In Austin music lore, Brownout long existed as a scrappy side project of Grupo Fantasma — a hard-driving, instrumental groove squad that shared the big sister cumbia band’s affinity for Latin horns and percussion. But in the shared origin story of two of Austin’s great big bands, the funk came first.
Brownout’s members put the funk aside for the past three years, as they were in demand and toured as Brown Sabbath, their Black Sabbath cover band.
"(We’re) trying to figure out where that left us off and how any of that influence has seeped into the music if it has," guitarist Adrian Quesada said recently, before the release party for their new EP "Over the Covers."
The influence is not overt, but you can feel it in "the energy of the music," said vocalist Alex Marrero, who joined the band to play Ozzy Osbourne on the Sabbath tours, and is now a full-time member on vocals and percussion. "(We’re) taking chances, doing different things."
Read more about Brownout’s past, present and future in Deborah Sengupta Stith’s story, part of our artist of the month series, at MyStatesman.com.