As seen on TV

The Great Sabatini is guest of honor at Blind Bob’s

By Gary Spencer

Photo: [l-r top] Sean and Joey, [l-r bottom] Rob and Steve of The Great Sabatini; photo: Big James Arsenian

Roughly a year and a half ago, I walked into Blind Bob’s bar in the Oregon District on a random Sunday, not really knowing anything about the bands playing that night. Between bands, I was out on the patio conversing with people when, all of a sudden, I heard a loud roar coming from inside the club, despite there being a closed door between the patio and the main room. Curious about who was creating such a ruckus inside, I walked in and immediately my eardrums were rattled by the sheer volume of the noise emanating from the PA speakers. I moved across the room where I could get a look at whomever was making all the racket. What I saw was a band consisting of four angry looking dudes soaked in white lights with stacks of small televisions set to white static – which served as a comparable visual representation of the shocking sounds coming out of their amplifiers. The band had simple, yet effective, riffs caked in overbearing distortion that lumbered toward you in a menacing fashion. The band’s sound had a disturbing depravity to it, but yet enough nuance and craft that any discerning ear could recognize these guys had their sound and songwriting knives sharp enough to bludgeon any eardrums within a stadium’s length of hearing them. And to top it off, all four members took turns at screaming and bellowing maniacally into their respective microphones, adding yet another layer of viciousness to their unsettling, blunt, feedback-drenched nightmares. The name of the band: The Great Sabatini.

Formed in Montreal in 2007, The Great Sabatini has been disturbing, intimidating and decimating live audiences all over North America and Europe for years now. The quartet is in the midst of yet another full-scale North American tour as we speak, and the band will once again perform at Blind Bob’s this coming Saturday, armed with a new full-length record for sale, entitled Dog Years. The band’s newest disc is a lean, mean slab of noisy sludge metal that pierces your psyche, and the riffage contained within burrows into your ears and brain – much like a tumor driving a bulldozer. There is nothing subtle about The Great Sabatini’s music, and with that in mind, I conducted a Q&A with the band’s drummer Steve about what makes The Sabatini so “great.”

Who is The Great Sabatini?

We all collectively took on the surname Sabatini as an homage to the traveling freak shows of yesteryear. Sean and Rob Sabatini play guitar, Joey Sabatini plays bass and I’m behind the kit. – Steve Sabatini

How might you describe the music of The Great Sabatini to someone unfamiliar with what you do?

I’d describe ourselves as a mix of doom metal, ’70s rock and grindcore. To name some bands that have influenced us, I’d say King Crimson, Helmet, The Melvins, Today is the Day, Meshuggah, Captain Beefheart, Black Sabbath and Ol’ Dirty Bastard. – SS

Tell me about your new album, Dog Years.

With Dog Years, I feel like we’ve bridged the gap between live Sabs and recorded Sabs. These new songs translate well onto wax. Dog Years is almost a reminiscence of our youth in that more punk and rock influences shine through. I feel like we’ve painted a picture of who we are and where we’ve come from with broad strokes. It’s the accumulation of years of playing together that has enabled us to execute a strong, dynamic album that is still cohesive as a single expression. I feel like we’ve sharpened the music sword to a point where the attack is as effective as it’s ever been. – SS

Tell me about The Great Sabatini’s live show. Also, what’s up with all the TVs you put on stage?

We play from our hearts and, as cheesy as that sounds, it is the truth. We realize we are living on borrowed time and at any moment it could all end, so we try to play every show like it’s our last. We want our live show to be an experience (and) we are very aware there is a fine line between effective and novelty. The TVs were never there to act as filler to what we’re doing on stage, but to add another layer to the whole performance. We figured we might as well hit you on all fronts – visually and audibly. We want people to walk away feeling they have shared in on something special. – SS

Anything else you’d like to say to our readers about why they should come see The Great Sabatini at Blind Bob’s this Saturday?

Just come on out. We’ll have our best hockey cards on the merch table for trades. – SS

The Great Sabatini will perform this Saturday, Sept. 27 at Blind Bob’s, 430 E. Fifth St. Valley of the Sun, Imbroglio and Rogues are also on the bill. Show begins at 9:30 p.m., and admission is $5 at the door for patrons 21 and older. For more information please visit thegreatsabatini.com.

Reach DCP freelance writer Gary Spencer at GarySpencer@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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Gary Spencer is a graduate of Miami University and works in the performing arts, and believes that music is the best. Contact him at GarySpencer@DaytonCityPaper.com

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