Gwar

I stood outside the front door of 4th and B and watched as throngs of people, dripping blood, filtered out of the club. The security personnel, who thought they had seen it all, came out wearing matching blood splattered raincoats. Shaking their heads in disbelief at the havoc and gore that had just exploded within the confines of their club. I looked at one of the bouncers and asked him if this was his first GWAR show. He shot me a strange look of revulsion and amazement and said, “I’ve never seen shit like that before, ever.”

 

GWAR is this warped metal band that mixes music, performance art, sex, aliens, politics, pop culture, enslaving humans, and overthrowing the universe. If you were to throw Alice Cooper, Coop, Headbanger’s Ball, Penthouse, and Jim Henson into a blender without a lid, the result would be GWAR and it would be messy. The music is surprisingly good metal and the new songs I heard from a yet-to-be-released album seem influenced by the metal resurgence, brought forth by bands like Meshuggah, Hatebreed, and Slipknot. The subject matter, compared to most millennium metal bands, is more entertaining, tooth-in-cheek, and really funny in a sick sort of way. GWAR is not just a band, it’s an ongoing saga, a kin to the Iliador Beowulf, an intricate story interlaced with adversaries to destroy, people to subjugate, and an ultimate goal of revenge. Most songs tie into the ultimate storyline, however some stray into anti-pop culture/political territory and some, of course, resort to fecal humor. It is serious music that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Music perfectly suited for orchestrating their jaw dropping, eye-popping, sideshow spectacle called a GWAR show.

As you can see in the accompanying photos, GWAR is fucking sick. I cannot even find another word to describe this group in it entirety. It is as if they popped out of the pages of a comic book. Everything about their live show is over-exaggerated and caricatured. In a typical set, most songs parade a new adversary for the GWAR ensemble to battle and this fiend is ripped apart, disemboweled, beheaded, violated, penetrated and/or eaten, and ultimately destroyed. In the process, gallons of fluids spray from the wounds and phalluses into the eager faces of the audience
who couldn’t wait to have their white shirts soaked in gore. It’s one of the only metal shows where black is not the shirt color of choice, exactly for that reason. The blood-soaked San Diego fans were graced with the opportunity to see Courtney Love, Mike Tyson, George Bush, Osama, and GWAR villains Gor-Gor and T-Rex, get obliterated. These characters have seen other GWAR tours so Oderus Urungus, lead vocalist, assuaged the fans with a promise of a brand new stage show supporting their next album. They are touring in October and if we are fortunate, will play in San Diego again. You who have the attention span to read this article need to see this band play, even if metal music isn’t your thing. Attending GWAR is an experience of a lifetime and definitely something to tell your friends about.

Fortunately, I was able to conduct a brief interview with Oderus Urungus after the show at 4th and B. I really didn’t get much time to speak with him because he was definitely way more absorbed by the skinny brunette chick that hovered nearby during the entire interview. I sensed his urgency, so I blasted out some questions I had prepared during the show.

EVILYNN: As a representative of human earth scum, I tremble before your presence and hope that throughout this interview you opt to keep my entrails intact. That being said…how do you like San Diego?”

ODERUS: I hate it. The sun, the palm trees, the Pacific Ocean, all of it. (He scowls)

EVILYNN: Slaves included, how many beings does it take to pull off a GWAR show?

ODERUS: Hundreds. Thousands. Hundreds of Thousands. Five. Thirty.

EVILYNN: Approximately how many gallons of vile fluids are spewed on your followers in an evening?

ODERUS: That depends on how many heads we chop off.

EVILYNN: You said you were releasing a new album on October 5th. Being that your last album “Violence Has Arrived” was released in 2001, we were beginning to think GWAR was bored with subjugating us humans.

ODERUS: Humans ARE boring. (He looks directly at me)

EVILYNN: I guess we are. So back to the album…what are you going to name it?

ODERUS: Name? Our album doesn’t need a name. There are too many bands with names, albums with names, people with names. Who needs a name? We will never again name an album.

EVILYNN: Will the album be available at Wal-Mart.

ODERUS: Yes, in the children’s music section.

EVILYNN: What label is releasing it?

ODERUS: Now that we have parted ways with Metal Blade, the album with no name will be released through the tip of my penis.

EVILYNN: How is your relationship with Metal Blade right now?

ODERUS: Great. Just great. They sold our albums, took our money, and signed a bunch of crappy bands with all the money they made off of us.

EVILYNN: So how do you feel about San Diego based band, Cattle Decapitation? Are they crappy?

ODERUS: I take that back…Cattle Decapitation is a great band. We love Cattle Decapitation. We love San Diego. We love people from San Diego who come to our shows. I do have something to say to Cattle Decapitation: GET THE FUCK OFF METAL BLADE!

EVILYNN: Again, back to the album with no name…I hear you are planning a Halloween tour to support it.Is San Diego going to be included in the carnage?

ODERUS: We’ll play in San Diego if you let us, as long as we can play a place like (4th and B). Every other time we’ve been here, the place has a stage the size of a fucking matchbox. Obviously, our shows are very limited on a small stage.

EVILYNN: What kind of costume are you going to wear?

ODERUS: I’m going to wear what I always wear. I sleep in this shit.

EVILYNN: What is the difference between a dead baby and a bowling ball?

ODERUS: A dead baby won’t roll.

EVILYNN: As a group of alien gods, there’s bound to be some kind of a power struggle. Who is the leader and who is along for the ride?

ODERUS: I am the leader. I am along for the ride.

EVILYNN: Totally off subject, Michael Jackson resembles an alien and he is a type of predator. Is he GWAR spawn and if so who is his mother?

ODERUS: I don’t know. He’s been hiding from us. We don’t know what he is. Michael Jackson is one of the few things even Oderus has no comment on.

EVILYNN: What do you eat on tour?

ODERUS: Women.

EVILYNN: On the subject of women…where was Slymenstra tonight?

ODERUS: At the Betty Ford Fat Clinic.

EVILYNN: Is she gone for good?

ODERUS: She will be back.

EVILYNN: How many Slymenstras does it take to make a Hymen?

ODERUS: Ummm…as many seeds as in a pomegranate.

EVILYNN: Besides destroying the human race, decimating the planet, and over throwing the supreme master, what are GWAR’s more short-term goals?

ODERUS: To play in Japan, rule the world, tour Europe again – even though I hate Europe and those dirty fucking French.

EVILYNN: Are there any upcoming events or appearances we should know about.

ODERUS: (long pause) Ummm. Errrrrr. Ummmm. We will be appearing on VH1’s Most Metal Moments in June. I’m not sure exactly what moment that was.

EVILYNN: Do you have any parting words for our readers?

ODERUS: Split skulls and listen to heavy metal!


Photos Courtesy of Derek Plank