For over 25 years, Grammy-nominated shock rockers GWAR have assaulted our senses with punk and metal aggression, outrageous monster costumes, bloody stage shows and disgusterific anthems. Their twelfth and latest album, the metallic Bloody Pit Of Horror, continues that sonic and visual manifesto with testosterone-laden tunes like “You Are My Meat,” “Hail, Genocide!” and “Beat You To Death.” Subtlety has never been their strong point. Of course, anyone who takes the GWAR universe too seriously is missing out on the fun.
Frontman and founding member Oderus Urungus is nothing if not entertaining. Regardless of whether you might have a fondness for his group’s music, he certainly likes to stir things up. Fox News recognized this, and their show Red Eye has had the monstrous vocalist on their show no less than a dozen times in the last year and a half. There has certainly been a bromance growing between the show’s host Greg Gutfeld and GWAR’s frontman. And the ratings must be good.
One might deem Bloody Pit Of Horror the latest GWAR obsession, but Oderus does not view it that way.
“I am already on to other obsessions, all completely unhealthy,” the cheeky frontman declared to The Aquarian. “That is not to say that I don’t have a ‘Bloody Pit of Horror’ that I am currently taking around with me all over the fucking world and forcing people into, which of course kills them—it’s filled with deadly slime and such—but then they are reborn as zombies. It’s not so much an obsession as it is a daily duty, much like the railing of my shillelagh.”
Mirroring their lyrical brutality, the latest GWAR platter is the second to use eight-string guitars, which gives the music that extra push over the cliff.
“Well, there are two extra strings, aren’t there?” quiped Oderus. “So it’s got to be heavier! But if you take those eight strings and tune them down to F#, it actually sounds heavier, or at least sounds like a guitar vomiting, in a good way, if there is any way that vomiting guitars can sound good. The point of the whole thing is to make GWAR so heavy that we actually break through the crust of the earth and sink into the planet’s molten core. Then maybe I can get some fucking sleep.”
When asked about both his favorite song on the new GWAR CD and the most personal, Oderus offered up some insightful answers. Okay, not really, but they are entertaining.
“My personal favorite is ‘Tick-Tits.’ People need to be more accepting of people whose bodies are infested with insects, and if they can’t do that then at least pay somebody to pile them up inside of shipping containers and bolt the doors shut. As far as personal, I would have to say ‘Sick and Twisted’ is a good representation of that. I wrote it at the last possible second—typical of me—and it reads as a sort of personal philosophy. A testimonial, anyway.”
Many veteran metal acts have been gaining late night airtime where they would not have two decades ago, and GWAR even performed “Zombies, March!” recently on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, which was a rather surreal spectacle. Oderus reported that Fallon’s audience reacted “with horror, fear, revulsion, and finally, head-banging glee. Of course they were not in danger at any moment, being miles away, behind nuclear blast walls, as was the show’s host. The fact that we even looked like we were in the same room is due to nothing other than CG trickery!”
Funnily enough, actor and comedian Dana Carvey was a guest on the show that night and reportedly got turned onto the group’s music. “Yes, Dana Carvey insisted on meeting us,” confirmed Oderus, “and even had sex with several groupies. This I attribute to his work on Wayne’s World, and that other movie where he dressed up like a giant turtle. But even his palavering could not stop us from heaping agony upon his soul, and sending him back to Hollywood with his leg between his legs.”
When it comes to other celebrities, Oderus claimed that they are all required to express love for the band, and even send them money, or they would “endure the horror that only a surprise visit from GWAR can bring.” That said, the crazed throng at a GWAR concert can even surprise, well, GWAR.
“Detroit is the only place in the world where the shit going on in the audience is more fucked-up than what is happening in the show.” (That’s a live DVD in the making.)
It seems harder to shock people these days when baseless reality television and celebrity sex tapes abound, and it makes one wonder if GWAR—whose members currently include Urungus, Flattus Maximus, Balsac the Jaws of Death, Beefcake the Mighty and Jizmak Da Gusha—still have the ability to turn people’s heads (and stomachs) the way they did back in the ‘80s.
“Sure, I stink as much as I ever did,” declared Oderus. “And stink will always stink! Certainly people are a lot more desensitized about stuff since we came out—9/11 will do that to you. But it’s pretty cool that we still set the benchmark for all things sick and twisted, at least in the world of entertainment. People will always want to look at a train wreck, especially one as horrible as GWAR.”
Part of that train wreck is watching the angry group abuse famous politicians and cultural icons onstage—replicas of them, that is. They have slaughtered various people in concert, as recounted in the new song “The Litany Of The Slain,” including Ronald Reagan, Osama Bin Laden, Jerry Garcia, Al Gore and Paris Hilton. Some Tea Party members are rumored to be in an uproar over the GWAR gang attacking Sarah Palin as of late. He said he believes they are angry “because she so obviously loves it! I mean look at the video, she’s all smiles. She just wants attention, even if she has to be disemboweled to get it.”
Is there any one authority figure that GWAR actually has respect for?
“No,” Oderus replied emphatically. “Maybe Ghandi, if he had been more violent. Richard Holbrooke, if he wasn’t dead. The Pope, if he wasn’t a Nazi. Obama, if he wasn’t a Vulcan. Balsac, if he wasn’t an asshole. No.”
Many musicians have a dream collaborator that they would like to work with at some point in their career. Not surprisingly, Oderus has his own. But it’s not who you might think.
“I don’t fucking know,” he mused. “I hate just about everybody but Greg Gutfeld, that guy from Fox. He put me on TV and was the first person to do so since Jerry Springer. And even weirder, he keeps inviting me back. Who makes a ton of money? I need that shit for drugs. So I will say… Bono! Nothing but crack and four-year olds, and we would flit from gig to gig on a carpet of lobster tails and naked baby torsos. Set it up!”
Getting back to Jerry Springer for a moment, when was the last time that GWAR heard from the infamous talk show host?
“The last time we were on his show, which was about 20 years ago,” revealed Oderus.
“After GWAR, they went exclusively to a rednecks-and-white trash fighting each other format. I take personal credit for this advancement in TV entertainment, and demand royalties.”
Maybe that extra cash would help Oderus sleep better. It would certainly be easier than sinking into the Earth’s core. Then again, he might also lose his edge. Stay hungry, GWAR, stay hungry.