GWAR: Our Lords & Masters: Interview with Beefcake The Mighty (sort of)

You saw GWAR before you were in GWAR. Besides for Dave (Oderus Urungus) really, musically, everyone in the band has known it without them being in it. Is that true? Do you have a different concept of what the band is?

I was a big GWAR fan for several years before I joined the band, and the way I was a fan, how I looked at it immediately and thought ‘Oh, these guys are geniuses, they’ve got no budget, but they’re doing it anyway.’ I look at it from a slightly different perspective than a lot of the guys do. I try to be the one to throw in the ‘This is what GWAR should be, this is what people think GWAR should be, want GWAR to be, and think GWAR is, and don’t lose sight of that.’ I try to champion that aspect, from the fans’ point of view. I think I do that moreso than most other people in the band. It’s not to say that they don’t think that way, it’s just that I’m more of a goofy fanboy about GWAR sometimes.

You want GWAR to be funny and stupid, but there were a few years where we were diving headlong into stupid. I think you listen back to those records and there’s some really endearing things about them. And a lot of our fans love that. And a lot of these fans are listening to these songs on Lust In Space and even though I don’t see it, they’re thinking that some of these songs harken back to Carnival Of Chaos and Ragnarok and We Kill Everything. It’s interesting to me because that wasn’t the intention; the intention was to stay heavy like the last three records. And I think we did, but there’s a little bit more fun in it than say the last couple of records.

Yes. I think this feels more tongue-in-cheek and thrashier than War Party and Beyond Hell.

We did Violence Has Arrived, and it came to the point where Zach Blair—who is now the guitar player for Rise Against—and I left, he was Flattus for three years. Before we did Violence Has Arrived, there was a lot of talk of having Sleazy and Slymnestra do songs and these show tune kind of things. At that point, I felt GWAR was just slipping into this clown band, just nothing but silliness, and me and Zach felt the same way, and we said ‘Look, GWAR needs to at least attempt to be a heavy metal band.’ And if we’re going to do all this show tune stuff with people who aren’t really singers singing three or four songs on the record, we both said we don’t want to be involved.

That kind of made them go, ‘Hey, what are you saying?’ and we said ‘GWAR need to be heavy! Are we a metal band or are we a cartoon comedy act?’ And we decided, we’re a metal band. So Violence Has Arrived was the first band in the ‘trilogy of heavy’ to get GWAR back on the track of Scumdogs and America and all that stuff. And so I think now that there’s been three really heavy records, even though musically this is still really heavy, we lightened up and had a little bit fun with it. And I think that’s good, I think the fans are responding to that.

Lust In Space is available now. GWAR perform with Lamb Of God at the Wellmont Theatre on Sept. 22.