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Mistress of Reality Interview

Mistress of Reality

Interview with Bonny Iommi
By Lucifera Elena

1. As far as you know, are you truly the only all female tribute band to Black Sabbath?

2. Mistress of Reality is a great name for the band based on Master of Reality. Is this one of your favorite songs?
Master of Reality was the first Sabbath album I ever bought- so it was my first love so to speak.

3. How long has Mistress of Reality been around?
We’ve only been together for 6 months! The response has been amazing and everything has taken off quite fast with this band.

4. How did you girls get together and when did you decide you wanted to be a tribute band that covered exclusively Black Sabbath?
I had an ad out looking for an original metal band- Paulette (Izzy Osbourne) approached me about playing in a female Sabbath tribute band…my response to her was “I had never thought about playing in a tribute band, but I do love Black Sabbath!”

5. Could you tell us a little about each member? Where you in other bands before Mistress of Reality? Where did you all get your musical training and how many years did you spend defining your talents?
Mistress of Reality is the first band I’ve gotten to tour & play gigs with. Paulette has fronted many bands, but her last band was Nava. Simona bashes the drums in Ballistik, and Nicole has a new band in the works. Paulette was self-taught, but she is a master- she owns her own music school where she teaches. Simona graduated from Musicians Institute. Nicole & I for the most part are self-taught. I’ve been playing for about 12 years and took private lessons throughout the years.

6. Your stage shows resemble those of Black Sabbath and you go all out. What kind of audience do you get? I can imagine a mix of metal fiendz and goths.
We have a wide spectrum of people that come to our shows- just like the audience at the Sabbath reunion shows- older guys who were into Sabbath back in the day, younger metal heads, kids, but we also get tribute band followers, girl band geeks, and women who want to support female musicians.

7. What is each band members’ favorite Black Sabbath song? And what memories do these songs conjure up?
There’s too many! We lost some special people in our lives and we dedicated “Hand of Doom” to them on this tour.

8. Los Angeles, CA seems to have many all-female tribute bands and many females interested in the metal scene and in being musicians. Do you see anything similar when you tour the states?
When we toured the Northwest everyone would tell us about Helle’s Belles an all female AC/DC tribute band from Washington- they were actually the only tribute band I went to see years before I started playing in Mistress of Reality. One band that opened up for us in Portland, Stabitha had females in it- but that was it! There just aren’t enough females in rock!

9. What was the best reception you have gotten in your "Evil Women Tour" 2003? Any strange or funny events you can tell us about?
Every date we played on our tour was great! Butte, Montana was interesting though. There were couples dancing and men holding their women tighter if we walked by them! It was bizarre. You don’t expect people to be dancing during a song like “Symptom of the Universe!”

10. Do you feel a lot of pressure filling in Toni Iommi's shoes?
Hell yeah! He is the Master! I learned my first power chords playing “Iron Man.” And many people in the audience have the same love & admiration for the music Tony Iommi created that I do. I have such a deep respect for Tony, and I only hope that I bring out that being-a-teenager, blaring-Black Sabbath-outta-your- speakers, playing-air-guitar-in-your-bedroom feeling back to the people in the audience!

11. What other bands besides Black Sabbath do you enjoy? What other bands would you say influenced you as a musician?
A lot the bands that influenced me to play guitar are bands that were influenced by Black Sabbath- Pantera, White Zombie, Slayer, early Metallica & Megadeth, to name a few. 12. What do you gals do for fun aside from Mistress of Reality?
If we’re not playing a show, we’re at a show!

13. Do you plan to release any original material of your own?
Yes of course! But right now all my time goes to this band. I do hope this band is the doorway to whatever the future brings me.

14. Women in metal are making themselves noticeable in all areas the scene. Do you see any changes? And are there any changes you would like to see?
More women have to be involved in heavy music. When I witness other females rocking out on stage it’s empowering. I could see it in some of women that were in our audience- it even brought them to be aggressive & excited! I was a little disappointed that not a single girl came up to us on our tour telling us that they too play heavy music!

15. Have the members of Black Sabbath and Ozzy been to any of your shows? Or do they know about your band?
I know that Ozzy & Bill Ward know about us. We’ve yet to have a member come to one of our shows. We gave Sharon Osbourne a pair of Mistress of Reality thong panties to wear for Ozzy!

16. Can you name any other female musician or bands that you consider admirable?
I’ve always loved Sean Yseult ex-White Zombie bassist- she has badass bass lines, held her own in band full of guys, and out headbanged just about every dude I’ve seen to this day! Poison Ivy from The Cramps-she’s just a timeless goddess! Tairrie B. from My Ruin has a scream that shrinks all testicles in the room- I’ve been watching her evolve since her Manhole days and she’s got it down! I recently was in awe of Loana from Dreams of Damnation- she’s like Tom Araya minus the bass guitar! And Betty Blowtorch was the greatest all female band to grace rock and roll- I love you, Bianca! (R.I.P.)

17. How do you gals wind down after every show?
I’m the insomniac in the band- wrong person to ask!

18. What's your response to people who don't find tribute bands to be a "real band" because you don't produce your own material?
We’re here to play for the crowds who want to forget about their problems, kick back, have a beer and lose themselves in their favorite Sabbath tunes. Being in a tribute band is hard work- we pour our souls into our playing, it may not be the music we created but it’s music that’s touched us & we want to throw that love back out to the crowd. When the whole crowd is pressed up against the stage singing and clapping along to “War Pigs” it doesn’t matter that we’re not really Black Sabbath, it doesn’t matter that we’re not a quote on quote “real band”, what matters is that we’ve tapped into these people and we’ve brought out this energy out of them. And that’s what it’s all about!

19. What are you future goals with Mistress of Reality?
To tour as long as we can and to keep spreading the love of Sabbath!

20. Any last words?
As Ozzy & Izzy would say, “Thank you goodnight! We love you all!”