BROWNOUT Presents: Brown Sabbath
BROWNOUT Presents: Brown Sabbath

BROWNOUT Presents: Brown Sabbath at Bonnaroo

Interview with: Greg Gonzalez

BROWNOUT Presents: Brown Sabbath is an 8 piece group from Austin, Texas with a passion for metal, and Latin music. Their creative energy captures the music of Black Sabbath and recreates it with a modern touch.
“The horn section will be flying to Nashville next week for a few days of rehearsal with the Superjam band.” – Greg Gonzalez
The band is set to perform at the 2015 Bonnaroo Music Festival this year. Greg Gonzalez, bassist with Brownout, talked with us about the band’s upcoming performance, summer plans and how the band started their bond as Brown Sabbath.

Brown Sabbath: Which Stage on Friday, June 12 from 2:00-3:00 p.m.

Q. Which song was the first Black Sabbath song that you learned to play together as a group?
“Into the Void. We played it as an instrumental before we knew who was gonna sing on the project.” – Greg Gonzalez


Q. On Friday, June 12 your group is opening up music on the Which Stage at Bonnaroo. Has the group performed for a crowd this size before?
“I’m not sure that we have actually. We’ve played some pretty good festival stages, Psych fest in Austin, Carolina Rebellion, Pachanga Fest, Utopia Fest, Pickathon in Portland etc But nothing on the scale of Bonnaroo. We actually played at Bonnaroo a couple years ago in the Tent supporting the GZA of Wu-Tang clan then did our own show on the Sonic Stage the next day but this could potentially be Brownout’s biggest crowd yet.” – Greg Gonzalez


Q. The band is stationed out of Austin, Texas. How is performing at Bonnaroo different from other festivals? How is it similar?

“Bonnaroo is definitely more high profile than most festivals. It’s the first major summer festival that rolls out all the big name bands and the size and scope of it are pretty tremendous. I like the mix of bands and the many different sort of Jams and special events that happen as well as the whole camping element. It’s a bit remote, unlike ACL which is held in central Austin, but that’s also a cool thing. It makes the festival experience feel more exclusive. For many of the band members, myself included, this is our third time at the ‘Roo. We first played there with Grupo Fantasma, then again a couple years later backing up the GZA and also as Brownout. We kinda know what to expect at this point so we’re all very excited to get to do it again. It’s also really cool that our horn section is getting to partake in the super jam alongside Reggie Watts, Chance the Rapper, Karl Denson, and members of Pretty Lights, Snarky Puppy and others…” – Greg Gonzalez


Q. How do the logistics work with touring with an 8 piece group?

“It’s a constant struggle. Our overhead is twice that of most bands and our profits also have to be split that many extra ways. We’ve had to adjust to make the most of it. In many cases we have to do jobs ourselves that smaller bands could delegate to paid outsiders. At the same time that helps keep us humble and forces us to have many different formations and repertoires to make the most out of all the many talented individuals involved. There are definitely a lot of personalities at work but we’ve been doing it for a while so we’re all like family now. The love is necessary to keep us all bonded together in spite of the occasional bumps in the road. It also helps that there’s so many talented guys in the band. Writers, arrangers, producers, players… Always someone to inspire you somehow.” – Greg Gonzalez


Q. Your group has mentioned performing original material at the Bonnaroo Music Festival for a late night set. Can you expand on that?

“We’ve been asked to perform at a late night event the Saturday of Bonnaroo. We’re really looking forward to showcasing some of our own original music as well as getting to jam with some of the amazingly talented musicians on this year’s lineup.”- Greg Gonzalez


Q. Have some of the horn players been practicing for the late night SuperJam? Can you talk about gearing up for that special performance?

“The horn section will be flying to Nashville next week for a few days of rehearsal with the Superjam band. We’ve been sworn to secrecy however as to what the show will entail. If you wanna know you have to go but its definitely gonna be a show, not just a bunch of guys up there noodling over 30 minute funk grooves.” – Greg Gonzalez

Q. Are there any additional events or summer plans on the horizon?

“We’re gonna be touring all summer in our many formations, as Grupo Fantasma, Brownout and occasionally as Money Chicha. We’re also in the process of wrapping up new material for all three bands as well as a follow up to the first Brown Sabbath album. Stay tuned for a steady stream of new material coming out of our camp!” – Greg Gonzalez

Previous articleYo Mamas Big Fat Booty Band | Funk Life | Interview – Album Review
Next articleEntourage the Movie | Film Review
Matthew McGuire is the founder and editor of Crescent Vale News. In 2014, he acquired a master's degree in Professional Media and Media Management from Southern Illinois University Carbondale.