Sabbathotage are not the kind of tribute band that dispenses with theater. This is evident when Adam Jacobson, frontman for Valley hard-rock band Steppchild, comes to the interview with Get Out looking more like Ozzy Osbourne than Ozzy himself has looked in 30 years, with Jacobson's trademark curly red hair straightened, black eyeliner rimming his blue eyes and his vintage '70s rock garb that Black Sabbath donned during their heyday.
Sabbathotage is, after all, paying tribute to the inventors of heavy metal, and Jacobson is so in character that he's speaking in a slurred British accent and making rock star-type demands.
“Call me Ozzy Osberg,” Jacobson says. “I'm the Jewish Ozzy Osbourne.”
Jacobson also asks that his fellow Steppchild/Sabbathotage band mates, who are not present for the interview, be referred to by their Sabbathotage names during the chat, so guitarist Adam Carter becomes “Tomy Ionni” (Sabbath's longtime guitarist is Tony Iommi) and drummer Adam Roach is now “Adam [Bill Ward] Roach” (named after Sabbath drummer Bill Ward).
The members of Steppchild are students of classic hard rock, and their own material, as on their 2005 disc “Pledge Allegiance to Rock and Roll,” embodies the spirit of bombastic rock with tunes such as “Mustache Ride,” “A+ in a G String” and “Sixteen Year Old Lover.”
But while Steppchild is busy working on their rock opera, “The Adventures of Captain Guitar and his Evil Foe FM Radio,” set for a late 2006 release, the band is serious about its tribute to the group that brought gloom and doom into the feel-good, peace and love hippie era of rock 'n' roll.
“It was a few years ago, very close to Halloween, when those of whom we rarely speak stepped down from the heavens and said to us, ‘The people listen when you play what they know,' ” Jacobson says of the origins of Sabbathotage. “And we thought about what the gods wanted us to do, and we figured out that they wanted us to play Black Sabbath.”
Sabbathotage plays something for every Black Sabbath fan, playing deep cuts for dyed-in-the-wool Sabbath freaks, and have recently added some of Sabbath's better-known songs into their set.
“We like deep cuts because, for guys like us, Sabbath is the (expletive)!” Jacobson says. “For guys like us, if we were gonna see some guys play Sabbath, we don't wanna see the hits all the time. But if you think about going to see Sabbath and the next thing you know they're playing ‘Paranoid' and ‘Fairies Wear Boots,' that brings a level of excitement to the show, so we've added those.
“And I'll tell you, man, the rock gods are happy now.”
>>Sabbathotage perform 9 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 23, at Yucca Tap Room, 29 W. Southern Ave., Tempe. Free. (480) 967-4777
Valley tribute bands
Alice Cooper: Killers
Bon Jovi: Young Guns, Wanted, New Jersey
The Doors: Five To One
Elvis Presley: Metal Elvis
Green Day: Gay Nerd
Iron Maiden: Powerslave
Judas Priest: Metal Gods
Other tribute bands
AC/DC: AB/CD, Dirty Deeds, Hells Bells, Jailbreak
Backstreet Boys: Backstreets Back
Cheap Trick: Cheap Chick, Dream Police
Def Leppard: High 'N' Dry, Hysteria, Pyromania
Eagles: Already Gone, Tequila Sunrise, B'Eagles
Foo Fighters: Floo Fighters, Foohters, Monkey Wrench
Grateful Dead: Dark Star Orchestra, Gruv Unit, Shakedown Street
Hilary Duff: Stuff
Journey: Escape, Frontiers, Separate Ways
Kiss: Cold Gin, Dressed to Kill, Hotter Than Hell, Kisstory
Led Zeppelin: Led Zepagain, Led Blimpie, Led Zepland
Metallica: Alcoholica, Master of Puppets, The Greedy Bastards
Neil Diamond: Nearly Diamond and the Rough Cutz, Forever Diamond, Hot August Night
Ozzy Osbourne: Crazy Train, Ozzy Wozborn, Ozz Madness
Pink Floyd: Bricks in the Wall, Off the Wall, Pig Floyd, Pink Side of the Moon
Queen: Under Pressure, EverQueen, Live Killers, Pueen
The Rolling Stones: The Rollin' Stoned, Black and Blue, Gimme Shelter, Sticky Fingers
Stevie Nicks: Landslide, Bella Donna, Gold Dust Woman
Tom Petty: Breakdown, Petty Larceny
U2: 2U, Achtung Babies, Rattle and Hum, One, Pride
Van Halen: Atomic Punks, Fair Warning, Unchained, OU812, Hot for Teacher
Whitesnake: Litesnake, Slip of the Tongue, Restless Heart
Yes: Fragile, Roundabout
ZZ Top: Sharp Dressed Man, Eliminator, El Loco, Zu Zu Mud