Black Rainbows: Under the Influence

In this month’s issue, we talked to Black Rainbows’ guitarist/vocalist Gabriele Fiori about the Italian band’s new album, Hawkdope—a gloriously psychedelic romp that pays homage to legends of the riff like Black Sabbath, Rainbow, Hawkwind and Monster Magnet. With that in mind, we asked our man to single out the best song from each of the aforementioned bands…no easy task considering their extensive, decades-spanning catalogs. Here’s what he chose:

Black Sabbath: “Paranoid”
I started listening to rock music pretty young—when I was seven years old, I got Killers by Iron Maiden on cassette, and after that I got into tons of rock artists like ZZ Top, Def Leppard, and Skid Row. My father, sister and cousin all listened to rock, so it was pretty easy for me to get introduced to this stuff!

When I was 10 or 11, I started renting CDs and recording them onto tapes because it was cheaper. One day, I discovered this old band called Black Sabbath and immediately fell in love. “Paranoid” has many different riffs and parts, but it’s also a very melodic song. Ozzy’s voice is rocking but friendly at the same time, and Iommi’s riffs are both gentle and rocking as well!

Rainbow: “Catch the Rainbow”
This is one of my favorite songs—it’s so dreamy, and Dio’s vocals are very soft. It’s one of those ballads that make you think when you’re traveling around by yourself and listening to music.

Hawkwind: “Brainstorm”
I knew Monster Magnet before I knew Hawkwind, and on Superjudge, the guys do a dope cover of “Brainstorm”—in fact, I used to play it with my first band as a teenager! After that, I discovered Hawkwind’s huge discography, and those albums were definitely some of the first inspirations for Black Rainbows.

Monster Magnet: “Twin Earth”
When I was 13 years old, I bought this awesome record called Superjudge in red transparent vinyl. It was insane to see that red vinyl spinning on my turntable! I started playing guitar around the same time, and the riffs in “Twin Earth” were some of the first riffs I learned. It wasn’t long before I discovered that this song is actually a reinterpretation of a song by Captain Beyond, which is another of my favorite bands!

Black Rainbows’ new LP, Hawkdope, is available on vinyl here and CD here. For more information on Heavy Psych Sounds’ releases, head over to