Black Sabbath and How I Ended Up Playing Metal at my Wedding

ozzy-barlcay-1024x768A few months after we got engaged, my then fiance (now wife) Nicole surprised me with tickets to see Black Sabbath at the Barclay center in Brooklyn for my 31st birthday.

She is used to seeing Oneironaught play in small clubs and bars around town so this was definitely a different sort of spectacle for her, complete with crazy lights shooting all over the place and a stadium packed with roaring, inebriated fans. Ozzy totally killed it, along with the rest of the band…

We fell asleep after the concert and I basically forgot all about it. The band was busy working on our second album and Nicole and I were planning our NYC wedding by ourselves (and our honeymoon in Japan and Thailand). Not to mention our full-time day jobs, too.

I was on the fence about whether or not the band should play at the reception. We had a 50s theme going, inspired by Nicole’s engagement ring (which was her grandmother’s) so our music wasn’t exactly the right genre. Plus did I want to be THAT showy?

A few months before our wedding we went to a friend’s wedding where the groom nailed a killer metal guitar solo with the wedding band. Fine, why not share my passion with my family?

So, yeah… I decided I wanted to be showy, and started looking for something flashy so I could look super-cool and rockstar out. The guys suggested Moby Dick by Led Zeppelin, which also has groovy metal guitar lines and an insane drum solo.

Sabbath recently added a younger guy on drums, it may have been Tommy Clufetos. Anyway, toward the end of the set the band started playing Rat Salad off their album Paranoid. The whole song is basically a setup for a sick 15-minute drum solo. When he let loose, doing fancy fills, super fast runs across the toms, and crazy double bass patterns, Nicole started taunting me asking me if I could do that. “Yes. I can do that,” I answered over and over as a hail storm of drum solo showered down upon us.

Challenge accepted.

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When I brought up the guys’ suggestion of “Moby Dick” to Nicole she was like, “WHAT? No way. You can’t play something called MOBY DICK at our wedding…why don’t you play that song you said you could play at the Black Sabbath concert?”

Okay, I was going to do this.

It had special meaning to me because her dad was a really big fan of Black Sabbath back in the day and sent me his original LP of Paranoid for my birthday. I had a feeling this would probably go over well—even if some of the elderly would have to plug their ears. This actually happened. Amazing photo.

So we dedicated one of our practices to learning the song. Nathan had to leave practice early for work, but Damon, Robert, and I stayed behind to work out the song off of the recording on YouTube. Nathan’s good at just jumping in and figuring it out later. We played it through a few times and I worked on some drum solo ideas. When we do covers, we like to add a little something in there—put our signature on it—and I generally enjoy structured solos so I suggested we try adding in a section from “The Sludgery” (one of our heaviest from the Enlist Today! album). We modified a section from the song to serve as mood music for the drum solo, and it worked perfectly.

Later on when we showed it to Nathan he was a bit skeptical as to whether or not we had the right to “graffiti” (his words) their song with our metal, but I convinced him we were paying them homage. When I finally played Nicole the recording, the first thing she saw was the song title, “Rat Salad” on the screen: “Wait. It’s called RAT SALAD!? We can’t have something called RAT SALAD played at our wedding.” Keep in mind our wedding was only 8 weeks away. After some frantic discussion, we decided that the song was still awesome, even if the title wasn’t ideal for a wedding. Our solution was to play it anyway without announcing the song name. If anyone asked it was “a special Black Sabbath song.”

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So that’s the story about how we ended up covering Rat Salad at my wedding.

The track we recorded at rehearsal is not currently available for sale or stream but as a thank you for being one of our subscribers I want to give it to you for free—no strings attached.

Download our version of Rat Salad here.

If you like the track you might also consider grabbing a free copy of Enlist Today!

It’s our debut album and it’s full of tricky rhythms, psychedelic atmospheres, and even dynamics—quiet parts for variety and contrast

Talk soon,

-Dave

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