
I guess so!
Something I’m genuinely curious about… when you found Ronald Osborne, what where his first words to you?
It was such a blur, a weird mix of bravado and concepts that were spewing out of this thing. The first thing that came out of his mouth, I believe it was him calling me Mr. Odd. He knew my name somehow. He said “Welcome to your destiny;” that was one of the first things he said! I was just looking for the hidden camera!
If this is your destiny, at what point did you go, “Oh fuck, this is actually happening?”
When Black Sabbath posted the video put up. I was so surprised. I was beside myself. It was New Years Day. It was like “Wow, this is the year of Mac Sabbath I guess!” I was blown away, it went out to 29 million of the right people. I was just so amazed, and I realized it would change my life. That video has almost a million hits, and when that happened the calls started coming in and it was like “Oh yeah come to England and play with KISS and Motley Crue and Judas Priest!”
But you still haven’t been on a festival with Black Sabbath?
I think it would be a bit redundant. But if Ozzy was doing solo we might do it.
Now that you’ve been able to do the impossible with Mac Sabbath, what are you going to do next?
I’m not sure! I’m not trying to do anything, I’m just riding the fried fish sandwich wave! I don’t know what’s next, I’m just letting it play out however it’s ditched out.
Has this been negatively impacting your work with Rosemary’s Billygoat?
It’s a double edged sword! I have a lot less time to do stuff with that band. We have an album in the can that’s been delayed because of all this, but it’s also getting us a lot more press. So we’ll see! Time will tell. We have a show coming up in April. Still at it!
What do you love so much about music?
It fuels me and drives me. To me it’s a regular human need, like eating and breathing. I don’t really think about it. I’ve never broken it down. Live music has always been so important to me. I’ve always been moved more by live bands who do more than just music and put on a show and that always really moved me. What is it? That’s the mystery.
Any final words of wisdom?
Stay in school! Avoid the drive thru! That’s all I got!
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